Iron Maiden Follow Up

Continued success and expanded tours (2005–2014)

At the end of 2005, Iron Maiden began work on A Matter of Life and Death, their fourteenth studio album, which was released in autumn 2006. War and religion are recurring themes in the lyrics and the cover artwork. The release was a critical and commercial success, marking the band's first top ten on the Billboard 200 and debuting at number one in the album charts of 13 countries. The supporting tour saw mixed critical reception, but included the band's first performance in Dubai at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival for 25,000 people, followed by a concert in Bangalore Palace Grounds, the first of any heavy metal band in India. The band then played a string of European dates, including an appearance at Download Festival, their fourth headline performance at Donington Park, to approximately 80,000 people.

On September 5, 2007, the band announced their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, tying in with the DVD release of their Live After Death album. The setlist for the tour consisted of songs from the 1980s. They played their first concerts in Costa Rica and Colombia and their first shows in Australia and Puerto Rico since 1992. The tour led to the release of a new compilation album, entitled Somewhere Back in Time, which included a selection of tracks from their 1980 eponymous debut to 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, as well as several live versions from Live After Death.

In 2008–2009 in Latin America the band played 27 concerts for about a million people in total, a record for a heavy rock performer. The tour continued with two legs in the US and Europe in the summer of 2008. The sole UK concert took place at Twickenham Stadium, marking the first time the band would headline a stadium in their own country. The 2008 tour was the second highest-grossing tour of the year for a British artist.

The final leg included the band's first appearances in Peru and Ecuador, as well as their return to Venezuela and New Zealand after 17 years. The band also played another show in India at the Rock in India festival to a crowd of 20,000. At their concert in São Paulo on March 15, Bruce Dickinson announced on stage that it was the largest non-festival show of their career, with an overall attendance of 100,000 people. The final leg ended in Florida on April 2, after which the band took a break. Overall, the tour reportedly had an attendance of over two and a half million people worldwide over both years. At the 2009 Brit Awards, Iron Maiden won the award for best British live act.

On January 20, 2009, the band announced they were planning to release a full-length documentary film in select cinemas on April 21, 2009. Entitled Iron Maiden: Flight 666, it documented the first part of the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour (between February and March 2008). Flight 666 was co-produced by Banger Productions and was distributed in cinemas by Arts Alliance Media and EMI, with D&E Entertainment sub-distributing in the US. The film went on to have a Blu-ray, DVD, and CD release in May and June, topping the music DVD charts in 25 countries. In most of them the release went Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum.

The band had begun composing new material and booked studio time in early 2010 with Kevin Shirley  producing, and The Final Frontier was announced on March 4, and featured three singles "The Final Frontier", "El Dorado" and "Coming Home", as well as epic, progressive opuses "Isle of Avalon", "The Talisman" and "When The Wild Wind Blows". The album, the band's fifteenth, was released on August 16, to critical acclaim. It was also the band's greatest commercial success to that point, reaching No. 1 in twenty-eight countries worldwide, including a debut at No. 4 on Billboard 200. The album's supporting tour saw the band perform 101 shows across the globe to an estimated audience of over two and a half million, including their first visits to Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea.

"El Dorado" won the Best Metal Performance award at the 2011 Grammy Awards, the band's first win after two previous nominations. On March 15, a new compilation to accompany 2009's Somewhere Back in Time was announced. The double disc set covers the period 1990–2010 (the band's most recent eight studio albums). In 2012, the band announced a new live album and DVD release entitled En Vivo!, based on footage from the Chile concert. The DVD topped the music video charts around the world. In addition to the concert footage, the video release includes an 88-minute tour documentary, entitled Behind The Beast, containing interviews with the band and their crew.

In December 2012, one song from the release ("Blood Brothers") was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

On February 15, the band announced their third retrospective Maiden England World Tour 2012–2014, which was based around the video of the same name. The tour commenced in North America in the summer of 2012 and was followed by further dates in 2013 and 2014, and included the band's fifth headline performance at Donington Park with 100,000 fans in attendance. Iron Maiden closed the tour in July 2014 at Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth, having undertaken 100 shows in 32 countries before an estimated audience of more than 2.7 million people.

Latest albums and tours (2015–present)

The band's 2015 album, The Book of Souls, was released on September 4. The band's first original studio album not to be issued by EMI outside North America, following Parlophone's acquisition by Warner Music Group in 2013, it was a critical and commercial success, becoming the band's fifth UK No. 1 album and hit No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in the US. The new release reached the number one position in the album charts of 43 countries.

The new record was recorded at Guillaume Tell Studios in late summer 2014; its closing song, "Empire of the Clouds", penned by Bruce Dickinson, surpassed "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (from 1984's Powerslave) as Iron Maiden's longest song, at 18 minutes in length. In February 2016, the band embarked on The Book of Souls World Tour, with shows in 35 countries across six continents, including their first performances in China, El Salvador, and Lithuania. It was the band's biggest album tour since 1996. In total, Iron Maiden played 117 shows on six continents for well over two and a half million people. The band then launched the Legacy of the Beast World Tour in Europe in 2018,

with North and South American shows following in 2019. The tour was received very positively by fans and critics.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced rescheduling of nearly one million tickets from 2020, first to 2021, and then to 2022. In October 2020, the band announced they would release a live album from the Legacy of the Beast World Tour called Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City. The double concert album was recorded during three sold-out concerts in Mexico City's Palacio de los Deportes for a combined audience of over 70,000 people.

On July 15, 2021, Iron Maiden released a video for their first song in six years, "The Writing on the Wall", which was directed by Nicos Livesey. Four days later, the band announced their seventeenth studio album, Senjutsu, released on September 3, 2021. Senjutsu eventually reached the top of the best-seller lists in 27 countries, but it was the band's first album in fifteen years not to reach number one on the UK charts, although it did top the UK Rock & Metal Singles and Albums Charts. In total, Senjutsu  reached the top three in 55 countries and the top five in 63 countries.

On February 1, 2023, the band received their second nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band started their 25th global tour, The Future Past World Tour, with a concert in Ljubljana in May 2023. The 37 concerts played during the tour that year attracted approximately one million fans.

Image and Legacy

Iron Maiden have received multiple nominations, honours and awards including Grammy Awards and equivalents awards in many countries, Brit AwardsIvor Novello Awards, and Juno Awards. They have ranked highly in many polls of the greatest metal artists of all time. In 2012 The Number of the Beast was voted as Best British Album Ever by the British public as part of Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Iron Maiden are also a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of FameRock in Rio Wall of Fame and Wacken Open Air Hall of Fame.

Iron Maiden were inducted into Hollywood RockWalk, BPI Hall of Fame and Kerrang! Hall of Fame. Band's mascot Eddie the Head is a part of the British Music Experience permanent exhibition. In April 2021, the band's former members (Paul Di'Anno, Blaze Bayley, and illustrator Derek Riggs) were inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame. They have twice been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In January 2023 Iron Maiden were honoured by Royal Mail UK with dedicated postal stamps and cards.

Iron Maiden have sold over 130 million copies of their albums worldwide, despite little radio or television support. According to many sources all audio-visual catalogue of the band have sold in over 200 million copies worldwide, including regular albums, singles, compilations, and videos. Their third studio album,  The Number of the Beast, is among the most popular heavy metal albums of all time and the most commercially successful release of the band, having sold almost 20 million copies worldwide. As of 2022 their releases have been certified silver, gold and platinum around 600 times worldwide.

In 1979/1980, visual artist Derek Riggs created the macabre mascot named Eddie The Head. Since then, Eddie has been an integral part of the stage and media image of the group. Originally a papier-mâché mask which would squirt fake blood during their live shows, the character featured on the band's debut album cover, also done by Derek Riggs. Eddie was painted exclusively by Riggs until 1992, at which point the band began using artwork from other artists, including Melvyn Grant. In 2023, a special version of the board game Monopoly dedicated to the British band was released worldwide.

A large puppet version of Eddie has appeared many times during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro  and other South American cities. During the Cavalcade of Magi 2021 in the Spanish city of Cadiz, next to dolls representing characters known from the world of pop culture, there was a huge, inflatable mummy inspired by the image of the Iron Maiden mascot from 1985. In addition to a wide range of items modelled after various versions of the band's mascot, the image of Eddie has become a popular theme for tattoos.

Iron Maiden's distinct logo has adorned all of the band's releases since their debut, 1979's The Soundhouse Tapes EP. The typeface originates with Vic Fair's poster design for the 1976 science fiction film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, also used by Gordon Giltrap, although Steve Harris claims he designed it himself, using his training as an architectural draughtsman. Metal Lord / Iron Maiden, a characteristic font used in the group's classic logo, has become a motif commonly used to create various logos and inscriptions.

At the beginning of January 2021, at a general audience in Aula Paolo VIPope Francis was honoured with a circus show presented by 25 artists of Ronny Roller Circus, accompanied, among others, by the song "The Trooper". It was the first time a composition by a heavy metal artist was played in the VaticanBMW  in collaboration with Motorrad Bögel GmbH has created a customised model of the IRON R18 motorcycle inspired by Iron Maiden's unique musical and visual style. A German organisation, which aims to help young people with mental health problems, was named "Run to the Hills" after one of Iron Maiden's greatest hits. According to the president of the institution, the slogan "Run to the Hills" is about motivating people to overcome personal difficulties.

Influence on other artists and the genre

Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley said Iron Maiden "have helped spawn an entire genre of music" and influenced literally thousands of other artists. According to Guitar World, Iron Maiden's music has "influenced generations of newer metal acts, from legends like Metallica to current stars like Avenged Sevenfold," with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich saying he has "always had an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them."

Ulrich has frequently cited Iron Maiden as probably the biggest influence on Metallica's career. Metallica's guitarist Kirk Hammett described the cover of Iron Maiden's debut LP as his favourite album cover and said the song "Phantom of the Opera" from that album played an important role in his development as a guitarist. Hammett explained how "a lot of guitar elements from that song can still be heard in his work with Metallica today".

Jason Newsted, ex-bassist of Metallica, named two bands he believed made Metallica's success possible: AC/DC and Iron Maiden. Kerry King of  Slayer stated that "they meant so much to him in their early days". Two of the founding members of Anthrax, guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Danny Lilker, have also cited Iron Maiden as one of the band's main influences and inspirations (especially early on in their career), the former saying "they had a major impact on his life." Megadeth have cited Iron Maiden as one of their biggest inspirations on many different levels. Members of Testament have stated Iron Maiden were one of their blueprint bands and they have covered Iron Maiden songs many times.

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt and late singer Paul Baloff have also acknowledged Iron Maiden as one of the band's influences, with the former citing both them and Judas Priest as "basically the calibre of the stuff he listened to" in Exodus' early years. Kurt Cobain, late founder, composer, vocalist and guitarist of  Nirvana, was a big fan of Iron Maiden. Both former and current members of Suicidal Tendencies have also mentioned Iron Maiden as one of the sources of inspiration behind their music. Alice in Chains have also mentioned Iron Maiden's influences on them.

Other bands and artists influenced by Iron Maiden include GhostHIMAvenged Sevenfold, TriviumSlipknot, Stone SourIn FlamesAmon Amarth, Muse, AnthraxAngraLady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Opera composer Lee Bradshaw. Journalist Geoff Barton says the band's music constituted an important passage between the classic heavy rock school during the 1960s and 1970s, based on rhythm and blues, and contemporary Heavy metal, characterised by sub-genre diversification and stylistic eclecticism. According to Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp the style and attitude of Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain,

has inspired generations of heavy-metal drummers that followed. Music journalist and writer Neil Daniels said Iron Maiden "redefined the whole genre blending classic heavy rock influence with punky vibe, twin guitars attack and progressive approach which finally have created the new quality. The Band's influence on generations of rock and metal bands cannot be overstated. They elevated metal to an art form, proving that academic and musical inspirations can coexist." The band's profile by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says "in the 1980s, Iron Maiden released seven high-octane albums that cemented them as one of the greatest rock bands – creating a blueprint for how heavy metal bands should look, sound and tour."

Appearance in media

The first heavy metal videos broadcast by MTV were the live versions of "Iron Maiden" and "Wrathchild" taken from the official VHS Live at the Rainbow. In 1989, Iron Maiden took part in the Rock Aid Armenia  project (also known as Live Aid Armenia) - a humanitarian project by the British music industry. The project aimed to raise funds to help people affected by the earthquake in Armenia in 1988.

The number of releases in tribute to the British band can be estimated in the hundreds, with an extremely wide range of stylistic variants. In 2008, Kerrang! released Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, an album composed of Iron Maiden cover songs performed by MetallicaMachine HeadDream Theater, TriviumCoheed and Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, and other groups influenced by the band. In 2010, Maiden uniteD, an acoustic tribute band consisting of members of AyreonThreshold, (Damian Wilson) and

Within Temptation, (Ruud Jolie) released Mind the Acoustic Pieces, a re-interpretation of the entire Piece of Mind album. As of 2021 nearly 200 Iron Maiden cover audio-visual releases exist (each featuring various artists), including piano, electro, string quartet and hip-hop tributes.

The band's songs featured in video games such as Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse NowGrand Theft Auto: Vice CityGrand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty CityGrand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and DamnedTony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4SSX on TourMadden NFL 10Angry BirdsWorld of WarcraftWorld of WarplanesGuardians of the GalaxyWorld of Tanks and in many others, including their own Ed Hunter and Legacy of the Beast. Iron Maiden music was a part of Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series or instructional video games.

Claims of Satanic references

The 1982 release of The Number of the Beast created some controversy for the band. The artwork and title track led to Christian groups in the United States branding the band as Satanists, encouraging people to destroy copies of the release. The band's manager, Rod Smallwood, later said the groups initially burnt the records, but later decided to destroy them with hammers due to fear of breathing in the melting vinyl's fumes.

The protests were not restricted to the US, with Christian organisations preventing Iron Maiden from performing in Chile in 1992. The band have always denied the notion they are Satanists, with lead vocalist, Bruce Dickinson, doing so on-stage in the Live After Death concert video. Steve Harris has since commented that, "It was mad. They completely got the wrong end of the stick. They obviously hadn't read the lyrics. They just wanted to believe all that rubbish about us being Satanists."

Steve Harris has also said that "The Number of the Beast" song was inspired by a nightmare he had after watching Damien: Omen II, and also influenced by Robert Burns' "Tam o' Shanter". The band's drummer, Nicko McBrain, has been a born-again Christian since 1999.

Ed Force One

For their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour in 2008 and 2009, Iron Maiden commissioned an Astraeus Airlines Boeing 757 (The Story of Ed Force One on as transport. The aeroplane was converted into a combi configuration, which enabled it to carry the band, their crew and stage production, allowing the group to perform in countries which were previously deemed unreachable logistically. It was also repainted with a special Iron Maiden livery, which the airline decided to retain after receiving positive feedback from customers.

The aircraft, named "Ed Force One" after a competition on the band's website, was flown by Bruce Dickinson, as he was also a commercial airline pilot for Astraeus, and plays a major role in the award-winning documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666, which was released in cinemas in 42 countries in April 2009. A different aeroplane (registered G-STRX) was used for The Final Frontier World Tour in 2011 with altered livery, adopting the artwork of The Final Frontier album, and features heavily in the 2012 documentary "Behind the Beast".

For The Book of Souls World Tour in 2016, the band upgraded to an ex-Air France Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, supplied by Air Atlanta Icelandic (registered TF-AAK) and customised by Volga-Dnepr Gulf, which allows for more space without the aircraft having to undergo a significant conversion to carry their equipment. In January 2022, Bruce Dickinson told the Associated Press that he would not be piloting the band's plane on their upcoming tour, citing his nearing the mandatory age limit for commercial airline pilots. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), commercial pilots must retire at age 65. However, there is currently no maximum age limit for either private pilots or military pilots.

Musical style and influences

Steve Harris, Iron Maiden's bassist and primary songwriter, has said his influences include Black Sabbath, Deep PurpleLed ZeppelinUriah Heep, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, Thin LizzyUFO, Queen, and Wishbone Ash. In 2010 Steve Harris said, "I think if anyone wants to understand Maiden's early thing, in particular the harmony guitars, all they have to do is listen to Wishbone Ash's Argus album. Thin Lizzy too, but not as much. And then we wanted to have a bit of a prog thing thrown in as well, because I was really into bands like Genesis and Jethro Tull.

So you combine all that with the heavy riffs and the speed, and you've got it." In 2004, Steve Harris explained the band's "heaviness" was inspired by "Black Sabbath and Deep Purple with a bit of Zeppelin thrown in." Steve Harris also developed his own playing style, which guitarist Janick Gers describes as "more like a rhythm guitar." Steve Harris's bass technique is responsible for the band's galloping style, heard in such songs as "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills". The band's guitarists, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers, each have their own individual influences and playing styles.

Dave Murray is known for his legato technique which, he says, "evolved naturally. I'd heard Jimi Hendrix using legato when I was growing up, and I liked that style of playing."  Stating that he "was inspired by Blues rock rather than Metal," Adrian Smith was influenced by Johnny Winter and Pat Travers, leading to him becoming a "melodic player." Janick Gers prefers a more improvised style, largely inspired by Ritchie Blackmore, which he says is in contrast to Smith's "rhythmic" sound.

Singer Bruce Dickinson, who typically works in collaboration with guitarist Adrian Smith, has an operatic vocal style, inspired by Arthur BrownPeter HammillIan Anderson and Ian Gillan, and is often considered to be one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. Although Nicko McBrain has only received one writing credit, on the Dance of Death album, Steve Harris often relies on him while developing songs. Adrian Smith commented, "Steve loves playing with him. They used to work for hours going over these bass and drum patterns."

Throughout their career, the band's style has remained largely unchanged, although the addition of guitar synthesisers on 1986's Somewhere in Time, keyboards on 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and an attempt to return to the "stripped down" production of their earlier material on 1990's No Prayer for the Dying marked some experimentation. In recent years, however, the band have begun using more progressive elements in their songs, which Steve Harris describes as not progressive "in the modern sense,

but like Dream Theater, more in a 70s way". According to Steve Harris, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was the band's first album which was "more progressive", and they would return to this style in 1995's The X Factor, which he states is "like an extension of Seventh Son..., in the sense of the progressive element to it". The development contrasts with the band's raw-sounding earlier material,  which AllMusic states was "clearly drawing from elements of punk rock", although Steve Harris firmly denies this.


Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals (1975–present); keyboards (1988, 1997–present)

Dave Murray – guitars (1976–1977, 1978–present)

Adrian Smith – guitars, backing vocals (1980–1990, 1999–present); keyboards (1988)

Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals (1981–1993, 1999–present); piano (2015)

Nicko McBrain – drums (1982–present)

Janick Gers – guitars (1990–present); backing vocals (1990–1993)


Touring musician

Michael Kenney – keyboards (1988–2022)


Former members

Paul Day vocals (1975–1976)

Terry Rance guitars (1975–1976)

Dave Sullivan guitars (1975–1976)

Ron (Rebel) Matthews drums (1975–1977)

Dennis Wilcock vocals (1976–1978)

Bob Sawyer (later Rob Angelo) guitars (1977)

Terry Wapram guitars (1977–1978)

Thunderstick (Barry Purkis) drums (1977–1978)

Tony Moore keyboards (1977)

Doug Sampson drums (1978–1979)

Paul Di'Anno vocals (1978–1981)

Paul Cairns (a.k.a. "Mad Mac") guitars (1978–1979)

Paul Todd guitars (1979)

Tony Parsons guitars (1979)

Dennis Stratton guitars backing vocals (1979–1980)

Clive Burr drums (1979–1982) †2013

Blaze Bayley vocals (1994–1999)

Source: Wikipedia

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