80s Bands

Iron Maiden: The Epic Journey Through Each Album

Imagine, if you will, a band that’s not just about music but a whole way of life. That’s Iron Maiden for you. For over 40 years, they’ve shown us what it means to be fearless and independent in your creativity. They didn’t care what the critics said and just did their thing, and we loved them for it.

Formation and Early Years

1970s, London, Iron Maiden was born. The band’s journey began in 1975 when Steve Harris, formerly of Smiler, founded the group in Leyton, East London. The early years saw a rotating lineup, but by 1978, the core members were in place: Doug Sampson on drums, Dave Murray on guitar, and vocalist Paul Di’Anno. They recorded a demo that caught the attention of London’s music scene and their soon-to-be manager, Ron Smallwood. This demo would become The Soundhouse Tapes EP in 1979 and sell out its initial 5,000 copies.

Then, Iron Maiden secured a deal with EMI and welcomed second guitarist Dennis Stratton, but they faced a setback when Sampson had to leave due to health issues. Enter Clive Burr, formerly of Samson, as the new drummer. In 1980, their self-titled debut album marked the beginning of an iconic journey. The follow-up, Killers in 1981, was produced by Martin Birch, and this era introduced a harder sound and welcomed Adrian Smith as a guitarist.

Rise to Fame With Bruce Dickinson

After parting ways with Paul Di’Anno due to substance abuse issues, Iron Maiden welcomed Bruce Dickinson in September 1981. And this ignited them into global rock icons. Dickinson’s debut on The Number of the Beast in 1982 was simply groundbreaking and featured unforgettable tracks like the title song and Hallowed Be Thy Name. This album soared to the top of the charts in the UK and became a top-10 seller worldwide.

Well, we have to mention the unfounded allegations of Satanism by some American critics. Still, The Number of the Beast catapulted Iron Maiden to international stardom. Even with drummer Clive Burr being replaced by Nicko McBrain, the band’s signature style remained intact on Piece of Mind in 1983. 

Their journey continued with the release of the cult classic Powerslave in 1984, featuring the epic The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (fun fact: it was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem). Their electrifying live performances couldn’t be wasted, so they were captured in the iconic 1985 double-live album Live After Death.

Experimentation and Critical Acclaim

Next up, it was the time for Iron Maiden to boldly venture into experimentation. Their highly anticipated 1986 album, Somewhere in Time, was a turning point, where they incorporated synthesized bass and guitar, delved into futuristic themes, and pushed the boundaries of their sound.

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