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Iron Maiden

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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
Bruce Dickinson
Steve Harris
Dave Murray
Janick Gers
Adrian Smith
Nicko McBrain
Past members
Blaze Bayley
Clive Burr
Paul Day
Paul Di'Anno
Dennis Stratton
Doug Sampson

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris, who is their only remaining original member. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a collective total of thirty-one albums: fifteen studio albums; seven live albums; four EPs; and five 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 US platinum-selling albums The Number of the Beast in 1982, Piece of Mind in 1983, Powerslave in 1984, the live album Live After Death in 1985, Somewhere in Time in 1986, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. Their 2006 album A Matter of Life and Death peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 and at number four in the UK; it is one of the few rock albums to be certified platinum in India. Their newest album, The Final Frontier, was released on 13 August 2010 in some countries, and worldwide on 16–17 August 2010, peaking at number one in 30 different countries.

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 has played over 2000 live shows during their career.

For the past 30 years, the band has been supported by their famous mascot, " Eddie", who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as their live shows.


Early years (1975–1978)

Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas Day 1975, by bassist Steve Harris, shortly after he left his previous group, Smiler. Harris attributes the band name to a movie 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.

Vocalist Paul Day was fired as he lacked "energy or charisma onstage". He was replaced by Dennis Wilcock, a Kiss fan who utilised fire, 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 longest-standing members of Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden recruited yet another guitarist in 1977, Bob Sawyer. Tension ensued again, causing a rift between Murray and Wilcock that prompted Harris to fire both Murray and Sawyer. A poor gig at the Bridgehouse in November 1977, with a makeshift line-up including Tony Moore on keyboards, Terry Wapram on guitar, and drummer Barry Purkis resulted in Harris firing the entire band. Dave Murray was reinstated and Doug Sampson was hired as drummer. Wilcock in turn formed the band V1 with former Maiden guitarist Terry Wapram.

Rise to fame (1978–1981)

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."

Iron Maiden had been playing for three years, but had never recorded any of their music. On New Year's Eve 1978, the band recorded an EP, The Soundhouse Tapes. Featuring only four songs, the band sold all five thousand copies within weeks. One track found on the EP, " Prowler", went to number one on Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse charts in Sounds magazine. Their first appearance on an album was on the compilation Metal for Muthas (released on 15 February 1980) with two early versions of " Sanctuary" and " Wrathchild".

From late 1977 to 1978, Murray was the sole guitarist in the band until Paul Cairns joined in 1979. Shortly before going into the studio, Cairns left the band. Several other guitarists were hired temporarily until the band finally chose Dennis Stratton. Initially, the band wanted to hire Dave Murray's childhood friend Adrian Smith, but Smith was busy with his own band, Urchin. Drummer Doug Sampson was also replaced by Clive Burr (who was brought into the band by Stratton). In December 1979, the band landed a major record deal with EMI.

Iron Maiden's eponymous 1980 release, Iron Maiden, made number 4 in the UK Albums Chart in its first week of release, and the group became one of the leading proponents of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. 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. release and subsequent re-releases. The band played a headline tour of the UK then went on to open for Kiss on their 1980 Unmasked Tour's European leg. Iron Maiden also supported Judas Priest on select dates. After the Kiss tour, Dennis Stratton was dismissed from the band as a result of creative and personal differences. Stratton was replaced by Adrian Smith in October 1980.

In 1981, Maiden released their second album, titled Killers. This new album contained many tracks that had been written prior to the release of the debut album, but were considered surplus. With songs already created well in advance during tour, only two new tracks were written for the album: "Prodigal Son" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (the title was taken from the short story by Edgar Allan Poe).

Success (1981–1986)

By 1981, Paul Di'Anno was demonstrating increasingly self-destructive behaviour, particularly through alleged drug usage, although Di'Anno himself denies the charge. His performances began to suffer, just as the band was beginning to achieve major success in America. At the end of 1981 the band dismissed Di'Anno and sought a new vocalist.

Nicko McBrain has been Iron Maiden's drummer since 1982

Bruce Dickinson, previously of Samson, auditioned for Iron Maiden in September 1981 and joined the band soon afterward. He then went out on the road with the band on a small headlining tour. 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 #1 record and additionally became a Top Ten hit in many other countries. For the second time the band went on a world tour, visiting the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, UK and Germany. The new line up, with Bruce Dickinson on vocals, was effectively introduced to the British public at large - by headlining the Reading Rock festival, on Saturday night over the August Bank Holiday 1982. 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. The band members' attempts to stop the criticism failed. A group of Christian activists destroyed Iron Maiden records (along with those of Ozzy Osbourne) as a protest against the band.

Dickinson at the time was still having legal difficulties with Samson's management, and was not permitted to add his name to any of the songwriting credits. However, he was still able to lend "creative influence" to many of the songs. In a Guitar Legends interview he claims he contributed to the overall themes of "Children of the Damned", "The Prisoner" and "Run to the Hills".

In December 1982, drummer Clive Burr ended his association with the band due to personal and tour schedule problems. He 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, and during 1983 released Piece of Mind, which reached the #3 spot in the UK, and was the band's debut at the North American charts, with a #70 at the Billboard 200. Piece of Mind includes the successful singles " Flight of Icarus" and " The Trooper".

Soon after the success of Piece of Mind, 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 over 13 months. This was one of the largest tours in music history - playing to 3,500,000 people over the course of 13 months. Many shows were played back-to-back in the same city, such as in Long Beach, California ( 4 consecutive sold out shows to summary audience of 54 000 fans), where most of the recordings were made for their subsequent live release Live After Death which has since become one of the best selling metal live albums and is often regarded by critics and fans as the one of the best hard rock/heavy metal live albums ever. Iron Maiden also co-headlined (with Queen) the Rock In Rio festival, where they performed to an estimated crowd of 300,000 festivalgoers. This tour was physically gruelling for the band and they took a 6-month vacation when it ended. This was the first vacation in the band's history, including even cancelling a proposed supporting tour for the new live album.

Experimentation (1986–1989)

Returning from their vacation, the band adopted a different style for their 1986 studio album, entitled Somewhere in Time. This was not a concept album, though it was themed loosely around the idea of time travel and associated themes - history, the passage of time, and long journeys. It featured, for the first time in the band's history, synthesised bass and guitars to add textures and layers to the sound. Though considered different from the norm of Maiden sounds, it charted well across the world, particularly with the single " Wasted Years".

The experimentation evident on Somewhere in Time continued and was apparent on their next album, entitled Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which was released in 1988. Adding to Iron Maiden's experimentation, it was a concept album featuring a story about a mythical child who possessed clairvoyant powers. For the first time, the band used keyboards on a recording, as opposed to guitar synthesisers on the previous release. Critics claimed this produced a more accessible release. It became the band's second album to hit #1 in the UK charts. During the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park on August 20, 1988, attendance was placed as 107,000; the biggest crowd attendance in the festival's history. Other performances in the festival included 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).

In 1990, to end Iron Maiden's first ten years of releasing singles, 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 B-sides.

Upheaval (1989–1994)

In 1989, after touring with Iron Maiden, guitarist Adrian Smith released a solo album with his band ASAP entitled Silver and Gold. During this break in 1989, vocalist Bruce Dickinson began work on a solo album with former Gillan guitarist Janick Gers, releasing Tattooed Millionaire in 1990.

Soon afterward, Iron Maiden regrouped to work on a new album, Adrian Smith left the band due to a lack of enthusiasm. Janick Gers, having worked on Bruce Dickinson's solo project, was chosen to replace Smith and became the first new team member in seven years. The album, No Prayer for the Dying, was released during October 1990.

The band obtained their first (and to date, only) UK Singles Chart number one successful single 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 number one and then lose any chart rating again over the following couple of weeks.

Dickinson performed a solo tour in 1991 before returning to studio work with Iron Maiden for the album Fear of the Dark. Released in 1992, the album was noticeably longer (due to this being Iron Maiden's first album recorded for CD rather than LP) and had several songs which became fan favourites, such as the title track and "Afraid to Shoot Strangers". The disc also featured " Wasting Love", one of the band's softer songs, and the #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, gathering near to 80,000 festivalgoers, originated the album and video release Live at Donington.

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. He played his farewell show with Iron Maiden on 28 August 1993. The show was filmed, broadcast by the BBC, and released on video under the name Raising Hell.

Blaze era (1994–1999)

In 1994, the band auditioned hundreds of vocalists, both famous and unknown before choosing Blaze Bayley, formerly of the band Wolfsbane. Bayley had a different vocal style from his predecessor, which ultimately received a mixed reception among fans.

After a two year hiatus (and three year hiatus from recording - 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 number 8). The album included the 11-minute epic "Sign of the Cross", the band's longest song since "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". It also included " Man on the Edge", based on the movie Falling Down and " Lord of the Flies", based on the novel of the same name. 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".

The band returned to the studio for Virtual XI, released in 1998. Chart scores of the album 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 entire discography of Iron Maiden up to Live at Donington (which was given a mainstream release for the first time) and released the set.

Ed Hunter, Brave New World, Dance of Death (1999–2005)

Iron Maiden during The Ed Hunter Tour.

In February 1999, Bayley left the band by mutual consent. At the same time, the band surprised their fans when they announced that both Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith were rejoining the band, and that Janick Gers would remain. Iron Maiden now had three guitarists and a hugely successful reunion tour, The Ed Hunter Tour. This tour also supported the band's newly released greatest hits Ed Hunter, which also contained a computer game of the same name starring the band's mascot.

Iron Maiden's first studio release after the reunion with Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith came in the form of 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. This performance was recorded and released on CD and DVD in March 2002 under the name Rock in Rio.

Following their Give Me Ed... 'Til I'm Dead Tour in summer 2003, Iron Maiden released Dance of Death. The release of this, their thirteenth studio album, was met by critical and commercial success worldwide. Some critics also felt that this release matched up to their earlier efforts such as Piece Of Mind and The Number Of The Beast, including their darker imagery rather than the more upbeat reunion album. As usual, historical and literary influences continued, " Montsegur" in particular being about the Cathar stronghold conquered in 1244 and " Paschendale" relating to a significant battle during World War I. The supporting tour for this album, named Dance of Death World 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. This included 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 a tour to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of their first album, Iron Maiden, and the 30th anniversary of their formation. The tour also was in support of the 2004 DVD entitled The Early Days and as such during the tour they only played material from their first four albums. As part of the celebration of their early days, the "Number of the Beast" single was re-released and went straight to number 3 in the UK Chart. The Early Days World Tour included many stadium headline dates and festivals including their historic performance at the Ullevi Stadium in Sweden, playing to almost 60,000 fans. This concert was also broadcast on satellite television all over Europe to over 60 million viewers.

Iron Maiden's last Ozzfest performance on 20 August 2005 at the Hyundai Pavilion, was at Glen Helen in San Bernardino, CA to almost 50,000 people.

The band completed this tour by headlining the Reading and Leeds weekend festivals on the 26-28 August - two shows to an estimated 130,000 people combined, and in Ireland on 31 August to almost 40,000 fans at RDS Stadium. For the second time, the band played a charity show for former drummer Clive Burr's Clive Burr MS Trust Fund charity.

A Matter of Life and Death (2005–early 2007)

In Autumn 2006, Iron Maiden released A Matter of Life and Death. While the album is not a concept album, war and religion are recurring themes in the lyrics, as well as in the album's artwork. The album continued the band's evolution into an outright progressive rock band, shedding much of the heavy metal aspects that defined the albums of the early 80's in favour of complex time changes and acoustic guitars. A successful tour followed, during which they played the new 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 from A Matter of Life and Death and five from The Number of the Beast as part of their set but in fact played only four songs from The Number of the Beast. They played in the Middle East for the first time at the annual Dubai Desert Rock Festival in 2007 playing to 20,000 fans. They made their first appearance in India with a concert in Bangalore aptly called Eddfest, playing to over 45,000 people at the Bangalore Palace Grounds. This event marked the first time any major heavy metal band toured the Indian sub-continent. The band went on to play a string of European dates, including open air festival performances and mostly stadium-sized gigs. In England, they headlined the Download Festival at Donington Park for the fourth time in their career. The show attracted a record breaking number of attendees, estimated as near to 80,000 die-hard festival-goers despite higher ticket and camp-place prices than in recent years. 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)

Vocalist Bruce Dickinson during A Matter Of Life And Death World Tour.

On 5 September 2007, the band announced their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which ties 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 tour started in Mumbai, India on 1 February 2008 where the band played to an audience of almost 30,000. The first part of the tour 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. On 12 May, the band released a new compilation album, titled Somewhere Back in Time. It includes a selection of tracks from their 1980 eponymous debut to 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, including several live versions from Live After Death. With the sole UK headline show at Twickenham Stadium, this tour also marked the first ever stadium headlining show in the UK by the band. A final part of the tour took place in February and March 2009, including the band's first ever appearance in Peru, Ecuador and their return to Venezuela after 19 years; and their first performances in New Zealand for 16 years. The band also played their third show within a span of 2 years in India, at the Rock In India 2009 festival to a crowd of 20,000. The final leg of the tour ended in Florida on 2 April after which the band took a break from touring.

On 20 January 2009, the band announced that they were to release a full-length documentary film in select cinemas on 21 April 2009. Titled Iron Maiden: Flight 666, the movie was filmed during the first part of the "Somewhere Back In Time" 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.

During their live presentation in São Paulo, on 15 March 2009, Bruce announced on stage that the show was the biggest of their career. In fact, the crowd of 100,000 people was Iron Maiden's all-time biggest attendance for a solo show, without other bands. The attendance was bigger than Chile's show (almost 60,000 fans), according to the organisers.

The Final Frontier (2009–present)

During a Rock Radio interview promoting Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Nicko McBrain revealed that Iron Maiden had booked studio time for early 2010 and would be likely to be touring again late that year or the year after. At the 2009 BRIT Awards the band won the award for best live act.

McBrain added in a further interview for Rock Radio that the new Iron Maiden album would be finished in 2010, and that a tour would follow in late 2010 or 2011. On 2 November 2009, Janick Gers confirmed to BBC News that the band already had new material written and would head to Paris, France, to start composing and rehearsing the bulk for the new album. The band took time off for Christmas and New Year's Eve before recording the new album in January, with Kevin Shirley producing. In another interview with heavy metal DJ Eddie Trunk, McBrain confirmed that the band had finished writing eight songs for the new album which he claimed would probably be released in 2011.

In December 2009 Iron Maiden announced that they would headline a string of festivals in the Summer of 2010: Sonisphere Festivals in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Finland; Wacken Open Air in Germany; the Festival d'été de Québec in Canada. They will also play at the Bergenhus Fortress in Norway, Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium in August, in Udine in Italy, and will be headlining the Soundwave Festival in Australia in 2011.

On 4 March 2010, the new album title was announced as The Final Frontier, along with North American and European tour dates for summer 2010.

On 6 April 2010, Shirley announced that he had completed the mixing process of The Final Frontier: "In this last month I have finished all the vocals and tracking and mixed the new Iron Maiden album, The Final Frontier - in my studio."

On 8 June 2010, the cover art, track listing, and release date of the new album were announced. The first single was also revealed to be entitled " El Dorado". This song, the second of the album, was made available for free download along with the album's details.

On 13 July the band released the first DVD single for the music video of the album, the latter half of " Satellite 15... The Final Frontier".

On 16 August (17 in the United States) the band released the album to enormously positive reviews. The album would go on to reach #1 in 28 countries, including the UK and Canada, reaching #4 in the US charts.

On 6 September 2010 The Final Frontier debuted at #1 in a further ten countries. The Final Frontier remained at #1 for 3 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart and three on the European Albums Chart.

The Final Frontier is the band's most successful achievement, in terms of chart success, in their 30 years of recording history. The album reached #1 in the respective Albums Charts in: UK, Sweden, Greece, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Finland, Canada, Japan, India, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Venezuela & Luxembourg.

On 21 September, the official web site of the band announced a series of upcoming tour dates in Nordic lands, as a part of their Summer European Tour 2011. Iron Maiden booked stadium-sized shows in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. On 11 November, the band confirmed they would end the Final Frontier World tour with a 10 date arena tour of the United Kingdom including shows in all four home countries and finishing at The O2 Arena in London on Saturday 6 August 2011.

On December 1, 2010, "El Dorado" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. It is the band's third Grammy nomination, following " Fear of the Dark" (nominated at 1994 Grammys) and " The Wicker Man" (nominated at the 2001 Grammys).

Influence on other bands

Iron Maiden's sound and music has inspired countless other bands in the metal and rock genre. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said "Iron Maiden have been the blueprint for everything that we have ever wanted to do. I have always had an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them."

Kerry King of Slayer says " The reason why Slayer's here is because of Iron Maiden. We played 'Phantom Of The Opera' in a small club luckily we were spotted by the owner of Metal Blade..and well, here we are now!"

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor is also a huge fan saying "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."

WWE wrestler Chris Jericho says Iron Maiden are his favourite band and they had a huge influence on his band Fozzy, saying "And even till this very day me, and Fozzy will always respect Iron Maiden for the things they did after all, they're the reason why Fozzy exists!"

M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold calls Maiden the best live band of all time saying "Maiden are by far the best live band in the world and their music is timeless."

Trivium singer Matt Heafy feels "Iron Maiden helped create what we know as heavy metal. Their influence can be heard on classic and contemporary bands alike; their fanbase spans across the youngest and newest of heavy music recruits all the way to the diehard, life-long metal elite. Without Iron Maiden, Trivium surely wouldn't exist"

Iron Maiden's 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.

The band's name is named prominently (and repeated several times) in the songs Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus and Back to the 80's by Danish dance-pop band Aqua.

Punk rock band NOFX released a song titled "Eddie, Bruce, and Paul" on their 2009 album Coaster. This track tells the story of Iron Maiden, and is performed in the style of their early work.

Weezer mentions them in the song "Heart Songs" from their 2008 self-titled " Red" album. The verse goes: "Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Slayer taught me how to shred..."

The Sum 41 song " Fat Lip" contains the line "Heavy metal and mullets it's how we were raised, Maiden and Priest were the gods that we praised"

Image and legacy

Janick Gers and Steve Harris

Iron Maiden were ranked #24 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". The band were ranked fourth on MTV's "Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All Time". Iron Maiden 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. The band was also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk during their tour in the United States during 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. "The Irons" has been used to refer to the London football club, West Ham United, of which founder Steve Harris is a fan. Fans of Iron Maiden have been known to use the phrase as a greeting or sign-off to other Iron Maiden fans.

Dave Murray and Adrian Smith

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 drawn by Derek Riggs until 1992, although there have been various versions by numerous artists including Melvyn Grant. Eddie is also featured in a first-person shooter video game from the band, Ed Hunter, as well as numerous books, graphic comics and band-related merchandise.

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 Theatre, Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, and others who were influenced by Iron Maiden throughout their careers. Well over a half-dozen other Iron Maiden tribute albums (each featuring various artists) exist, including a piano tribute, an electro tribute, a black metal tribute and a hip-hop tribute.

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 on the films Phenomena (called "Creepers" in the U.S.), and Murder by Numbers; while MTV's animated duo Beavis and Butt-head have commented favourably on Iron Maiden multiple times.

Transformers author Bill Forster is an avowed Iron Maiden fan and included multiple Iron Maiden references, including song lyrics and the phrase "Up the Irons," in his books, including The Ark series and The AllSpark Almanac series.


Iron Maiden's influences include Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Rush, Thin Lizzy, Styx, Queen, UFO, AC/DC, Motörhead, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Pink Floyd, ELP, Genesis, Yes and Jethro Tull.

Special charter

The Iron Maiden band's jet, an Astraeus Boeing 757-200 in special Iron Maiden livery. (2008)

In October 2007, Iron Maiden commissioned an Astraeus 757 as transport for their ' Somewhere Back in Time' tour in 2008. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson piloted the aircraft, "Ed Force One," since he is also a commercial airline pilot for Astraeus. The aircraft was converted into a combi configuration, repainted with a special Iron Maiden livery, had a list of all the places where the band was going to present in the tour Somewhere Back in Time' and was used in this scheme until 28 May 2008 for commercial flights as well as use by Iron Maiden. The same aircraft (G-OJIB) was used again on the second leg of the Somewhere Back in Time tour in 2009. It plays a major role on the award-winning documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666 which was released in cinemas in 42 countries in April 2009 and appeared on DVD and Blu-Ray formats in the US in June 2009. Iron Maiden: Flight 666 debuted on British television on 4 March 2010 at 11:00pm on BBC4 as part of Heavy Metal Britannia.


Brit Awards
  • 2009: Best British Live Act — Iron Maiden
Ivor Novello Awards
  • 2002: International Achievement — Iron Maiden
  • 2004: Yleisöäänestys (Finland) - Vuoden ulkomainen artisti (Foreign artist of the year) — Iron Maiden
  • 2008: Yleisöäänestys (Finland) - Vuoden ulkomainen artisti (Foreign artist of the year) — Iron Maiden
Kerrang! Awards
  • 2005: Kerrang! Hall of Fame — Iron Maiden
Metal Hammer Awards
  • 2004: Best U.K. Live Act — Iron Maiden
  • 2008: Best U.K. Band — Iron Maiden
  • 2008: Icon Award — Eddie the Head
  • 2009: Best U.K. Band - Iron Maiden
  • 2009: Best U.K. Live Act — Iron Maiden
  • 2009: Golden Gods Award — Iron Maiden
  • 2010: Best Live Band: German MH - Iron Maiden
Metal Storm Awards
  • 2006: Best Heavy Metal Album — A Matter of Life and Death
SXSW Film Festival
  • 2009: 24 Beats Per Second — Flight 666
Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards
  • 2006: Album Of The Year — A Matter Of Life And Death, Iron Maiden
  • 2006: Vip Award Special — Rod Smallwood, Iron Maiden
  • 2009: Band of the year — Iron Maiden
BBC Heavy Metal World Cup
  • 2009: The Winner: Iron Maiden — Greatest Metal Band Of All Time
Juno Award
  • 2010: DVD of the Year — Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (Sam Dunn and Scott McFydden)
Greener festivals Award
  • 2010: Sonisphere Festival Iron Maiden, Knebworth Park, 2010

Band members

Current members
  • Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals (1981–1993, 1999–present)
  • Dave Murray – guitar (1976–present)
  • Adrian Smith – guitar, backing vocals (1980–1990, 1999–present)
  • Janick Gers – guitar (1990–present)
  • Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals, studio keyboards (1975–present)
  • Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion (1982–present)
Live members
Former members
  • Doug Sampson – drums, percussion (1977–1979)
  • Dennis Stratton – guitars, backing vocals (1979–1980)
  • Paul Di'Anno – lead vocals (1978–1981)
  • Clive Burr – drums, percussion (1980–1982)
  • Blaze Bayley – lead vocals (1994–1998)
  • Dennis Wilcock - lead vocals (1976–1977)
  • Barry Purkis – drums, percussion (1977)
  • Paul Day - lead vocals (1975–1976)


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)

Concert tours

Duration Concert tour Lineups 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 95*

* Tour is ongoing - more dates to be announced

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