Iron Maiden

English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band. It was started by Steve Harris in 1975. The band's first studio album was Iron Maiden. The band released it in 1980. The singer Paul Di'Anno was replaced by Bruce Dickinson in 1982. Bruce Dickinson left in 1993 and was replaced by Blaze Bayley. In 1999, Dickinson returned to the band.

Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden playing music in Irvine in 2008
Background information
OriginLeyton, London, England
GenresHeavy metal
Years active1975–present
LabelsEMI, Universal, Sanctuary, Epic, Columbia, Portrait, Capitol
MembersSteve Harris
Dave Murray
Adrian Smith
Bruce Dickinson
Nicko McBrain
Janick Gers
Past member(s)Former members

The mascot of the band is Eddie, a monster, who is present in the concerts and also appears on the album covers. Eddie is most often shown as a dead body that has come back to life and looks very evil. The band's music shows often have a statue of Eddie that is very large and much taller than the band.

Iron Maiden has released many albums. The band's newest album, Senjutsu, was released in 2021. Iron Maiden has sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.[1]

History change

The start of the band (1975–1978) change

Steve Harris started the band on Christmas Day in 1975. He is one of the only original members still in the band.

Iron Maiden was made on 25 December 1975. Steve Harris made the band. He made it after he left the band Smiler. The first name of the band was Ash Mountain. The name changed to Iron Maiden later. This was because many of the band members liked 'Iron Maiden' more. Harris named the band because of the movie The Man in the Iron Mask. The name of the movie reminded him of the iron maiden torture device.[2] The band practiced music for months. Their first concert was at St. Nicks Hall in Poplar on 1 May 1976.[3] After this, the band played music at the Cart and Horses Pub in Stratford, London.[4]

Many of the people in Iron Maiden left the band. Singer Paul Day left the band first. Harris said that he did not have "energy" when he sang at concerts.[5] Dennis Wilcock started singing with the band. The band asked guitar player Dave Murray if he wanted to join. Murray was Wilcock's friend. The band already had two guitar players: Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance. They did not want Murray to join the band.[6] Because of this, the band stopped playing music in 1976. Later, they started playing music again. Murray was the band's only guitar player. As of 2023, Harris and Murray have been on all of the band's albums.

Guitar player Bob Sawyer joined the band in 1977. The band fired him because he pretended to play the guitar with his teeth.[7] Murray and Wilcock did not like each other. Wilcock got Harris to fire Murray, as well as drummer Ron Matthews.[3][8] New people joined the band. The new members were keyboard player Tony Moore, guitar player Terry Wapram, and drummer Barry Purkis. Moore left the band because the other members did not like keyboard music.[9] Dave Murray joined the band again in March 1978. Wapram did not like this. Because of this, the band fired Wapram. A few weeks later, Dennis Wilcock left the band to make his own band. It was named V1. He made it with Wapram.

Harris, Murray, and Doug Sampson were the members of the band in late 1978. They wanted somebody to be the singer for the band. They met Paul Di'Anno in a pub in Leytonstone in November 1978.[10] Di'Anno joined the band. At this time, Murray was the main guitar player. Many times, he played the guitar by himself. Harris said that Murray "was so good he could do a lot of it on his own".[11]

The band makes their first albums (1978–1981) change

Steve Harris, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray playing music at a concert in 1980

Iron Maiden recorded a demo with four songs on it.[12] They gave the demo to Neal Kay. Kay was a disc jockey at a heavy metal club.[13] The club was named Bandwagon Heavy Metal Soundhouse. Kay listened to the demo. He started playing it at the club. One of the songs on it, "Prowler", was number one on the Soundhouse charts. These charts were in the Sounds magazine.[14] Rod Smallwood got the demo as well. Smallwood later managed the band. Iron Maiden became more popular. They released the demo on their record label. They named it The Soundhouse Tapes. It had three songs on it. The band made 5,000 copies of the demo. All of the copies were sold.[14]

In December 1979, the band joined EMI. They wanted Adrian Smith (who was the guitar player for Urchin) to join the band. Smith and Dave Murray were friends. Smith was making music with Urchin. He did not want to join Iron Maiden. The band hired guitar player Dennis Stratton instead of Smith. Later, Doug Sampson left the band. He was the band's drummer. The band hired Clive Burr to play the drums.[15]

Iron Maiden was on a compilation album named Metal for Muthas. It was released on 15 February 1980. "Sanctuary" and "Wrathchild" were put on the album.[16] After EMI released the album, Iron Maiden went on a concert tour. They played music with many other bands in the new wave of British heavy metal community.[17]

The band released their first album in 1980. It was named Iron Maiden. It was number four on the UK Albums Chart.[18] The album had many popular songs, such as "Running Free" and "Sanctuary". "Sanctuary" was not on the UK version of the album. Iron Maiden did a concert tour for the album. They played music at many places in the United Kingdom. Later, they played with bands such as Kiss and Judas Priest. After the concert tours, the band fired Dennis Stratton.[19] Adrian Smith replaced him. In December 1980, the band played music at the Rainbow Theatre in London. The band made a live album at this concert. It was their first live album. It was named Live at the Rainbow. It was released in May 1981. The videos for "Wrathchild" and "Iron Maiden" were shown on MTV. They were the first heavy metal music videos on MTV.[20][21]

In 1981, the band released their second studio album. It was named Killers. Many of the songs on Killers were made by the band in the 1970s. Iron Maiden did not like how their first album sounded. They did not like how it was produced.[22] They hired producer Martin Birch. Birch worked with Iron Maiden until 1992.[23] After releasing Killers, the band went on a world tour. Iron Maiden played music in many places, such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Yugoslavia and France. It was their first concert in the US. Killers was the band's first album on the Billboard 200. It was number 78 on the music chart.[24]

Popular albums (1981–1985) change

Singer Bruce Dickinson joined Iron Maiden in 1981.

By 1981, Paul Di'Anno was using drugs.[3][25] Iron Maiden fired Di'Anno after their world tour.[26] Singer Bruce Dickinson joined the band in September 1981.[27] In 1982, Iron Maiden released The Number of the Beast. This was their third studio album. It was their first number one album on the UK Albums Chart.[28] It was also on music charts in many other countries. When the album was released, Dickinson was having legal problems with Samson. Samson was the band Dickinson left to join Iron Maiden. Because of this, Dickinson said he did not write any of the songs on The Number of the Beast.[29] The band went on another world tour. It was named The Beast on the Road. The band played in North America, Japan, Australia and Europe. In the US, a group of American conservatives said the band was Satanic. This was because of the album's name and the art on the album.[30] A group of Christian activists destroyed copies of Iron Maiden albums.[31] Dickinson said that this gave the band "loads of publicity".[3] As of 2022, the band has sold 20 million copies of the album.[32][33]

In December 1982, the band fired drummer Clive Burr. Nicko McBrain started playing drums for the band.[34] Harris said he fired Burr because he was not playing music well at concerts.[35] However, Burr said the band fired him for no reason.[36] Iron Maiden released Piece of Mind in 1983. This was their fourth studio album. It was number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 14 on the Billboard 200. The album had two singles: "Flight of Icarus" and "The Trooper". Iron Maiden went on another world tour. They played music for over 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden.[37]

The band released Powerslave in September 1984. This was their fifth studio album. This album had popular songs, such as "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight". The concert tour for the album was named the World Slavery Tour. It was the band's largest tour. Iron Maiden played at 193 concerts in 28 countries.[38] The tour was over a year long. The band played for around 3,500,000 people.[39] The band also had their first concert in South America. It was at the Rock in Rio music festival. They were one of the main bands at the festival.[40][41] The other main band at the festival was Queen. The concert tour was difficult for the band to do. They were tired at the end of it.[42] Iron Maiden took a break for four months. In November 1985, Public Choice International gave Iron Maiden an award for being the best rock and metal band in the world.[43]

Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1986–1990) change

Iron Maiden started making music again. They released the album Somewhere in Time in 1986. This album had different types of music on it. The band used synthesizers for the album's music to make different sounds.[44] The album was popular. The song "Wasted Years" was also popular. Dickinson did not write any part of "Wasted Years". He tried to help make it, but the band did not use what he wrote.[45] Somewhere in Time was number 11 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on UK music charts.[24][46] It was the band's best-selling album. Their next album was released in 1988. It was named Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. It is a concept album. It is inspired by the book Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.[47] This album also sold many copies. It was the band's first album with keyboard music. Harris and Smith played the keyboards.[47]

The band did a concert tour for the album. It was named Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour. The band played at the Monsters of Rock music festival in Donington Park in August 1988. They played music for over 100,000 people there.[48] It was the largest number of people at the festival. The band recorded video from other concerts in England. They released the video as Maiden England.[49] The band hired Michael Kenney to play the keyboard during concerts. Kenney made keyboard music for four Iron Maiden albums.[50]

The band took a break in 1989. Some band members made their own music. Guitar player Adrian Smith released an album named Silver and Gold.[51] Bruce Dickinson also made an album. He made it with guitar player Janick Gers. It was named Tattooed Millionaire (1990).[52] Iron Maiden later released a compilation album. The band released it because they had been making music for ten years. It was named The First Ten Years.[53]

Smith and Dickinson leave the band (1990–1994) change

Iron Maiden started making a new album. During this time, Adrian Smith left the band. Smith did not agree with Harris about what type of music the band should make.[54] Janick Gers, the guitar player that helped Dickinson make Tattooed Millionaire, joined the band.[55] The band released the album in October 1990. It was named No Prayer for the Dying.[56] The album had the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" on it. Iron Maiden released the song as a single. It was their first song to be number one on the UK Singles Chart.[57] No Prayer for the Dying was similar to Iron Maiden's first albums.[56][54] The band did the No Prayer on the Road tour. They played music for over two million people during the tour.[58][59]

Fear of the Dark was released in 1992. It was the band's ninth album. It was number one on the UK Albums Chart. It was their third number one album on the chart. It was also number twelve on the Billboard 200.[60] Harris and Dickinson did not work together to make the songs on the album. After Iron Maiden released Fear of the Dark, they went on a large concert tour. It was their first time playing concerts in South America. Christian groups stopped Iron Maiden from playing any concerts in Chile. They said that the band's music was Satanic.[61][62] At a concert in Donington Park, Adrian Smith played music with the band.[63] He helped them play the song "Running Free".[64][65]

In 1993, Dickinson left the band. He wanted to make music by himself. Iron Maiden did a concert tour with him.[66] They also made two live albums during this time. The tour did not go well. Steve Harris thought Dickinson was not trying to sing well for most concerts.[67] He also said Dickinson only sang well for important concerts on the tour. Dickinson said this was not true. He said that the mood during the tour was not good because he was leaving.[68] The last concert of the tour was on 28 August 1993. BBC showed it on television.[69]

Iron Maiden and Blaze Bayley (1994–1999) change

Iron Maiden needed a new singer. Many singers sent the band music to listen to because they wanted to join the band. The band listened to many of them. After doing this, they wanted Blaze Bayley to join the band.[70] Bayley was the singer for Wolfsbane. In the past, Iron Maiden and Wolfsbane played music together at concerts. Bayley joined the band.[70] Dickinson and Bayley had different ways of singing. Bayley sang lower than Dickinson did. Some fans of the band did not like this.[71]

The band released their tenth studio album in 1995. It was named The X Factor. It was number eight on the UK Albums Chart. This was their lowest album on the chart since 1981. However, The X Factor won "Album of the Year" awards in France, Spain and Germany.[72] The album is known for being more serious than other albums made by the band.[73] This was because it was inspired by Steve Harris' divorce.[73] After releasing the album, Iron Maiden released a compilation album named Best of the Beast. It had a single named "Virus".[74]

In 1998, Iron Maiden released Virtual XI. This was their eleventh studio album. It was their least popular album.[75] The album was number 16 on the UK Albums Chart. This made it the band's lowest-charting album. When the band released the album, Steve Harris was remastering all of the band's music.[76] In January 1999, Bayley left the band. This was because he had problems with his voice during concerts.[77] However, Janick Gers said that some of the band's songs had singing that was too high pitched for him.[61]

Brave New World, Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death (1999–2009) change

Iron Maiden playing music on the Ed Hunter Tour in 1999. Janick Gers is playing guitar in the front.

Dickinson talked to Iron Maiden. He joined the band again in January 1999.[78] Guitar player Adrian Smith also joined the band again.[79] The band now had three guitar players: Dave Murray, Janick Gers, and Adrian Smith. The band went on a concert tour after bringing Dickinson and Smith back. It was named the Ed Hunter Tour.[80] This was because the band made a greatest hits album and video game named Ed Hunter (1999).[81] After the tour, the band made Brave New World. This was their twelfth studio album.[82] It was released in 2000. Many books and movies inspired the music on the album. "The Wicker Man" is named after a 1973 movie with the same name. The album's name is from the book Brave New World written by Aldous Huxley.[83] The album was more popular than the albums Iron Maiden made with Blaze Bayley.[53][84] Later, "The Wicker Man" got a Grammy Award nomination.[85] Iron Maiden played at many concerts for Clive Burr. Burr was the band's drummer from 1979 to 1982. He had multiple sclerosis, so the band played at these concerts to give him money for it.[86][87]

Iron Maiden played music at many concerts in 2003.[88] After touring, the band released Dance of Death. This was their thirteenth studio album. It was popular around the world. It was number two on the UK Albums Chart, and number 18 on the Billboard 200.[24][89] Kevin Shirley produced the album. He produced many of the band's albums.[90] Many music critics thought Dance of Death was as good as the band's earlier music.[89] The band did many concert tours after releasing the album. In 2005, they made a live album named Death on the Road. This was recorded at a concert in Dortmund, Germany.[91] The band did a concert tour named the Eddie Rips Up the World Tour. The band played music from their first four albums.[92] Because of the tour, the band released "The Number of the Beast" as a single again. It was successful on music charts in the UK.[93]

At the end of 2005, the band worked on A Matter of Life and Death. This was their fourteenth studio album. The band released it in August 2006. It was the band's first album to be in the top ten of the Billboard 200 music chart.[24] The band later had their first concert in Dubai.[94] The band then played at many concerts in Europe, as well as other places. In 2009, Iron Maiden won a BRIT Award for being the best British live act.[95]

Newest albums (2010–now) change

Iron Maiden in 2018

In April 2009, the band released a documentary movie named Iron Maiden: Flight 666. It showed the band during one of their concert tours in 2008. Many movie theatres showed the documentary.[96][97] The movie was sold on DVD and CD. It was number one on music DVD charts in 25 countries.[53]

Iron Maiden started making a studio album in early 2010. Kevin Shirley produced it.[98] On 16 August 2010, the band released The Final Frontier, their fifteenth studio album.[99] It was the band's most popular album.[100][101][102] It was number one on music charts in twenty eight countries.[103] In the US, it was number four on the Billboard 200.[102] The album had one single named "El Dorado". The Final Frontier World Tour happened after the band released the album. Iron Maiden played at 101 concerts on the tour.[104] They played their first concert in South Korea. In 2011, Iron Maiden won a Grammy Award for "El Dorado".[105] They were nominated for another Grammy Award in 2013 for the song "Blood Brothers".[106] The band started the Maiden England World Tour in June 2012. They played music for over 2.5 million people on the tour.[53][107] It ended in July 2014.[108]

The band recorded new music for an album in summer 2014. The Book of Souls was released in 2015.[109] It was the band's first album not released by EMI Records. Parlophone Records released the album. It was the band's fifth album to be number one on the UK Albums Chart.[110] "Empire of the Clouds", a song on the album, is the longest song made by the band.[109] It is 18 minutes long. Many music critics liked the album.[111][112][113] The band started the Legacy of the Beast World Tour in 2018. However, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the band from playing at concerts in 2020 and 2021.[114] The tour ended in 2022.

On 15 July 2021, the band released a music video for a new song. It was named "The Writing on the Wall". Nicos Livesey helped make the music video.[115] Four days later, the band said they were releasing a new album in September 2021. The album was named Senjutsu.[116][117] It was their seventeenth studio album. It topped music charts in 27 countries.[118] It was not number one on the UK Albums Chart. This was the first time the band did not make an album that was number one in the UK in fifteen years.[118] In 2021 and 2023, the band was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[119][120]

Members change

Previous members change

Studio albums change

References change

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  119. "Official Nomination from RNRHOF". 1 February 2023. Archived from the original on 1 February 2023. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  120. "RnRHoF Note". 19 May 2021. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.

Books change

  • Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (third ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. ISBN 1-86074-542-3.
  • Shooman, Joe (2007). Bruce Dickinson: Flashing Metal with Iron Maiden and Flying Solo. Independent Music Press. ISBN 978-0-9552822-4-9.

Other websites change