IRON MAIDEN are an English heavy metal band formed in
Leyton , East
London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris . The
band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen
studio albums, eleven live albums, four EPs , and seven compilations .
Pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal , Iron Maiden
achieved initial success during the early 1980s. After several line-up
changes, the band went on to release a series of UK and US platinum
and gold albums, including 1982's The Number of the Beast , 1983's
Piece of Mind , 1984's
Powerslave , 1985's live release Live After
Death , 1986's Somewhere in Time and 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh
Son . Since the return of lead vocalist
Bruce Dickinson and guitarist
Adrian Smith in 1999, the band have undergone a resurgence in
popularity, with their 2010 studio offering,
The Final Frontier ,
peaking at No. 1 in 28 countries and receiving widespread critical
acclaim. Their sixteenth studio album,
The Book of Souls , was
released on 4 September 2015 to similar success.
Despite little radio or television support,
Iron Maiden are
considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history,
The Observer reporting in 2015 that the band have sold over 90
million copies of their albums worldwide. The band won the Ivor
Novello Award for international achievement in 2002. As of October
2013, the band have played over 2000 live shows throughout their
career. For the past 35 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.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early years (1975–1978)
* 1.2 Record contract and early releases (1978–1981)
* 1.3 Success (1981–1985)
* 1.4 Experimentation (1986–1989)
* 1.5 Upheaval (1989–1994)
Blaze Bayley era, The X Factor and
Virtual XI (1994–1999)
* 1.7 Return of Dickinson and Smith,
Brave New World
Brave New World (1999–2002)
* 1.8 Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death (2003–2007)
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and Flight 666 (2007–2009)
The Final Frontier and
Maiden England World Tour
The Book of Souls (2015–present)
* 2 Image and legacy
* 2.1 Influence on other artists
* 2.2 Appearance in media
* 2.3 Claims of Satanic references
* 2.4 Ed Force One
* 3 Musical style and influences
* 4 Accolades
* 5 Band members
* 6 Discography
* 8 See also
* 9 Notes
* 9.1 Citations
* 10 References
* 11 External links
EARLY YEARS (1975–1978)
The Cart and Horses Pub, located in Maryland Point, Stratford,
Iron Maiden played some of their first shows in 1976.
Iron Maiden were formed on Christmas Day in 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 , the title of which reminded
him of the iron maiden torture device . After months of rehearsal,
Iron Maiden made their debut at St. Nicks Hall in Poplar on 1 May
1976, before taking up a semi-residency at the Cart and Horses Pub in
Maryland Point, Stratford.
The original line-up did not last very long, however, with vocalist
Paul Day being the first casualty as, according to Harris, he lacked
"energy or charisma on stage". 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 disband
Iron Maiden 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 and
have performed on all of their releases. Dave Murray and Steve
Harris in 2008. Harris and Murray are the only members to have
performed on all of the band's albums.
Iron Maiden recruited yet another guitarist in 1977, Bob Sawyer, who
was sacked for embarrassing the band on stage by pretending to play
guitar with his teeth. Tension ensued again, causing a rift between
Murray and Wilcock, who convinced Harris to fire Murray, as well as
original drummer Ron Matthews. A new line-up was put together,
Cutting Crew member Tony Moore on keyboards, Terry
Wapram on guitar, and drummer Barry Purkis (better known today as
Thunderstick). A bad performance at the Bridgehouse, a pub located in
Canning Town, in November 1977 was the line-up's first and only
concert and led to Purkis being replaced by
Doug Sampson . At the
same time, Moore was asked to leave as Harris decided that keyboards
did not suit the band's sound. A few months later, Dennis Wilcock
decided that he had had enough with the group and left to form his own
band, V1, and Dave Murray was immediately reinstated. As he preferred
to be the band's sole guitarist, Wapram disapproved of Murray's return
and was also dismissed.
Steve Harris, Dave Murray and
Doug Sampson spent the summer and
autumn of 1978 rehearsing while they searched for a singer to complete
the band's new line-up. A chance meeting at the Red Lion pub in
Leytonstone in November 1978 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." At this time,
Murray would typically act as their sole guitarist, with Harris
commenting, "Davey was so good he could do a lot of it on his own. The
plan was always to get a second guitarist in, but finding one that
could match Davey was really difficult."
RECORD CONTRACT AND EARLY RELEASES (1978–1981)
The Soundhouse Tapes ,
Iron Maiden (album) , and
Killers (Iron Maiden album)
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", located in Kingsbury Circle, northwest London. Upon
hearing the tape, Kay began playing the demo regularly at the
Bandwagon, and one of the 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
released the demo on their own record label as
The Soundhouse Tapes ,
named after the club. Featuring only three tracks (one song, "Strange
World", was excluded as the band were unsatisfied with its production)
all five thousand copies were sold out within weeks.
In December 1979, the band secured a major record deal with
asked Dave Murray's childhood friend
Adrian Smith of Urchin to join
the group as their second guitarist. Smith declined as he was busy
with his own band, Urchin , so
Iron Maiden hired guitarist Dennis
Stratton instead. Shortly afterwards,
Doug Sampson left due to health
issues and was replaced by 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 . Paul Di\'Anno and Steve
Judas Priest on their British Steel Tour, 1980
Iron Maiden's eponymous 1980 release,
Iron Maiden , debuted at No. 4
UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart . In addition to the title track (a live
version of which would be one of the first music videos aired on MTV
), 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 appeared on the US 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
Iron Maiden released their second album, entitled Killers .
Containing many tracks 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's title was taken from the short story by
Edgar Allan Poe ). Unsatisfied with the production on their debut
album, the band hired veteran producer
Martin Birch , who would go
on to work for
Iron Maiden until his retirement in 1992. The record
was followed by the band's first world tour , which included their
debut performance in the United States, opening for
Judas Priest at
The Aladdin Casino , Las Vegas.
The Number of the Beast (album) ,
Piece of Mind ,
Powerslave , and
Live After Death
By 1981, Paul Di\'Anno was demonstrating increasingly
self-destructive behaviour, particularly through his drug usage,
about which Di'Anno comments, "it wasn't just that I was snorting a
bit of coke, though; I was just going for it non-stop, 24 hours a day,
every day ... the band had commitments piling up that went on for
months, years, and I just couldn't see my way to the end of it. I knew
I'd never last the whole tour. It was too much." With his
performances suffering, Di'Anno was immediately dismissed following
the Killer World Tour, at which point the band had already selected
After a meeting with
Rod Smallwood at the Reading Festival , Bruce
Dickinson , previously of Samson , auditioned for
Iron Maiden in
September 1981 and was immediately hired. The following month,
Dickinson 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. For the last show, and in anticipation of their forthcoming
album, the band played "Children of the Damned" and "22 Acacia
Avenue", introducing fans to the sound towards which they were
Iron Maiden released The Number of the Beast , an album
which gave the band their first
UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart No. 1 record and
additionally became a Top Ten hit in many other countries. At the
time, Dickinson 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 embarked on a world
The Beast on the Road , during which they visited North
America, Japan, Australia and Europe, including a headline appearance
at the Reading Festival. A new and hugely successful chapter in Iron
Maiden's future was cemented; in 2010
The New York Times
The New York Times reported that
the album had sold over 14 million copies worldwide.
The Beast on the Road's US leg proved controversial when an American
conservative political lobbying group claimed
Iron Maiden were Satanic
because of the new album's title track, to the point where a group of
Christian activists destroyed
Iron Maiden records 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".
Nicko McBrain has been Iron Maiden's
drummer since 1982
In December 1982, drummer
Clive Burr was fired from the band and
Nicko McBrain , previously of French band Trust .
Although Harris states that his dismissal took place because his live
performances were affected by offstage activities, Burr objected to
this and claimed that he was unfairly ousted from the band. 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 in 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 US.
Soon after the success of
Piece of Mind and its supporting tour , the
Powerslave on 9 September 1984. The album featured fan
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
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, where the band played four consecutive concerts. It was
here 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 made their debut
appearance in South America, where they co-headlined (with Queen ) the
Rock in Rio festival to an estimated crowd of 300,000. The tour was
physically gruelling for the band, who demanded six months off when it
ended (although this was later reduced to four months). This was the
first substantial break in the group's history, including the
cancellation of a proposed supporting tour for the new live album,
Bruce Dickinson threatening to quit unless the tour ended.
Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)
Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album) and Seventh Son
of a Seventh Son
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. While Dickinson was
focused on his own music, guitarist Adrian Smith, who typically
collaborated with the vocalist, was "left to own devices" and began
writing songs on his own, coming up with "Wasted Years", "Sea of
Madness", and "Stranger in a Strange Land ", the last of which would
be the album's second single.
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 , based on the 1987 novel Seventh Son by
Orson Scott Card , this would be the band's first record to include
keyboards, performed by Harris and Smith, as opposed to guitar
synthesisers on the previous release. After his contributions were
not used for Somewhere in Time, Dickinson's enthusiasm was renewed as
his ideas were accepted for this album. Another popular release, it
became Iron Maiden's second album to hit No. 1 in the UK charts,
although it only achieved a Gold certification in the US, in contrast
to its four predecessors.
During the following tour , the band headlined the Monsters of Rock
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 .
Throughout the tour, Harris' bass technician, Michael Kenney, provided
live keyboards. Kenney has acted as the band's live keyboard player
ever since, also performing on the band's four following albums before
Harris took over as the group's sole studio keyboardist from 2000's
Brave New World
Brave New World .
No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark (Iron
During another break in 1989, guitarist
Adrian Smith released a solo
album with his band ASAP , entitled Silver and Gold , and vocalist
Bruce Dickinson began work on a solo album with former Gillan
Janick Gers , releasing
Tattooed Millionaire in 1990,
followed by a tour. At the same time, to mark the band's ten-year
Iron Maiden released
The First Ten Years , a
series of ten CDs and double 12-inch singles . 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
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 and contained "Bring Your Daughter... to the
Slaughter ", the band's first (and to date, only)
UK Singles Chart No.
1, originally recorded by Dickinson's solo outfit for the soundtrack
to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child .
After another tour and some more time off, the band recorded their
next studio release, Fear of the Dark , which was released in 1992 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 the No. 2 single "Be Quick or Be
Dead " and the No. 21 single "From Here to Eternity ". 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 headlining the
Monsters of Rock festivals 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 guest
appearance by Adrian Smith, who joined the band to perform "Running
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
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", saying 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)
The X Factor (album) and
In 1994, the band listened to hundreds of tapes sent in by vocalists
Blaze Bayley , formerly of the band Wolfsbane who
Iron Maiden in 1990, to audition for them. Harris'
preferred choice from the outset, Bayley had a different vocal style
from his predecessor, which ultimately received a mixed reception
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 ,
Lord of the Flies
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
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,
including the UK where it peaked at No. 16 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).
Bayley's tenure in
Iron Maiden ended in January 1999 when he was
asked to leave during a band meeting. The dismissal took place due to
issues Bayley had experienced with his voice during the Virtual XI
World Tour , although
Janick Gers has since stated that this was
partly the band's fault for forcing him to perform songs which were
beyond his natural register.
RETURN OF DICKINSON AND SMITH, BRAVE NEW WORLD (1999–2002)
Ed Hunter and
Brave New World (Iron Maiden album)
Adrian Smith re-joined
Iron Maiden in 1999, resulting in a three
While the group were considering a replacement for Bayley, Rod
Smallwood convinced Steve Harris to invite
Bruce Dickinson back into
the band. Although Harris admits that he "wasn't really into it" at
first, he then thought, "'Well, if the change happens, who should we
get?' The thing is, we know Bruce and we know what he's capable of,
and you think, 'Well, better the devil you know.' I mean, we got on
well professionally for, like, eleven years, and so ... after I
thought about it, I didn't really have a problem with it."
The band entered into talks with Dickinson, who agreed to rejoin
during a meeting in Brighton in January 1999, along with guitarist
Adrian Smith, who was telephoned a few hours later. With 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
Ed Hunter , whose track listing was decided by a poll
on the group's website, and also contained a computer game of the same
name starring the band\'s mascot .
One of Dickinson's primary concerns on rejoining the group "was
whether we would in fact be making a real state-of-the-art record and
not just a comeback album," which eventually took the form of 2000's
Brave New World
Brave New World . Having disliked the results from Harris' personal
studio, Barnyard Studios located on his property in Essex, which had
been used for the last four
Iron Maiden studio albums, the band
recorded the new release at Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris in November
1999 with producer
Kevin Shirley . 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
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 . The
band performed two further concerts for Burr's MS Trust Fund charity
in 2005, and 2007, before his death in 2013.
DANCE OF DEATH AND A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (2003–2007)
Dance of Death (album) and A Matter of Life and Death
Following their Give Me Ed... \'Til I\'m Dead Tour in the summer of
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 . During the following tour ,
the band's performance at
Westfalenhalle , in Dortmund, Germany, 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 History of
Iron Maiden –
Part 1: 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. Following this run of European shows, the band co-headlined
the US festival tour,
Ozzfest , with
Black Sabbath , their final
performance at which earned international press coverage after their
show was sabotaged by singer
Ozzy Osbourne 's family, who took
offence to Dickinson's remarks against reality-TV. The band completed
the tour by headlining the
Reading and Leeds Festivals
Reading and Leeds Festivals on the 26–28
August, and the RDS Stadium in Ireland on 31 August. For the second
time, the band played a charity show for The
Clive Burr MS Trust Fund,
this time taking place at the
Hammersmith Apollo . The same year, the
band were inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in
Sunset Boulevard ,
Los Angeles. Vocalist
Bruce Dickinson during A Matter of Life and
Death World Tour. Throughout the tour's first leg, the band played the
A Matter of Life and Death album in its entirety.
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. The release was a critical
and commercial success, earning the band their first top ten in the
Billboard 200 and receiving the Album of the Year award at the 2006
Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards . A supporting tour followed,
during which they played the album in its entirety; response to this
The second part of the "A Matter of Life and Death" tour, which took
place in 2007, 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 tour opened in
the Middle East with the band's first performance in Dubai at the
Dubai Desert Rock Festival , after which they played to over 30,000
people at the
Bangalore Palace Grounds, marking the first concert by
any major heavy metal band in the Indian sub-continent. The band went
on to play a string of European dates, including an appearance at
Download Festival , their fourth headline performance at Donington
Park , to approximately 80,000 people. 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 AND FLIGHT 666 (2007–2009)
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and Iron Maiden:
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 nearly 50,000
miles in the band's own chartered aeroplane, named "Ed Force One".
They played their first ever concerts in Costa Rica and Colombia and
their first shows in Australia and Puerto Rico since 1992. Iron
Maiden performing in Toronto during the
Somewhere Back in Time
Somewhere Back in Time World
Tour 2008. The stage set largely emulated that of the World Slavery
The tour led to the release of a new compilation album, entitled
Somewhere Back in Time
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.
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour continued with two further legs
in the US and Europe in the summer of 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 last 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 and New Zealand after 17 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 it was the largest non-festival show of their career, with
an overall attendance of 63,000 people. 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.
2009 BRIT Awards ,
Iron Maiden won the award for best British
live act. Voted for by the public, the band reportedly won by a
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
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March
2008. Flight 666 was co-produced by Banger Productions and was
distributed in cinemas by Arts Alliance Media and
EMI , with D">'s
release, the band made "El Dorado " available as a free download on 8
June, which would go on to win the award for Best Metal Performance
2011 Grammy Awards on 13 February 2011. 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
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
Iron Maiden will release a new concert video
to DVD in 2011, filmed in Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Final Frontier World Tour. On 17 January 2012, the band
announced that the new release, entitled En Vivo! , based on footage
from the Chile concert, will be made available worldwide on CD, LP,
DVD and Blu-ray on 26 March, except the United States and Canada
(where it was released on 27 March). In addition to the concert
footage, the video release includes an 88-minute tour documentary,
entitled Behind The Beast, containing interviews with the band and
their crew. In December 2012, one song from the release ("Blood
Brothers") was nominated for a
Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal
Performance at the
2013 Grammy Awards .
On 15 February 2012, the band announced the
Maiden England World Tour
2012–14, which was based around the video of the same name . The
tour commenced in North America in the summer of 2012 and was followed
by further dates in 2013 and 2014, which included the band's
record-breaking fifth headline performance at
Donington Park , their
first show at the newly built national stadium in Stockholm, a return
Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, and their debut appearance in
Paraguay. In August 2012, Steve Harris stated that the Maiden England
video would be re-issued in 2013, with a release date later set for
25 March 2013 in DVD, CD and LP formats under the title Maiden England
THE BOOK OF SOULS (2015–PRESENT)
The Book of Souls and
The Book of Souls World Tour
Following confirmation from the group that 2010's The Final Frontier
would not be their last album,
Bruce Dickinson revealed plans for a
sixteenth studio record in July 2013, with a potential release date in
2015. In February 2015, drummer
Nicko McBrain revealed that a new
album had been completed, although the release has been put on hold
while Dickinson recovers from treatment for a cancerous tumour found
on his tongue. On 15 May, after Dickinson had been given the
Rod Smallwood confirmed that the album would be
released in 2015, although the band will not tour until 2016 to allow
Dickinson to recuperate. On 18 June 2015, the band's website
announced its title,
The Book of Souls , and confirmed a release date
of 4 September 2015. A critical and commercial success, it received
positive reviews and became the band's fifth UK No. 1 album. The
Iron Maiden performing in 2017.
The new record was recorded at Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris, which
they had previously used for 2000's Brave New World, with regular
Kevin Shirley in late summer 2014. With a total time of 92
minutes, it is the group's first double studio album. In addition,
the release's closing song, "
Empire of the Clouds ", penned by
Dickinson, replaces "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (from 1984's
Powerslave) as Iron Maiden's longest song, at 18 minutes in length. A
music video for the song "Speed of Light " was issued on 14 August.
In February 2016, the band embarked on
The Book of Souls World Tour ,
which saw them play concerts in 35 countries in North and South
America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe, including their first
ever performances in China, El Salvador and Lithuania. As with
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and 2010-11's The Final
Frontier World Tour, the group travelled in a customised aeroplane,
flown by Dickinson and nicknamed "Ed Force One", although this time
they used a
Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet. The band has confirmed that the
tour will continue into 2017 with further European and North American
IMAGE AND LEGACY
Iron Maiden were ranked No. 24 in
VH1 's "100 Greatest Artists of
Hard Rock", No. 4 in
MTV 's "Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All
Time" and No. 3 in
VH1 Classic 's "Top 20 Metal Bands". The band
also won the
Ivor Novello Award
Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002
and were inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk whilst touring in the US
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. Originally a papier-mâché mask incorporated in their
backdrop which would squirt fake blood during their live shows, the
name would be transferred to the character featured in the band's
debut album cover, created by
Derek Riggs . Eddie was painted
exclusively by 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 their mobile role-playing game , Iron Maiden:
Legacy of the Beast, in addition to numerous T-shirts, posters and
other band-related merchandise. In 2008, he was awarded the "Icon
Award" at the
Metal Hammer Golden Gods, while Gibson.com describes
him as "the most recognisable metal icon in the world and one of the
most versatile too".
Iron Maiden's distinct logo has adorned all of the band's releases
since their debut, 1979's
The Soundhouse Tapes EP. The typeface
originates with Vic Fair's poster design for the 1976 science fiction
film, The Man Who Fell to Earth , also used by
Gordon Giltrap ,
although Steve Harris claims that he designed it himself, using his
abilities as an architectural draughtsman.
INFLUENCE ON OTHER ARTISTS
Guitar World , Iron Maiden's music has "influenced
generations of newer metal acts, from legends like
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 in their early days" and
Scott Ian of
Anthrax said that "they had a major impact on 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
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 Iron Maiden's melodic guitar
Other heavy metal artists who cite the band as an influence include
Chris Jericho , lead singer of
Cam Pipes , lead vocalist of 3
Inches of Blood , Vitaly Dubinin, bassist of Aria , and Mikael
Åkerfeldt , guitarist and lead vocalist of
Opeth . Both current and
Dream Theater members
John Petrucci ,
John Myung and Mike
Portnoy have stated that
Iron Maiden were one of their biggest
influences when their band first formed.
APPEARANCE IN MEDIA
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".
Kerrang! released an album, entitled Maiden Heaven: A
Iron Maiden , composed of
Iron Maiden cover songs played by
artists such as Metallica, Machine Head ,
Dream Theater , Trivium,
Coheed and Cambria
Coheed and Cambria , Avenged Sevenfold, and others who were influenced
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 US),
Murder by Numbers ; while MTV's animated duo Beavis and Butt-head
have commented favourably on the band several times.
Transformers author Bill Forster is an avowed
Iron Maiden fan and
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
protests were not restricted to the US, with Christian organisations
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 " song was inspired by a
nightmare he had after watching Damien: Omen II , and also influenced
Robert Burns ' Tam o\' Shanter . Furthermore, the band's drummer,
Nicko McBrain , has been a born again Christian since 1999.
ED FORCE ONE
Iron Maiden's Boeing 747-400, Ed Force One, as used during The
Book of Souls World Tour in 2016.
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour in 2008 and 2009, Iron
Maiden commissioned an
Boeing 757 as transport. The
aeroplane was converted into a combi configuration, which enabled it
to carry the band, their crew and stage production, thereby allowing
the group to perform in countries which were previously deemed
unreachable logistically. It was also repainted with a special Iron
Maiden livery, which the airline decided to retain after receiving
positive feedback from customers.
The aircraft, named "Ed Force One" after a competition on the band's
website, was flown by Dickinson, as he was also a commercial airline
pilot for Astraeus, and plays a major role in the award-winning
documentary, Iron Maiden: Flight 666 , which was released in cinemas
in 42 countries in April 2009. A different aeroplane (registered
G-STRX) was used for
The Final Frontier World Tour in 2011 with
altered livery, adopting the artwork of
The Final Frontier album, and
features heavily in the 2012 documentary "Behind the Beast ". For The
Book of Souls World Tour in 2016, the band upgraded to an ex-Air
Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, supplied by Air Atlanta Icelandic
(registered TF-AAK) and customised by Volga-Dnepr Gulf , which
allows for more space without the aircraft having to undergo a
significant conversion to carry their equipment.
YLE AND INFLUENCES
"Run to the Hills" (1982) "Run to the Hills" (The Number of
the Beast) demonstrates the band's trademark "gallop" riff style.
"Caught Somewhere in Time" (1986) "Caught Somewhere in Time"
(Somewhere in Time). The band's use of harmonised guitars and usage of
"gallop" rhythm remains unchanged as synthesisers are added.
"Brave New World" (2000) "Brave New World" (Brave New World)
demonstrates the band's increased use of progressive elements in the
latter half of their career.
Problems playing these files? See media help .
Steve Harris, Iron Maiden's bassist and primary songwriter, has
stated that his influences include
Black Sabbath ,
Deep Purple , Led
Zeppelin , Uriah Heep ,
Pink Floyd , Genesis , Yes , Jethro Tull ,
Thin Lizzy , UFO and
Wishbone Ash . In 2010 Harris stated, "I think
if anyone wants to understand Maiden's early thing, in particular the
harmony guitars, all they have to do is listen to Wishbone Ash's Argus
Thin Lizzy too, but not as much. And then we wanted to have a
bit of a prog thing thrown in as well, because I was really into bands
like Genesis and Jethro Tull. So you combine all that with the heavy
riffs and the speed, and you've got it." In 2004, Harris explained
that the band's "heaviness" was inspired by "
Black Sabbath and Deep
Purple with a bit of Zeppelin thrown in." On top of this, Harris
developed his own playing style, which guitarist
Janick Gers describes
as "more like a rhythm guitar," cited as responsible for the band's
galloping style, heard in such songs as "
The Trooper " and "Run to
The band's guitarists, Dave Murray,
Adrian Smith and Janick Gers,
each have their own individual influences and playing style. Dave
Murray is known for his legato technique which, he claims, "evolved
naturally. I'd heard
Jimi Hendrix using legato when I was growing up,
and I liked that style of playing." Stating that he "was inspired by
blues rock rather than metal,"
Adrian Smith was influenced by Johnny
Pat Travers , leading to him becoming a "melodic player."
Janick Gers, on the other hand, prefers a more improvised style,
largely inspired by
Ritchie Blackmore , which he claims is in
contrast to Smith's "rhythmic" sound.
Singer Bruce Dickinson, who typically works in collaboration with
guitarist Adrian Smith, has an operatic vocal style, inspired by
Arthur Brown ,
Peter Hammill ,
Ian Anderson and
Ian Gillan , and is
often considered to be one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all
Nicko McBrain has only received one writing credit, on
the Dance of Death album, Harris often relies on him while developing
Adrian Smith commented, "Steve loves playing with him. used to
work for hours going over these bass and drum patterns."
Throughout their career, the band's style has remained largely
unchanged, in spite of the addition of guitar synthesisers on 1986's
Somewhere in Time, keyboards on 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,
and an attempt to return to the "stripped down" production of their
earlier material on 1990's No Prayer for the Dying. In recent years,
however, the band have begun using more progressive elements in their
songs, which Steve Harris describes as not progressive "in the modern
sense, but like
Dream Theater , more in a 70s way". According to
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was the band's first album which
was "more progressive", while they would only return to this style
from 1995's The X Factor, which he states is "like an extension of
Seventh Son..., in the sense of the progressive element to it". The
development contrasts with the band's raw sounding earlier material,
AllMusic states was "clearly drawing from elements of punk
rock", although Harris firmly denies this.
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by
Bandit Rock Awards :
* 2011: Best International Live Act
* 2015: Best International Live Act
* 2016: Best International Album –
The Book of Souls
Brit Awards :
* 2009: Best British Live Act
Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards :
* 2006: Album of the Year – A Matter of Life and Death
* 2006: VIP Award –
Rod Smallwood ,
* 2009: Band of the Year
* 2015: Album of the Year –
The Book of Souls
Echo Music Prize :
* 2016: Rock Alternative/International
* 2004: The audience vote for Best Foreign Artist
* 2006: The audience vote for Best Foreign Artist
Grammy Awards :
Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance – "El Dorado "
Hollywood\'s RockWalk :
* 2005: RockWalk of Fame Inductee
Ivor Novello Awards :
* 2002: International Achievement
Juno Awards :
Juno Award for Music DVD of the Year – Iron Maiden: Flight
666 (Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen)
Kerrang! Awards :
Kerrang! Hall of Fame
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards :
* 2004: Best UK Act
* 2008: Best UK Band
* 2008: Icon Award – Eddie
* 2009: Golden Gods Award
* 2009: Best UK Band
* 2011: Best UK Band
* 2012: Best Event – Iron Maiden's UK Tour
* 2014: Best UK Band
* 2016: Best Album –
The Book of Souls
* 2017: Best Game - Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast
Metal Storm Awards :
* 2006: Best Heavy Metal Album – A Matter of Life and Death
* 2009: Best DVD – Iron Maiden: Flight 666'
* 2010: Best Video – "
The Final Frontier "
Silver Clef Award :
Special Achievement Award
* 2015: O2
Silver Clef Award 2015
* 2011: Best Hard Rock Live Act
SXSW Film Festival :
* 2009: 24 Beats Per Second – Iron Maiden: Flight 666
For more details on this topic, see List of
Iron Maiden band members
* Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals (1975–present), keyboards
* Dave Murray – guitars (1976–1977, 1978–present)
Adrian Smith – guitars, backing vocals (1980–1990,
1999–present), keyboards (1988)
Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals (1981–1993, 1999–present),
Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion (1982–present)
Janick Gers – guitars (1990–present)
* Michael Kenney – keyboards (1988–present)
Doug Sampson – drums, percussion (1977–1979)
* Paul Di\'Anno – lead vocals (1978–1981)
Dennis Stratton – guitars, backing vocals (1979–1980)
Clive Burr – drums, percussion (1979–1982)
Blaze Bayley – lead vocals (1994–1999)
Iron Maiden discography Studio albums
Iron Maiden (1980)
* Killers (1981)
* The Number of the Beast (1982)
Piece of Mind (1983)
* 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
Brave New World (2000)
* Dance of Death (2003)
* A Matter of Life and Death (2006)
The Final Frontier (2010)
The Book of Souls (2015)
List of Iron Maiden concert tours
METAL FOR MUTHAS TOUR
Apr – Dec 1980
IRON MAIDEN TOUR
Feb – Dec 1981
KILLER WORLD TOUR
Feb – Dec 1982
THE BEAST ON THE ROAD
May – Dec 1983
WORLD PIECE TOUR
Aug 1984 – Jul 1985
WORLD SLAVERY TOUR
Sep 1986 – May 1987
SOMEWHERE ON TOUR
Apr – Dec 1988
SEVENTH TOUR OF A SEVENTH TOUR
Sep 1990 – Sep 1991
NO PRAYER ON THE ROAD
Jun – Nov 1992
FEAR OF THE DARK TOUR
Mar – Aug 1993
REAL LIVE TOUR
Sep 1995 – Sep 1996
THE X FACTOUR
Apr – Dec 1998
VIRTUAL XI WORLD TOUR
Jul – Oct 1999
THE ED HUNTER TOUR
Jun 2000 – Jan 2001
BRAVE NEW WORLD TOUR
May – Aug 2003
GIVE ME ED... \\'TIL I\\'M DEAD TOUR
Oct 2003 – Feb 2004
DANCE OF DEATH WORLD TOUR
May – Sep 2005
EDDIE RIPS UP THE WORLD TOUR
Oct 2006 – Jun 2007
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH TOUR
Feb 2008 – Apr 2009
SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME WORLD TOUR
Jun 2010 – Aug 2011
THE FINAL FRONTIER WORLD TOUR
Jun 2012 – Jul 2014
MAIDEN ENGLAND WORLD TOUR
Feb 2016 – Jul 2017
THE BOOK OF SOULS WORLD TOUR
* Heavy metal portal
Iron Maiden portal
* List of artists who reached number one on the
UK Singles Chart
List of new wave of British heavy metal bands
List of bands and artists from England
* List of songs recorded by
* List of
Iron Maiden tribute albums
The Iron Maidens
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* Official website
* STEVE HARRIS
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