Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in East London, formed in 1975. The band is directed by founder, bassist and songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the group has released a collective total of thirty albums: fourteen studio albums, seven live albums, four EPs and four compilations.
Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with such an original sound they achieved success during the early 1980s and after several lineup changes, went on to release a series of platinum and gold albums. These include the US platinum-selling landmarks The Number of the Beast in 1982, Piece of Mind in 1983, Powerslave in 1984, the acclaimed live album Live After Death in 1985, Somewhere In Time in 1986, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. Their most recent studio effort, A Matter of Life and Death, was released in 2006 and peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 and at number 4 in the UK. The album was certified gold in the UK. It is also one of the few rock albums to be certified platinum in India.As one of the most successful heavy metal bands to date, Iron Maiden have sold more than 100 million records worldwide The band won the Ivor Novello Awards for international achievement in 2002, and were also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California during their tour in the United States in 2005. As of October 2009, the band has played just over 2000 live shows during their career.
Early years (1975–1978) Pre-Paul Di'Anno
Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas Day 1975, by bassist Steve Harris, shortly after he left his previous group, Smiler. Harris attributes the band name to a movie adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, which he saw around that time, and so the group was named after the iron maiden torture device.
Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray remain the longest-standing members of Iron Maiden. Original vocalist Paul Day was fired as he lacked "energy or charisma onstage". He was replaced by Dennis Wilcock, a Kiss fan who utilised fire, make-up and fake blood during live performances. Wilcock's friend, Dave Murray, was invited to join, to the frustration of guitarists Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance. This fueled Harris to temporarily disunite the band in 1976, though the group reformed soon after with Murray as the sole guitarist.
Iron Maiden recruited another guitarist in 1977, Bob Sawyer, who caused a rift between Murray and Wilcock, prompting Harris to fire both Murray and Sawyer. A poor gig at the Bridgehouse in November 1977, with a makeshift line-up including Tony Moore on keyboards, Terry Wapram on guitar, and drummer Barry Purkis resulted in Harris firing the entire band. Dave Murray was reinstated and Doug Sampson was hired as drummer.
Recent years (late 2007 onward)
On 5 September 2007, the band announced their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which ties 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 tour started in Mumbai, India on 1 February 2008 where the band played to an audience of almost 30,000. The first part of the tour consisted of 24 concerts in 21 cities, travelling over 50, 000 miles in the band's own chartered airplane "Ed Force One". They played their first ever concerts in Costa Rica and Colombia and their first Australian shows since 1992. On 12 May, the band released a new compilation album, titled Somewhere Back in Time. It includes a selection of tracks from their 1980 eponymous debut to 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, including several live versions from Live After Death. With the sole UK headline show at Twickenham Stadium, this tour also marked the first ever stadium headlining show in the UK by the band. A final part of the tour took place in February and March 2009, including the band's first ever appearance in Peru and Ecuador, and their first performances in New Zealand for 16 years. The band also played their third show within a span of 2 years in India, at the Rock In India 2009 festival to a crowd of 20,000. The final leg of the tour ended in Florida on April 2 after which the band took a break from touring.
On 20 January 2009, the band announced that they were to release a full-length documentary film in select cinemas on 21 April. Titled Iron Maiden: Flight 666, the movie was filmed during the first part of the "Somewhere Back In Time" tour between February and March 2008. Flight 666 is co-produced by Banger Productions and was released by Universal Music Group in the U.S. and EMI Records in the rest of the world.
During a Rock Radio interview promoting Flight 666, Nicko McBrain revealed that Iron Maiden had booked studio time for early 2010 and would be likely to be touring again late that year or the year after. At the 2009 BRIT Awards the band won the award for best live act.
During their live presentation in São Paulo, on 15 March 2009, Bruce announced on stage that the show was the biggest of their career. In fact, the crowd of 100,000 people was Iron Maiden's all-time biggest attendance for a solo show, without other bands. The attendance was bigger than Chile's show (almost 70,000 fans), according to the organisers. During the Somewhere Back In Time tour, Bruce Dickinson said that there are plans for Iron Maiden to write and record a new album, most likely to come out in 2009, and in an interview with Metal Edge, Steve Harris said there definitely would be another album, stating that, "I always had this vision that we would do 15 studio albums, and the next one would be the 15th. Hopefully, we'll do another one or two for luck, but we'll see how we go, really." Dickinson has also informed audiences that future tours would feature more recent Iron Maiden material. Asked about the possibility of a new album and Harris's fifteen-album limit, Adrian Smith commented that "we're musicians. We'll carry on. The great thing is that there's clearly a huge audience out there waiting to hear what we do right now", renewing hopes that a new album is forthcoming.
Nicko McBrain stated in a interview for Rock Radio that the new Iron Maiden album will be finished in 2010, and that a tour will follow in the late 2010 or 2011.On Classic Rock Magazine Awards, event that took place at a hotel, in London on November 2, Janick Gers confirmed to BBC News that the band already have new material written and will head to Paris, France, to start composing and rehearsing the bulk for the new album. The band will take time off for Christmas and New Year's Eve and then will go straight into recording the new album in January, probably at Sarm West Studios with Kevin Shirley producing it. In another interview with heavy metal DJ Eddie Trunk, drummer Nicko McBrain confirmed that the band have finished writing eight songs for the new album which will probably release in 2011.
In December 2009 Iron Maiden announced that they would headline a string of festivals in the Summer of 2010, Sonisphere Festivals in the United Kingdom,Sweden and Finland, Wacken Open Air in Germany,. They will also play at the Bergenhus Fortress in
2009: Best British Live Act — Iron Maiden
Ivor Novello Awards
2002: International Achievement — Iron Maiden
2004: Yleisöäänestys (Finland) - Vuoden ulkomainen artisti (Foreign artist of the year) — Iron Maiden
2008: Yleisöäänestys (Finland) - Vuoden ulkomainen artisti (Foreign artist of the year) — Iron Maiden
2005:Kerrang! Hall of Fame — Iron Maiden
Metal Hammer Awards
2004: Best U.K. Live Act — Iron Maiden
2008: Best U.K. Band — Iron Maiden
2008: Icon Award — Eddie the Head
2009: Best U.K. Band - Iron Maiden
2009: Best U.K. Live Act — Iron Maiden
2009: Golden Gods Award — Iron Maiden
Metal Storm Awards
2006: Best Heavy Metal Album — A Matter of Life and Death
SXSW Film Festival
2009: 24 Beats Per Second — Flight 666
Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards
2006: Album Of The Year - "A Matter Of Life And Death" Iron Maiden
2006: Vip Award Special - Rod Smallwood Iron Maiden
2009: Band of the year - Iron Maiden
Origin Leyton, East London, England
Genres Heavy metal, Progressive metal, Power metal
Years active 1975–present
Labels EMI, Universal, Sanctuary, Epic, Columbia, Portrait, Capitol
Associated acts Gogmagog, The Untouchables