I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of A.S.a.P. They’re a somewhat obscure side project by Iron Maiden‘s Adrian Smith. The band started in 1985 when Maiden was on a break from touring after the grueling World Slavery Tour. Smith was bored by the inactivity of the band and got together with drummer Nicko McBrain to pass the time. They soon formed a band with former Urchin members Andy Barnett and Dave Colwell.

They played a one-off show at the London Marquee Club in 1986 under the name of The Entire Population of Hackney. A.S.a.P. was born at this show. The band played mostly original material, some Iron Maiden tracks, and covers of popular songs. There are some pretty good bootlegs of this show on YouTube if you’re trying to hear it.

After that show, Smith got Colwell, Barnett, Richard Young, and Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) to record an album in 1989. Nicko had just gotten married, so he was unavailable to record drums. The album that came out of those sessions was called Silver and Gold. It was a vast departure from the Iron Maiden material Adrian Smith was known for. With a poppier and keyboard-centric sound and elements of the progressive sound that Iron Maiden built towards in the 21st century, it wasn’t the same thing people expected from Smith and Co.

The other interesting thing was that Smith was the lead singer on the album, something he had never done with Iron Maiden up to that point (besides a B-side of the track “Reach Out”).

Silver And Gold‘s Tracklist And Impact

All songs written by Barnett/Colwell/Smith/Young

  1. “The Lion” – 3:54
  2. “Silver and Gold” – 4:50
  3. “Down the Wire” – 5:06
  4. “You Could Be a King” – 3:38
  5. “After the Storm” – 5:50
  6. “Misunderstood” – 4:25
  7. “Kid Gone Astray” – 4:24
  8. “Fallen Heroes” – 4:32
  9. “Wishing Your Life Away” – 4:05
  10. “Blood on the Ocean” – 6:01

What makes Silver and Gold special? It’s the combination of being a fanatical Iron Maiden fan and the fact that it’s something so radically different from Adrian Smith. Smith’s writing style for Iron Maiden lends itself to the catchier/poppier songs. With this album, you get the pop sound, but also some blues influence and classic rock sound. Smith’s husky, working-class voice gives a different vibe and feel to the songs than the normal soaring vocals of Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden.

The album was a commercial failure, even after a couple of promotional tours and two singles. That failure was enough to push Smith into quitting the music business altogether. He only played once on-stage from 1990 to 1993, at the Monsters of Rock Festival, joining Iron Maiden for their encore of “Running Free”.

it’s a shame that this album and A.S.a.P. didn’t continue on after. The band had some incredibly solid material to work with. Tracks like “Silver and Gold”, “After The Storm”, “Fallen Heroes”, and “Blood on the Ocean” are inventive, original, and in some cases, just plain rock out.

Adrian Smith formed a new band called The Untouchables in 1993. They started off playing smaller clubs. They never released any records but did record some unreleased material. The Untouchables evolved into Psycho Motel, which made two albums, that are more hard rock sounding.

It all worked out however, we got Adrian Smith back to Iron Maiden in 1999, and it’s been great since then.

How To Listen To Silver And Gold

You can listen to Silver and Gold on YouTube, or if you track down the CD, vinyl, or cassette tape. Other than those physical releases, it’s not on Apple Music, Spotify, or Amazon Music.

The album is a fantastic blend of rock and metal sound from the ’80s. It’s something that transcends even this fanatical Iron Maiden fan. If you’re into that genre and that specific era of metal/rock, give Silver and Gold a shot.

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