To Tame A Land' is another of Harris' great epic songs, in the same vein as 'Phantom Of The Opera', 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', and 'Alexander The Great'. It is based on Frank Herbert's (19201986) novel Dune, one of the greatest science fiction epics of all time and first in a series of books. Like the movie, the song's lyrics won't make much sense unless you are familiar with the book.
The reason why the song was not called 'Dune', as anyone would have expected, was explained during the subsequent tour in support of the album. Bruce gave his view on the matter at a concert during the World Piece Tour:
Next song is all about a gentleman who wrote a science-fiction book called Dune, this one (...). He's an American called Mr. Frank Herbert, this particular gentleman, alright? And Mr. Herbert, as it turns out, is a bit of a cunt actually, because he... among other things he said that if we called this track that we wrote on the album 'Dune', that he'd sue us and stop the album coming out, and all kinds of very unpleasant things... So we had to re-title the track which is on the new album, and we had to call it 'To Tame A Land'.
Bruce Dickinson Stockholm , Sweden , 5th June 1983
Musically however, it is a brilliant masterpiece that begins slowly, breaks into a powerful driving rhythm, and ends with a long and interesting instrumental section inspired by the famous classical piece 'Asturias' by Spanish composer Isaak Albeniz (18601909), and which slowly retreats back to the original opening softness. A perfect ending to a near perfect album.
This is the best song I've ever written. I was really pleased with 'Phantom', but now I have to say that this is the best.