Ever felt overwhelmed by an artist’s extensive back catalog? Been meaning to check out a band, but you just don’t know where to begin? In 10 Songs is here to help, offering a crash course and entry point into the daunting discographies of iconic artists of all genres. This is your first step toward fandom. Take it.
I didn’t realize the significance of Iron Maiden’s massive following until I watched Flight 666: The Film, a tour documentary that followed the band throughout South America and various other exotic locales during their 2008 tour. Thousands upon thousands attended each show, many older fans having waited their whole life for the band to come to their city or country, all donning shirts with Eddie’s visage, all in a state of euphoria. Iron Maiden is a part of who they are.
Today, the band releases its 16th studio album, The Book of Souls, and it feels like a heavy metal holiday. If Black Sabbath created the sound, then Iron Maiden patented the image, popularized it, and turned metal into an institution. They had the dark lyrics, the sinister mascot, the riffs, the hair. They freaked out uptight parents. Over four decades, Iron Maiden have come to define the genre and the obsessive culture surrounding it. And they’re not done yet. The following 10 tracks represent Iron Maiden’s most iconic work, from the pre-Bruce Dickinson early days through their classic string of albums in the 1980s. They are some of the finest heavy metal songs ever written, worthy of a storied legacy.