- Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden performing in Paris (Bercy Arena) on 1 July 2008
Background information Origin Leyton, London, England Genres Heavy metal Years active 1975–present Labels EMI, Universal, Sanctuary, Epic, Columbia, Portrait, Capitol Associated acts ASAP, Bruce Dickinson, The Entire Population of Hackney, Gillan, Gogmagog, Lauren Harris, Pat Travers, Psycho Motel, Rise to Remain, Samson, Streetwalkers, Trust, Urchin Website ironmaiden.com Members Steve Harris
Past members Former members
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six compilations.
Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden achieved success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of platinum and gold albums. These include the U.S. and UK gold and platinum-selling The Number of the Beast in 1982, Piece of Mind in 1983, Powerslave in 1984, the live release Live After Death in 1985, Somewhere in Time in 1986, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. The band are currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity, with their latest studio offering, The Final Frontier, released worldwide on 16 and 17 August 2010, peaking at No. 1 in 28 different countries and receiving widespread critical acclaim.
Considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, Iron Maiden have reportedly sold over 85 million records worldwide with little radio or television support. The band won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002, and were also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California during their United States tour in 2005. As of October 2009, the band have played over 2000 live shows throughout their career.
For the past 30 years, the band have been supported by their famous mascot, "Eddie", who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as in their live shows.
Early years (1975–1977)
Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas Day 1975, by bassist Steve Harris, shortly after he left his previous group, Smiler. Harris attributes the band's name to a film adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, which he saw around that time and which had a verbal connection to the iron maiden torture device. The original lineup did not last very long, however, with vocalist Paul Day being the first casualty as he lacked "energy or charisma onstage." He was replaced by Dennis Wilcock, a Kiss fan who used make-up and fake blood during live performances. Wilcock's friend Dave Murray was invited to join, to the dismay of the band's guitarists Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance. Their frustration led Harris to temporarily disunite the band in 1976, though the group reformed soon after with Murray as the sole guitarist. Steve Harris and Dave Murray remain the band's longest-standing members.
Iron Maiden recruited yet another guitarist in 1977, Bob Sawyer, who was sacked for embarrassing the band onstage by pretending to play guitar with his teeth. Tension ensued again, causing a rift between Murray and Wilcock, who convinced Harris to fire Murray. A new line-up was put together, including Tony Moore on keyboards, Terry Wapram on guitar, and drummer Barry Purkis. A bad performance at a show at the Bridgehouse in November 1977 led to Purkis being replaced by Doug Sampson. At the same time, Moore was asked to leave the band as it was decided that keyboards did not suit the band's sound. Soon after, Dennis Wilcock decided he'd had enough with the group and left to form his own band, V1, and Dave Murray was immediately reinstated. Disapproving of Murray's return, Wapram was also sacked.
Rise to fame (1977–1981)
A chance meeting at the Red Lion pub in Leytonstone evolved into a successful audition for vocalist Paul Di'Anno. Steve Harris has stated, "There's sort of a quality in Paul's voice, a raspiness in his voice, or whatever you want to call it, that just gave it this great edge."
Other than the periods of late 1976-mid 1977 and winter of 1978–79, when Murray was the sole guitarist in the band, Iron Maiden's line-up would always employ multiple guitarists. Dave Murray's childhood friend Adrian Smith was considered to join the group at one time, but he was busy with his own band, Urchin.
On New Year's Eve 1978, Iron Maiden recorded a demo consisting of four songs at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge. Hoping the recording would help them secure more gigs, the band presented a copy to Neal Kay, then managing a heavy metal club called "Bandwagon Heavy Metal Soundhouse." Upon hearing the tape, Kay began playing the demo regularly at the Bandwagon, and one of the release's songs, "Prowler," eventually went to No. 1 in the Soundhouse charts, which were published weekly in Sounds magazine. A copy was also acquired by Rod Smallwood, who soon became the band's manager, and, as Iron Maiden's popularity increased, they decided to release the demo on their own record label as "The Soundhouse Tapes," named after the club itself. Featuring only three songs, all five thousand copies were sold out within weeks.
In December 1979, the band secured a major record deal with EMI and hired guitarist Dennis Stratton that same month. Shortly afterwards, Doug Sampson left due to health issues and was replaced by an ex-Samson drummer Clive Burr at Stratton's suggestion on 26 December. Iron Maiden's first appearance on an album was on the Metal for Muthas compilation (released on 15 February 1980) with two early versions of "Sanctuary" and "Wrathchild". The release led to an ensuing tour which featured several other bands linked with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Iron Maiden's eponymous 1980 release, Iron Maiden, debuted at No. 4 in the UK Albums Chart. In addition to the title track, the album includes other early favourites such as "Running Free", "Transylvania", "Phantom of the Opera", and "Sanctuary" – which was not on the original UK release but made the U.S. version and subsequent remasters. The band set out on a headline tour of the UK, before opening for Kiss on their 1980 Unmasked Tour's European leg as well as supporting Judas Priest on select dates. After the Kiss tour, Dennis Stratton was dismissed from the band as a result of creative and personal differences, and was replaced by Adrian Smith in October 1980.
In 1981, Iron Maiden released their second album, entitled Killers. Containing many tracks that had been written prior to their debut release, only two new songs were written for the record: "Prodigal Son" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (the latter of which's title was taken from the short story by Edgar Allan Poe).
By 1981, Paul Di'Anno was demonstrating increasingly self-destructive behaviour, particularly through alleged drug usage, which Di'Anno himself admits. His performances began to suffer, just as the band were beginning to achieve major success in America. At the end of 1981 the band dismissed Di'Anno and sought a new vocalist.
Bruce Dickinson, previously of Samson, auditioned for Iron Maiden in September 1981 and joined the band soon afterwards. He then went out on the road with the band on a small headlining tour in Italy, as well as a one-off show at the Rainbow Theatre in the UK. In anticipation of the band's forthcoming album, the band played "Children of the Damned", "Run to the Hills", "22 Acacia Avenue" and "The Prisoner" at select venues, introducing fans to the sound that the band was progressing towards.
Dickinson's recorded debut with Iron Maiden was 1982's The Number of the Beast, an album that claimed the band their first ever UK Albums Chart No. 1 record and additionally became a Top Ten hit in many other countries. Dickinson, at the time, was in the midst of legal difficulties with Samson's management and was not permitted to add his name to any of the songwriting credits, although he still made what he described as a "moral contribution" to "Children of the Damned", "The Prisoner" and "Run to the Hills". For the second time the band went on a world tour, visiting the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, UK and Germany, including a headline appearance at the Reading Rock festival. A new and hugely successful chapter in Iron Maiden's future was cemented; the album went on to sell over 14 million copies worldwide.
The Number of the Beast tour's U.S. leg proved controversial when an American conservative political lobbying group claimed Iron Maiden was Satanic because of the new album's title track, to the point where a group of Christian activists destroyed Iron Maiden records (along with those of Ozzy Osbourne) as a protest against the band. In recent years, Dickinson has stated that the band treated this as "silliness," and that the demonstrations in fact gave them "loads of publicity."
In December 1982, drummer Clive Burr ended his association with the band due to personal and tour schedule problems and was replaced by Nicko McBrain, previously of French band Trust. Soon afterwards, the band journeyed for the first time to The Bahamas to record the first of three consecutive albums at Compass Point Studios. In 1983, they released Piece of Mind, which reached the No. 3 spot in the UK, and was the band's debut at the North American charts, reaching No. 70 on the Billboard 200. Piece of Mind includes the successful singles "The Trooper" and "Flight of Icarus," the latter of which being particularly notable as one of the band's few songs to gain substantial airplay in the U.S.
Soon after the success of Piece of Mind and its supporting tour, the band released Powerslave on 9 September 1984. The album featured fan favourites "2 Minutes to Midnight", "Aces High", and "Rime of The Ancient Mariner", the latter based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem of the same name and running over 13 minutes long.
The tour following the album, dubbed the World Slavery Tour, was the band's largest to date and consisted of 193 shows in 28 countries over 13 months, playing to an estimated 3,500,000 people. Many shows were played back-to-back in the same city, such as in Long Beach, California (4 consecutive sold out concerts to an overall audience of 54,000), where the majority of their subsequent live release, Live After Death, was recorded, which became a critical and commercial success, peaking at No. 4 in the UK. Iron Maiden also co-headlined (with Queen) the Rock In Rio festival, where they performed to an estimated crowd of 300,000. The tour was physically gruelling for the band and they took 6-months off when it ended. This was the first substantial break in the band's history, including even cancelling a proposed supporting tour for the new live album, with Bruce Dickinson threatening to quit unless the tour ended.
Returning from their time off, the band adopted a different style for their 1986 studio album, entitled Somewhere in Time, featuring, for the first time in the band's history, synthesised bass and guitars to add textures and layers to the sound. The release charted well across the world, particularly with the single "Wasted Years," but notably included no writing credits from lead singer Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band.
The experimentation evident on Somewhere in Time continued on their next album, entitled Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which was released in 1988. A concept album, featuring a story about a mythical child who possessed clairvoyant powers, this would be the first time the band used keyboards on a recording, as opposed to guitar synthesisers on the previous release. Another popular release, it became the Iron Maiden's second album to hit No. 1 in the UK charts. During the following tour, the band headlined the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park for the first time on 20 August 1988, playing to the largest crowd in the festival's history (107,000). Also included on the bill were Kiss, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses and Helloween. The festival was marred, however, by the deaths of two fans in a crowd-surge during the aforementioned Guns 'N' Roses' performance; the following year's festival was cancelled as a result.
The tour concluded with several headline shows in the UK in November and December 1988, with the concerts at the NEC Arena, Birmingham recorded for a live video, entitled Maiden England. In 1990, to mark Iron Maiden's ten year recording anniversary, they released The First Ten Years, a series of ten CDs and double 12" vinyls. Between 24 February and 28 April 1990, the individual parts were released one-by-one, each containing two of Iron Maiden's singles, including the original B-sides.
During another break in 1989, guitarist Adrian Smith released a solo album with his band ASAP entitled Silver and Gold. At the same time, vocalist Bruce Dickinson began work on a solo album with former Gillan guitarist Janick Gers, releasing Tattooed Millionaire in 1990, followed by a tour.
Soon afterwards, Iron Maiden regrouped to work on a new studio record. During the pre-production stages, Adrian Smith left the band due to differences with Steve Harris regarding the direction the band should be taking, disagreeing with the "stripped down" style that they were leaning towards. Janick Gers, having worked on Dickinson's solo project, was chosen to replace Smith and became the band's first new member in seven years. The album, No Prayer for the Dying, was released in October 1990.
The band obtained their first (and to date, only) UK Singles Chart No. 1 with "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", originally recorded by Dickinson for the soundtrack to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. It was released on 24 December 1990, and was one of the first records to be released on several different formats with different B-sides. The single holds the record for being the fastest release to reach No. 1 and then lose any chart rating again over the following weeks.
After another tour and some more time off, the band recorded their next album, Fear of the Dark. Released in 1992, the release was noticeably longer (due to this being Iron Maiden's first album recorded for CD rather than LP) and included the stand-out title track, which is now a regular fixture in the band's concert setlists. Achieving their third No. 1 in the UK albums chart, the disc also featured "Wasting Love", one of the band's softer songs, and the No. 2 single "Be Quick or Be Dead". The album featured the first songwriting by Gers, and no collaboration at all between Harris and Dickinson on songs. The extensive worldwide tour that followed included their first ever Latin American leg (after a single concert during the World Slavery Tour), and being the headline act of "Monsters of Rock Festival" in seven European countries. Iron Maiden's second performance at Donington Park, to an audience of 68,500 (the attendance was capped after the incident in 1988), was filmed for the audio and video release, Live at Donington, and featured a surprise appearance by Adrian Smith, who joined the band to perform "Running Free".
In 1993, Bruce Dickinson left the band to further pursue his solo career, but agreed to remain for a farewell tour and two live albums (later re-released in one package). The first, A Real Live One, featured songs from 1986 to 1992, and was released in March 1993. The second, A Real Dead One, featured songs from 1980 to 1984, and was released after Dickinson had left the band. The tour did not go well, however, with Steve Harris claiming that Dickinson would only perform properly for high profile shows and that at several concerts he would only mumble into the microphone. Dickinson denies the charge that he was under-performing, stating that it was impossible to "make like Mr Happy Face if the vibe wasn't right," claiming that news of his exit from the band had prevented any chance of a good atmosphere during the tour. He played his farewell show with Iron Maiden on 28 August 1993, which was filmed, broadcast by the BBC and released on video under the name Raising Hell.
Blaze Bayley era, The X Factor and Virtual XI (1994–1999)
In 1994, the band listened to hundreds of tapes sent in by vocalists before convincing Blaze Bayley, formerly of the band Wolfsbane who had supported Iron Maiden in 1990, to audition for them. Bayley had a different vocal style from his predecessor, which ultimately received a mixed reception among fans.
After a two year hiatus (as well as a three year hiatus from studio releases – a record for the band at the time) Iron Maiden returned in 1995. Releasing The X Factor, the band had their lowest chart position since 1981 for an album in the UK (debuting at No. 8), although it would go on to win Album of the Year awards in France and Germany. The record included the 11-minute epic "Sign of the Cross", the band's longest song since "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", as well as the singles, "Man on the Edge", based on the film Falling Down, and "Lord of the Flies", based on the novel of the same name. The release is notable for its "dark" tone, inspired by Steve Harris' divorce. The band toured for the rest of 1995 and 1996, playing for the first time in Israel and South Africa, before stopping to release the Best of the Beast. The band's first compilation, it included a new single, "Virus", whose lyrics attack the critics who had recently written off the band.
Iron Maiden returned to the studio to record Virtual XI, released in 1998. The album's chart scores were the band's lowest to date, failing to score one million worldwide sales for the first time in Iron Maiden's history. At the same time, Steve Harris assisted in remastering the band's entire discography, up to and including Live at Donington (which was given a mainstream release for the first time).
Ed Hunter, Brave New World, Dance of Death (1999–2005)
Following problems with his voice during the Virtual XI World Tour, a band meeting was held in January 1999, in which Bayley was asked to leave Iron Maiden. At the same time, the band were in talks with former vocalist, Bruce Dickinson, who agreed to rejoin during a meeting in Brighton, along with guitarist Adrian Smith, who was telephoned a few hours later. With Janick Gers, Smith's replacement, remaining, Iron Maiden now had a three guitar line-up and embarked on a hugely successful reunion tour. Dubbed "The Ed Hunter Tour," it tied in with the band's newly released greatest hits collection, Ed Hunter, which also contained a computer game of the same name starring the band's mascot.
In November 1999, the band moved to Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris with producer Kevin Shirley to make their first studio release following the reunion with Dickinson and Smith, 2000's Brave New World. Thematic influences continued with "The Wicker Man" – based on the 1973 British cult film of the same name – and "Brave New World" – title taken from the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. The album furthered the more progressive and melodic sound present in some earlier recordings, with elaborate song structures and keyboard orchestration.
The world tour that followed consisted of well over 100 dates and culminated on 19 January 2001 in a show at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, where Iron Maiden played to an audience of around 250,000. While the performance was being produced for a CD and DVD release in March 2002, under the name Rock in Rio, the band took a year out from touring, during which they played three consecutive shows at Brixton Academy in aid of former drummer Clive Burr, who had recently announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Following their Give Me Ed... 'Til I'm Dead Tour in the summer of 2003, Iron Maiden released Dance of Death, their thirteenth studio album, which was met by worldwide critical and commercial success. Produced by Kevin Shirley, now the band's regular producer, many critics also felt that this release matched up to their earlier efforts, such as Killers, Piece of Mind and The Number of the Beast. As usual, historical and literary references were present, with "Montségur" in particular being about the Cathar stronghold conquered in 1244, and "Paschendale" relating to the significant battle which took place during The First World War.
The following tour was another landmark for the band, as they played to over 750,000 fans during 50 dates over a period of 4 months in 2003–04, including sold out dates in South America, Europe, North America and Japan. Their performance at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, as part of the supporting tour, was recorded and released in August 2005 as a live album and DVD, entitled Death on the Road.
In 2005, the band announced the Eddie Rips Up the World Tour which, tying in with their 2004 DVD entitled The Early Days, only featured material from their first four albums. As part of this celebration of their earlier years, the "Number of the Beast" single was re-released and went straight to No. 3 in the UK Chart. The tour included many headlining stadium and festival dates, including a performance at Ullevi Stadium in Sweden to an audience of almost 60,000. This concert was also broadcast live on satellite television all over Europe to approximately 60 million viewers. The band completed this tour by headlining the Reading and Leeds weekend festivals on the 26-28 August, two shows to an estimated combined audience of 130,000 people, and in Ireland on 31 August to almost 40,000 people at RDS Stadium. For the second time, the band played a charity show for former drummer Clive Burr's MS Trust Fund charity, this time taking place at the Hammersmith Apollo.
A Matter of Life and Death (2005–2007)
At the end of 2005, Iron Maiden began work on A Matter of Life and Death, their fourteenth studio effort, released in autumn 2006. While not a concept album, war and religion are recurring themes in the lyrics, as well as in the cover artwork. A successful tour followed, during which they played the album in its entirety; response to this was mixed.
Iron Maiden recorded a live session at Abbey Road Studios for Live from Abbey Road in December 2006. Their performance was screened in an episode alongside sessions with Natasha Bedingfield and Gipsy Kings in March 2007 on Channel 4 (UK) and June 2007 on the Sundance Channel (USA).
In November 2006, Iron Maiden and manager Rod Smallwood announced that they were to end their 27-year-old relationship with Sanctuary Music and were to start a new company named Phantom Music Management. No other significant changes were made.
The second part of the "A Matter of Life and Death" tour was dubbed "A Matter of the Beast" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Number of the Beast album, and included appearances at several major festivals worldwide. The band announced plans to play five songs each from A Matter of Life and Death and The Number of the Beast as part of their set, but in fact only played four songs from the latter. They performed in the Middle East for the first time at the annual Dubai Desert Rock Festival in 2007, playing to an audience of 20,000. They also made their first appearance in India with a concert in Bangalore, aptly titled Eddfest, playing to over 20,000 people at the Bangalore Palace Grounds. This event marked the first time any major heavy metal band played in the Indian sub-continent. The band went on to play a string of European dates, consisting of open air festivals and mostly stadium-sized concerts, including an appearance at Download, their record-breaking fourth headline performance at Donington Park. The show attracted the largest audience in Download's history, with an estimated attendance of approximately 80,000 people, in spite of higher ticket and camping prices. On 24 June they ended the tour with a performance at London's Brixton Academy in aid of The Clive Burr MS Trust fund.
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour & Flight 666 (2007–2009)
On 5 September 2007, the band announced their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which tied in with the DVD release of their Live After Death album. The setlist for the tour consisted of successes from the 1980s, with a specific emphasis on the Powerslave era for set design. The first part of the tour, commencing in Mumbai, India on 1 February 2008, consisted of 24 concerts in 21 cities, travelling over 50,000 miles in the band's own chartered aeroplane "Ed Force One". They played their first ever concerts in Costa Rica and Colombia and their first Australian shows since 1992.
The tour led to the release of a new compilation album, entitled Somewhere Back in Time, which included a selection of tracks from their 1980 eponymous debut to 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, as well as several live versions from Live After Death.
The Somewhere Back in Time World Tour continued with two further legs in the US and Europe in Summer 2008, during which the band used a more expansive stage-set, including further elements of the original Live After Death show. With the sole UK concert taking place at Twickenham Stadium, this would be the first time the band would headline a stadium in their own country. The three 2008 legs of the tour were remarkably successful; it was the second highest grossing tour of the year for a British artist.
The final part of the tour took place in February and March 2009, with the band, once again, using "Ed Force One". The final leg included the band's first ever appearances in Peru and Ecuador, as well as their return to Venezuela after 19 years and their first performances in New Zealand for 16 years. The band also played another show in India (their third in the country within a span of 2 years) at the Rock In India festival to a crowd of 20,000. At their concert in São Paulo on 15 March, Dickinson announced on stage that the show was the biggest of their career. In fact, the crowd of 100,000 people was Iron Maiden's largest ever audience for a solo show (i.e. not a festival). The attendance was larger than Chile's show of almost 60,000 people, according to the organisers. The final leg ended in Florida on 2 April after which the band took a break. Overall, the tour reportedly had an attendance of over two million people worldwide over both years.
On 20 January 2009, the band announced that they were to release a full-length documentary film in select cinemas on 21 April 2009. Entitled Iron Maiden: Flight 666, it was filmed during the first part of the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour between February and March 2008. Flight 666 is co-produced by Banger Productions and was released by Universal Music Group in the U.S. and EMI Records in the rest of the world. The film went on to have a Blu-ray, DVD and CD release in May and June, topping the music DVD charts in 25 countries.
The Final Frontier (2010–2011)
Following announcements that the band had begun composition of new material and booked studio time in early 2010 with Kevin Shirley producing, The Final Frontier was announced on 4 March. The album, the band's fifteenth, was released on 16 August, garnering critical acclaim and the band's greatest commercial success in their history, reaching No. 1 in twenty-eight countries worldwide. Although Steve Harris had been quoted in the past as claiming that the band would only produce fifteen studio releases, band members have since confirmed that there will be at least one further record.
The album's supporting tour would see the band play 98 shows across the globe, including their first visits to Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea and Transylvania, and concluded in London on 6 August 2011.
At the 53rd Grammy Awards on 13 February 2011, "El Dorado" won the award for Best Metal Performance. It is the band's first win following two previous Grammy nominations ("Fear of the Dark" in 1994 and "The Wicker Man" in 2001).
On 15 March, a new compilation to accompany 2009's Somewhere Back in Time was announced. Entitled From Fear to Eternity, the original release date was set at 23 May but was later pushed back to 6 June. The double disc set covers the period 1990–2010 (the band's most recent eight studio albums), and, as on Somewhere Back in Time, live versions with Bruce Dickinson were included in place of original recordings which featured other vocalists, in this case Blaze Bayley.
In a press release regarding From Fear to Eternity, band manager Rod Smallwood revealed that the band will release a new concert video to DVD in 2011, filmed in Santiago and Argentina during The Final Frontier World Tour.
Image and legacy
Iron Maiden were ranked No. 24 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock", fourth in MTV's "Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All Time" and were named as the third best heavy metal band of all time on VH1 Classic: Top 20 Metal Bands. The band also won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002 and were inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk whilst touring in the United States in 2005.
Iron Maiden frequently use the slogan "Up the Irons" in their disc liner notes, and the phrase can also be seen on several t-shirts officially licensed by the band. It is a paraphrase of "Up the Hammers," the phrase which refers to the London football club, West Ham United, of which founder Steve Harris is a fan.
Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, is a perennial fixture in the band's science fiction and horror-influenced album cover art, as well as in live shows. Eddie was painted exclusively by Derek Riggs until 1992, at which point the band began using artwork from numerous other artists as well, including Melvyn Grant. Eddie is also featured in the band's first-person shooter video game, Ed Hunter, as well as numerous books, graphic comics and band-related merchandise.
Iron Maiden's distinct logo has adorned all of the band's releases since the debut; the typeface originates with Vic Fair's poster design for 1976 science fiction film, The Man Who Fell To Earth, although Steve Harris claims that he designed it himself, utilising his abilities as an architectural draughtsman.
According to Guitar World Iron Maiden's sound has "influenced generations of newer metal acts, from legends like Metallica to current stars like Avenged Sevenfold," with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich commenting that he has "always had an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them." Kerry King of Slayer has stated that "they meant so much to me in their early days" and Scott Ian of Anthrax says that "they had a major impact on my life." M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold states that Iron Maiden "are by far the best live band in the world and their music is timeless," while Trivium singer Matt Heafy comments that "without Iron Maiden, Trivium surely wouldn't exist." Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor says that "Steve Harris does more with four fingers than I've ever seen anybody do. And Bruce Dickinson? Dude! To me, he was the quintessential old-school heavy metal singer. He could hit notes that were just sick, and he was a great showman. Everything made me a fan. And there wasn't a dude that I hung out with that wasn't trying to draw Eddie on their schoolbooks," while their music also helped Jesper Strömblad of In Flames to pioneer the melodic death metal genre, stating that he had wanted to combine death metal with the melodic guitar sounds of Iron Maiden.
Other heavy metal artists who cite the band as an influence include Chris Jericho, WWE wrestler and lead singer of Fozzy, and Cam Pipes of 3 Inches of Blood. On top of this, however, pop artist Lady Gaga has cited Iron Maiden as her favourite band, saying that "their fans live, breathe and die for Maiden, and that is my dream. Maiden changed my life."
The band's name has been mentioned prominently in several songs, such as the singles "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus, "Back to the 80's" by Danish dance-pop band Aqua. and "Fat Lip" by Sum 41. Iron Maiden have also been referenced in Weezer's "Heart Songs" (from their 2008 self-titled "Red" album), Blues Traveler's "Psycho Joe" (from 1997's Straight On till Morning), and NOFX's "Eddie, Bruce and Paul" (from their 2009 album Coaster), which Sputnikmusic describes as "a humorous retelling of Paul DiAnno's departure." On top of this, Swedish power metal band Sabaton have made references to the band in their songs "Metal Machine" and "Metal Ripper", with the former mentioning various Iron Maiden songs (namely "Fear of the Dark" and "Afraid to Shoot Strangers"), and the latter including lyrics from "The Number of the Beast".
In 2008, Kerrang! released an album, entitled Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, composed of Iron Maiden cover songs played by artists such as Metallica, Machine Head, Dream Theater, Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, and others who were influenced by Iron Maiden throughout their careers. In 2010, Maiden uniteD, an acoustic tribute band consisting of members of Ayreon, Threshold and Within Temptation, released Mind the Acoustic Pieces, a re-interpretation of the entire Piece of Mind album. Many other Iron Maiden cover albums exist (each featuring various artists), including piano, electro, string quartet and hip-hop tributes.
Iron Maiden songs have been featured in the soundtracks of several video games, including Carmageddon 2, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, SSX on Tour and Madden NFL 10. Their music also appears in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series of rhythmic video games. Iron Maiden songs have also appeared in films, such as Phenomena (entitled "Creepers" in the U.S.), and Murder by Numbers; while MTV's animated duo Beavis and Butt-head have commented favourably on Iron Maiden several times.
Transformers author Bill Forster is an avowed Iron Maiden fan and made several Iron Maiden references, including song lyrics and the phrase "Up the Irons" in his books, including The Ark series and The AllSpark Almanac series.
Claims of Satanic references
In 1982, the band released one of their most popular, controversial and acclaimed albums, The Number of the Beast. The artwork and title track led to Christian groups in the United States branding the band as Satanists, encouraging people to destroy copies of the release. The band's manager, Rod Smallwood, later commented that Christians initially burnt the records, but later decided to destroy them with hammers through fear of breathing in the melting vinyl's fumes. The claims were not restricted to the United States, however, with the Catholic Church managing to prevent Iron Maiden from performing in Chile in 1992.
Contrary to the accusations, the band have always denied the notion that they are Satanists, with lead vocalist, Bruce Dickinson, doing so on-stage in the Live After Death concert video. Steve Harris has since commented that, "It was mad. They completely got the wrong end of the stick. They obviously hadn't read the lyrics. They just wanted to believe all that rubbish about us being Satanists." Harris has also stated that "The Number of the Beast" was inspired by a nightmare he had after watching Damien: Omen II, and also influenced by Robert Burns' Tam o' Shanter. Furthermore the band's drummer, Nicko McBrain, has been a born again Christian since 1999.
Iron Maiden's influences include Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Rush, Thin Lizzy, Queen, UFO, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes and Jethro Tull.
In October 2007, Iron Maiden commissioned an Astraeus 757 as transport for their 'Somewhere Back in Time World Tour' in 2008. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson explained the logic behind the charter in 2007:
"Looking at the list of places we would like to play we have always had problems joining up the dots. With sea containers in various places it slows down the whole touring process, which is fine if you want a holiday but not if you want to play. It's great to see places but we don't want to sit around for a week waiting for gear to get from, say, Australia to South America, so this way we can get to more fans in more places en route in the same time period"
The aircraft, named "Ed Force One" after a competition on the band's website, was flown by Dickinson as he is also a commercial airline pilot for Astraeus. The aeroplane was converted into a combi configuration and repainted with a special Iron Maiden livery, along with a list of that year's tour dates. According to Dickinson, Astraeus decided to retain the Iron Maiden artwork when it returned to normal charter service after receiving positive feedback from customers, but had to remove the decals after passengers in Africa refused to board the plane, claiming it to be possessed by evil spirits.
The decoration was restored a year later as the same aircraft (G-OJIB) was used on the final leg of the Somewhere Back in Time tour in 2009. It plays a major role in the award-winning documentary, Iron Maiden: Flight 666, which was released in cinemas in 42 countries in April 2009 and on DVD and Blu-ray in May and June 2009. The film debuted on British television on 4 March 2010 at 11:00 pm on BBC4 as part of Heavy Metal Britannia Weekend.
"Ed Force One" was used again for "The Final Frontier World Tour" in 2011, although this time with a different aeroplane (G-STRX) and altered livery, adopting the artwork of "The Final Frontier".
- Bandit Rock Awards
- 2011: Best International Live Act – Iron Maiden
- 2009: Best British Live Act – Iron Maiden
- 2006: Album Of The Year – A Matter Of Life And Death, Iron Maiden
- 2006: VIP Award – Rod Smallwood, Iron Maiden
- 2009: Band of the year – Iron Maiden
- 2004: The audience vote for Best Foreign Artist – Iron Maiden
- 2006: The audience vote for Best Foreign Artist – Iron Maiden
- 2005: RockWalk Of Fame Inductee – Iron Maiden
- 2002: International Achievement – Iron Maiden
- 2010: DVD of the Year – Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen)
- 2005: Kerrang! Hall of Fame – Iron Maiden
- 2004: Best UK Act – Iron Maiden
- 2008: Best UK Band – Iron Maiden
- 2008: Icon Award – Eddie the Head
- 2009: Golden Gods Award – Iron Maiden
- 2009: Best UK Band – Iron Maiden
- 2011: Best UK Band – Iron Maiden
- Metal Storm Awards
- 2006: Best Heavy Metal Album – A Matter of Life and Death, Iron Maiden
- 2009: Best DVD – Iron Maiden: Flight 666
- 2010: Best Video – The Final Frontier, Iron Maiden
- 2004: Special Achievement Award – Iron Maiden
- 2011: Best Hard Rock Live Act – Iron Maiden
- 2009: 24 Beats Per Second – Iron Maiden: Flight 666
- Current members
- Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals (1975–present)
- Dave Murray – lead & rhythm guitars (1976-1977, 1977–present)
- Adrian Smith – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1980–1990, 1999–present)
- Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals (1981–1993, 1999–present)
- Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion (1982–present)
- Janick Gers – lead & rhythm guitars (1990–present)
- Live members
- Michael Kenney – keyboards, synthesiser (1988–present)
- Former members
- Paul Day – lead vocals (1975–1976)
- Ron "Rebel" Matthews – drums (1975–1977)
- Terry Rance – guitars (1975–1976)
- Dave Sullivan – guitars (1975–1976)
- Dennis Wilcock – lead vocals (1976–1977)
- Bob Sawyer – guitars (1977)
- Terry Wapram – guitars (1977)
- Tony Moore – keyboards (1977)
- Thunderstick – drums, percussion (1977)
- Doug Sampson – drums, percussion (1977–1979)
- Paul Di'Anno – lead vocals (1977–1981)
- Paul Cairns – guitars (1977-78)
- Paul Todd – guitars (1978)
- Tony Parsons -guitars (1979)
- Dennis Stratton – guitars, backing vocals (1979–1980)
- Clive Burr – drums, percussion (1979–1982)
- Blaze Bayley – lead vocals (1994–1998)
- Studio albums
- Iron Maiden (1980)
- Killers (1981)
- The Number of the Beast (1982)
- Piece of Mind (1983)
- Powerslave (1984)
- Somewhere in Time (1986)
- Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)
- No Prayer for the Dying (1990)
- Fear of the Dark (1992)
- The X Factor (1995)
- Virtual XI (1998)
- Brave New World (2000)
- Dance of Death (2003)
- A Matter of Life and Death (2006)
- The Final Frontier (2010)
Duration Concert tour Lineups Scheduled dates Vocals Bass Guitars Drums Feb 1980 Metal for Muthas Tour P. Di'Anno S. Harris D. Murray D. Stratton N/A C. Burr 11 Apr 1980 – Dec 1980 Iron Maiden Tour 75 Feb 1981 – Dec 1981 Killers World Tour A. Smith 140 Feb 1982 – Dec 1982 The Beast on the Road B. Dickinson 187 May 1983 – Dec 1983 World Piece Tour N. McBrain 142 Aug 1984 – Jul 1985 World Slavery Tour 193 Sep 1986 – May 1987 Somewhere on Tour 157 Apr 1988 – Dec 1988 7th Tour of a 7th Tour 101 Sep 1990 – Sep 1991 No Prayer on the Road J. Gers 118 Jun 1992 – Nov 1992 Fear of the Dark Tour 68 Mar 1993 – Aug 1993 Real Live Tour 45 Sep 1995 – Sep 1996 The X Factour B. Bayley 138 Apr 1998 – Dec 1998 Virtual XI World Tour 87 Jul 1999 – Oct 1999 The Ed Hunter Tour B. Dickinson A. Smith 30 Jun 2000 – Jan 2001 Brave New World Tour 92 May 2003 – Aug 2003 Give Me Ed... 'Til I'm Dead Tour 56 Oct 2003 – Feb 2004 Dance of Death World Tour 53 May 2005 – Sep 2005 Eddie Rips Up the World Tour 45 Oct 2006 – Jun 2007 A Matter of Life and Death Tour 58 Feb 2008 – Apr 2009 Somewhere Back in Time World Tour 91 Jun 2010 – Aug 2011 The Final Frontier World Tour 101
- List of best-selling music artists
- List of Iron Maiden songs
- Music in tribute of Iron Maiden
- The Iron Maidens
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