Since the year 1980, Iron Maiden has been at the forefront of the musical genre know as HEAVY METAL. Now, over 20 years later they are still at the top of the metal charts, a few lineup changes non-withstanding. From the demo "The Soundhouse Tapes" and their debut full album "Iron Maiden" to the latest release "Brave New World", it has been non-compromising, full blooded, hard hitting metal all the way. Every one of the 12 studio albums and three live albums that Maiden have released have been major Top 10 successes both at home in the UK and more than 25 other countries around the world, including over 20 hit singles. The band's mascot Eddie is synonymous with Maiden's music and concerts. Eddie has changed with every album; but he still retains that skull like face and demonic sneer.

Steve Harris, Dave Murray & Janick Gers
When even the most casual of rock music fan listens to Maiden, he can't help but fully appreciate the fact that he is listening to one of the tightest bands that have ever played in history. Those thundering drums, galloping bass runs, and the twin guitar (now three) attack that make every Maiden song a classic - and to complement all this finery they have the vocals of Bruce Dickinson, which could blow away an audience with it's sheer intensity. The band are all established road warriors, assaulting the continents with their brand of music that has been labelled as "thinking man's metal". The pride of Britain compose epics based on war and it's consequences, history and mythology.

Bruce Dickinson
After their second album "Killers", singer Paul Di Anno left the band and that led to the arrival of one of rock music's most powerful voices - Dickinson. And hence 1982 saw the release of "Number of the beast" - the album name and hit single. The song it is rumoured to be inspired by the cult horror film "Omen" - the lyrics is about a man who witnessess the rituals and devil worships and cannot believe his eyes. He wants to run away and inform others, but is pulled by the power of Satan's evil. This led to the first of many accusations by critics stating that Maiden were devil believers and Satan worshippers themselves. The album also boasted "Run to the hills" - a song about the crimes done against native Americans when the white settlers first arrieved and a gem of a classic "Hallowed be thy name" - a first person experience of a criminal who is about to be hanged and the thoughts and regrets that passes through his mind just as he about to be led to his execution. The band toured for over 8 months behind the album and a casualty of this tormential touring was drummer Clive Burr, who was duly replaced by fan favorite Nicko McBrain. The next album to hit the airwaves was "Piece of mind" which came out in 1983 and went straight to #3 in the U.K.
They found themselves playing to larger and larger audiences and toured extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the USA. Deciding for a change of topic, the next album featured exclusively songs based on themes on Egyptian mythology and was named "Power Slave". Iron Maiden was among the first bands to undertake concert tours of the former Iron Curtain countries, playing in Russia, Poland & Romania. The next effort was a highly successful live video and album "Live after Death" which went to #1. Massive tours in areans all over the world established Maiden as one of the most successful bands from Britain or anywhere else. Their live events were among the most spectacular, the band and the fans taking a journey to the pinnacle of metal euphoria. Eddie was ever present at every gig and the fans accepted him as an official member of the band. 1986 & 1988 saw the release of "Somewhere in Time" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" repectively - the latter their first concept album. 4 singles, including the U.K. # 3 "Can I play with Madness?" a show stopper at concerts, from "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" went to the Top 10 charts.

Janick Gers
The "Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour" saw them begin in the US. The high spot of the tour was to be the headlining of the legendary "Monsters Of Rock Festival" at Castle Donington which with support by the likes of Kiss, Dave Lee Roth, Guns and Roses and stablemates Helloween, they played to a all time record breaking 107,000 fans. The "Monsters" festival also had repeated success in Europe after which the band continued back to the UK to complete the tour with sell out shows at Wembley Arena for 2 nights the Birmingham NEC , 2 nights and 4 nights at the Hammersmith Odeon. The band had previously decided to take the whole of 1989 off however, unable to rest, Bruce and Adrian spent their time recording their first solo albums and November 1989 saw the group team up again for the launch of the "Maiden England" video. In January 1990 work had barely begun on the "No Prayer For The Dying" album when Adrian decided to leave the band, this being their first personnel change for some seven years. Bruce meanwhile had been working through the previous summer with ex-Gillan and White Spirit guitarist, Janick Gers who after auditioning was invited to join. Released on Oct.1, the new album spawned the #1 hit single "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter". 1992 saw the release of "Fear of the Dark" which also had a hit single
"Be Quick or Be Dead" which was about a banking scam. Another huge tour took place. this time starting in Scandinavia. In March of 1993 Dickinson announced that he felt the need to pursue his other projects and leave Maiden. The band continued the tour hitting 44 shows across Europe before venturing into North America. An extensive search followed Bruce's departure, and the result was that Blaze Bayley of Wolfsbane was selected as the new vocalist for Iron Maiden. Wolsbane had supported Maiden during the 1990 U.K tour. This new partnership started work on the dark album "X Factor", recorded at Steve Harris's Barnyard Studios. The subject matter was mostly about the effects and aftermath of war. It spawed a hit single with "Man on the Edge" inspired by the Michael Douglas film 'Falling Down'. The X Factour started prior to the album launch in October 1995 with shows in Israel and South Africa for the first time. The album itself went to No.8 in the album charts. (Another track, the epic opener "Sign of the cross" was also a heavy concert favorite and voted among the top three singles of 1995 by readers of India's Rock Street Journal - now RSJ magazine!). The band crisscrossed throughout Western Europe, America, Japan and headlining many major festivals including the "Monsters of Rock" in Sao Paulo to 50,000 fans.
                  Nicko McBrain pounds out the life from the drums

Iron Maiden live in Munich

Steve Harris
1997 saw work start on "Virtual XI" their Eleventh Studio album. The cover artwork depicted a boy watching a football match through a Virtual Reality headset while being surrounded by Armageddon and Eddie. Similiarly the lyrics to tracks like "Futureal" and "When Two Worlds Collide" reflected this sentiment. The football theme was prevalent throughout the album, the guys being huge football supporters (Steve Harris was a member of English Premier League club West Ham United's Youth side and can be seen wearing a West Ham jersey with the "Iron Maiden" logo on the front, during live concerts) and Maiden decided to promote the album with their own Football tour, 1998 also a WORLD CUP year. The band put together a dream team of world football stars such as Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright, Faustino Asprilla, Marc Overmars, Patrick Viera and Stuart Pearce. Another team, the Virtual XI team which featured ex-England stalwarts Terry Butcher, Tony Woodcock, Neil Webb and Paul Mariner toured throughout Europe playing games along with similarly famous names like Anders Limpar in Sweden, Gentile and Altobelli in Italy and even meeting up with the great Eusebio in Portugal.

Dave Murray
Howerver it seems that Iron Maiden and Bruce were not meant to be apart. Fans too yearned for the man who was nicknamed "Air-Raid" for his monsterous bellowing and high range of powerful singing. So in 1999 Bayley departed and Dickinson was back on vocals. Another pleasant surprise was the return of guitarist Adrian Smith. Now Maiden were a three guitar attack force that brought insane comparision with American Southern Rock band Lynyrd Sknyrd - the two don't sound alike at all! A pc video game "Ed Hunter" was released along with Maiden music as the soundtrack - consisting of 20 'greatest hits' choosen by the fans via an online poll conducted on the band's official website. Pure democracy from the band. The "Ed Hunter" tour was a massive success, ridiculing previous media statements that Maiden was a spent force and that metal was dead. Well Iron Maiden could have all those Boybands and Girlbands for breakfast and 'Eddie' could kill all the dance, house, trance, rap & hiphop bands. What fans were waiting for was a new killer album from the new look band and that's what they got in 2000. "Brave New World" heralded by the awesome "Wicker Man" kicked major ass and it showed a band with even more energy.
So 2000 is was the year of the new Maiden. They toured the world, mixing old favorites like "Run to the hills", "The Trooper", "Aces High", "Number of the beast" & "Can I play with Madness?" with new songs from "X-Factor", "Virtual 11" and ofcourse "Brave New World". I, like many other millions in the Maiden army cannot wait for the next album to hit the stores. IS THE NEW WORLD BRAVE ENOUGH FOR IRON MAIDEN?

Adrian Smith

The guys outside their rehersal area