The 11 best Iron Maiden songs from the 1980sBy Michael Behrenhausen | August 13th, 2012 | 5 comments
On Monday night, much to the delight of Mile High headbangers, Iron Maiden will hit the stage at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. The almighty (and seemingly ageless) British heavy metal band tours relentlessly around the globe, consistently performing one of the most energetic and unabashedly joyful spectacles you’re likely to hear or see.
With its current trek, Maiden is reliving the “Maiden England” tour from 1988 (which then promoted its masterful “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” LP). Singer Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, drummer Nicko McBrain and trio of guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Jannick Gers are dusting off a setlist of anthemic ’80s metal classics that will see rows upon rows of fans frantically air guitaring, singing along and cheering for the band’s iconic mascot, Eddie.
To get you pumped for the show, we’ve put together a list of our top 11 Maiden songs from the ’80s. Did we leave something off? Let us know – scream for us Denver!
11. “Iron Maiden”
The band’s eponymous 1980 debut record was a jarring, punkish blast of energy and a rallying point for the burgeoning new wave of British heavy metal scene. This self-titled track, sung by the group’s first vocalist Paul Di’Anno, is its focal point.
10. “Where Eagles Dare”
The great thing about Iron Maiden is that each record gives you a little history lesson. This track, from 1983′s “Piece of Mind” LP not only introduces the powerhouse drumming of Nicko McBrain to the band, but gives us a taste of battle in WWII.
9. “Caught Somehwere In Time”
1986′s sci-fi themed “Somewhere In Time” LP took many fans by surprise with its subtle use of keyboards (gasp!). But the band (and eventually the fans) didn’t care, as it was packed with great tunes, like the band’s first big hit “Wasted Years” as well as this manic opening track.
From the mammoth 1984 LP of the same name, this spooky Egyptian song of the dead is a real mind-melter thanks to chugging guitars and the otherworldly howl of metal’s finest vocalist, Bruce “The Air Raid Siren” Dickinson.
7. “The Clairvoyant”
1988′s masterful concept record “Seventh Son of a Son” does not have a weak spot on it. Pressed to pick just one track to represent just how great that record is, we’re going with this progressive yet soaring, bass-driven anthem.
6. “2 Minutes To Midnight”
This fan favorite from the “Powerslave” LP is the most rocking ode to the Doomsday Clock you’re likely to hear. It’s highlighted by absolutely killer guitar solos from messieurs Murray and Smith.
5. Running Free
Another gem from the band’s early years with singer Di’Anno. This is a track that offers a rough look at a band — already great — but about to explode and run free over the world of heavy metal.
4. “Aces High” (“Live After Death” version)
This version from 1985′s “Live After Death” easily trumps the studio recording found on “Powerslave.” Why? Because what’s more stirring than an intro speech from Sir Winston Churchill about defending his beloved English isle from the Hun immediately followed by an aural assault that attacks full-bore like a finely tuned Spitfire?
3. “Number of The Beast”
1982′s “Number of the Beast” is the first Maiden album with former Samson singer Bruce Dickinson at the helm — giving a giant boost to the group’s powers. This title track driven by Steve Harris’ ever-present galloping bass line, a blood-curdling scream and irresistibly blasphemous sing-along chorus from Dickinson still sends shivers down the backs of concerned parents and clergy everywhere.
2. “The Trooper”
This beast of a track from “Piece of Mind” begins with a noodling dual guitar line that twists and turns like a roller coaster before stopping dead to offer an unbeatable first verse of lyrics that every Maiden fan knows by heart. It then launches fully into a progressively mind-boggling piece of metal mayhem.
1. “Run To The Hills”
“Run To The Hills” from “Number of the Beast” is absolutely Maiden at its finest. It begins with a now classic guitar/drum intro before the bass jumps in at full gallop then it grabs you with an arena-sized chorus and doesn’t let go. Up the Irons!
Michael Behrenhausen is a Denver-based writer, musician and regular Reverb contributor. The worst crime he ever did was play some rock ‘n’ roll.