When I was around 15 or 16, I was mildly familiar with Heavy Rock music. And then my cousin introduced me to the mighty band Iron Maiden. Oh what a life changing day. Dance Of The Death was the first song I heard. It was followed by Hallowed Be Thy Name and Fear Of The Dark. That was the evilest music I had heard until then. I was instantly turned onto Heavy Metal. After that Iron Maiden have been a constant source of inspiration for the past ten years of my life. Maiden was the first band that I became a proper die-hard fan of. Soon I had in my collection their latest album (of that time) A Matter Of Life And Death. Whoof….!!!! There simply was no better music than the mighty Maiden for me.
Iron Maiden were formed in 1975 in England. In their earlier career they were part of a blast of a wave of metal bands called the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). They had a core of arrogant punk inspired vocalist Paul Di’Anno, prog-inspired bass player/songwriter Steve Harris and blues inspired guitarist Dave Murray. Along with second guitarist Dennis Stratton and drummer Clive Burr they released an awesome eponymous debut album. On their sophomore album Killers, Stratton was replaced by the virtuoso guitarist Adrian Smith. On their third album The Number Of The Beast, Di’Anno was replaced by Bruce Dickinson who had a unique combination of influences like opera music, Arthur Brown and Ian Gillan. On their fourth, Piece Of Mind, the drummer was replaced by Nicko McBrain, hence forming the classic Maiden line-up. With this line-up they released three more albums all of which are considered all time classics. They also toured extensively, and are often called the most hard working band of the world, with their tours running round the calendar.
In the 90s, experimental guitarist Janick Gers replaced Smith and this line up released another two classic albums. However, in the mid-late 90s, the band lost favour a bit, when the by-then-legendary vocalist Dickinson left and was replaced by Blaze Bayley. This line up also released two albums. But at the turn of the century, the beast had a mighty comeback with Bruce & Adrian coming back in fold. And now the guitar attack was given more power as they did not fire Janick, and Maiden became a triple-guitars band. The sextet have released some great albums in the 21st Century that have all held their ground alongside the classic 80s and 90s albums.
What I love about the Di’Anno era is the awesome combination of Paul’s almost punkish shouts with beautifully melodic guitars and the proggy structures set by Harris. And after Bruce entered, Maiden became a force above the rest. They can be considered among the pantheon of Rock/Metal Gods, with Bruce’s soaring vocals flying over great rhythms set to beautiful lyrics, mostly by Harris. Guitar solos have always had a special place in the Maiden canon with all three guitarists being masters in their own right. Also worth noticing are the harmonic guitar melodies that Maiden have so brilliantly come up with on several of their songs. Iron Maiden has always been and will always be one of the greatest bands in the history of Heavy Metal.
- Iron Maiden (1980)
- Live After Death (Live Album- 1985)
- Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988)
- Fear Of The Dark (1992)
- A Matter Of Life And Death (2007)
- Remember Tomorrow, Phantom Of The Opera, Strange World (Iron Maiden- 1980)
- 22 Acacia Avenue, Run To The Hills (The Number Of The Beast- 1982)
- Revelations, Flight Of Icarus (Piece Of Mind- 1983)
- Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (Powerslave- 1984)
- Stranger In A Strange Land (Somewhere In Time- 1986)
- Moonchild, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant (Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son- 1988)
- No Prayer For The Dying (No Prayer For The Dying- 1990)
- Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Fear Is The Key, Fear Of The Dark (Fear Of The Dark- 1992)
- Sign Of The Cross, Lord Of The Flies (The X-Factor- 1995)
- Blood Brothers (Brave New World- 2000)
- Dance Of Death (Dance Of Death- 2003)
- These Colours Don’t Run, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg, For The Greater Good Of God (A Matter Of Life And Death- 2007)
- Satellite 15, Isle Of Avalon, Where The Wild Wind Blows (The Final Frontier- 2010)
- The Book Of Souls, The Man Of Sorrow, Empire Of The Clouds (The Book Of Souls- 2015)
Other Bands/Artists To Check Out:
Judas Priest, Motorhead, Samson, Saxon, Diamond Head, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Def Leppard, Bruce Dickinson (solo), ASP (Adrian Smith Project), British Lion
I do not own the copyrights to the image used. Got it straight from google. Since I am not commercializing this article (at least not yet), I’m guessing no one will want to sue me.