Poll

What are your favorites of these Iron Maiden songs?

Strange World
8 (4.1%)
Innocent Exile
5 (2.5%)
Twilight Zone
2 (1%)
Invaders
12 (6.1%)
The Prisoner
22 (11.2%)
Die With Your Boots On
14 (7.1%)
Sun and Steel
5 (2.5%)
The Duellists
10 (5.1%)
Sea of Madness
18 (9.1%)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
12 (6.1%)
The Prophecy
12 (6.1%)
Run Silent Run Deep
6 (3%)
Judas Be My Guide
9 (4.6%)
Look For the Truth
3 (1.5%)
The Unbeliever
6 (3%)
Lightning Strikes Twice
3 (1.5%)
The Educated Fool
4 (2%)
The Fallen Angel
8 (4.1%)
Montsegur
13 (6.6%)
New Frontier
1 (0.5%)
The Pilgrim
2 (1%)
Out of the Shadows
3 (1.5%)
Mother of Mercy
6 (3%)
The Alchemist
5 (2.5%)
When the River Runs Deep
4 (2%)
The Man Of Sorrows
4 (2%)

Total Members Voted: 30

Author Topic: Iron Maiden Discography Thread: Recap  (Read 92301 times)

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Offline Mosh

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Iron Maiden Discography Thread: Recap
« on: May 10, 2017, 10:35:35 AM »
Introduction
Welcome to the Iron Maiden discography! I am looking forward to this. It will be especially interesting since this is a DT board and there will probably be extra appreciation toward Maiden’s proggy side. We will look at all the studio albums, the live albums, and some compilations. Also, since Maiden is one of those bands best experienced live, I will try to include some live clips from every era. Luckily a lot of the stuff is officially documented, but some tours have not received official releases. Anyway, before we get to the first album, a brief history and some pre-debut releases:

The History of Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden was officially formed in 1975 after Steve Harris’ former band, Smiler, refused to play his songs. Apparently they found the music too difficult. Maiden has the reputation now as a band with pretty stable lineups, but this wasn’t the case initially. Maiden went through a ton of lineup changes early on. Some members only lasted a few days. Even Dave Murray, who joined fairly early, found himself out of the band at one point before rejoining. At one point, the band even experimented with a keyboard player rather than a second guitarist. Eventually, the lineup settled with Steve Harris, Dave Sampson (a drummer from Smiler),  Dave Murray, and singer Paul Di’Anno.

The band initially gained notoriety with their live shows, which were highly energetic and theatrical even back then. They started to really leave a mark when their demo tape gained popularity at a local Heavy Metal club. Which brings us to. . .

The Soundhouse Tapes (1979)

Paul Di’Anno - Vocals
Dave Murray - Lead Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Doug Sampson - Drums

Aside from being the first Maiden release, there are some other things that make the demo special. For starters, it is the only recording to feature drummer Doug Sampson. Dave Murray is also the only credited guitarist, making it the only Maiden recording with one guitarist (although some other guitarists have claimed to be on the recording). The result is a sound even more raw than the debut album. The demo also contains a tune that never made it on any album: Invasion.

Soundhouse Tapes is worth hearing. Most fans would probably be fine never hearing the song Iron Maiden again, but it’s actually really interesting to hear it in an earlier stage. The songs here are a little slower, a little more groovy, but the raw energy is still there. Invasion was later rerecorded for a b-side, but this version is still interesting.

Not long after recording The Soundhouse Tapes, the band were signed to EMI and finally found a second guitarist: Dennis Stratton. Doug Sampson also departed shortly after and was replaced by Clive Burr. Finally, the lineup for the first album was complete.

Metal For Muthas (1980)

Paul Di’Anno - Vocals
Dave Murray - Lead Guitar
Dennis Stratton - Lead Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Clive Burr - Drums

This is a compilation of various New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) bands but it was arguably meant to promote maiden (they are the only band with more than one song on the LP). It didn’t make a huge impact, but it gave Maiden some widespread promotion and showed that they were a band with major potential. The two Maiden songs are Sanctuary and Wrathchild (interestingly neither of these songs appeared on the debut later that year). Frankly these songs are pretty inferior to the later recordings. Wrathchild is slower and lacks energy. Sanctuary isn’t that much different from the single version, but the production isn’t as good. Still worth hearing for historic context and some of the songs by the other bands are actually pretty cool. I highly recommend Captured City by Praying Mantis.

Live!! + One (1980)

Paul Di’Anno - Vocals
Dave Murray - Lead Guitar
Dennis Stratton - Lead Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Clive Burr - Drums

This is a Japanese only release that contains some of Maiden’s earliest officially released live recordings. It was recorded in London the summer before the release of the debut album. The “+ One” refers to Women In Uniform, a Skyhooks cover that was later released a single.

There are two versions of this release. The first is the original Japanese release that features four songs. Both songs on side two are available elsewhere (Drifter was a b-side to Sanctuary). There was also a Greek version released a few years later with more songs from other gigs, however all the extra songs are found on the Maiden Japan EP and the Sanctuary single.

Still worth checking out for the two tracks on Side A. Never too many versions of Phantom and Sanctuary is a great live track. The live version of Drifter is also cool if you’ve never heard it. Really nice recording quality too.
-------------------------------------------------------

This is a pretty condensed account of Maiden’s pre-1980 history. If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend the Early Days DVD. Not only does it feature 4 vintage concert recordings, but it also has a really in depth documentary that largely focuses on the early history. Lots of interesting stories and some funny moments, as there were some colorful characters in the band early on.

There is also a live video recording from this era. Live At the Ruskin Arms 1980. This was a performance to celebrate the release of the new album. I believe it was a charity gig and was meant to be a thank you to the fans who had attended their many club gigs.

This video is essential. If you only check out one thing discussed, this is the one. The quality isn’t great but it’s a really energetic performance and features a couple tunes that aren’t played often. A great piece of early Maiden history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bj3itGFGRU

There’s also this TV special that gives a look at the NWOBHM scene of the late 70s/early 80s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B83I0u0-7lk

Stay tuned for the debut album on Friday!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 05:56:03 PM by Mosh »
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Offline PowerSlave

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I never realised that Sanctuary wasn't on the original release. I was only familiar with the american release of the album, and thought that it was there all along. Good stuff! I look forward to this thread.
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Offline jjrock88

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Following!

This will be very cool, thanks for doing it

Offline MirrorMask

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Thanks for creating this!

I may be sorely biased because Iron Maiden is, and always will be by default regardless of how much I listen to them, my favorite band. Their beginnings are almost mythical for me, the story just has so much charm and fascinating there, maybe it's also the settings, the foggy days of East End in those hard working times... whatever, I just find so interesting reminiscing about thosse early days.

Speaking of "Early", I agree that the first history DVD is a must have for any Maiden fan, and it goes quite well into the details of this era. I remember hearing Iron Maiden from the Soundhouse Tapes, it definitively had a punk feel and it's very interesting to hear how it was rooted in the music of the time, and knowing how eventually it would have turned out.

Out of the revolving doors of band members, it amuses me the most the story of Paul Day, a guitarist that Steve Harris liked but quit because his girlfriend wouldn't allow him to be with the band  :lol I hope she was the love of his life and that they're married to this day, otherwise he must probably still have regrets!

Dennis Stratton is mentioned here... I've recently met him! he was special guest to an italian Maiden cover band, so I got his autograph on a special edition of the debut album. It was funny seeing this middle aged englishman and knowing he stood side by side with Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno!
I use my sig to pimp some bands from Italy! Check out Elvenking (Power / Folk metal), Folkstone (Rock / Medieval metal), Arcana Opera (Gothic/Noir/Heavy metal) and the beautiful voice of Elisa!

Online TAC

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Fantastic OP, Mosh. Great job.

Will obviously be following, and participating.

Hopefully people won't mind seeing my Iron Maiden concert pics again! ;D I'll try and scan some new ones in to debut in this thread.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Online Stadler

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Another vote for the "Early Days" DVD. Essential.

Interesting that the first album IS so "punk-like", since Harris resisted any - and I mean ANY - attempt to make them LOOK more punk.    I think Killers is better, but those early days... you can hear the spark, the energy, the enthusiasm in all those early songs.   Plus, Dave Murray.  :) 

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What a fantastic start to a thread.  :metal

Well done. Really cool to read.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Interesting that the first album IS so "punk-like", since Harris resisted any - and I mean ANY - attempt to make them LOOK more punk.

And yet, Eddie on the cover of the debut was quite punk  :D
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Offline Mladen

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Dennis Stratton is mentioned here... I've recently met him! he was special guest to an italian Maiden cover band, so I got his autograph on a special edition of the debut album. It was funny seeing this middle aged englishman and knowing he stood side by side with Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno!
Nice story.  :tup

Great start, Mosh! Thanks for starting the thread, I'll be following and participating as much as I can. Also, yeah, The Early Days DVD is awesome, truly an incredible documentary.

Offline Mosh

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I never realised that Sanctuary wasn't on the original release. I was only familiar with the american release of the album, and thought that it was there all along. Good stuff! I look forward to this thread.
Yea the first two albums have different track orders. Then the 1998 remasters of the first three albums are also changed. We will go over all of that for each album.

Dennis Stratton is mentioned here... I've recently met him! he was special guest to an italian Maiden cover band, so I got his autograph on a special edition of the debut album. It was funny seeing this middle aged englishman and knowing he stood side by side with Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno!
Cool story! Iron Maiden is also my favorite band and it isn't even close. Other favorites come and go, but Maiden is always at the top.

Hopefully people won't mind seeing my Iron Maiden concert pics again! ;D I'll try and scan some new ones in to debut in this thread.
Yes please. Like I said, I will try to give live Maiden extra attention so the concert pics aer encouraged.

Interesting that the first album IS so "punk-like", since Harris resisted any - and I mean ANY - attempt to make them LOOK more punk.    I think Killers is better, but those early days... you can hear the spark, the energy, the enthusiasm in all those early songs.   Plus, Dave Murray.  :) 

Maiden's relationship with Punk is an interesting topic. They definitely didn't want to be associated with it, check out the 20th Century Box documentary and you'll see that there wasn't much respect for punk in general from the Metal community at that time. Still, there are Punk fans who love the first Maiden and you can't deny that the band's sound and even elements of their image owed at least a little to punk. It took outside forces (Martin Birch/Bruce Dickinson) to really shed the punk influences.
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Offline PowerSlave

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Plus, Dave Murray.  :)

Maybe one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of all time. You hardly ever hear him mentioned outside of IM discussions, and it's a shame.
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I think Paul DiAnno's look and stage manner had punk stylings. And you can see how the scene may have influenced some of the shorter quicker paced songs like Charlotte and Prowler.

I guess we'll get to that when the debut is posted.

Plus, Dave Murray.  :)

Maybe one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of all time.
You hardly ever hear him mentioned outside of IM discussions, and it's a shame.

Amen, brother. The guy, who has been there since the beginning, has helped build an empire.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Mosh

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Doesn't help that the guy is so laid back and humble. Seems like he has been a major help in keeping things together all these years though.
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Online TAC

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I love Kevin Shirley's comments in the AMOLAD liner notes:
"...Davey - well, I don't know what he does, but it's gotta be fun, because he's always smiling!"
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Mosh

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I almost forgot, there's this great website dedicated to Maiden's early history and they've posted some really crazy stuff, including vintage recordings.
http://www.legacyproject.co.uk/

Here's a very early clip of Iron Maiden without Dave Murray and with Thunderstick on drums: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qePSzUPxlxg

Strange World with Dennis Wilcock on vocals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SEHAKPUOGM

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Offline bosk1

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As someone who got into the band very late in the game, this is a great thread for me. 
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As someone who got into the band very late in the game, this is a great thread for me.

me too. I didn't really get into Maiden until the mid-2000s, and then it hit me big time. It took the BNW record, then the Dance of Death record (which I wasn't huge on) and whatever tour that followed that to solidify me.
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Following, was unaware of Metal for Mothas

Offline MirrorMask

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I'm into Maiden since 1995. I feel ancient  :lol
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I'm into Maiden since 1995. I feel ancient  :lol

DUDE!  My first (rock) concert ever was Maiden opening for Priest on the Number of the Beast tour.  Even with zero concert experience I knew I was seeing something special.   Bruce played that opening, 45 minute slot like he was headlining a 300,000 seat futbol stadium headlining a festival.   I couldn't believe a guy could make that kind of sound out of his throat. 

It was fun getting into Maiden then.  It was raw.   Remember, you had the slick and the polish of the 70's bands - the Zeppelin records came with sturdy covers and weird artwork; the Floyd and Genesis albums were like mini-books...   The "Live + One" had this flimsy cover, there were minimal liner notes...  the first album had no liner notes (that I can remember), just a few thank yous on the back, ending with the cryptic (to me at the time ) "Hammers rule, O.K!" and a picture of Di'Anno looking lost on a stage that was the size of my kitchen.   And the front cover!  Fuck me!   It was bad ass from top to bottom. 

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I can only imagine what it was like! fpr me it was kinda of a low time for metal 'cause mid-90's the genre wasn't in such a great shape, my first concert ever was Maiden themselves in 1998, with Helloween as support band. Of course I loved it, but in retrospect, it was the "worst" concert of them I've seen. Still it was a good one, I didn't came away let down by Blaze, he did a decent job.
I use my sig to pimp some bands from Italy! Check out Elvenking (Power / Folk metal), Folkstone (Rock / Medieval metal), Arcana Opera (Gothic/Noir/Heavy metal) and the beautiful voice of Elisa!

Offline stargazer18

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Like many here on the DTF Iron Maiden and Dream Theater have been in my top 5 bands for a long time. Maiden was first and will always be held in highest esteem by me as one the best of the genre. I was introduced to Maiden right around the time the World Slavery Tour rolled through the Richfield Coliseum (now gone) January, 1985. I didn’t see the World Slavery Tour but I would see them the next time around.

I spent most of 1984 wearing out my tape of Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue. My neighbor was a huge Crue fan and exposed me to their music. My older brother had already gotten into AC/DC, Priest and Saxon and even though I liked a lot of what I heard I gravitated towards the Crue. Young and inexperienced was I.

We had a pretty active college radio scene growing up and my brother would regularly make tapes of songs he heard that he liked during one of the many metal shows that aired. Remember when you had to be ready to hit the play and record buttons at the same time to start the tape in time to catch the beginning of the song?

One day I picked one of his tapes up and hit play. A song started with what sounded like howling wind. Amidst a distinctly sounding middle eastern chord a heartbeat was heard in the background and then a painful cry started and stretched for a few seconds, shortly after drowned out by a drum intro, quickly followed by the crash of the symbols and a galloping guitar riff. I was hooked. After four minutes, two verses and choruses, the song wound down and hit a quieter section where the lead was playing a simple but catchy melody. I still hear it exactly the way it is played even today and can easily hum along to it. This section didn’t last too long as the tempo picked up and other lead guitar came in, this time with amps blazing and the two guitars chugged through alternating melody and harmony parts. The power of this stretch of music took me by surprise but it was neither sloppy nor noisy.  It was laced with some more catchy melodies before ending in time for the last verse and chorus.

My brother hit the stop button before the DJ could announce the artist!

To this young 14 year old, this was a life altering event. It ranked right alongside seeing Star Wars at the theater and discovering my Dad’s Penthouse magazine collection – it was THAT good!

Powerslave became my new favorite tape but thanks to Maiden's backlog I didn't get stuck on it like I did Shout at the Devil.









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Stargazer, great post. Brings back lots of memories. Welcome to DTF. Do not be a stranger. Sounds like you'd be a great contributor to the Classic Hard Rock thread. Expecting great posts, based on this one, from you!


DUDE!  My first (rock) concert ever was Maiden opening for Priest on the Number of the Beast tour.   
And we've talked about this before. I remember that tour coming through, but my folks wouldn't let me go. I wouldn't see my first show (Def Lep/Krokus/Gary Moore) until the following summer. My second show was Maiden World Piece tour in '83.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline PowerSlave

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Like many here on the DTF Iron Maiden and Dream Theater have been in my top 5 bands for a long time. Maiden was first and will always be held in highest esteem by me as one the best of the genre. I was introduced to Maiden right around the time the World Slavery Tour rolled through the Richfield Coliseum (now gone) January, 1985. I didn’t see the World Slavery Tour but I would see them the next time around.

I spent most of 1984 wearing out my tape of Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue. My neighbor was a huge Crue fan and exposed me to their music. My older brother had already gotten into AC/DC, Priest and Saxon and even though I liked a lot of what I heard I gravitated towards the Crue. Young and inexperienced was I.

We had a pretty active college radio scene growing up and my brother would regularly make tapes of songs he heard that he liked during one of the many metal shows that aired. Remember when you had to be ready to hit the play and record buttons at the same time to start the tape in time to catch the beginning of the song?

One day I picked one of his tapes up and hit play. A song started with what sounded like howling wind. Amidst a distinctly sounding middle eastern chord a heartbeat was heard in the background and then a painful cry started and stretched for a few seconds, shortly after drowned out by a drum intro, quickly followed by the crash of the symbols and a galloping guitar riff. I was hooked. After four minutes, two verses and choruses, the song wound down and hit a quieter section where the lead was playing a simple but catchy melody. I still hear it exactly the way it is played even today and can easily hum along to it. This section didn’t last too long as the tempo picked up and other lead guitar came in, this time with amps blazing and the two guitars chugged through alternating melody and harmony parts. The power of this stretch of music took me by surprise but it was neither sloppy nor noisy.  It was laced with some more catchy melodies before ending in time for the last verse and chorus.

My brother hit the stop button before the DJ could announce the artist!

To this young 14 year old, this was a life altering event. It ranked right alongside seeing Star Wars at the theater and discovering my Dad’s Penthouse magazine collection – it was THAT good!

Powerslave became my new favorite tape but thanks to Maiden's backlog I didn't get stuck on it like I did Shout at the Devil.

My exposure was much the same way. I had an older brother that exposed me to all of this great music that has stayed with me to this day. The song Powerslave still moves me to this day. The lead section of that song is enough to make me feel like I can walk through walls after hearing it.

You mention Richfield Coliseum, so I'm going to assume that you're a fellow Buckeye/Ohioan. It's good to see a "neighbor" with great tastes in music. Welcome to DTF!!!
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My first exposure to Iron Maiden was in my 8th Grade year (late '81) and seeing the video of Wrathchild from the Live At the Rainbow on MTV. Seeing Davey's blond hair and Steve was an iconic image. I was drawn to the band. Then Run To The Hills was released on MTV and that was very impressionable.

My grandfather passed away in August of 1982 (a few weeks before I started high school). My family basically moved into my grandmother's house for like two weeks. My father brought us to the mall so my brother and I could each buy something to help us pass the time. Me, I got The Number Of The Beast! :metal


would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline stargazer18

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Stargazer, great post. Brings back lots of memories. Welcome to DTF. Do not be a stranger. Sounds like you'd be a great contributor to the Classic Hard Rock thread. Expecting great posts, based on this one, from you!

TAC,

Thanks. I have fond memories of 80's metal but other than for the absolute biggest acts in my book: Maiden, Priest, Dio (solo & Black Sabbath), Saxon and early Metallica I don't really gravitate to this style that much anymore. Getting old...

Offline stargazer18

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Like many here on the DTF Iron Maiden and Dream Theater have been in my top 5 bands for a long time. Maiden was first and will always be held in highest esteem by me as one the best of the genre. I was introduced to Maiden right around the time the World Slavery Tour rolled through the Richfield Coliseum (now gone) January, 1985. I didn’t see the World Slavery Tour but I would see them the next time around.

I spent most of 1984 wearing out my tape of Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue. My neighbor was a huge Crue fan and exposed me to their music. My older brother had already gotten into AC/DC, Priest and Saxon and even though I liked a lot of what I heard I gravitated towards the Crue. Young and inexperienced was I.

We had a pretty active college radio scene growing up and my brother would regularly make tapes of songs he heard that he liked during one of the many metal shows that aired. Remember when you had to be ready to hit the play and record buttons at the same time to start the tape in time to catch the beginning of the song?

One day I picked one of his tapes up and hit play. A song started with what sounded like howling wind. Amidst a distinctly sounding middle eastern chord a heartbeat was heard in the background and then a painful cry started and stretched for a few seconds, shortly after drowned out by a drum intro, quickly followed by the crash of the symbols and a galloping guitar riff. I was hooked. After four minutes, two verses and choruses, the song wound down and hit a quieter section where the lead was playing a simple but catchy melody. I still hear it exactly the way it is played even today and can easily hum along to it. This section didn’t last too long as the tempo picked up and other lead guitar came in, this time with amps blazing and the two guitars chugged through alternating melody and harmony parts. The power of this stretch of music took me by surprise but it was neither sloppy nor noisy.  It was laced with some more catchy melodies before ending in time for the last verse and chorus.

My brother hit the stop button before the DJ could announce the artist!

To this young 14 year old, this was a life altering event. It ranked right alongside seeing Star Wars at the theater and discovering my Dad’s Penthouse magazine collection – it was THAT good!

Powerslave became my new favorite tape but thanks to Maiden's backlog I didn't get stuck on it like I did Shout at the Devil.

My exposure was much the same way. I had an older brother that exposed me to all of this great music that has stayed with me to this day. The song Powerslave still moves me to this day. The lead section of that song is enough to make me feel like I can walk through walls after hearing it.

You mention Richfield Coliseum, so I'm going to assume that you're a fellow Buckeye/Ohioan. It's good to see a "neighbor" with great tastes in music. Welcome to DTF!!!

Powerslave - yeah I'm from the snow belt though lately it really hasn't lived up to its name.

Offline wolfking

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Great OP.

That Ruskin Arms gig is great, such raw power and energy.  And the Early Days DVD is really worth it if you haven't seen it.

Dave was such an integral part of the band in the early days, a lot more than people would think.  Funny story how when Dave was in the first time he and Wilcock didn't get on and Wilcock fired him. Steve knew this wasn't what he wanted and got him back when Wilcock was gone.

Offline Mosh

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Re: Iron Maiden Discography Thread: Iron Maiden (1980)
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2017, 10:17:47 PM »
Iron Maiden (1980)


Paul Di’Anno - Vocals
Dave Murray - Lead Guitar
Dennis Stratton - Lead Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Clive Burr - Drums

It is rare for a band to produce a classic with their very first album. Luckily for Maiden, Steve Harris had been working on this material for a really long time by the time they finally went into the studio. By this point the songs have been fine tuned and fully developed. It’s a stark contrast to Maiden’s usual process, which is to quickly write and record.

Of course the album is best known for its raw sound, which actually wasn’t intentional. Producer Will Malone (who is also known for the string arrangements on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and more recently Sorceress by Opeth) was supposedly uninterested in Maiden and was largely uninvolved in the process. While Steve Harris was clearly unhappy with the result, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The band ended up producing the album more or less by themselves, but the production ended up capturing their live sound in a way that a more polished production could not.

Iron Maiden’s debut is not only considered a classic by most fans, but for some it’s the best thing they’ve done. It certainly has a unique sound. Some of what would become typical “Maidenisms” are already present, such as the twin guitar leads and the gallop. However, this album also has many traits that would quickly be abandoned. Songs like Running Free and even Iron Maiden really show off their energetic punk side. The psychedelic Strange World is also unlike anything they’ve ever done since and shows Steve Harris’ love for progressive rock.

The production is rough and the music is aggressive. There are songs with extremely fast passages. But what made early Maiden stand out was their ability to mix that almost Punk-like style with an almost neoclassical sense of melody. The fast moments aren’t just power chords and harsh vocals. There is also melodic guitar playing and Paul Di’Anno was capable of really smooth singing.

Of course you can’t talk about Maiden without mentioning the album artwork. Eddie was created by sci-fi artist Derek Riggs, who was inspired by a propaganda photograph. The band got ahold of Riggs’ portfolio where they discovered an early version of what would become the first Maiden cover. Technically this wasn’t the debut of Eddie though. The first single, Running Free, featured a menacing figure silhouetted in the background. When the album hit stores, the figure was revealed in his full form. Even back then, Maiden’s marketing and art direction was very focused. Eddie was there from the beginning, as well as the band’s iconic logo.


Inspiration for Eddie


Running Free

The album was a major success, charting at #4 in the UK charts. This was largely thanks to the band’s word of mouth and hardcore following they had already gained. Maiden’s first 4 years were a little slow, but things really picked up in late 79/80 and really went nonstop until 1988. This definitely qualifies as one of the most classic debut albums and remains a Metal landmark.

Live At the Rainbow (1981)


Paul Di’Anno - Vocals
Dave Murray - Guitar
Adrian Smith - Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Clive Burr - Drums

This is the definitive live recording of the Di’Anno era and is also available on The Early Days DVD. Definitely worth checking out and only a half hour long. It wasn’t yet common for band’s to release live videos, so Maiden was a bit ahead of the curve here. Live At the Rainbow documents the band’s last concert in 1980, recorded a few days before Christmas. The band had spent almost an entire year touring by this point, including a high profile guest spot on Kiss' European tour. The video is not the entire performance, but captures most of the highlights.

Besides being a great performance, this video has quite a bit of significance. The most notable thing is the debut of Adrian Smith. Dennis Stratton was asked to leave mid tour because of creative differences. Steve and their manager, Rod Smallwood, were concerned that Stratton’s style would collide with Maiden’s musical direction. Stratton was not really a Metal guitarist and didn’t seem very interested in the music they were playing. He also did the vocal harmonies on the first album (a good example can be heard on Phantom) which Rod thought sounded too much like Queen. Luckily for Maiden, Dave Murray was still in contact with his childhood friend, Adrian Smith, and the rest is history.

This video also has a version of Killers with different lyrics. Apparently Paul scribbled out the lyrics in the dressing room before going on stage. No matter what the story, it’s pretty cool hearing the song in an early form. You also get Wrathchild (which actually wasn't the opener). Everything else is from the debut, but it's a great selection. Love the versions of Remember Tomorrow and Phantom on this video.

It’s also interesting to note that the band had technical difficulties during this gig and had to redo a few of the songs during the encore. Obviously that’s not apparent on this DVD, but a bootleg exists of the entire show to document this (great bootleg btw).



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Offline Mladen

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Wait, was Live At the Rainbow released before Killers? I never figured that out.

Anyway, the first album is a classic. Maybe not as great as some people make it to be, there are certain issues with repetitiveness and maturity, but some of it really is impressive. How they came up with Phantom of the opera at such an early age is mindblowing.

Offline stargazer18

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My introduction to songs from Iron Maiden, the album, was through their inclusion on the Live After Death album released in 1985. I liked what I heard but could clearly hear a difference in style from the early tunes to what was on the then current studio album Powerslave. When I finally picked up the first album sometime in 1985 and gave it a listen I thought I was listening to a totally different band. The sound is raw and Dianno’s voice was definitely much less “refined” than Dickinson’s is.

All the songs are movers, with the exception of Strange World, fresh with a lot of energy that clearly would go over well in a live setting. I never got into Punk so can’t really argue how similar it is. To my young ears (I was 14 when I first heard it) I was intrigued by the sudden shifts in flow and tempo that occurred in songs like Remember Tomorrow. I was not familiar with Prog and most, if not all, of the AOR music I heard on the radio was not structured like this.

The title track, being the live show staple that it is, is one of the weaker songs on the album to me.  Of course, I'm making this statement 37 years after the song was released and having just about everything they have ever released. With a discography as large and as strong as Maiden's it's an easy statement to make. Charlotte and Sanctuary are just above it in my ranking. The rest of songs are all great when I’m in the mood for early Maiden. Prowler, Running Free, Remember Tomorrow, Phantom and Transylvania anchor this album. Within the album flow I like the slow down to Strange World – a very atypical song for Maiden.  It’s clear to see that in the early days of NWOBHM this album ranked high among everything else being released at the time.

There have been a number of reissues of these early albums. My original tape included Sanctuary at the track 8 or 9 position but the CD that I have that was issued with the Eddie Head box set has it as track 2.  Either way I’ve never owned a copy without it being a track on the first album.

I have two paperback biographies on Maiden: Running Free published in 1985 (Has Eddie from the SiT album cover on the front) and the newer, Run to the Hills book. They are both good reads for anyone who would like to know more about the band. I haven’t seen the new DVD’s so much of what is in the books is probably on them too.

From what I read Eddie evolved from a character that Rod Smallwood saw in a picture in Derek Rigg’s office while visiting one day. The figure was modified to fit more of what Maiden wanted in a mascot. Here in the Midwest US, at the height of their popularity in the mid 80’s you could walk into any record shop and see, or quickly find something with Eddie on it. T-shirts and patches were popular, as well as posters. I had a jean jacket with a big patch on the back though I can’t remember which Eddie it was.

Offline Mosh

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Wait, was Live At the Rainbow released before Killers? I never figured that out.

Nah, Killers came in February and Live At the Rainbow was in May (probably to promote their first headline European tour). But since it was recorded before Killers, I wanted to talk about it first. I will be doing the live albums based on the time they were recorded, not the release.
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Offline MirrorMask

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The debut is wonderful, and could be called a greatest hits of their formative years, the culmination of them learning to be songwriters, to have their own sound, their vision (Steve Harris' vision mostly), and their style.

All songs are great, even those that, with the weight of their entire discography behind, can be considered forgettable, such as Charlotte the Harlot and the title track... by now during live shows I don't consider it a song anymore, but more a short adrenaline rush and an excuse to show off Eddie and to shout "Iron Maiden" some times. Still, at the time it was quite a decent namesake song, and Running Free was the good balance between being commercial and still rooted to their sound.

(Completely side note and random moment: am I the only one who feels inclined every time that the song is playing to sing "Spend the night in a LA jail, listen to Nicko McBrain"?  :lol )

Remember Tomorrow also would have started the tradition of a slower track 2 on their albums, and Strange World is an absolute gem, perfect for foggy days to make you remember East End's atmospheres. And Transylvania is still, for me, their best instrumental song.

And about the song I left for last... well, I remember during the Early Days (can't find the video, I thought it was Ullevi on YouTube but it wasn't) Bruce Dickinson introducing the song, saying something along the lines of how the next 7 minutes something very strange would be going on, and that this song was so unique and special... concluding that "If you get this song, you get Iron Maiden. If you don't, you might as well piss off"  :lol

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!  :metal To this day, still one of their best songs with a memorable instrumental break, and the proof that from the debut on they would churn out impressive epic songs that would enter the olympus of heavy metal.
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Offline Tomislav95

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Following this :tup
Just listening to the debut, I forgot how much I loved it :hefdaddy Every song is great.
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  How they came up with Phantom of the opera at such an early age is mindblowing.

And about the song I left for last... well, I remember during the Early Days (can't find the video, I thought it was Ullevi on YouTube but it wasn't) Bruce Dickinson introducing the song, saying something along the lines of how the next 7 minutes something very strange would be going on, and that this song was so unique and special... concluding that "If you get this song, you get Iron Maiden. If you don't, you might as well piss off"  :lol

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!  :metal To this day, still one of their best songs with a memorable instrumental break, and the proof that from the debut on they would churn out impressive epic songs that would enter the olympus of heavy metal.

Phantom Of The Opera is amazing. Especially coming off a metal debut in 1980. Amazing writing on this.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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