Sunday, 10 November 2013

Iron Maiden Top 50

I probably first took notice of Iron Maiden around the 'No Prayer for the Dying' album when I was 12, I was still listening to a lot of pop music, but also starting to look elsewhere.  I had a tape of songs recorded from the radio which included 'Holy Smoke' among the other chart music and who was this band of long-hairs that dared to get to number 1 with 'Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter'?  I liked those songs but didn't really look any further, maybe keeping the videos for 'Be Quick or Be Dead' and 'Man on the Edge' from those I had taped on Raw Power/Noisy Mothers, but that's about it.

Then, after I had a couple of my own demo reviews published in Metal Hammer in 97 (one for my metal band Beneath Utopia, one for my pop-punk band Spraypaint, both 4/10 unfortunately), I was in contact with a local lad that ran a metal fanzine.  He was absolutely adamant that my bass style for the Spraypaint songs was influenced by Steve Harris (it wasn't, it was Morgan Nicholls from the Senseless Things), but despite my protestations I had to investigate further and picked up 'Best of the Beast' from HMV in Middlesbrough during a free period at university.

I could see where he was coming from.  But also to my surprise I actually recognised a lot of the 80s songs, some of the big singles had obviously seeped into my childhood brain without necessarily recognising who they were by.  Based on which songs I liked most on that album I plumped for 'Number of the Beast' first, then just gradually built up my collection until I had all the studio albums.

There are effectively four different eras (some might say bands) at play here - the Di'Anno years of the first two albums, the Dickinson/Smith years up to 'Seventh Son....' (in my opinion, and many others, producing the best songs), the Blaze years (poor Blaze did a decent enough job but there was little feeling or production on those two albums) and the current 3-guitar incarnation.  All represented in this chart, all have their classics, all have their duffers.  But on the whole one of the best metal bands that will ever walk this earth, hope you enjoy the chart!

1. Hallowed Be Thy Name
2. Fear of the Dark
3. Phantom of the Opera
4. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
5. Caught Somewhere in Time
6. Aces High
7. Run to the Hills
8. Moonchild
9. Iron Maiden
10. The Trooper
11. The Evil that Men Do
12. The Number of the Beast
13. Powerslave
14. 2 Minutes to Midnight
15. Stranger in a Strange Land
16. Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter
17. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
18. Heaven Can Wait
19. Wasted Years
20. Flight of Icarus
21. The Clairvoyant
22. De ja Vu
23. Alexander the Great
24. Running Free
25. Can I Play With Madness
26. Brave New World
27. Wrathchild
28. The Wicker Man
29. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
30. Afraid to Shoot Strangers
31. Man on the Edge
32. Murders in the Rue Morgue
33. The Prisoner
34. Children of the Damned
35. Sanctuary
36. Dream of Mirrors
37. No More Lies
38. Out of the Silent Planet
39. Prowler
40. Sign of the Cross
41. Be Quick or be Dead
42. Only the Good Die Young
43. Holy Smoke
44. When the Wild Wind Blows
45. Invaders
46. The Clansman
47. Infinite Dreams
48. Blood Brothers
49. Montsegur
50. Wildest Dreams

By Era
Iron Maiden 5
Killers 2
Number of the Beast 6
Piece of Mind 2
Powerslave 4
Somewhere in Time 7
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son 7
No Prayer for the Dying 2
Fear of the Dark 3
The X Factor 2
Virtual XI 1
Brave New World 5
Dance of Death 3
A Matter of Life and Death 0
The Final Frontier 1

By Songwriter
Harris 27
Smith/Dickinson 3
Smith/Dickinson/Harris 3
Dickinson 2
Gers/Dickinson/Harris 2
Harris/Dickinson 2
Smith 2
Smith/Harris 2
Bayley/Gers 1
Dickinson/Gers 1
Gers/Harris 1
Harris/Di'Anno 1
Harris/Murray/Di'Anno 1
Murray/Harris 1
Murray/Harris/Dickinson 1

or alternatively

Steve Harris 33
Bruce Dickinson 7
Adrian Smith 5.5
Janick Gers 2.2
Dave Murray 1.2
Paul Di'Anno 0.8
Blaze Bayley 0.5

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