Iron Maiden – 1980 – EMI
Killers – 1981 – EMI
Number Of The Beast – 1982 – EMI
Piece Of Mind – 1983 – EMI
Power Slave – 1984 - EMI
Live After Death – 1985 – EMI
Somewhere In Time – 1986 - EMI
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son – 1988 - EMI
No Prayer For The Dying – 1990 – EMI
Fear Of The Dark – 1992 – EMI
A Real Live One – 1993 – EMI
A Real Dead One – 1993 – EMI
The X-Factor – 1995 - CMC
Virtual XI – 1998 – CMC
Live At The Donnington – 1998 – Raw Power
Brave New World – 2000 – EMI
Live In Rio – 2002 – EMI
Dance Of Death – 2003 – EMI
Death On The Road – 2005 – EMI
A Matter Of Life And Death – 2006 - EMI
The Final Frontier – 2010 - EMI
The Book Of Souls – 2015 - Sanctuary
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter – 2017 - Warner
Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City – 2020 - BMG
Senjutsu – 2021 - BMG

Iron Maiden image
Bird Of Prey>>Paul Di’Anno>>Battlezone, Shanghai Tyger, Praying Mantis, Di'Anno, Gogmagog, Killers, Lonewolf, True Brits, Children Of Time, Iron Men, Architects Of Chaoz, Ides Of March, Warhorse - Speed, Styx, Shots, Samson, Xero>>Bruce Dickinson>>Solo, Skunkworks - Wolfsbane>>Blaze Bayley>>Solo, Wolfsbane - Speed, Styx, Shots, Samson, Xero, Skunkworks, Solo>>BRUCE DICKINSON>>Solo

Stone Free, Evil Ways, Legend, The Secret, Urchin>>DAVE MURRAY – Gibraltar>>Tony Parsons - United, RDB>>Dennis Stratton>>Lionheart, Praying Mantis, RDB, True Brits, The Denial – Stone Free, Evil Ways, Urchin, The Entire Population Of Hackney, The Broadway Brats>>Adrian Smith>>The Entire Population Of Hackney, A.S.A.P, Bruce Dickinson, Psycho Motel, The Primal Rock Rebellion, Smith/Kotzen – Stone Free, Evil Ways, Urchin, The Broadway Brats, The Entire Population Of Hackney, A.S.A.P, Bruce Dickinson, Psycho Motel, The Primal Rock Rebellion, Smith/Kotzen>>ADRIAN SMITH>>The Primal Rock Rebellion, Smith/Kotzen - Di'Anno, Bruce Dickinson, Fish, Gillan, Gogmagog, White Spirit>>JANICK GERS

Influence, Gypsy’s Kiss, Smiler, Solo>>STEVE HARRIS>>Solo

Samson, Gogmagog>>Clive Burr>>Praying Mantis, Elixir, Desperados, Strators, True Brits, Trust, Escape - The 18th Fairfield Walk, Peyton Bond, The Wells Street Blues Band, The Axe, Billy Day, Gordon Giltrap, Streetwalkers, Pat Travers, Trust, McKitty, Lionheart, McBrain Damage, Titanium Tart>>MICHAEL “NICKO” MCBRAIN>>McBrain Damage, Titanium Tart

History & Biography
In all likelihood the biggest heavy metal group in history, Londoner Steve Harris formed Iron Maiden in 1975. Influenced by the likes of Jethro Tull and Wishbone Ash and playing around on his bass since 1971 the young Harris played in bands like Gypsy’s Kiss before forming his own band. Iron Maiden soon became the mainstay of London’s underground metal scene in the late ‘70s with members coming and going every several months. The band’s name was inspired by the film The Man In The Iron Mask and the medieval torture device. There were several bands called Iron Maiden in the UK, and also the USA, before this Iron Maiden. A groovy heavy rock band issued a full-length in 1969 having been formed in 1964. This band's singer/guitarist Trevor Thoms was in Inner City Unit with Nik Turner (known for his time in Hawkwind) later.

Iron Maiden, now featuring Paul Di’Anno on microphone beginning in 1978, recorded the songs Prowler, Invasion, Strange World and Iron Maiden at Spaceward Studio. The songs, as immortalized in the Soundhouse Tapes, the underground following; the support from the London metal community (including DJ Neil Kay) and the live shows convinced John Darnley of EMI to sign the band. The band appeared on the Metal For Muthas sampler and issued the Running Free single. The band’s albums would consistently chart. The band was soon heralded as one of the forbearers of the NWOBHM movement. First to go was guitarist Dennis Stratton. Former Urchin guitarist Adrian Smith, who had been band-mates with Murray in the ‘70s, replaced him. This was the second time Smith was asked to join. He accepted this time as his band Urchin had broken up. Iron Maiden flew to North America for its first overseas tour, which was called Killer World Tour. Di’Anno left the band due to health issues and a disdain for life on the road. He had sung on the self-titled debut and the Killers album. His replacement was former Samson man, Bruce Bruce a.k.a. Bruce Dickinson. Samson, with Bruce, had opened for Iron Maiden at the Reading Festival in 1980. Pat Travers, which formerly featured Nicko McBrain, was also on the bill. Number Of The Beast of 1982 quoted the Bible with its harrowing intro. This album hit the #1 spot on the British charts and entered the top 40 in the USA. The title track and Run To The Hills would also enter the charts as singles. The band appeared at Reading again in 1982. Next to go was drummer Clive Burr who was replaced by Nicko McBrain. The choice was also interesting because McBrain was a former member of Gordon Giltrap's band. This band had an album called Fear Of The Dark in 1978 and had a couple of 1970s' albums with a logo similar to Iron Maiden's own. The Fear Of The Dark album of Giltrap happened to feature drummer Simon Phillips of Judas Priest. Piece Of Mind of 1983 also quoted the Bible's Book Of Revelation except it changed "... neither shall there be any more pain" to "... neither shall there be any more brain" to suit the record's name. Piece Of Mind would report "No synthesizers or ulterior motives" on its back cover. By now the band had toured with the likes of Judas Priest, Kiss and Whitesnake and become a major headlining act. The band’s sound would change following the definitive live album Live After Death. Somewhere In Time featured synthesizers (refer back to the band's hard as iron sound on Piece Of Mind!), while the conceptual Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son sounded more progressive and revealed more of Steve Harris’ early influences. Janick Gers replaced Smith in 1990, but would stay on to make Maiden a three-guitar force upon Smith’s return ten years later. Smith had auditioned for Def Leppard in 1991, but was unsuccessful. Dickinson would leave Iron Maiden in 1993, but given the lack of success of the band with Blaze Bayley on vocals, would return in 1999 alongside Adrian Smith. Both men had shown less and less love for the pure heavy metal sounds of the band, although Dickinson had impressed many with his solo career. Massive success had been the recent North American reunion shows of Iron Maiden. On a sad note, guitarist Adrian Smith was forced to leave to the UK right after a N.Y.C show due to the death of his father. He returned to the fold 48 hours later. The first reunion album with the band upon return was 2000’s Brave New World. During a summer of 2000 show in Mannheim in central Germany, Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers fell from the stage during the encore track Number Of The Beast and injured himself. Although the show went on, the band cancelled the show in Essen the next day, as well as planned concerts in Greece and Bulgaria. Paul Di Anno was forced to cancel his North American summer tour for 2000 following a refusal by US customs to allow him into that country. The British authorities apparently wanted the man. The band entered the studio in the spring of 2006 with Kevin Shirley again and recorded A Matter Of Life And Death. A World War II film called Matter Of Life And Death inspired the title. The ensuing tour was a commercial success in tandem with the band’s renewed commercial viability. The band and its manager Rod Smallwood left the Sanctuary Records Management roster in the autumn of 2006. The band was still signed to Sanctuary Music in the USA. Iron Maiden signed on for the Desert Rock 2007 festival taking place March 9 and 10th, 2006 at the Dubai Country Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The group followed up its appearance at Dubai Desert Rock Festival in the UAE with its first appearance in India. The group played a show in Bangalore on March 17th, 2007. The band next announced an ambitious touring plan for 2008. The band would tour Australia for the first time in 15 years and continue on to other parts of the world using the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour 2008 monicker. The tour would have an ‘80s theme and coincide with the re-release of the band’s older videos on DVD. The group re-signed to EMI Records in 2007. Somewhere Back In Time was the title for another band compilation. The CD featured music from the band’s first decade. The band would play at the Aucas Stadium in Quito, Ecuador on Tuesday, March 10th of 2009. This would be the Brits’ first show in the central American country. The band’s Bogota, Colombia concert on March 7th, 2009 degenerated into a near-riot with non-ticket holders on the one hand and attendees who attempted to approach the more expensive VIP section causing a raucous. Iron Maiden’s documentary film Iron Maiden: Flight 666 was out in select cinemas on April 21st. In 2008 Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, the same guys who produced Metal: A Headbangers Journey, travelled with the band to document the band's 2008 Somewhere Back In Time World Tour. Iron Maiden: Flight 666 was a full-length documentary film, about the first leg of the band's tour in February and March of 2008. On Tuesday April 21st the documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666 was shown in several digital cinemas world-wide. More showings were scheduled and a DVD version was due in May.

Paul Di’Anno’s 30th Anniversary Of Iron Maiden tour marked the thirtieth anniversary of the self-titled debut of Iron Maiden. The former singer of Iron Maiden played every song of the album live and also included tracks from the follow-up album, Killers. The tour occurred in Australia and New Zealand in June of 2010. The British Broadcasting Corporation axed Bruce Dickinson’s BBC 6 Music Friday night radio show as it cut back on its programming, in general, and digital programming in particular. The singer had conducted his show on and off for the last eight years. Nicko McBrain began co-managing the rock band Voices of Extreme a.k.a. V.O.X. A summer tour in North America was scheduled for 2010. The tour was dubbed The Final Frontier and would hit Europe next. The reunited U.K. hard rock band Wolfsbane, featuring former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley, was working on music for a new studio album due in 2011. Iron Maiden's next album, The Final Frontier, was due on Monday, August 16. The Final Frontier World Tour was underway in North America. Three members of Sikth and Adrian Smith joined forces along with members of Murder One and Vacant Stare to form a new metal project. The band, The Primal Rock Rebellion, was to make its live debut on Saturday, January 15th in High Wycombe at Bucks Student Union. The show was cancelled ostensibly because it was inadvertently advertised. Smith might have been forced by management to cancel said show and emphasize the group’s project-only nature. Smith was also writing songs with INXS singer J.D. Fortune. Iron Maiden fans caused a barricade to fall during the band's concert on March 27th 2011 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, forcing the group to cancel the appearance. The incident happened during the first song of the band's show, Satellite 15 ... The Final Frontier. Iron Maiden would headline the Turkish version of the Sonisphere festival, which took place on Sunday, June 19th at Kucukciftlik Park in Istanbul. Premier, a manufacturer of drums and percussion, was sponsoring An Evening With Nicko – A Night Of Drums, Drumming And Entertainment With Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain. The Western European dates span the month of November. Taking merchandising to the next level Iron Maiden would take over the entire Hopton Holiday Park in Norfolk, England for three nights in October of 2012. The thematic night would feature all things Iron Maiden including music, shows, games and cover bands. Iron Maiden would not be playing. Iron Maiden’s En Vivo! was a live Blu-Ray, two-DVD package and double soundtrack album out in 2012. It was filmed on April 10th in front of over 50,000 fans at the Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile. Former singers Blaze Bayley and Paul Di'Anno would be together again for a tour of Australia and New Zealand in November and December of 2012. The two had toured Russia that winter. EMI would release an Iron Maiden DVD called Maiden England '88 on March 25th, 2013. This show was filmed at two shows at Birmingham N.E.C Arena, U.K. After announcing his retirement from the music business, former singer Paul Di'Anno announced he was instead recording a new album with a new band Architects Of Chaoz in 2014. Guitarist Dave Murray was working on a 2015 Fender guitar called the Dave Murray California Series Stratocaster! Steve Harris offered a discount on his mansion, which remained for sale in England. According to the band’s management, before Christmas of 2014 Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson visited his doctor for a check-up and was diagnosed with an early stage cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue. The man completed a seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology. The band reported that there is a good chance for a recovery. The band had been working on a new album, which was almost complete. Former members including singer Dennis Willcock, keyboardist Tony Moore, guitarist Terry Wapram and drummer Barry ‘Thunderstick’ Purkis recently got together courtesy of the Maiden77 Facebook page at a show by Wapram's band, Buffalo Fish. The members were attempting to record original Maiden tracks for a release. Iron Maiden would release a single called Speed Of Light in mid-2015 off its next album, The Book Of Souls. The music was written by guitarist Adrian Smith and singer Bruce Dickinson. The latter man underwent cancer treatment earlier that year. The double album was out through Sanctuary in September. The Book Of Souls referred to the Mayan culture’s belief in souls. The concept of a book of souls was present in The Deathgate Cycle book series as well as at Yasukuni Shinto Shrine in Japan. The band was not touring until 2016 due to Dickinson’s illness. Iron Maiden's The Book Of Souls album debuted at position number one in 24 countries and number 2 in Canada. The band was heading out to Oceania and South Africa. Iron Maiden would travel to China for the first time in April of 2016 on The Book Of Souls world tour. The band was playing at Beijing LeSports Center on April 24th and Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena on April 26th. The band would issue a mobile game called Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast that summer through Roadhouse Games. Lithuanian authorities banned the posters for Iron Maiden’s world tour because, they claim, the band’s mascot Eddie would frighten children. The same poster was used worldwide to promote the band’s current tour. Warner Music would release Iron Maiden's The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter on November 17th. "Legacy Of The Beast" world tour was the name of the 2018 European tour of the band. There were some forty shows planned. The band had previously announced an end to extensive touring. Very early singer Dennis Willcock was suing the band for using the lyrics he wrote without attribution. The man who fronted the band from 1976 to 1978 cited Prowler, Charlotte The Harlot, Prodigal Son and The Phantom Of The Opera as lyrics he contributed. Brian Quinn, a.k.a Brian Ingham, of ‘70s band Beckett had won his case for the lyrics to the song Hallowed Be Thy Name. Bruce Dickinson came out against participating in a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony in 2018 should the band ever be inducted. Iron Maiden, Kiss and a number of mallcore bands were to headline the Download festival in 2020. The concert was to take place in June. Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord's Concerto For Group And Orchestra fiftieth anniversary was commemorated in Quebec City, Canada with a concert featuring the local orchestra. Bruce Dickinson appeared. Die With Your Boots On was the promotional title for a jersey collaboration between Iron Maiden and the English premier league football club West Ham United. Steve Harris was a fan of the club. In what was billed as Paul Di Anno’s final live show ever the man put together a nostalgia act called Ides Of March. Fronted by Paul Di'Anno and featuring former members guitarists Terry Wapram and Terry Rance as well as drummer Doug Sampson, the band was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Iron Maiden's debut self-titled album with a performance at the Beermageddon festival performance in Bromsgrove, England on August 30th 2020. Smith/Kotzen, the project of Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen, released its self-titled debut album through BMG on 26.03.2021. Kastro Pergjoni, director of the Cart & Horses pub in London, England where the band made its live debut in 1976, launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise £20,000 for vocalist Paul Di'Anno in 2021. The singer needed to have knee surgery. The UK National Health Service provides free healthcare services.

In more recent years the band has issued numerous compilations and live albums, issued bonds on future revenue, become part owners of its management and established its own members’ label imprints and toured the world playing ‘classic songs.’ The band’s back catalogue is also subject to constant re-release. Di’Anno has announced he would love to grace the stage with Maiden on occasion, Burr had been ill and been the subject of benefit shows by the band before dying while McBrain discovered and loved Christ.

Iron Maiden remains second to none in metal hearts and popularity in most parts of the metal world. Iron Maiden was also the first band to play the BBC TV show Top Of The Pops live since The Who, was banned in different countries, been deemed Satanic for its classic 1982 song and album Number Of The Beast and made Eddie, drawn usually by artist Derek Riggs, its mascot and cover model. In a 2010 interview, Derek Riggs admitted to walking away from work with the English band in order to disentangle himself from the band’s management and art director. Bruce Dickinson would embark on the What Does This Button Do? An Evening With Bruce Dickinson spoken-word tour in Europe in autumn 2019. In the meantime, the band filed a $2 million trademark lawsuit against a video game maker called 3D Realms behind the game Ion Maiden. BMG issued the double live album Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City on November 20th. Iron Maiden had a new song and accompanying video called The Writing On The Wall in the summer of 2021. It was produced by Kevin Shirley. The band’s new full-length was called Senjutsu and was out through BMG on September 3rd. The title referred to naturally wise tactics in Japanese. It was recorded in 2019. Piece Of Mind's Sun And Steel had referenced Japan's most famous samurai, Musashi Miyamoto. A Canadian high school principal Sharon Burns was the subject of a petition from certain parents looking to have her removed due to her public love of Iron Maiden. The band announced it would tour beginning June 2022. Senjutsu entered the Billboard 200 in the USA at position No. 3. It is the band's highest entry into those charts. Iron Maiden’s cohorts at the top of the charts were Drake and Kanye West. Former band vocalist Blaze Bayley cancelled his show at U.K.'s Planet Rockstock after testing positive for COVID-19 in late 2021. The band and Marvel/Disney signed an agreement to issue Marvel and Iron Maiden characters’ merchandise. Dickinson continued his solo talking tours. Nicko McBrain announced a mini-tour of Florida pubs for the spring of 2022 playing Iron Maiden songs with his Titanium Tart side-project. He had also played with the project at his own Rock N Roll Ribs joint in December. Steve Harris and Di’Anno were reunited backstage at the band’s Croatian show where the former singer was undergoing treatment for his leg in 2022. Following thirty years of not meeting one another and Steve Harris and Paul Di’Anno reuniting in Croatia before a concert, the band agreed to fund the remaining expenses for its former singer who was undergoing knee surgeries. Iron Maiden and British Lion both featuring bassist Steve Harris performed in Finland at Rockfest on June 3rd 2022. Bruce Dickinson interrupted the band’s performance of the song The Number Of The Beast at a concert in Athens, Greece on July 16th 2022 to call a fan “You Greek cunt" and "You fucking cocksucker." A fan had lit a red flare, which is a sign of appreciation and happiness typically. Dickinson may have been concerned about the impact on his larynx. The man had also suffered from tongue cancer in 2014. Iron Maiden was booked to headline Wacken Open Air for 2023.

BMG would issue a triple black vinyl album set to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Number Of The Beast on 18.11.2022. The set included the Beast Over Hammersmith live recording stemming from 1982 as well. The song Total Eclipse replaced Gangland in this edition. It came with expanded artwork taken from Eddie’s Archives box set and liner notes by Steve Harris. Bruce Dickinson and Orquestra Sinfônica Do Estado De São Paul were to perform Jon Lord of Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group And Orchestra on a four-date tour of Brazil in April 2023. Concerto For Group And Orchestra was also performed at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, Canada in 2019. Iron Maiden announced The Future Past Tour for Europe for June and July 2023. The band was to perform songs from its latest album, Senjutsu, and 1986’s Somewhere In Time among others. The tour was to run into 2024. McBrain revealed in late 2022 that he had battled laryngeal cancer In 2020, but had chosen not to publicize it. Paul Di'Anno and guitarist Gus G. (ex-Ozzy Osbourne) were to play songs from Iron Maiden’s first two albums, 1980’s Iron Maiden and 1981’s Killers, in Greece in December 2022. The concerts were to take place in Athens and Thessaloniki on December 14th and 15th. Blaze Bayley suffered a heart attack in 2023 and was recovering. Spring and summer concerts were cancelled. It was revealed also that Nicko McBrain had suffered a stroke in January 2023 and had kept it under wraps for six months. Nicko was mostly fit again in time for summer concerts. Iron Maiden booked three concerts in Western Canada as part of its The Future Past tour. The concerts were taking place in late September and early October. Jesterhead, In Flames' mascot, joined Motorhead’s Snaggletooth and Anthrax’s Not Man in Iron Maiden’s Legacy Of The Beast mobile game in 2023. Blaze Bayley released a live album taped in France and the UK in 2023. It was called Damaged Strange Different And Live and was taped prior to his then-recent health issues. The album featured several Iron Maiden songs as well. Iron Maiden embarked on the Australian and New Zealand leg of its The Future Past tour next. Killswitch Engage was to open the September mini-tour of six cities. Iron Maiden would then will then return to Canada and the USA with The Future Past Tour in the autumn. Bruce Dickinson was starring in a horror movie called Bjorn Of The Dead. The film was written by Bruce's son Austin Dickinson. The name referred to ABBA member Bjorn and was about an ABBA cover band caught in a nightclub during the apocalypse. Bruce Dickinson married his fiancée, French fitness instructor Leana Dolci, in November 2023. She was an Iron Maiden “super fan” who followed the band from show to show. The two lived in Paris. Iron Maiden, and Mongolian folk band The Hu, was touring North America in the autumn of 2024.


The common rule in metal says that the third album will either 'make it or break it' for a band. Not only was The Number of The Beast Iron Maiden’s third album, but also the first with then new singer Bruce Dickinson who had been with Samson before. Gone were the punk influences that Paul Di'Anno's voice had brought to the band. Dickinson’s vocals were a lot higher and more melodic.
Invaders, the opener, is a fast-paced song and an aggressive start for the album. The semi-ballad Children Of The Damned, though featuring a fast part, cools down the atmosphere somewhat before The Prisoner, the album’s first classic, heats it up again. The song begins with a dialogue from the British TV series of the same name. The up-tempo 22 Acacia Avenue continues the story of Charlotte The Harlot and once was a part of Maiden’s live set. The title track again features a spoken intro before a memorable riff sets in. The topic of the song sparked a lot of criticism after the album’s release, but is pretty much tongue-in-cheek. Run To The Hills, with its two-part structure (Native American theme/cavalry with galloping horses) is another fan-favourite. The following song Gangland is clearly a filler and the only weaker song on the album. A lot stronger, of course, is the final song Hallowed Be Thy Name with its dark mood and tempo changes. It closes an album that remains a milestone not only in Iron Maiden’s career, but also in the whole realm of heavy metal. - Andreas Herzog

Piece Of Mind is Iron Maiden’s most progressive album. Progressive here means complex and detailed; not Dream Theater style.
Where Eagles Dare opens the album with powerful and technical drumming. Piece Of Mind was the debut for drummer Nicko McBrain, acquired from the French band Trust, and he can showcase his skills already in the first song. The lyrics are based on the war movie of the same title. Revelations alternates between slow and up-tempo with a balladesque interlude in the middle and can also be heard on Live After Death. Nowadays, it is not a part of Maiden’s set list anymore. Flight Of Icarus is recognizable from its first five chords on and was a huge hit single in the U.S. Die With Your Boots On is a fast song about the silly fear of death and pointedly against political leaders preparing their countries for war. USA and Middle East, anyone? The topic of the song is still up-to-date. Enough has been said about The Trooper. It is one of the most popular Maiden songs of all time. Still Life, however, is widely underrated, and I think it has never been played live. A shame, since it is reminiscent of early Fates Warning in riffing and structure, and clearly shows how much Iron Maiden has influenced Fates Warning. Quest For Fire is epic and could have been written by Manowar, only that it has better lyrics than a Manowar song. Sun And Steel, a song about the Samurai code of honour, has a catchy chorus and also would have made a good single. To Tame A Land, based on Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi classic Dune, closes the album. Overall, Piece Of Mind has a different atmosphere than Number Of The Beast, but is by no means worse. - Andreas Herzog

Powerslave was the apex of Iron Maiden’s career. Period. No other Maiden album features more diverse songs, a cooler atmosphere or greater musicianship than this one. Number Of The Beast is the default classic, but Powerslave ranks higher in terms of song writing.
Aces High starts the album with a dramatic intro and very melodic main leads. The song was often preluded by a Winston Churchill speech live that ended with “We should never surrender!” Two Minutes To Midnight sounds like a Saxon song. Its riffing and chorus are vintage New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The song itself is a dark construction out of lyrics that deal with a possible end of the world - it’s two minutes to midnight, you know? Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) is a long instrumental in the tradition of Ides Of March or Transylvania. Flash Of The Blade takes a different look at the swordmaster motif from Sun And Steel. The Duellists features duelling guitars. Back In The Village is another straight riff-rocker. The title track has an Egyptian atmosphere and features a majestic, powerful chorus. The 20-minute song Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner, based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s long lyrical ballad, is the most ambitious song Maiden have yet written. It was even played live in full length on the World Slavery Tour. It is safe to say that no metal collection is complete without this album. How many times can you say that about a piece of music? - Andreas Herzog

I categorize Maiden’s line-ups as follows: DiAnno era, Dickinson Mark I pre-Powerslave, Dickinson Mark I post-Powerslave, Bailey era, Dickinson Mark II. Pre-Powerslave includes the album Powerslave itself.
Powerslave was a turning point for Iron Maiden in many ways. It featured their biggest tour up to that point (World Slavery Tour), saw the release of their first full-length live album Live After Death, and saw them slip into commercialism afterwards. While many people think Maiden went down the drain in the years after Powerslave, there is at least one more album that deserves notice, and it is Somewhere In Time.
Interestingly, the band uses guitar synthesizers extensively for the first time here. Note the difference between keyboards and guitar synths: a guitar synthesizer either looks like a guitar with rubber strings or is in fact a real guitar with a Midi pickup, so it reacts to dynamic play a lot more than a keyboard. The sad thing is that it sounds just like a keyboard, so many fans grumbled about the sound of Somewhere In Time.
Caught Somewhere In Time starts with pumping bass lines by Steve Harris and is a fast beginning for the album. The synthesizer sounds are already dominant here. Wasted Years is very melodic and sort of celebrates the band’s tenth anniversary. Sea Of Madness has a touch of hard rock and reminds me of a mixture between Maiden and Aerosmith. Heaven Can Wait, a hit single, begins with Steve’s signature bass notes again, but many fans never got used to the song. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, based on Alan Silitoe’s short novel, is one of the highlights and has a very cool atmosphere. No doubt a marathon runner has thoughts like these during a race. Stranger In A Strange Land, again about a novel (Robert A. Heinlein’s classic from the golden age of Sci-Fi), starts with an ice-cold riff that really expresses the hostility the Martian must have felt during his first days on earth. Read the novel to find out more. Deja Vu again has a futuristic touch and is fast-paced. Alexander The Great, at 8:30 min the longest song of all, has layers and layers of synthesizer sounds. It is epic and might appeal to fans of newer Virgin Steele. Either way, it would have been perfect for the soundtrack to Oliver Stone’s movie Alexander.
Keyboard-haters should give this album a chance - it grows with every listening session. But it cannot conceal the fact that Iron Maiden really went down the drain music-wise after its release, even though every later album had its moments. - Andreas Herzog

The Final Frontier is a respectable album with good moments and good songs, which is something when talk is of Iron Maiden in this century. The band has gone back to the studio it utilized for Piece Of Mind, Compass Point, and the resulting sound and vibe aren’t far off from the heady days either. The band might have gone back to the 1983 approach, but there are no Troopers or Flight Of Icaruses here. Instead, these are typical of newer songs. Often, long, sometimes very long, and always tipping towards the prog. After all, the band’s back to the future progression has its limits. Interestingly, the band has spoken about how little has changed at the studio since its last visit, although the studio was torn down and rebuilt since the last time Iron Maiden recorded there.
Nevertheless, and speaking of 'back to the future' The Final Frontier is a science fiction themed album. It is a bad sign that Maiden has had to go back to the theme and visuals it operated in 1986 for a new album. Although, one wishes the group had in fact found that sound, writing and energy again.
The album begins with a long and weird intro called Satellite 15 that after some atypical droning (kudos to the band for taking a chance) leads to the title track. The song proper has a great riff and asserts that singer Bruce can still wail and does so in a catchy manner. One is almost sorry the song ends which is something no one at Metallian Towers has said about Maiden for 20 years! Another great thing about the song is its establishing that the disc has a sharp guitar sound. Every album with Kevin Shirley at the helm and thus far suffered from a soft and simulated guitar sound. El Dorado is heavy and has a good riff too. It starts with a riff like Heart’s Barracuda on bass and sports a real guitar sound in the main riff. It is not terribly original however. It is interesting and has creative drumming to boot. Mother Of Mercy is more typical Maiden (post 1986). It is a waste of time with a boring strum and ersatz patterns. Coming Home is slower. It is indeed a nice song with good guitars and a real feeling, but the synthesizers need to go away. Iron Maiden is not about to improve that however. The song has a good warm bass sound that actually replaces the Steve Harris rattle of later days with which listeners have been plagued. The Alchemist is upbeat and energetic, while Isle Of Avalon is standard aside from the prog rock interlude that takes one to a dream theatre. Next comes Starblind, which has the album’s best riff at the beginning, and double guitars that explode and remind one of how the band’s harmonies are back here. Surely, that is one of The Final Frontiers’ better attributes. Sadly, the great riffs do not last. It is as if Maiden deliberately is clutching at straws. Incidentally, look at the long lyrics. Bruce’s stamina is tested with this one. Staying on that theme The Talisman shows the singer truly trying and exerting himself. It is rewarding to hear him not rest on laurels and still sound motivated. Skipping one track the 11-minute long When The Wild Wind Blows is hardly Rime Of The Ancient Mariner in quality. By the second time Dickinson asks whether we know or have heard what is going on one has lost interest. Steve Harris, however, is likely happy having composed and inserted his everlasting ostentatious track. Too bad the song loses steam fast.
Well, it is Maiden and a good one at that. As said, it is a good one though only for the period (the band is in). The disc looks good and has fine artwork. There are not any extras or information on my disc, which is sad, but not surprising. After all, this is the band that charged its fans for access to its official forum. It is worth a purchase, but things would look up even better were the band to cut back on the epicness, exceed mid-paced speeds often and dump the synthesizers next time. After all, it is supposed to be metal so why have gratuitous ingredients? - Ali “The Metallian”

Iron Maiden’s 16th studio album is the band’s first double record aside from live albums. While the band has avoided Judas Priest’s mistake with Nostradamus, which was a boring album artificially stretched with intros, outros and instrumentals, The Book of Souls is still not good enough to justify the double CD format. A single disc with the best songs would have resulted in the best Maiden album since Brave New World, but there are a few fillers here, and one song, The Red And The Black, is clearly too long at over 13 minutes. Its “wohohoho” chorus is also ripped off from The Wicker Man (originally on Brave New World). In fact, three songs exceed the 10-minute mark – the title track is 10 minutes, and Empire Of The Clouds is 18 minutes. These two are way better, though. The highlights are songs that were either written or co-written by Bruce Dickinson. The Steve Harris compositions on this album almost all fail the listening test. The opener, If Eternity Should Fail, was even supposed to appear on Dickinson’s next solo album. Empire Of The Clouds, now the longest Maiden song ever, features an orchestra and very progressive structures. Imagine a mix between Maiden, early Fates Warning and Pink Floyd, and you get the atmosphere. It’s not another Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, but much better than When The Wild Wind Blows and at least on the same level as Alexander The Great. Death Or Glory is a World War I take on the thematic from Aces High, and Tears Of A Clown is indirectly about the death of actor Robin Williams. The first single, Speed Of Light, is unspectacular and features vocals that sound forced at high pitch. The remaining songs, The Great Unknown, When The River Runs Deep, Shadows Of The Valley, and The Man Of Sorrows (not identical to the Dickinson solo tune from Accident Of Birth) are mediocre. Not bad, but also nothing that stands out. Overall, The Book of Souls is a decent record, but too long. Because of this, it is only above average. Speed Of Light and The Red And The Black are two of the worst Maiden songs in recent memory, and the opener, title track and Empire Of The Clouds are three of the best. You get the gist: The album just features too much of an up and down in quality. – Andreas Herzog

Metallian has uncovered a vintage May 1992 interview with IRON MAIDEN’s Janick Gers and Dave Murray that was never printed. Originally taped for the Sonic Disaster radio show and broadcast on the CRSG college radio, the interview was conducted by Ali “The Metallian” in Montreal and on the eve of the release of the band’s Fear of The Dark album. - 26.05.1992

METALLIAN: Guys, thanks for your time. Listening to Fear Of The Dark one notes that it starts with the fastest song, Be Quick Or Be Dead. Since the song is not representative of the whole album is its placement a reaction to some people’s belief that Iron Maiden has mellowed out?
JANICK: No, not at all. We listen to constructive criticism, but we don’t necessarily listen to all the negative things about the band because a lot of it is sour grapes. On this particular album, that song introduces itself as the introduction to the album. It is the perfect opener. That is the reason it’s there. If you look further in the album, you will find Judas Be My Guide, which is equally as fast and ferocious. Be Quick Or Be Dead just said 'I want to be the beginning!’
DAVE: Yeah, I agree with Janick. It is great to have an impact when you open an album up. It is up-tempo. It has a... vibe. Actually, throughout the album you will find quite a few time changes. You get fast bits, you get slow parts, medium tempo so really an album as a whole should have a lot of different flavours and shouldn’t be all one pace. We just thought 'immediate impact. Boom! In your face.'
JANICK: There are a lot of textures to the album.

METALLIAN: You must agree that it is not consistent with the other songs. There are different songs and different tempos on the album. Does that make the album inconsistent?
JANICK: The album is consistent in that it has twelve individual songs on it that complement each other. We don’t want to do twelve songs of the same speed and the same feel just to please the radio or please whomever. We are there to explore different avenues and write different songs. We have explored so many different avenues on this particular album and we are so proud of the songs on there. These are twelve really good tunes. We are very proud of them.
DAVE: I agree there. I mean even lyrically you are talking about many different things in the songs. When you make an album, musically, the musicians want to make the best they can and then underneath it all you have got this heavy rock driving sound here. On the top, you have different melodies. To me it’s a classic Iron Maiden album. I think it’s one of the best things we have done, you know?
JANICK: I must say that any song you pick from that album wouldn’t be representative of the album. There are so many different things on there. Every one is an integral part of Iron Maiden, a real driving hard rock band. With so many different textures, there isn’t one song you can put in the beginning that is representative of the whole album. It is as if Maiden has changed, but we are still the same.
DAVE: The identity of Iron Maiden is still there and if you put any track on you can tell it’s Iron Maiden, but Fear Of The Dark, the track itself, probably sums up everything Maiden is about and the whole album is about. For us this album feels so fresh. It feels like it could be our first album. We are very excited about it.

METALLIAN: On the topic of the sound of the album one notices that the keyboards the band used on the last couple of albums have been pushed aside. Was that consciously done?
JANICK: I think what you do is you look at the song and you think what does this song need? If the song needs keyboards then we put one on. In any band, whatever band you are in, I think you should look to make the song as good as you can. There are actually keyboards on this album, bit it kinda washes. They are there when we need them. If we think they would enhance the tune then there would be keyboards on them. We are not against using them and we are not for using them; whatever the song demands we use.
DAVE: It just adds a bit of colour and fills out the sound. I think they can actually create moods. Many times when the keyboards have been used, they have been where the packages have been quite slow whereas on the up-tempo fast parts you won’t find keyboards.
JANICK: I personally have no qualms about using the keyboards. Every band I have ever been in”¦ I have never actually played with a guitar player before! This is the first time. If it’s needed, I think you should use it. If it destroys the song then take it out. I don’t think there is anything in this album where it is overused. I think it’s perfect.

METALLIAN: What if the reaction of the fans is 'I see Iron Maiden as a heavy metal band and I don’t want to hear keyboards'?
JANICK: The thing is do you follow what people tell you to do or do what you believe in? Now, the reason Maiden is still around is they have done always what they believed in. Before I was in the band what impressed me about Dave and the boys was 'no compromises'! They didn’t listen to fashion, they didn’t do whatever every other bloody band was doing. They did what they wanted to do. You stand or fall on your own two feet. You either listen to what everybody tells you or you do what you believe in. I think Dave has always done what he believed in and I have always done what I believe in. If you fall, you fall; if you stand, you stand. It is a chance you take. If you think it’s right, do it. I’d say that to any young kid. Don’t follow everybody else. Do what you want to do.
DAVE: With Maiden and with the fans I think if they like the band they will enjoy the keyboards because musically you have got to develop and you have got to move forward. Having keyboards does that for the band. We are a rock band and having that kind of a thing makes us whole and makes us more rounded. I think heavy metal fans, in general, if they are into the band are going to like it.

METALLIAN: I would like to shift the subject and ask about the absence of Derek Riggs as the artist responsible for your cover artwork. Why did you decide to substitute him for Melvyn Grant?
JANICK: Derek is in fact still working with us. The single we have in Europe is Be Quick Or Be Dead, which isn’t the single in Canada because it is a bit too heavy for your radio. Be Quick Or Be Dead is number two in the radio over there and Derek did the cover for that single. We really believe in this album so when we did the album we sent the words to a lot of art colleges, universities, art people and said ”˜draw something and send it back to us.’ We sent it to Derek too. The thing that best fit with the tracks on the album was something that came from somebody else. That is why it is on there. It’s not that we didn’t want to use Derek. It’s just that the Eddie that came back fits with the imagery for the album. I think the Eddie we used is perfect. It evokes a gothic image, which is exactly what we were thinking about. It is still Eddie. It is just that he is back in a different form.
DAVE: Derrick will be back. Actually, he will be doing some stuff with us later on. When you do music it’s gotta have an impact and with the Fear Of The Dark you want fish to come out and bite you in the face boom...
JANICK: We couldn’t afford that...
DAVE: We couldn’t afford it!

METALLIAN: In the last few years Bruce has gone out of his way to describe Iron Maiden as a rock and roll band. I do not want to see Iron Maiden associated with, say, Elvis Presley.
JANICK: It depends what you call rock and roll. To me rock and roll is Led Zeppelin, Purple, Free and the rock and roll edge. What Bruce is trying to say is that perhaps at some point Maiden has moved away from that rock and rollness. If you have that rock and roll feel in there, which developed on the No Prayer For The Dying album and his singing - it became less operatic and more what I call rock and roll - which is not Elvis Presley, but kinda like Gillan and Rogers and people I like to listen to. It doesn’t mean we are going to come out and do Johnny Be Good. Although we have done a B-side called Roll Over Vic Vella, which is a cover version of a Chuck Berry song...
DAVE: and we have done Nodding Donkey Blues... but yeah we grew up listening to rock bands in the '70s. In the '80s when the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal came out it was just a tag. We think of ourselves as a purely hard rock band. It is just that you have a label with the press and stuff. People like to label things, you know? But that’s fine because a lot of kids they relate to it as well.
JANICK: At the end of the day, you play what you feel and whatever comes out. Some people perceive what you are and sometimes they don’t perceive it the way you perceive it because they put a different name on it. That doesn’t change what you do.
DAVE and JANICK simultaneously (singing): You ain't nothing but a hound dog...

METALLIAN: This will appear on a bootleg very soon...
JANICK: Send it to Jonathan King (of Gogmagog).

METALLIAN: Let me ask you about the sales of No Prayer For The Dying. Were you happy with that album and what is the expectation for Fear Of The Dark?
JANICK: We did very well with No Prayer For The Dying including the tour although there was a massive recession in America. We are very pleased with it.
DAVE: Even in Europe, it was the biggest tour we had ever done. We played for more people in Europe for No Prayer For The Dying than we ever had before. The album sales were very good. At the time, we recorded the album on a mobile and it was pretty much live. We went into the studio did it and got out on the road. This time we had a little more thought in everything considering the new album. There was more thought behind the whole process and we recorded at Steve’s house in digital. The whole sound is different. The mood and the development... each album is judged on its own merits and I think this one is... touch wood (touches wood), it’s not wood, is it?
JANICK: All you can do is be proud of it. To me, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever been involved with. The musicianship on this album is next to none. Everyone is playing fantastic. There are so many different influences and feels on the album. You can sense it. To me, it’s a classic album. The track Fear Of The dark just rounds it off. To me that’s one of the best songs Steve has written since Hallowed Be Thy Name. It is a classic song and live it is going to be something else.
DAVE: I think if anything this album hopefully in years to come will stand apart from a lot of things that we have done before. If anyone is going to name an Iron Maiden all-time album I think this one actually... it will stand the test of time because of the sound. It has a real '90s production. The quality of the songs is long-term. This could be a classic Maiden album.

METALLIAN: On a different tack, I have in my possession a Praying Mantis album on which Paul Di’Anno sings. It features many Iron Maiden classics. What do you think of that?
JANICK: I actually have worked with Paul before I joined Maiden. I have worked with Paul, Clive Burr and a guy called Jonathan King. Neil Murray from Whitesnake and people from Def Leppard were in the band. Paul is a great singer and I have a lot of respect for him. His got a new band called Killers and they will be out touring soon. I don’t know if they are coming to Canada, but I wish him the best of luck. As for the Praying Mantis thing, I haven’t heard it. The last time I saw Praying Mantis I was in White Spirit and it was 1979. I haven’t kept up with that.
DAVE: Yeah, I think when Paul does things there is probably going to be some Iron Maiden influences there and when he goes on tour there will be a couple of Iron Maiden songs as well because he was with the band for a few years. Even now with his new band, which is called Killers after an iron Maiden album, he is always going to have that ”˜contact’ within the band. For him to push the band having the name will help him. I mean he deserves it because he spent a couple of years of his life working at it.
JANICK: God bless you, Paul.
DAVE: Yeah, good luck to the man.

METALLIAN: Let’s talk about the tour.
DAVE: We will back next month. We will be back the second week in June in Montreal.
JANICK: The album will be released on Tuesday.

METALLIAN: Who is touring with you?
DAVE: I heard it may be Testament, I think. There probably will be one other band as well. We can see who is available, but Testament is pretty firmly confirmed.

METALLIAN: Thank-you for the chat!
JANICK: Thank-you.
DAVE: Cheers, Ali.
JANICK: Cheers.

Fear Of The Dark was issued on May 12th of 1992. Singer Bruce Dickinson, guitarists Janick Gers and Dave Murray, bassist Steve Harris and drummer Nick McBrain had the pleasure of seeing the album top the UK album charts.

If you enjoyed this, read Excess

Iron Maiden