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The Unparalleled Power of Iron Maiden

Posted: Mar 14 2022

iron-maiden-1980

Iron Maiden is without a question the definers of metal and as a result, the biggest band in the history of heavy metal music, they are perhaps the biggest band in the world, next to Metallica. With little to no help from commercial radio the band has sold over 70 million records worldwide and released 16 mostly chart top albums. Their dedication to their fans, over their 40 years long career, is unmatched. Throughout their career, the band's style has remained largely unchanged but still incredibly successful. Each with their own merits, the individual band members are all on their own considered some of the most influential musicians of all time with some of the best technical skills. Not limited to Bruce Dickinson getting his pilot license for their own plane, Ed Force One.

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The Formation of Iron Maiden

Formed on Christmas Day 1975 in the UK by bass player Steve Harris the band’s name came from the film adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask, based on the book by Alexandre Dumas. The original line up consisting of Paul Day on lead vocals, Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance on guitar, Ron Matthews on drums and Steve Harris on bass performed for the first time together at St. Nicks Hall on May 1, 1976. Following this performance the band took up a residency at the Cart and Horses Pub in Stratford which decades later became the official birthplace of Iron Maiden. This first line up didn’t last long with lead singer Paul Day being replaced with Dennis Wilcock as he apparently lacked energy. Wilcock was a massive KISS fan and often used fake blood on stage, his friend Dave Murray also joined on guitar which was an unwanted addition to the band. Harris disbanded the group in 1976 then re-started again with Murray as the sole guitarist. To date, Murray and Harris have been the longest standing members, performing on all their releases.

In 1977, the band added another guitarist, Bob Sawyer, who didn’t last long when he pretended to play guitar with his teeth on stage. More tension was added when Murray and Wilcock had a disagreement, Wilcok then convincing Harris to fire Murray as well as drummer Ron Matthews. Yet another line up was formed, Tony Moore on keys, Terry Wapram on guitar and Barry Purkis on drums. Another short lived line up, after a poor performance in Canning Town this line up disbanded too. Iron Maiden fired Purkis and replaced him with drummer Doug Sampson. Moore was also asked to leave as Harris decided that keyboards did not suit the band's sound. A few months later, Dennis Wilcock decided to leave Iron Maiden to form his own band, V1, and Dave Murray was immediately reinstated. As he preferred to be the band's sole guitarist, Wapram disapproved of Murray's return, and was also dismissed.

Soundhouse signing

So again, a new line up began rehearsing in 1978 whilst also seeking a lead singer. In November of that year, a chance meeting gave Paul Di’Anno a spot of auditioning. Finally, on New Years Eve 1978, they recorded a four song demo. They presented it to Neal Key who managed the heavy metal club, Bandwagon Heavy Metal Soundhouse. Kay played the demo and eventually it went to number one on the Soundhouse charts, a copy made its way into the hands of Rod Smallwood who became the groups manager. Eventually the band released the demo on their own label and all five thousand copies sold out in weeks. One year later Iron Maiden signed a major deal with EMI and asked Dennis Stratton to join as a second guitarist. Next to leave was Doug Sampson due to health issues and was replaced by drummer Clive Burr. Now being hailed as the new wave of British metal, Iron Maiden made their first appearance on an album via the compilation Metal for Muthas with songs ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Wrathchild’. From here the band played over 200 shows between 1976 and 1979.

The first album, Iron Maiden

In 1980, Iron Maiden released their self-titled debut album, debuting at number four, the album contained ‘Running Free’, 'Transylvania' and ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Immediately after release, the band headed out on a headline tour of the UK and were given the opportunity to open for KISS and on some of Judas Priest’s tour dates as well. Wrapping up their busy year they also appeared at the Reading Festival appearing in front of over 40,000 people. Following the tours and shows Dennis Stratton was asked to leave the band due to creative differences and replaced by Adrian Smith. Following their massive 28 shows the band were filmed at Rainbow Theatre in London and was released in May 1981 on MTV as one of the first ever metal videos released. The album changed the course of the band, they received critical acclaim in Japan where they were named the best forthcoming foreign band and four decades later was ranked number 13 in Rolling Stone’s Greatest Rock and Metal Albums Ever.

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Killers

Riding on the success of the first album, Iron Maiden released their second album Killers in 1981. The album largely contained tracks made prior to the album and two new ones written for the record, ‘Prodigal Son’ and ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’. The latter taken from an Edgar Allan Poe poem about murder from different perspectives. The album’s sound was of thrash, speed and power metal and had an iconic cover illustration by Derek Riggs which went on to become the band's signature look. Unhappy with the production on their debut album the band hired Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult) who ended up working with the band until he retired. The band followed their second release with a world tour which included their first ever show in the United States opening for Judas Priest. /the band played 45 shows across North America to masses of fans, including Canada and Killers made the band’s USA album charts debut, reaching number 78 on the Billboard Charts. Killers' sold much better worldwide than their debut, hitting the million mark a year after launch, earning the group Gold certificates in Germany, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France (double Gold) and in the United Kingdom. During the UK leg Paul Di’Anno’s addiction problems led to the cancellation of their German dates and in some cities, fans took to the streets with riots as a result. They also toured Japan for the first time but again, had to cancel two of the shows due to Di’Anno. The band’s highlight of the tour was in Yugoslavia as a headliner of the Belgrade festival with 50,000 people. It was the first time the band had played behind the Iron Curtain and also a groundbreaking performance for a new generation of heavy metal artists at the so-called Eastern Bloc.

 

Finding Success and The Number of The Beast

It is 1981 now and Paul Di’Anno’s behaviour is proving detrimental to the band’s success, and he claimed at the time "It wasn't just that I was snorting a bit of coke, though; I was just going for it non-stop, 24 hours a day, every day ... The band had commitments piling up that went on for months, years, and I just couldn't see my way to the end of it. I knew I'd never last the whole tour. It was too much." He was dismissed after the Killer tour and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. His first tour with the band was a smaller sized one around Italy and a one off show at Rainbow Theatre. It was this show where they debuted ‘Children of the Damned’ and ‘Acacia Avenue’ paving the way for the band's new sound. In 1982 the band released their third studio album, The Number of the Beast, the first of their music to go number 1 in the UK. During this time, Dickinson was facing a legal battle with his last band Samson and was unable to add his name to the credits of the song. The band departed for another world tour called The Beast on the Road which included Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. The band played 188 shows in 10 months including the Reading festival. This also marked the stage introduction of Eddie, the three-metre high monster. It was not without controversy when conservative groups claimed that Iron Maiden were satan worshipers. The band only embraced the free publicity. During this time they played extensive amounts of massive American festivals including Day on the Green, SuperFest, Pacific Jam and Rock Fest. The band was hailed as leaders in heavy metal with The Number of the Beast still thought of as on the groundbreaking albums of the genre. In December 1982 drummer Clive Burr was replaced by Nicko McBrain.

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A Journey to The Bahamas

Soon afterwards, the band journeyed for the first time to The Bahamas to record the first of three consecutive albums at Compass Point Studios. In 1983, they released their fourth studio album, Piece of Mind, which reached the No. 3 spot in the UK and No. 14 on the Billboard 200. Piece of Mind features the singles ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Flight of Icarus’, the latter being notable as one of the band's few songs to gain substantial airplay in the US. The other notable songs of the album are ‘Where Eagles Dare’, 'Revelations’, ‘Die with Your Boots On’ and an epic ‘To Tame a Land’. This tour marked 151 shows and their very first North America headline tour. The World Piece Tour was wrapped up with two headlining performances at the Rock & Pop Festival at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund. The show was broadcast live to 300 million people with the exception of the song 'Iron Maiden' due to the band's "violent behaviour on stage". This set them on their next step, adding a 1000,000 watts sound system to their shows, designed for large sports arenas. The equipment used for the sound and lighting was some of the first of its kind in the world. The band by now had made conceptual set design as part of their show including the movable Eddie and his big head emerging from behind the stage, and more pyrotechnics. Iron Maiden became the most serious contenders for the title of "the biggest heavy metal formation in the world" according to Kerrang! Magazine.

 

Powerslave

On 9 September 1984 the band released their fifth album, Powerslave, featuring ‘Aces High’ and ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’. The Powerslave tour named the World Slavery Tour was the largest to this day with 193 shows, 28 countries and 13 months on the road. The stops were all pulled out for it too including a 33-foot Eddie, a conceptual stage set with Ancient Egypt as the background, extendible golden sarcophagi and extensive pyrotechnics. The band's equipment required 45 articulated trucks, three buses, 60 road crew and two extra musicians. Plus 153,000 watts to power the front system and an additional 21,000 for stage monitors. Kicking off in Poland, Iron Maiden were the first Western artists to bring a full-scale production. On average, 12,000 people attended the show on each of the five nights. Not to mention the thousands that stood by in the car park listening. The band released their third video Behind the Iron Curtain in October 1984 plus a tour documentary of their Powerslave tour which was played on MTV. Also included in this mammoth worldwide tour was the band’s first appearance in South America where they co-headlined with Queen. The tour was so hard on the band that they demanded six months when they finished but were only given four, this was the first time the band had stopped since their quick found success and Dickinson threatened to quit if they weren’t given this break.

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Live After Death

In October 1985 Iron Maiden released their first double live album, Live After Death, which was a critical and commercial success, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 in the UK. The album was recorded at Long Beach Arena and also features additional tracks from four nights at London's Hammersmith Apollo. Live After Death is widely regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time and has been described by Classic Rock as "the last great live album of the vinyl era" and seminal heavy metal live release. In November 1985, Iron Maiden were named the best rock and metal band in the world and awarded at Public Choice International. This recognition sealed their status as the biggest heavy metal band in the world.

A New Direction

Following their time off, the band wanted to try something new and so for their 1986 album, Somewhere in Time, they used synthesised bass and guitars adding textures and layers. The writing for the album was different too, giving more space for Adrian Smith to write music alone. The result was ‘Wasted Years’, ‘Sea of Madness’ and ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’. It was the most successful album in America to date. The tour also took on a whole other level of complexity. There were seven 45 foot articulated trucks, three buses, 60 people, five extra musicians and a customised Turbosound system which was or is the biggest in the world. And of course, Eddie. The tour was a success with 157 shows played to over 2.5 million fans. At the end of 1987 the band released 12 Wasted Years, a documentary that looked at the career of the band from 1975 - 1987 with rare videos, interviews and insights.

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Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

The new sound continued into their next album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, released in 1988. This was their first album to include keys and Dickinson, after his ideas were rejected on the previous album, were welcomed this time around. The album was the second album to make number one in the UK and contained four singles ‘Can I Play with Madness’, ‘Infinite Dreams’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘The Clairvoyant’. The band went on to play headline stadium tours across Europe and some for the very first time. Including headlining the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park for the first time on 20 August 1988, playing to the largest crowd in the festival's history, with an estimated 107,000 in attendance. Also included on the bill were Kiss, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, and Helloween. Sadly, two fans died in a crowd-surge during Guns N' Roses' performance; the following year's festival was cancelled as a result. The tour concluded with several headline shows in the UK in November and December 1988, with the concerts at the NEC Arena, Birmingham recorded for a live video, entitled Maiden England. Promoting the album, the band hosted a night of television, radio and press interviews at Castle Schnellenberg in Attendorn, Germany, following that with a small number of secret club shows under the name Charlotte and the Harlots. Back out on tour, the band played 103 shows across the world and for the first time recruited a keyboardist, Michael Kenney, Steve Harris’s bass technician. He would perform the song ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ on a forklift truck under the alias of "The Count" (for which he would wear a black cape and mask). Kenney has acted as the band's live keyboard player ever since, also performing on the band's four following albums. Stage set and equipment which has been taken by the band was transported in dozens of trucks and was the most elaborate to date and one of the biggest in the world including over 200,000 watts of PA and over 1,500 spot lamps. Iron Maiden was included in the Guinness Book of World Records Museum for its performance at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1988.

Solo Projects

During another break, members started their own solo projects, guitarist Adrian Smith released a solo album with his band ASAP, entitled Silver and Gold. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson began work on a solo album with former Gillan guitarist Janick Gers, releasing Tattooed Millionaire in 1990, followed by a tour. At the same time, to mark the band's ten-year recording anniversary, Iron Maiden released a compilation collection, The First Ten Years, a series of ten CDs and double 12-inch singles. Following all the solo releases the band came back together to work on the next album. During recording, Adrian Smith left the band after disagreeing with Steve Harris on the direction of the band. Janick Gers replaced him and was the first new member for the band in seven years. The album, No Prayer for the Dying, was released in October 1990. On the album were singles, ‘Holy Smoke’ and ‘Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter’, the band's first (and to date, only) UK Singles Chart No. 1, originally recorded by Dickinson's solo outfit for the soundtrack to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. The song was banned by the BBC and only a 90-second live clip on Top of the Pops was shown. In 1990 Bruce Dickinson received the Golden Raspberry Awards in the category The Worst Original Song for the band’s most successful single in Great Britain. It debuted at number two in the UK album chart and 17 in the Billboard Charts. Another ginormous tour followed, 120 shows across Europe, North America and Japan with Anthrax as the support band. It included large scale production and of course a massive Eddie. 

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Fear of the Dark

After another break, the band recorded their next album, Fear of the Dark in 1992. It was their third album to make number one in the UK, the album included ‘From Here to Eternity’, ‘Be Quick or Be Dead’ and ‘Wasting Love’. The tour of the album included for the first time a Latin America leg, except Chile where Christian protestors got them banned for being “Satan worshippers”. The band presented a powerful and elaborated lighting rig (over 1000 lamps and lasers) and scenery partly reminiscent of the 1980s. The setting of the Monsters of Rock concerts was completed by the huge Eddie crowning the stage and screens. Iron Maiden made their first appearance in Iceland and returned to Oceania after a seven-year hiatus. The tour in Japan was the largest in the history of the group. The tour witnessed the personal conflicts between Bruce Dickinson and the rest of the band. In 1993 Dickinson left the band to pursue solo projects but stayed on to do a farewell tour and two live albums. The tour didn’t go well, Steve Harris claimed that Dickinson didn’t perform well, only for high profile shows and the exiting news made it impossible for the tour to go well. Bruce Dickinson played his farewell show with Iron Maiden on 28 August 1993. This was filmed, broadcast by the BBC, and released on video under the name Raising Hell.

Blaze Bayley and The X Factor

In 1994 Iron Maiden’s Fear of the Dark album received a Grammy nomination in the Best Metal Performance category, taking a surprisingly long time considering their 1400 shows played to a rough 20 million fans. When it came time to find a new vocalist the band listened to hundreds of vocalists before landing on Blaze Bayley whose band Wolfsbane supported the group previously on tour. He had a different vocal range and style from what fans were used to which led to some divisiveness among fans. In 1995, they released their next studio album The X Factor. The album debuted at the lowest in the charts since 1981. However, it did lead to an Album of the Year award in France, Spain and Germany as well as a Kerrang Kreativity Award for Steve Harris. The release is notable for its "dark" tone, inspired by Steve Harris' divorce. The band toured for the rest of 1995 and 1996, playing for the first time in Israel and South Africa, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania in Europe and ending in the Americas. Two years later the band released Virtual XI which charted the lowest to date not even selling one million copies worldwide. Just before the albums release the band organised a publicity tour where they held football matches in different European countries with some guest musicians and pro-footballers from the UK and Europe. The band promised that this tour would be back up to full production following the basic stage sets that they had been using following 1988's Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour. However, management booked more mid-sized arenas and the production fell short of what was promised. Shortly after, Bayley was asked to leave the band due to his voice during the Virtual XI World Tour. Bayley said the band were part to blame as they made him perform songs out of his vocal range. In 1999 Adrian Smith re-joined creating a three-guitar lineup. Whilst looking for a replacement for Bayley, Rod Smallwood convinced Steve Harris to invite Bruce Dickinson back into the band. Although Harris admitted that he "wasn't really into it" at first, he then thought, "'Well, if the change happens, who should we get?' The thing is, we know Bruce and we know what he's capable of, and you think, 'Well, better the devil you know.' I mean, we got on well professionally for, like, eleven years, and so ... after I thought about it, I didn't really have a problem with it." The band embarked on a hugely successful The Ed Hunter reunion tour following the reunited lineup. The track list was decided by fans online through a poll that also contained a computer game with Eddie, the band's mascot. Dickinson voiced concerns that the next album might not be new but just a comeback album, the album was Brave New World, released in 2000. Commercially and artistically successful, it is considered a classic release. It charted No. 7 in the UK Album Charts and No. 39 on the Billboard 200 and Top 5 in many other territories, and eventually went Gold and Platinum in a dozen countries worldwide. The twelfth studio album has brought Iron Maiden back to the metal extra league again. 

Reunion Tour

The reunion world tour consisted of well over 100 dates ending on 19 January 2001 in a show at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, where Iron Maiden played to an audience of over 250,000. Following this, the band took a year off touring, during which they played three consecutive shows at Brixton Academy in aid of former drummer Clive Burr, who had recently announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He passed away in 2013. During this 2000-2002 tour slot, the band also were nominated for two Grammys, received the Ivor Novello Awards for international achievement, hailed as the most successful British metal group on British Channel 4, and The Number of the Beast album was included in the prestigious Eagle Vision's "Classic Albums" series.

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Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death 

In June 2003 Iron Maiden released a double DVD promo-videos compilation entitled Visions of the Beast which went multi-platinum worldwide. The same period band started a promotional tour related to the new DVD and forthcoming album. The summer leg was named Give Me Ed... 'Til I'm Dead Tour’ and included 57 shows in Europe and North America. They played indoor arenas, stadiums, American amphitheaters and headlined big festivals such as Roskilde, Heineken Jammin' Festival, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. The tour was another visual attraction, the setting referring to the most popular incarnations of Eddie with all the lighting effects and pyrotechnics. Following their Give Me Ed... 'Til I'm Dead Tour in the summer of 2003, Iron Maiden released Dance of Death, their thirteenth studio album, which was met by worldwide critical and commercial success. The album reached No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart and No.18 on the Billboard 200.The Dance of Death Tour started in September 2003 and was the band's most theatrical tour to date. The stage portrayed a medieval castle with an opening gate, Grim Reaper's sculptures on sides, the towers and two versions of Eddie as the Grim Reaper character. Bruce Dickinson used many props such as the black coat, carnival masks, the throne, World War I uniform and helmet. During the presentation of the 'Paschendale' song fans could see the dead soldiers' mannequins, trenches and the lighting system imitated flashes of explosions that echoed through the powerful sound system. Iron Maiden played 53 shows visiting European indoor arenas, North America, Latin American stadiums and Japan.

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Eddie Rips Up the World Tour

In 2005 the band went on another tour which tied in with their DVD, The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days. It only featured material from their first four albums and was the first of three retrospective tours in the History of Iron Maiden shows. As part of this celebration of their earlier years, ‘The Number of the Beast’ single was re-released and went straight to No. 3 in the UK Chart. Following this run of European shows, the band co-headlined the US festival tour, Ozzfest, with Black Sabbath. The San Bernardino show before 50,000 fans earned international press coverage after it was sabotaged by singer Ozzy Osbourne's family, who took offence to Dickinson's remarks against reality TV. In the same period Iron Maiden were inducted into Kerrang! Hall of Fame. At the end of 2005, Iron Maiden began work on A Matter of Life and Death, their fourteenth studio album, released in autumn 2006. While not a concept album, war and religion are recurring themes in the lyrics, as well as in the cover artwork. The release was a critical and commercial success, earning the band their first top ten in the Billboard 200 and debuting at number one in the album charts of 13 countries. It featured the next hit singles such as ‘Different World’ and ‘The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg’. A supporting tour followed, during which they played the album in its entirety; response to this was mixed. Iron Maiden played in North America, Japan and Europe selling out the indoor arenas everywhere. The scene for the shows resembled a fragment of a fortification decorated with plastic, with reproductions of images of barricades, entanglements, trenches and shooting sites. Movable light ramps were covered with camouflage netting and khaki fabric, there were also paratrooper mannequins with fabric accessories. Additional lighting was also used, and at the climax, the scene turned into a huge, moving tank. The four consecutive world tours, two successful studio albums and three DVD releases cemented Iron Maiden's status as one of the most relevant and greatest metal bands on the planet. In the period of 2003–2007, Iron Maiden released two studio albums and played 215 shows to a combined audience estimated at five million people.

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Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and Flight 666

On 5 September 2007, the band announced their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which tied in with the DVD release of their Live After Death album. The setlist for the tour consisted of successes from the 1980s, with a specific emphasis on the Powerslave era for set design. The first part of the tour, commencing in Mumbai, India on 1 February 2008, consisted of 24 concerts in 21 cities, travelling nearly 50,000 miles in the band's own chartered aeroplane, named Ed Force One. They played their first ever 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. The tour turned out to be the biggest concert undertaking in the group's history so far. According to Live Nation Scandinavia, the band attracted the largest audience ever for a rock artist in this region of Europe. In 2008–09 in Latin America, the musicians gave as many as 27 concerts for about a million people in total. It was a record for a heavy rock performer. They played only one UK concert, taking place at Twickenham Stadium, this would be the first time the band would headline a stadium in their own country. The final leg included the band's first ever appearances in Peru and Ecuador, as well as their return to Venezuela and New Zealand after 17 years. 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. Voted for by the public, the band reportedly won by a landslide. On 20 January 2009, the band announced that they were to release a full-length documentary film, Iron Maiden: Flight 666 in select cinemas on 21 April 2009. 

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Set to be their last album, in early 2010 with Kevin Shirley producing, the band’s fifteenth album, The Final Frontier featuring three singles, ‘The Final Frontier’, ‘El Dorado’ and ‘Coming Home’. Even after the length of the bands career to date, it still managed to reach number one in 28 countries worldwide and debut at number four on Billboard 200 reaching the highest American album charts position to date. The album went Gold or Platinum status in 24 countries around the world. The album's supporting tour saw the band perform 101 shows across the globe to an estimated audience of well over two and a half million, including their first visits to Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea,[276] before concluding in London on 6 August 2011. ‘El Dorado’ was released as a digital download and secured them winners of Best Metal Performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards, it was the band's first win following two previous Grammy nominations. During both years of the tour band headlined the biggest festivals in the world, including Rock Werchter, Roskilde, Nova Rock, Pukkelpop, Soundwave (five dates), Wacken, Sziget, Ottawa Bluesfest, Festival d'été de Québec also Sonisphere Festival dates in the UK, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Switzerland. Iron Maiden played in the big indoor arenas, stadiums and festivals around the world, sometimes for 100,000 people.The Final Frontier World Tour set design referred to the visual conventions known from the cover of The Final Frontier album. It resembled a modified space station (Satellite–15), crowned with 10-meter radar towers with spotlights. The lighting system was developed the most since 2000 and it consisted of two semicircular ramps and triangular modules with sets of various light points. Two versions of Eddie the Alien were also prepared, the movable one and in the form of a huge monster's bust and paws emerging from behind the stage. Panoramic backdrops referred to the illustrations contained in the booklet of the promoted album.

 

Maiden England World Tour 

The band went on to release a compilation album and a concert video which would be made available worldwide on CD, LP, DVD. They then embarked on their Maiden England World Tour with a stage set built in an Arctic-style in many aspects reminiscent of the Seventh Tour. The band presented a wraparound stage including some special platforms and podiums. Stage set and backdrops portrayed a dozen of the frozen pictures of Eddie monster. Fans could see the three incarnations of band's mascot and movable, custom-made elements of stage props as organs with silver pipes, frozen sculptures of Eddie, the crystal ball and movable lighting rig imitating construction from an era of 1988. Iron Maiden closed their Maiden England World Tour in July 2014 headlining at Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth. In 2013 Iron Maiden in collaboration with Robinsons Brewery released their own beer called Trooper Ale. Since its launch, the 4.7% Premium British Beer that was Trooper original has become a leading player amongst British ales, exported to over 60 countries around the world. They have since celebrated over 30 million Trooper pints sold around the globe.

The Book of Souls, Legacy of the Beast, and Senjutsu 

Unsurprisingly, the Final Frontier was not the band’s last album at all. Bruce Dickinson revealed plans for a sixteenth studio record in July 2013, with a potential release date in 2015. In February 2015, drummer Nicko McBrain revealed that a new album had been completed, although the release was put on hold as Dickinson was recovering from treatment for a cancerous tumour found on his tongue. On 15 May, after Dickinson was cleared for activities, manager Rod Smallwood confirmed that the album would be released in 2015, although the band would not tour until 2016 to allow Dickinson to continue recuperating. On 18 June 2015, the band's website announced its title, The Book of Souls, and confirmed a release date of 4 September 2015. It was a critical and commercial success, becoming the band's fifth UK No. 1 album and second No. 4 on Billboard 200 in the US. Iron Maiden received Rocks Awards, Silver Clef Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to UK music, Bandit Rock Awards, Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, ECHO Award, Kerrang! Awards, Loudwire Awards, Burrn! Awards, Metal Hammer Germany Awards, Golden Gods Awards among many others. The Book of Souls went Gold and Platinum in twenty countries. Back on the road again, the stage set reflected the architectural solutions characteristic of the ancient Maya religious buildings. The group's mascot, Eddie the Head, appeared in a movable version, as the Mayan shaman, during the concert presentation of the title track from the album and as its big version during the presentation of "Iron Maiden" composition.

 

 

In February 2016, the band embarked on The Book of Souls World Tour, which saw them play concerts in 35 countries in North and South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa, and Europe, including their first ever performances in China, El Salvador, and Lithuania. It was Iron Maiden's biggest album tour since The X Factor 1995–1996. In the summer of 2016, the group launched a mobile game, Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast and a pinball game with the same name in 2018. The game has been No. 1 mobile RPG in multiple markets, with over four million players worldwide having downloaded the game. Inspired by the game's title, the band would undertake the Legacy of the Beast World Tour, commencing in Europe in 2018, with North and South American shows following in 2019. 82 shows of the tour attracted over two million fans filling sold out arenas, stadiums and some of the biggest festivals in the world as Rock in Rio 2019 with well over 100,000 fans in attendance. On 23 September 2019, the band announced they would play the 2020 Belsonic Festival in Belfast and a headline show at Donington Park, England, as part of 2020 Download Festival.On 7 November 2019, they announced Australian shows throughout May 2020 joined by Killswitch Engage. Legacy of The Beast World Tour has been critically acclaimed by fans and media as the most extravagant and visually stunning live show of the band's career to date. Both the production and the decades-spanning set-list of fan favourites and hits were inspired by their eponymous mobile phone game. The multi-themed shows opened with a replica Spitfire flying above the stage and progresses through a two-hour theatrical journey of ever-evolving interlocking stage sets with multiple incarnations of Eddie, pyrotechnics and special effects including muskets, claymores, flame throwers, a giant electrified crucifix, a noose, gallows and an enormous Icarus among many other attractions. In May 2020, all shows were cancelled due to COVID-19 but fear not, the band have recently announced they are working on an album to follow up The Book of Souls, Senjutsu to be released September 2021.

 

What Iron Maiden have done over the length of their career is completely unmatched. As of October 2019, Iron Maiden have played around 2500 live shows which equates to tens of millions of fans over four decades. And somehow after all their unparalleled success, they are still going with an almost unchanged line up. Their influence quite literally made some of the best bands in the world become bands. M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold stated that Iron Maiden "are by far the best live band in the world and their music is timeless", Trivium singer Matt Heafy comments that "without Iron Maiden, Trivium surely wouldn't exist". Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor said that "Steve Harris does more with four fingers than I've ever seen anybody do. And Bruce Dickinson? Dude! To me, he was the quintessential old-school heavy metal singer. He could hit notes that were just sick, and he was a great showman. Everything made me a fan. And there wasn't a dude that I hung out with that wasn't trying to draw Eddie on their school books" Even Lady Gaga stated she admires what Iron Maiden have achieved in their career and aims to follow in their path. "The devotion of the fans moving in unison, pumping their fists, watching the show, when I see that, I see the paradigm for my future and the relationship I want to have with my fans. Iron Maiden‘s never had a hit song, and they tour stadiums around the world, and their fans live, breathe and die for Maiden, and that is my dream". The list goes on, Gojira, Children of Bodom, Cannibal Corpse and Sepultura, their influence continues. 

By your official Iron Maiden merchandise from Twisted Thread here 

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