Iron Maiden was the brainchild of bassist Steve Harris. Taking their name from an ancient torturing device, they were formed in 1976 and were one of the very first bands of the NWOBHM scene. The line-up on their debut EP was Harris, Paul Di'anno on vocals, Dave Murray on guitar and Doug Sampson on drums. Clive Burr replaced Sampson, and second guitarist Dennis Stratton was recruited. Their debut self titled album, released in 1980, reached number four on the British album charts. Adrian Smith replaced Dennis Stratton and Bruce Dickinson ( Bruce Bruce ) from Samson ( the band! ) later replaced Di'anno. The stage was now set for one of the world's best heavy metal bands. Every album was a masterpiece, and "Somewhere in Time" was no exception. Smith left the band to form ASAP in the late eighties, his replacement being ex-White Spirit and Gillan guitarist Janick Gers. Dickinson also departed to continue with his solo career. Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley was his replacement, and this arrangement seemed to work very well. "Up the Irons!" was the cry when fans learnt that both Dickinson and Smith would return to the fold. The idea of Maiden with three guitarists is indeed tantalizing, and we eagerly await the new Iron Maiden CD with this awesome line-up. Should be a killer!

Iron Maiden 
Iron Maiden - 2 Minutes to Midnight, from "Powerslave" in 1984, their 5th album. One of two charting singles from this, one of their best ever albums (the other being "Aces High"). By now, Maiden were worldwide mega stars, selling out major stadia wherever they played. The line-up at this stage was Steve Harris on bass, Bruce Dickinson on vocals, Nicko McBrain (ex-Trust/Pat Travers/Streetwalkers) on drums (he replaced earlier drummer Clive Burr), together with the twin axe attack of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray. Smith would later leave the band, as would Dickinson. Smith formed the short-lived ASAP and Dickinson embarked on an apparently successful solo career, his replacement in the Irons being Wolfsbane's Blaze Bayley. Smith's replacement was ex-White Spirit/Gillan guitarist Janick Gers, although both he and Bruce Bruce returned to Maiden for last year's stunning "Brave New World" album. Very few Iron Maiden albums have disappointed their millions of fans - they're one of the most consistent hard rock/metal bands around. 
  

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Biography by Barry Weber
Known for such powerful hits as "Two Minutes to Midnight" and "The Trooper," Iron Maiden was and is one of the most influential bands of the heavy metal genre. The often-imitated band existed for over 20 years, pumping out wild rock similar to Judas Priest. Iron Maiden has always been an underground attraction; although failing to ever obtain any real media attention in the U.S. (critics claimed them to be Satanists due to their dark musical themes and their use of grim mascot "Eddie"), they still became well known throughout the world and have remained consistently popular throughout their career. Iron Maiden was one of the first groups to be classified as "British metal," and, along with Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and a host of other bands, set the rock scene for the '80s.

Iron Maiden was first formed in 1976 by bassist Steve Harris, who would soon join up with rhythm guitarist Tony Parsons, drummer Doug Sampson, and vocalist Paul Di'Anno. Before finally obtaining a record deal, the group played in local areas throughout the '70s, receiving a fair amount of London airplay. Parsons replaced Dennis Stratton, and the band made its record debut in 1980 with the self-titled Iron Maiden album. Although the release was recorded in a hurry, it was nonetheless a hit in the U.K. due to the single "Running Free." Iron Maiden's 1981 follow-up, Killers, displayed a harder approach to their music than before, and also saw the replacement of Stratton with Adrian Smith. Due to his uncontrollable alcohol addiction, Di'Anno was forced to part company with the group and would soon be replaced with vocalist Bruce Dickinson in 1982 for the band's groundbreaking Number of the Beast. This album, boasting such songs as the title track and "Hallowed Be Thy Name," would come to be known as one of the greatest rock recordings of all time. Since the unexpected worldwide success of Beast made Iron Maiden international rock superstars, they changed very little of their style for their next album, Piece of Mind. They undertook two major tours before recording 1983's Powerslave, which would go on to be another cult hit. The product of Powerslave's 11-month tour was 1985's Live After Death, a double live album that featured all of their biggest hit singles.

By the release of Live After Death, Iron Maiden had already established themselves as a powerful and unique metal band. Their long-awaited 1986 supplement album, Somewhere in Time, showed a bit of departure from their past releases, showcasing the use of synthesizer guitars and songs more relevant to the same themes. 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, a concept album like its predecessor, featured the singles "The Evil That Men Do" and "The Clairvoyant," and soon became Iron Maiden's most critically acclaimed album since Number of the Beast. After another exhausting tour, Smith departed and the band took a one-year hiatus. With new guitarist Janick Gers, they resurfaced with No Prayer for the Dying in 1990, a record that returned to the classic sound the group used when recording their earlier releases. One of the album's singles, "Bring Your Daughter...to the Slaughter," was granted the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Song of the Year, but it nonetheless gave the band their first number one U.K. hit. By the time the group finished their 1991 tour, Dickinson expressed desire to leave and work to promote another band he had founded, the Skunkworks. Fear of the Dark, the band's last album with Dickinson, debuted at number one on the U.K. charts and became one of their biggest-selling albums to date. After their supporting tour, two live albums were released in 1993: A Real Live One, which contained live versions of their newer hit singles, and A Real Dead One, which featured the more "classic" Maiden songs live.

Dickinson's replacement, Blaze Bayley, marked his debut in 1995 with The X Factor. While the record failed to chart as well as some of its predecessors, it was still a minor success in England. Iron Maiden marked the end of 1996 with Best of the Beast, a double compilation album. In 1998, little interest in the Virtual XI album prompted Bayley's termination; Dickinson and Smith returned to the band for a tour in 1999, and a new album, Brave New World, emerged the following year. The band toured throughout the early 2000s, releasing the live Rock in Rio and the greatest-hits collection Edward the Great in 2002, followed by a new studio album, Dance of Death, in 2003. They followed DOD with the Rainmaker EP, as well as the live DVDs History of Iron Maiden, Pt. 1: The Early Days and Raising Hell in 2004. Sanctuary put out the two-disc The Essential Iron Maiden in 2005 to coincide with the group's co-headlining Ozzfest tour with Black Sabbath, a tour that found Maiden pulling out due to a series of confrontations with Ozzy's wife/manager, Sharon Osbourne. They released the live CD/DVD Death on the Road in September of 2005 and a collection of new material, Matter of Life and Death, in 2006. 

 

Bruce Dickinson
Paul Di'Anno
Adrian Smith
Thunderstick
Clive Burr
Janick Gers
Steve Harris
Nicko McBrain
Dennis Stratton
Blaze Bayley
Doug Sampson
David Murray
Tony Parsons
Dennis Wilcock

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Iron Maiden - 1979 - Soundhouse Tapes - 3/5

Iron Maiden - 1980 - Iron Maiden - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 1981 - Killers - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 1982 - The Number of the Beast - 4.5/5

Iron Maiden - 1983 - Piece of Mind - 4.5/5

Iron Maiden - 1984 - Powerslave - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 1985 - Live After Death - 4.5/5

Iron Maiden - 1986 - Somewhere in Time - 3.5/5

Iron Maiden - 1988 - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - 4.5/5

Iron Maiden - 1990 - No Prayer for the Dying - 2/5

Iron Maiden - 1990 - Running Free Run to the Hills - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 1992 - Fear of the Dark - 2/5

Iron Maiden - 1993 - A Real Dead One - 2/5

Iron Maiden - 1993 - A Real Live One - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 1995 - The X Factor - 2/5

Iron Maiden - 1998 - Virtual XI - 2/5

Iron Maiden - 2000 - Brave New World - 3.5/5

Iron Maiden - 2003 - Dance of Death - 4/5

Iron Maiden - 2006 - A Matter of Life and Death - 3.5/5

Rating

 

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