Iron Maiden is a British heavy metal band, formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris, a former member of the bands Gypsy’s Kiss and Smiler. The name “Iron Maiden”, homonymous with a medieval torture instrument.
Pioneers of the musical movement that became known as NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), the band achieved substantial success in the early 1980s, accompanied by a growing fan base. But it was with their 1982 album The Number of the Beast that Iron Maiden rose to international fame, producing a string of multi-platinum albums that became classics of the genre. Their work has influenced many rock and metal bands, from the oldest to the most modern, and they are considered one of the most important and influential groups in the style.
With four decades of existence, sixteen studio albums, six live albums, fourteen videos and several compacts, the band has come to be one of the most successful in the history of heavy metal, having sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide, crowned with several golds and platinum certificates. In 2002, the band received the Ivor Novello award in recognition of their international success as one of England’s best songwriting partnerships. During their 2005 American tour, they were added to the Hollywood Rock Hall of Fame. In 2011, they won a Grammy Award in the Best Metal Performance category with the song “El Dorado.” It was also voted Best Live Band of 2009 by the Brit Awards.
Iron Maiden has appeared at several major events, such as Rock in Rio, Monsters of Rock in Donington, Ozzfest, Wacken Open Air, Gods of Metal, Download Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas Day 1975, shortly after bassist Steve Harris left his former group, Smiler. After having his compositions rejected by several bands in which he participated, because he considered them too difficult and complicated, Steve Harris decided to create his own band. Harris assigned the name Iron Maiden inspired by the torture instrument of the same name.
Facade of the Cart and Horses Pub in Stratford, London. At this venue, Iron Maiden played some of their first performances.
The band’s first performance took place at a place called St Nicks Hall in Poplar (East End, London) on May 1, 1976. After that, the band continued playing gigs at the Cart and Horses Pub in Maryland Point (Stratford, London). The band’s original lineup paired Steve Harris with Paul Day (vocals), Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance (guitars) and Ron Matthews (drums). Paul Day was later replaced by Dennis Wilcock (a great Kiss fan) who used fire, makeup and fake blood on stage and brought Dave Murray into the band, resulting in the departure of the first guitarist duo. Murray remains in the group to this day. Bob Sawyer joined the band in late 1976 as the second guitarist; but, because he had disagreements with Murray, he made Dennis Wilcock oppose Dave, and so Dennis suggested he be kicked out. Bob was not left behind, and for his on-stage misdeeds (like pretending to play the guitar with his teeth), he went along in July ’77. Ron Matthews held out a little longer. There was a guitar player from a band called Hooker that Maiden had seen playing in pubs: Terry Wagram. After an audition, the band invited him to join, and Wagram played a few gigs as the only guitarist. Shortly after this, Ron left (not sure if it was due to Wilcock’s influence, as reported in Early Days). Dave Murray joined his friend Adrian Smith in the band Urchin in 1977, while Iron Maiden was having a hard time: Steve and Dennis called Thunderstick (Barry Graham) (drums) Tony Moore (keyboard), but after one concert they realized that the keyboard would not be a good substitute for the second guitar. The band was unhappy and the atmosphere became bad until after a few rehearsals Moore decided to leave. At this point, Harris went to an Urchin rehearsal to call Murray back into the band, which he did successfully. But Wapram, angry that he would lose some of the attention, did not take Murray back and was asked to leave. With Murray back and only four members, the band decides to book a show at the Bridgehouse and another at the Green Man pub. The first was a fiasco after the drummer made a mistake on several songs and shouted for the audience to shut up. By this time Wilcock had already told some fans that he intended to leave the band, and the show had generated some expectation around this as well. And that’s what happened. In the interval between the Bridgehouse and the Green Man, Dennis said nothing and did not show up at the pub. Harris went to his house, but the singer refused to sing one last show. Devastated, Harris returned to fulfil the agreement and Maiden performed as a trio in April ’78, with Harris, Murray and Thunderstick. Steve kicked out the drummer, already counting on Doug Sampson for the post. With this new trio, Maiden would spend about 6 months rehearsing before playing live or getting any other members.
First releases (1978-1981)
The Soundhouse Tapes EP earned the band a contract with the EMI label.
In 1978, Harris found a new vocalist: Paul Di’Anno. The band always rejected punk, but with the arrival of Paul Di’Anno, who was a fan of the Ramones, Sex Pistols and The Clash, and one of the few members of Maiden who had short hair, Maiden had to open their sound to faster and more direct songs, trying to focus on the heavy metal that was reborn, even if timidly. For years the band was pressured by the record companies to cut their hair and sacrifice the metal sound (according to them) in favour of a more punk image. But with Di’Anno on the microphone, the band was able to mix the two styles and make their own, bringing metal and punk together. They mixed classic themes, exciting metal rhythms and very fast hardcore guitar riffs.
Iron Maiden was the sensation of the British rock circuit in 1978. The band had been playing non-stop for three years, gaining a tremendous number of fans; and yet until this time, they had never recorded anything. In the new year of 1978, the band recorded one of the most famous demo tapes in rock history, The Soundhouse Tapes. With only three tracks, the band sold all five thousand copies immediately and did not distribute the demo again until 1996. Copies of the original version sell for thousands of dollars today. Two of the tracks from the demo, “Prowler” and “Iron Maiden”, went to number one in the English metal charts.
In many of the older Iron Maiden line-ups, Dave Murray was accompanied by another guitarist, but for much of 1977 and all of 1978, Murray was the sole guitarist for Maiden. During 1979 the band had several successive second guitarists, such as Paul Carns, Paul Todd and Tony Parsons. At the end of the year, drummer Doug Sampson left the band for health reasons. In November 1979, the band signed a contract with a major record label, EMI, a partnership that continued until 2013, when the band eventually signed with Parlophone Records (which until that year was owned by EMI, but was acquired by Warner Music). Just before going into the studio, Parsons was replaced by guitarist Dennis Stratton, who brought in Clive Burr, a friend of his, for drums. Murray wanted to bring Adrian Smith into the group, but he was busy playing the guitar and singing with his band Urchin.
Iron Maiden, the band’s first album was released in 1980 and was a commercial and critical success. The band opened for Kiss on their European tour for the album Unmasked, and also opened for Judas Priest and played alongside UFO at the Reading Festival that took place that same year in England. After the Kiss tour, Dennis Stratton was fired from the band for creative issues and personal differences. According to Dennis, he was fired because he was too influenced by the music of the Eagles and also by George Benson, which did not please Steve Harris and company. According to reports given by Steve Harris, Dennis did not have the musicality that the band was looking for when writing their songs, and he refused to wear clothes that the other band members wore.
With the departure of Dennis, Adrian Smith joined the band and brought a new melody to the group. His half bluesy, half experimental style was the complete opposite of Murray’s speed, which gave the band an interesting aspect. The two guitars complemented each other, and with them, there was no notion of a lead guitar and a bass guitar, both guitars would solo and both guitars would have prominence in the band, giving a harmonious aspect of two leads. This style already existed in bands like Wishbone Ash and The Allman Brothers Band, but gained a level of prominence in Iron Maiden.
In 1981, the band released its second album, titled Killers, containing the band’s first big hits. From Killers, only “Prodigal Son” and “Murders in the Rue Morgue” were really new songs: the others had already been written before the release of the debut album. As their popularity grew, they were introduced to the audience in the United States. Killers were marked as one of the band’s fastest and heaviest albums and were also the first to be produced by Martin Birch, who would remain in the post for the next seven albums until he retired in 1992.
Golden Years (1982-1985)
“Run to the Hills”
“Run to the Hills” was the first single from The Number of The Beast and the band’s first release with Bruce Dickinson. “Run To The Hills” was a hit, was in the UK top ten and remains one of the band’s best-known songs.
Trouble listening to this file? Here’s help.
Iron Maiden was never known for using drugs and was extremely perfectionist on stage and in the studio. Vocalist Paul Di’Anno, on the other hand, always displayed self-destructive behaviour, particularly with regard to cocaine use, considerably affecting his performances. Just as the band was beginning to become famous in the United States, Dianno was fired from Maiden for “lacking energy and charisma on stage.” In 1982, the band replaced Dianno with Samson’s vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Bruce joined the band, but demanded to keep his hair long and said he would only wear the clothes he liked, already showing a lot of attitudes, a characteristic trait of his personality, which would generate some conflicts with Steve Harris years later.
Dickinson showed a different interpretation of the band’s songs, giving them a more melodic tone. Dickinson’s debut album on Maiden’s vocals was in 1982, with The Number of the Beast. The album became the band’s most acclaimed; it enjoyed huge commercial success around the world, reaching the top of the English music charts, and becoming the group’s best-selling album to date, with sixteen million copies worldwide. Well-known songs from the album include the singles “The Number of the Beast” and “Run to the Hills”, as well as “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, featured on every show from its release until 2012, when the band stopped playing it on the “Maiden England World Tour”, and “Children of the Damned”. For the first time, the band went on a world tour, visiting the United States, Japan and Australia, playing in stadiums and getting the so-called Maidenmania started. It was also during this time that some religious groups began to accuse the band of having a satanic slant, claiming that Maiden’s lyrics were full of demonic chants, invoking the devil and vandalizing the minds of the youth. All this controversy arose because of the song “The Number of the Beast”, for it was precisely the explicit reference to “The Number of the Beast” (666) that made the track successful. But in fact, the song was made from a nightmare that bassist Steve Harris had after seeing the movie The Prophecy 2.
On this same tour, producer Martin Birch was involved in a car accident with some fans. The car repair was a bizarre coincidence, accounted for as £666, a price Birch refused to pay, opting instead for the £668 figure.
Despite the controversies, actor Patrick McGoohan did not mind allowing a famous line of his from the series, The Prisoner, in which he was the lead actor, to be used at the beginning of the song of the same name.
After the success of The Number of the Beast, the band acquired international prestige, gaining rock star status. In December 1982, Clive Burr left the band because he could not keep up with the pace the band was taking and personal problems. Nicko McBrain, who was already an old acquaintance of the band from opening some shows with his band Trust, was hired as a temporary drummer, but Steve Harris and the band liked Nicko’s style so much that what was supposed to be temporary became permanent.
In January 1983, shortly after McBrain became part of the band, the group travelled for the first time to the Bahamas, where they would record three consecutive albums at Compass Point Studios. In March 1983, the album Piece of Mind was released, with a more psychedelic sound and hushed instrumentals, featuring the singles “Flight of Icarus” and “The Trooper,” which were very successful in North America with their music videos, as well as more progressive songs like “To Tame A Land” and “Quest For Fire.” The album debuted at #3 in England and debuted on the Billboard 200 at #70. The album also parodied accusations of Satanism with a hidden message in the song “Still Life,” which features McBrain imitating dictator Idi Amin Dada and belching, played backwards.
Following the success of Piece of Mind and its subsequent touring, the band released the album Powerslave in September 1984. The album was also a best-seller and brought songs that would become fan favourites with the singles “Aces High” and “2 Minutes to Midnight,” as well as the long tracks “Powerslave” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”: the latter was based on the poem of the same name by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and was 13 minutes long, one of the biggest and most epic metal songs made at the time.
The Powerslave tour, called the World Slavery Tour, was the biggest tour in Iron Maiden’s history, consisting of 193 performances in 28 countries over 13 months, playing to some 3,500,000 people. No band had ever done such a detailed stage production as this tour, with sarcophagi, pyramids, sphinxes, floor paintings and a giant Eddie-mummy. Many of the shows were played back-to-back in the same city, such as those in Long Beach (California), where the group played four consecutive concerts. The concerts recorded at the Long Beach Arena yielded the VHS and live LP Live After Death, which was critically and commercially acclaimed, reaching number 4 on the UK charts and is regarded to this day as one of the greatest live albums in rock history. Iron Maiden made their first appearance in Brazil, where they co-starred at the 1985 Rock in Rio festival to an estimated audience of 300,000 people, and also made their first appearance in Portugal, where they played two shows. The exhaustion generated by the tour led the band to take the next six months off.
“Caught somewhere in time”
The harmonization between the two guitars and the “galloping” bass are trademarks of the band.
Trouble listening to this file? See the help.
Returning from their rest, the band opted for a different style on their 1986 album, entitled Somewhere in Time, featuring, for the first time in the band’s history, synthesized bass and guitars to add textures and layers to the sound. The album debuted very well worldwide, particularly with the single “Wasted Years”, but notably did not include credits to singer Bruce Dickinson, whose material did not appeal to the rest of the band. While Dickinson focused on his own music, guitarist Adrian Smith, who normally collaborated with the singer, was “minding his own business” and began writing songs on his own, creating “Wasted Years”, “Sea of Madness” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”, the latter of which became the album’s second single. Although not conceptual, all of their Somewhere in Time songs have a theme related to travel, long journeys and time. Somewhere on Tour lasted nine months, with 157 shows and another in Portugal. It was the only tour of the band where there was no official filming, for this reason, there are not many records about this tour.
For the first time in seven years the band had to make a change, and in place of Adrian Smith was called Janick Gers, who had participated in Dickinson’s first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire. In 1990 Iron Maiden released No Prayer for the Dying, recorded at Barnyard Studios, Steve Harris’ estate, and the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. This album came back with a heavier and rawer Maiden than the “golden era” ones, but the lyrics were considered weaker and simpler, and the music didn’t seem as challenging as on past albums. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson also started with some changes in the timbre of his voice. Even with all of these unforeseen issues, the album was successful and had several highly played compacts such as “Holy Smoke (song)” and “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter”, a song Bruce composed for the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child that became the only Maiden single to top the UK charts.
The album’s tour lasted a year, from September 1990 to September 1991, and included 118 shows throughout North America, Europe (including Portugal), and Japan, before the band returned to the studio to record Fear of the Dark.
Released in 1992, Fear of the Dark had a better reception than No Prayer for the Dying, doing well in the UK charts, reaching #1 in the charts. The singles “Be Quick or Be Dead”, “Wasting Love”, and “From Here to Eternity” were successful, the song “Fear of the Dark” became one of the band’s best known, and the anti-war song “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” remained on the setlist for seven years and made a surprise comeback in 2012 on the Maiden England World Tour. Fear of the Dark was the last album produced by Martin Birch, who retired thereafter.
The culmination of the Fear of the Dark tour was in August 1992, when the band was again invited to be headliners at the Famous Monsters of Rock festival held in Donington, England. At the end of the event, guitarist Adrian Smith, who had left the band in 1989, came on stage to perform Running Free. Later (1993) the Donington concert would be released on the video and triple EP Live at Donington, and on double CD (1998).
Even as metal lost ground to grunge in 1992, Maiden continued to fill stadiums around the world. The tour lasted from June to November 1992, with 68 concerts, including another one in Brazil.
In 1993, after a new tour to promote the live album A Real Live One, Bruce Dickinson left the group to pursue his solo career, wanting to explore other aspects of rock music. His farewell to the band was on August 28, 1993, being filmed by BBC, broadcast lives worldwide and released on video under the name Raising Hell. After his departure, the live album A Real Dead One was released.
Blaze Bayley Era (1994-1998)
Blaze Bayley, formerly Wolfsbane, recorded two albums with Iron Maiden.
To replace Bruce, in 1994 there were tryouts to choose the new lead singer of Iron Maiden. The winner of the contest was the then-unknown vocalist of Wolfsbane (who had opened shows for Maiden), Blaze Bayley; Blaze had a similar vocal style to Bruce, but a bit deeper, and so some songs in the band followed a sombre aspect to match his tone of voice. The decision did not please Maiden fans, who were already used to Dickinson’s striking vocals.
“Sign of the Cross”
“Sign of the Cross” is the opening track of The X Factor, the first album recorded with Blaze Bayley.
Trouble listening to this file? See the help.
After a hiatus, the band returned in 1995 with the album The X Factor. Even though it received some criticism, the album continued to do well on the music charts and was voted “album of the year” by magazines in France and Germany. Bassist Steve Harris was going through serious personal problems with his divorce and the death of his father, which resulted in dark, depressing, slow songs (the album still contains four tracks about wars). The album had two singles – “Man on the Edge” (which reached the top of the Finnish charts) and “Lord of the Flies” – and the opening track “Sign of the Cross”; this was eleven minutes long, Gregorian chants, abrupt tempo changes, and remained on the band’s setlist for the next three tours. The tour went to places Maiden had never visited before such as South Africa, Israel, and other Asian countries, and toured again through Brazil and Portugal. The album was released in 1996, and the band’s first album was released in 1996.
Iron Maiden went back into the studio and recorded the album Virtual XI, released in 1998. The album, which had a more modern theme talking about the evolution of technology and its impact on society, reached number 16 in the UK charts. The singles generated from this recording were “Futureal” and “The Angel and the Gambler”. Around the same time, Steve Harris assisted in the process of remastering the band’s entire discography to date, including Live at Donington, which received a worldwide release.
Bayley’s stint with Iron Maiden ended in January 1999 when he was asked to retire at a band meeting. The resignation was motivated by Blaze’s poor vocal performance during the Virtual XI World Tour, although Janick Gers claimed that the decision was partly because the band did not want to force him to sing songs that were beyond his vocal ability.
Return of Dickinson and Smith, and Brave New World (1999-2002)
Bruce Dickinson in 1999.
While the band was looking for a replacement for Bayley, Rod Smallwood convinced Steve Harris to call Bruce Dickinson back into the band. Although Harris admitted that he was “not very convinced of this” at first, he eventually thought, “‘Well, if the change occurs, who should we turn to?’ The thing is, we know Bruce, we know his ability, and you think, ‘Well, he’s the best guy you know.’ I mean, we got along professionally for, like, eleven years, so… after thinking about it, I really didn’t see a problem.
The band contacted Dickinson, who agreed to return during a meeting in Brighton in January 1999, along with guitarist Adrian Smith, who was contacted by phone a few hours later. With Gers staying on, replacing Smith, Iron Maiden was now a sextet with three guitarists who embarked on a successful reunion tour. Nicknamed The Ed Hunter Tour, it took place simultaneously with the release of a new collection of the band’s hits, Ed Hunter, whose repertoire was chosen with a vote on the group’s official website, and also came accompanied by an eponymous computer game starring the band’s mascot.
“Brave New World”
Brave New World marked the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith.
Trouble listening to this file? See the help.
One of Dickinson’s main concerns when reuniting with the group was whether they would make a “real album and not just a comeback record. After disliking the results of recording at Harris’ personal studio on his Essex estate, Barnyard Studios, which had been used for Iron Maiden’s last four studio albums, the band recorded the new release at Guillaume Tell Studios in Paris November 1999, with producer Kevin Shirley.The album, which was named Brave New World, was released in May 1999.
The album named Brave New World hit the stores in May 2000, and had influences from “The Wicker Man” – a 1973 cult British film – and Brave New World – a novel written by Aldous Huxley, whose title yielded the name of the album and the title track. The album features a more progressive and melodic sound reminiscent of the group’s early career, elaborate structures in the songs, and keyboard-created orchestral effects. Brave New World was acclaimed by critics and fans alike and brought Iron Maiden back to the top of the heavy metal mainstream, reaching high positions in the world music charts and receiving several sales certificates. The album’s worldwide tour in support of Brave New World was a success.
The world tour in support of the album consisted of over 100 performances that ended on January 19, 2001, at a show at the Rock in Rio festival, where Iron Maiden played to an audience of 250,000 people. While the performance was produced for a CD and DVD release in March 2002 under the name Rock in Rio, the band took a year off from touring, during which they only played three consecutive shows at Brixton Academy to raise funds to help former drummer Clive Burr, who had recently announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The band still played other concerts for the MS Trust Fund charity in 2005 and 2007; the musician eventually passed away in 2013.
Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death (2003-2007)
After the Give Me Ed… ‘Til I’m Dead Tour in mid-2003, the band released Dance of Death, their thirteenth studio album, which enjoyed critical and commercial success. Produced by Kevin Shirley, now a regular producer for the band, many critics also felt that this release resembled older albums such as Killers, Piece of Mind and The Number of the Beast. Both Brave New World and Dance of Death were considered by the website Metal-Rules. com as the best metal albums of 2000 and 2003, respectively. As always, historical and literary references made their presence felt, with “Montségur” speaking particularly of the conquest of the Cathar stronghold in 1244, and “Paschendale” relating the significant battle that took place during World War I. During the promotion tour, the band’s performance at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, was recorded and released in August 2005 as a live CD and DVD entitled Death on the Road.
Nicko McBrain wrote his first song for Maiden on the album Dance of Death (2003).
In 2005, Maiden announced the Eddie Rips Up the World tour, building on their 2004 DVD entitled The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days, which contains only material from their first four albums. As part of this celebration of their early years, “The Number of the Beast” was again released as a single and reached number three on the UK Chart. The tour included many stadium headlining shows, most notably the Ullevi Stadium performance in Sweden to an audience of approximately 60,000. This concert was also broadcast live on satellite TV throughout Europe to an estimated 60 million viewers. Following this string of European shows, the band co-starred at the American Ozzfest festival, along with Black Sabbath. The band completed the tour by headlining the Reading and Leeds Festival from August 26-28, and the RDS Stadium in Ireland on August 31. For the second time, they played a charity show for The Clive Burr MS Trust Fund, this time at the Hammersmith Apollo. The same year, the band was introduced to Hollywood RockWalk on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
In late 2005, Iron Maiden began work on A Matter of Life and Death, their fourteenth studio album, released in August 2006. The album intensely reinforces the group’s more progressive sound and, although not a concept album, has war and religion as recurring themes in almost all the lyrics, as well as on the cover art. The release was another critical and commercial success for the band, taking it to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for the first time, and receiving the title of Album of the Year from Classic Rock magazine; Kerrang!
The second leg of the “A Matter of Life and Death Tour”, held in 2007, was dubbed “A Matter of the Beast” to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Number of the Beast album and included performances at several of the world’s biggest music festivals. The tour began in the Middle East with the band’s first show in Dubai at the Dubai Desert Rock Festival, and then they played to over 30,000 attendees at the Bangalore Palace Grounds, marking the first concert of a major heavy metal band in the Indian subcontinent. In June, the group played a handful of European countries, most notably their performance at the Download Festival, the fourth time they headlined a festival in Donington Park to approximately 80,000 people. On June 24, the tour came to an end with a performance at Brixton Academy in London, again raising money for The Clive Burr MS Trust fund.
Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and Flight 666 (2007-2009)
On September 5, 2007, the band announced the next tour called Somewhere Back In Time World Tour, coinciding with the DVD release of Live After Death. The tour represented a return to the past where the repertoire consisted only of songs from the 1980s (aside from “Fear of the Dark”), emphasizing the Powerslave album, including in the stage set. This would be the first time the band would play the song “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” since 1985.
In February 2008 the first leg of the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour began in India, consisting of 24 concerts in 21 cities, crossing approximately 80000 km aboard the “Ed Force One” plane (a customized Boeing 757 piloted by Bruce Dickinson). They made their first appearance in Costa Rica and Colombia and returned to Australia and Puerto Rico, where they had not played since 1992.
The tour led to the release of a new collection, entitled Somewhere Back in Time, which included a selection of tracks ranging from their 1980 debut album to 1988’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, as well as several live versions taken from Live After Death. After a few months, the band performed numerous shows in Canada and the United States during May and June.
The second leg of the tour took place between February and March 2009, with the band again using “Ed Force One”. At this stage, they made their debut in Peru and Ecuador and returned to Venezuela and New Zealand after 17 years. Maiden played another show in India (the third in the country in a 2-year period) at the Rock in India festival to an audience of 20,000 people. At the concert held on March 15 at the Interlagos racetrack in São Paulo, Dickinson announced on stage that it was the largest non-festival concert held in their entire career, with an estimated audience of 63,000. The tour came to an end in Florida on April 2 after the band took a break. In all, it was reported that Iron Maiden had played to over 2 million people around the world during the two years.
At the 2009 BRIT Awards, Iron Maiden received an award in the “Best British Live Band” category. With public voting, the band is said to have won with a wide lead in votes.
On January 20, 2009, the band announced that they would release a full-length documentary film in select theaters on April 21, 2009. Entitled Iron Maiden: Flight 666, it was filmed during the first leg of the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March 2008. Flight 666 was co-produced by Banger Productions and was distributed in theatres by Arts Alliance Media and EMI, with sub-distribution by D&E Entertainment in the United States. The film was released on Blu-ray, DVD and CD formats in May and June, topping the DVD music charts in 22 countries and receiving numerous sales certificates.
The Final Frontier and Maiden England World Tour (2010-2014)
On June 5, 2010, the band’s official website revealed cover, release date and tracks for The Final Frontier album, as well as making the track “El Dorado” available for download 4 days later, they began a world tour to promote the album, The Final Frontier World Tour in Dallas, United States. The tour passed through Brazil and Portugal in 2011.
The Final Frontier was released in August 2010, and debuted at the top of the charts in 28 countries. The album marked a return of the band to Compass Point Studios for recording sessions.
Sample of “El Dorado”, a song chosen as the only single from the album The Final Frontier. The song won a Grammy Award, for Best Metal Performance of 2011.
Trouble listening to this file? See the help.
After the tour concluded, the band released a DVD featuring the performance at Estadio Nacional de Chile on April 10, 2011 in Santiago, titled En Vivo! on March 26, 2012. In addition to the concert, the DVD also features a documentary telling behind the scenes of the tour, the promotional clip and the making of “Satellite 15…The Final Frontier” and a video of the intro of the shows.
In 2012 the band started the Maiden England World Tour, for which they toured with a name and repertoire based on the 1989 Maiden England video. Initially, the tour only went through North America, but the following year they went to Europe and South America.
In early 2013, Steve Harris did a short European tour with his solo band to promote his album, British Lion. In September 2013 Iron Maiden performed at Rock in Rio V as the main attraction on the last night of the event, marking their third appearance in the history of the festival. Still, as part of the Maiden England World Tour, the band made the last leg of the tour in mid-2014 in Europe, totalling exactly 100 shows around the world.