I am massive Iron Maiden fan! I have been ever since I was 14, some 28 years ago, when I first got into them. Though actually I got to love one of their songs a year or two before. I still remember watching the video for Can I Play With Madness and absolutely loving both it and the music.
I don’t remember exactly how I became aware of Iron Maiden, though I’m certain that it was down to school friends sharing their music. Back in those days it was all on cassette tapes so it was much easier to pass your favourite songs to a friend for them to listen to than it is with digital music… though I suppose that Spotify makes sharing music easy once again.
The first Maiden album that I bought was The Number of the Beast. I can still picture the cover of the cassette tape clearly, not just the general cover image which I have seen on all the versions of the album I bought (including CD and digital), I remember the actual cassette tape cover, can remember holding it in my hand.
It featured Eddie, of course, which is the band’s mascot for those who don’t know. I won’t try to describe him, just Google Iron Maiden Eddie. The cover of that album is a good representation of the covers the band produced. They were not only eye-catching but were always rich in detail and told a story in themselves.
I bought more of their albums, as pocket money allowed, including Piece of Mind, and the excellent Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I used to be able to sing Infinite Dreams word perfectly all the way through, and can still come close now. Over the years I bought most of their other albums as they came out, as well as the live albums and special features like the best of the B-sides.
So Iron Maiden stayed with me through my school years, my university years (well, university year, I had to drop out due to illness), and they stayed with me through my work years right up to the present day.
As with anything that you really love, especially music, it is very difficult to explain why I like their music so much. I know the amazing sound of the three lead guitars has a lot to do with it for me. So does the speed of the music, and their interesting and clever lyrics – far more extensive than some bands limited repertoire of love, rejection and booze. I got into Iron Maiden at the time I was getting into rock and heavy metal generally, but they were by far my favourite, at the time, and are still one of the bands in my top list.
I think part of the reason I was drawn to them was when I learned more about the band. At the time I was also listening to bands like Guns and Roses who were hardly ideal role models for someone who actually wanted to go to university and have a career. I learnt that Iron Maiden actually formed at a university. Not only that, their lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, was an incredible swordsmen and I believe, second or third best in the UK at the time.
These were people who are playing what, for me at the time at least, was very heavy metal, and yet they were still people who had worked hard at university and picked up degrees. And they didn’t stop there. In fact the lead singer is now a fully qualified airline pilot and flies the band on tours around the world on a modified Boeing 747, which is pretty damn cool.
I do have to admit some of the more recent albums don’t hit the mark for me as quickly or as deeply as the early albums, but then having created so much music and having developed so much down the years it’s inevitable the band are going to try different things, and I do absolutely love some of their new songs.
So which Iron Maiden songs are my favourites? I won’t even begin to answer that. There’s just too many, even if I’m sticking to my absolute favourites, and it varies from day to day and on how I feel. What is true, however, is that they are still one of my go-to bands to listen to, especially when writing.
If you like heavy rock or metal and you haven’t listened to Iron Maiden, which seems very unlikely, go give them a try. Start with the early albums – The Number of the Beast, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Powerslave… and so on. Those are certainly the most approachable, easy to get into, but if you like those I’m sure you get into the later albums as well as time goes on.
So tell me, are you into metal? Are you into Iron Maiden? And if so what are your favourite songs? I know, that’s an unfair question as I wouldn’t answer it, but that’s the advantage of this being being my site!