One of the best Metal bands ever and my most favourite band ever. They are also one of the most influential bands ever to exist.
Formed on Christmas Day 1975 by Steve Harris. The band name was gained through the TV film 'The Man in the Iron Mask' which Harris saw.
Steve Harris and Guitarist Dave Murray are the only 2 members who have been there since the first album. Maiden became the leaders in NWOBHM along with the likes of Judas Priest with their first two albums 'Iron Maiden' and 'Killers' which had Paul Di'Anno on vocals until he left half way through the Killers World Tour because of cocaine abuse, during the recording of Killers Adrian Smith came in to replace Dennis Stratton. It was not until a certain Mr Bruce Dickinson replaced Di'Anno that Iron Maiden hit international success with the classic album 'The Number of the Beast' and then after that the band just grew and grew. It was also after Number of the Beast where long time drummer Nicko McBrain replaced the departing Clive Burr and made his album debut on 'Piece of Mind'.
After recording the exceptional 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' album guitarist Adrian Smith left the band due apparent unhappiness of the band's music direction, he was then replaced by Janick Gers who played guitar on Bruce Dickinson's first solo album, Janick's first recording with Iron Maiden was No Prayer for the Dying. The turn of a new decade began a dip in Iron Maiden's journey with the rise of grunge and alternative rock. After 1992's 'Fear of the Dark' Bruce Dickinson left the band to pursue a solo career and he was replaced by Wolfsbane lead singer Blaze Bayley which lead to mixed reactions from the fans. Both albums 'The X Factor' and 'Virtual XI' with Blaze didn't chart very well and in 1999 Blaze left by mutal consent. The music world would be shocked when Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith both returned and the band where they also decided to retain Janick Gers giving the band 3 guitarists.
Since the classic line up returned they have recorded 3 albums which are Brave New World, Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death with all 3 albums recieving critical acclaim. With a new album planned it is expected to be released sometime in 2009.
My favourite albums from the Beast have to be:
Number of the Beast
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
A Matter of Life and Death
No Prayer for the Dying (a very underrated album to be fair)
Somewhere in Time
The band line up is:
Bruce Dickinson - Lead Vocals
Dave Murray - Guitar
Adrian Smith - Guitar
Janick 'Underrated' Gers - Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass/Band Leader
Nicko Mcbrain - Drums
And of course not forgetting the band's mascot Eddie The 'Ead