Iron Maiden Biography
Iron Maiden is one of the most popular Heavy-Metal groups of all time;
the band was founded by Steve Harris in London, ENGLAND, on Christmas
Day 1975 with an initial line-up of vocalist Paul Day, guitarists Terry
Rance and Dave Sullivan, Harris on bass and Ron 'Rebel' Matthews on drums.
Soon Iron Maiden became a popular band playing London's East End club
circuit; however, the line-up changed frequently over the following four
years, members were fired or quit for various reasons; since it's beginning,
Iron Maiden has had 18 different band members.
Day was quickly replaced by Dennis Wilcock who was the inspiration for Eddie, Iron Maiden's perennial grim mascot.
Released in late 1979, "The Soundhouse Tapes" was the very
first record of the band; containing three early day live favorites, the
original 7-inch vinyl's initial 5,000 unit pressing sold out via mail
order in less than a week and in turn engendered a recording deal with
The big break was when their first album was released in April 1980, a self-titled LP which stormed the U.K. chart at #3 spawning the hit single "Running Free"; the line-up by now was: vocalist Paul Di'Anno, guitarists Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton, bassist Steve Harris and drummer Clive Burr.
The band's sophomore effort, 1981's "Killers", proved to be a more focused and developed affair than its predecessor, it failed to crack the top 10 in U.K. but reached the #78 position on the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart while the main single, "Wrathchild" hit the top 40 of The Mainstream Rock chart; it was the first Iron Maiden album to feature guitarist Adrian Smith but would also prove to be vocalist Paul Di'Anno's last with the group.
The first album recorded with singer Bruce Dickinson was "The Number Of The Beast", released in March 1982; topping the national chart in Britain and becoming their first U.S. top 40 record, it generated a pair of all-time classic Metal anthems: "Run To The Hills" and the demonic title-track which was Maiden's first U.K. #1 hit.
"Piece Of Mind" followed a year later reaching #3 on the National British Albums chart and #14 on the American Billboard Top 200 list; it included the Mainstream Rock top 10 hit "Flight Of Icarus", the worldwide cult hit "The Trooper" and was also the first album to feature new drummer Nicko McBrain who replaced Clive Burr.
In September 1984 the band returned with their fifth studio album, "Powerslave", which hit #2 in U.K. and #21 in U.S. highlighted by the complex antiwar tale "2 Minutes To Midnight", this single reached #11 on the British Pop Sales chart and #25 on the U.S. Rock airplay chart. During the next year, on the World Slavery Tour, Iron Maiden played to their largest ever crowd, 200,000 people at the Rock In Rio Festival and eventually released the double-disc live set "Live After Death" which hit #22 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band tryed to update their sound with the use of synthesizers for their sixth studio album, "Somewhere In Time"; the record was released in June 1986 and soon crashed into the U.K. top 3, later it reached the top 30 in the States but failed to yield chart hits.
"Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son", the last Maiden's LP with guitarist Adrian Smith, until their late-'90s reunion, followed two years later, peaking at #1 on the British chart and reaching the #12 spot on the American Billboard Top 200; a total of four singles were issued in the U.K. all top 10 "Can I Play With Madness", "The Evil That Men Do", "The Clairvoyant" and "Infinite Dreams".
Smith was replaced with Janick Gers in 1990, just before "No Prayer For The Dying"; it became the band's sixth consecutive top 3 album entry in the U.K. and peaked at #17 in the U.S. generating a British #1 hit with the controversial "Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter".
The Heavy-Metal kings charted again at #1 in U.K. with their ninth studio record, "Fear Of The Dark", upon its May 1992 release; this album was also a big success on the other side of the Atlantic, where it leapt to #12.
In March 1993 Bruce Dickinson quit.
Iron Maiden resurfaced in October 1995 with "The X Factor", the band's first album with new vocalist Blaze Bayley; it was a lackluster affair and a poor seller reaching #8 on the British Pop chart and #147 on The Billboard 200.
In the spring of 1998 the group released "Virtual XI", another marginal chart entry in U.S. and barely sneaked into the U.K. top 20.
Longtime lead singer Bruce Dickinson, Bruce Bruce as known on stage and guitar hero Adrian Smith rejoined the fold in 1999 and with a three guitar front assault Iron Maiden churned out "Brave New World" in May 2000; their twelfth studio album put them back into the top 10 in Britain and hit the top 40 of The Billboard 200 while the main single, "The Wicker Man", peaked at #19 on The Mainstream Rock chart.
Nearly three and a half years later the sextet released "Dance Of Death", it rose to #2 on the U.K. Albums chart and reached #18 on The Billboard Top 200.
Another three years passed before Iron Maiden returned with a new studio
record and in September 2006 they issued their fourteenth LP, "A
Matter Of Life And Death". It peaked at #9 on The Billboard 200 producing two Rock radio hit singles: "The
Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg" and "Different World".
The group scored the highest Billboard Top 200 Albums chart debut of their entire career with the release of "The Final Frontier", released in August 2010 in U.S. the disc crested at #4, while in U.K. and Canada hit #1.