So Iron Maiden is my favourite metal band of all-time, they’re a band that has been doing their thing for almost 40 years now (technically they have, but their first official album release was in 1980) and each album that comes out continue to be phenomenal records and they seem like even in 2016, they are still one of the best bands out there, their music isn’t getting old anytime soon it seems. So that being the case, it seems only fitting for me to give my personal top 10 of all their albums!
A solid record, Dance of Death was the second album released since Bruce Dickinson returned from hiatus and proved that Brave New World wasn’t a fluke, Iron Maiden was back and in full force. Some solid tracks on the album, including the nice and short Rainmaker, an epic track in No More Lies and Dance of Death, which may just have the best opening of any Iron Maiden song out there with probably my favourite opening lyric:
“Let me tell you a story to chill the bones, about a thing that I saw…”
The entire first side of this record is fantastic, Moonchild, Infinite Dreams, Can I Play With Madness and The Evil That Men Do, which is probably my favourite Maiden track that’s been covered, it just sounds so good when other bands play it. And The Clairvoyant is still to go on the other side! The album is a fantastic classic record in the Maiden library, epic tracks, great riffs, just a great listen.
I think a lot of Maiden fans really downplay how good the first two albums with Paul Di’Anno actually are and Killers is no exception. With some just badass tracks like Wrathchild and Purgatory, it’s a great album to listen to and hear just how much the sound has changed between this album and the first Bruce Dickinson album of Number of the Beast. Not that it makes Killers bad though, I do enjoy the slightly more punk-ish phase Maiden went through with these two albums, Purgatory remains one of my favourite tracks in their entire library.
The Trooper is on this album, need I say more? The second Dickinson album, once again proving the first effort wasn’t a fluke and this was going to be a consistent effort. With other fantastic tracks such as Where Eagles Dare and To Tame A Land (which Dream Theater does a fantastic cover of on their Black Clouds & Silver Linings record), Piece of Mind is considered a fan favourite amongst all the more classic Maiden records. I mean come on! Trooper!
One of the last albums I’ve actually bought a hard copy of, I was so excited to buy this album after being exposed to Maiden’s newer music after a Dream Theater/Iron Maiden show in Toronto. It was fantastic to be a part of Maiden’s #1 charting record in Canada and the music didn’t disappoint either. I pretty much adore the first half of the album without question, Satellite 15…The Final Frontier has one of the coolest intros ever and tracks like El Dorado, Mother of Mercy, Coming Home and Isle of Avalon are just wonderful tracks to listen to, especially with some of the best sound quality you can get from a Maiden record.
This album may not be overall better than some of the albums listed before it, but it gains a ton of points for having my favourite Maiden track of all-time on it, For The Greater Good of God on it. The track has my favourite solos, which aren’t crazy complex like other songs are and the entire beat of the song is just so powerful. Not that it’s the only good track on the album, songs like These Colours Don’t Run and The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg are also badass tracks in their own right. But yeah man, best track of all Maiden songs. Sorry, that’s my opinion!
Once again, I love the Paul Di’Anno records and the original Iron Maiden record is a phenomenally good record. Prowler is an intense track, Running Free is like a wicked punk track and I love my punk music, Phantom of the Opera is an epic track with a fantastic dueling guitar solo from Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton and Iron Maiden is just a classic! Especially when the album got a remastering, the tracks just sounded phenomenal and continues to be a common listen for me.
“We want information…information…information. Who are you? …You are number two. Who is number one? You…are number six. I AM NOT A NUMBER, I AM A FREE MAN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”
The Prisoner, fucking love that intro. Number of the Beast is considered the iconic album of the entire band’s library, the album that skyrocketed the band to new heights with Bruce Dickinson as their new vocalist and frontman. There’s so many good tracks on this album, from of course The Prisoner as I mentioned earlier and the three classics that everyone wants to hear at a live show, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Run To The Hills and of course Number of the Beast with that epic scream from Bruce Dickinson that he apparently could never replicate. This is arguably the album everyone holds up as the definitive Iron Maiden record.
But I’ve got two more to name…
My favourite classic Iron Maiden album. There are so many tracks on this album I adore and a ton of classics on it too. Aces High is the de facto concert opener from the band, 2 Minutes to Midnight is an iconic track from the band (which was in GTA: Vice City!) that will never grow old, Powerslave has one of the coolest sounding riffs of any Maiden song, having an Egyptian sound to these powering guitar chords and other notable tracks on the album include the 14-minute epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Flesh of the Blade and The Duellists. There’s so much fantastic music on this album, it’s impossible to say anything bad about the album. It’s even my favourite album cover of them all.
Some people may be beyond shocked by this choice. “An album from the 2000s is the best Maiden album?! Are you crazy?!” Well yes I am indeed crazy, but having Brave New World as my favourite Maiden album of all-time is not one of the things that define it. There is not a single track on this album I wouldn’t skip, some of my favourite tracks are also on this album, but there’s also some sentimental value in the record. At the Iron Maiden show I went to in Toronto, it was not long after Ronnie James Dio had passed away, so they played Blood Brothers in tribute to his memory and that song has become one of my favourites, holding on its own, being the track I love to play on guitar the most. But yeah, every track is fantastic, The Wicker Man has a badass chorus, Ghost of the Navigator has a badass intro, Brave New World is an epic track with those verses, The Mercenary is a badass shorter track, Dream of Mirrors is a break from the power and a little bit of a softer track before exploding in the second half, The Fallen Angel has one of my favourite opening riffs of all Maiden’s music, The Nomad brings me back a bit to Powerslave’s style, which is always a plus, Out of the Silent Planet has a really cool sci-fi feel to it and The Thin Line Between Love and Hate is probably my favourite song for Bruce Dickinson’s vocals.
I could gush so much more on this album but what can I really say that just listening to the album in full yourselves won’t tell you in much broader detail? So yeah, Brave New World’s my favourite Maiden record!
What’s your favourite Iron Maiden albums? Don’t hesitate to list them in the comments below!