Rating:
7.6
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
14 April 1980


Disc I
01. Prowler
02. Remember Tomorrow
03. Running Free
04. Phantom Of The Opera
05. Transylvania
06. Strange World
07. Sanctuary [US release]
08. Charlotte The Harlot
09. Iron Maiden

Disc II [1995 reissue bonus]
01. Sanctuary
02. Burning Ambition
03. Drifter [live]
04. I've Got The Fire [Monstrose cover]


For my first review, I was faced with a dilemma as to which album to look at. The answer lay in my current favourite band, and where better to start than the very beginning, in East London, 1980?

This is proto-Maiden v.1.1. There, that's the review right there. What, you want more? Okay. This album is a bit of a mixed bag at times. Taken in context, it's bloody amazing. Steve Harris wrote the majority of the songs here when he was a teenager, and the complexity of the songs for the era and age of composer amazes me. Unfortunately, the lyrics are not as polished as on later releases, and gems on this disc like "Prowler" pale in comparison when compared to "Caught Somewhere in Time" or "The Trooper."

Throughout, the album consistently displays what would become the mainstays of Maiden's arsenal in a very primitive form; the galloping bass, the dual-guitar harmonies and melodic, emotive and memorable solos are all here (although Adrian Smith is still missing from the equation). Speaking of primitive, the production is also very raw, with an almost punky feel to it, which perfectly complements Paul Di'anno's low, grating vocals. Check out Remember Tomorrow for some great vocal-guitar trade-offs and some choice screams from Di'anno.

"Prowler" is the opener and possibly the best track here; from its simply cool intro riff to Dave Murray's melodic leads, this song grabs you by the neck and slaps you into wakefulness. After you perk up your ears, the album continues with the rocker "Sanctuary," the catchy single "Running Free" and the slightly schizophrenic "Remember Tomorrow." Phantom of the Opera is a brilliant epic number, and a great hint of what was to come with gems like "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Alexander the Great." It also features one of the most compelling riffs in Maiden's catalogue-this song DEMANDS that you bang your head, yet not in a thrashy way. It's more…laid back. There's also a brilliant instrumental section and some top-class solos in the middle; definitely an early masterpiece!

As I mentioned earlier, the songwriting is quite shallow in places, although when it's brilliant it is damn good, believe me. For such young artists they show an incredible degree of both technical proficiency and emotive power, especially in the solos. Again, this is no "Powerslave" album, but it is still damn good, Clive Burr is particularly talented on drums, although this would not truly emerge until his final album with the band. As for the originality of the album, there is a strong influence from hard rock/punk bands here, mainly thanks to Di'anno's punk roots (or influences, whatever you want to call them) and vocals, and also thanks to the scarcity of "metal" at the time. However, the combination of raw production and melodic compositions mark this album as a real must-have for any 80's metal, NWOBHM or Maiden fan.

Best tracks: Prowler, Phantom of the Opera, Charlotte the Harlot

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Iron Maiden
Album: Iron Maiden


 


written by RavenLord | 04.08.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Pierre Tombale

Rating:
7.5
This album is from the jurassic period of Iron Maiden, for the band's singer back in the days was not Bruce Dickinson, who was lead-singer for the band Samson at that time. Instead you will hear Paul Di'Anno, who has a fiery, kind of raw voice. With screaming guitars and the great bass-playing, which Steve Harris is famous for, Iron Maiden recorded their self titled debut.

Read more ››
published 29.09.2003 | Comments (9)

Guest review by
Arian Totalis

Rating:
8.0
After years of difficulty, Steve Harris must have been quite exhilarated when he learned that Maiden would have the opportunity to finally record their first full length album. While many fans may argue that this is one of Iron Maiden's most classic albums, Steve Harris himself was unhappy with the end result, thinking that there were many improvements that could have been made but simply weren't. Whether or not you like this album though, this is their debut album, so thus the classic words were rendered: "Iron Maiden can't be fought, Iron Maiden can't be sought".

Read more ››
published 23.02.2010 | Comments (16)



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Baz Anderson - 24.08.2006 at 16:56  
its good to see this album get a bit of attention for once
i think this is one of the best Iron Maiden albums.. well i say that but i can think of quite a few more that are probably as good or better in my opinion

yeh, this album does have a kinda punky feel to it in places and the guitars sound really raw, but i like that
for a first album as well - this is something quite special

for all the people that decided to give it a miss because Bruce doesnt sing on it - give it a go!! its fantastic
RavenLord - 24.08.2006 at 18:07  
Thanks for the comment. I may have been a bit harsh in the final score, but that's partly because I don't want to rank this album too high, otherwise if I come to review Piece of Mind or Seventh Son I'll have to give them perfect 10s, which I don't feel is right, personally. Still, like you said, this is a brilliant album and not one to be ignored...it's a damn sight better than most bands first releases...how many people still listen to 'Rocka Rolla'? :p
Baz Anderson - 24.08.2006 at 20:16  
ha, well yeh. thats the only thing that Iron Maiden have done better then Judas Priest haha
'Rocka Rolla' isnt bad but it isnt anywhere as good as their other albums
Richard - 24.08.2006 at 21:00  
Accurate review, and a fair assessment of the album taking into consideration its historical value etc. 7.6 is a fair enough main rating. Not one of my favourite Maiden albums overall, but 'Phantom of the Opera' is brilliant, one of the best Maiden songs ever!
DudeitsKevin - 12.10.2006 at 01:32  
Dude its so much better that bruce didnt sing on it. I love diannos scratchy vocals. Prowler is like the best song, all the songs are good. Running Free was awsome, and their no-lyric Transilvania is so fun to play

PS

Anyone know what guitar Dave Murray used during the Killers Tour?

Also Adrian
Spyroid - 19.10.2006 at 23:17  
This is definately one of my top 5 Maiden records, I'd rate it 9/10. The only problem is the lyrics, which actually fits with the music, so they are okay. Strange World is a really underrated song, and Charlotte the Harlot is great! It is really catchy! All others songs rule aswell of course One of the most even Maidenalbums, no fillers
RavenLord - 10.02.2007 at 23:28  
Written by Guest on 12.10.2006 at 01:32

Anyone know what guitar Dave Murray used during the Killers Tour?

Also Adrian


Dave Murray - Black Fender Stratocaster (what else!)

Adrian Smith - Gold Gibson Les Paul (Can be seen in the bonus DVD section of A Matter of Life and Death)

You can see them both here, live at the Rainbow.
Arian Totalis - 11.02.2007 at 01:32  
pretty good review, keep it up.
Syk - 10.07.2007 at 06:39  
Uuunnndddeeerrr---rrraaattteeeddd!!! As is Killers.

My top Maiden album, one of my very favourites of all time, all the songs totally own and destroy. Phantom is second best - to Remember Tomorrow LOVE that song! Sorry I can't really explain why. Maybe it's just the guitars... or everything together
Spyroid - 09.11.2007 at 14:56  
Written by Syk on 10.07.2007 at 06:39

Uuunnndddeeerrr---rrraaattteeeddd!!! As is Killers.

My top Maiden album, one of my very favourites of all time, all the songs totally own and destroy. Phantom is second best - to Remember Tomorrow LOVE that song! Sorry I can't really explain why. Maybe it's just the guitars... or everything together


Totally agree! This album just simply rules.
Stalker - 14.11.2007 at 18:15  
Man, one of the most important albums in Heavy Metal's history, totally! And for that time, and their age, fantastic album.
I mean, take Phantom of The Opera - classic that will never be surpassed.
I cannot put my thoughts about it in this little box, Id preferre to write a whole book about this album.
Good review for a good album!!!
IronBlackZepp - 31.03.2008 at 02:20  
This is a very raw album for the great Iron Maiden. Many say that the production is poor, but I always liked it just as it is. Di'Anno is a great singer who is up there with the best. The only real reason he never got as much attention as Dickinson is because he wasn't on Number of the Beast and Dickinson was. I do however like Dickinsons vocal stile more then Di'Annos, but Di'Anno still rocks.

Dennis Stratton one the other hand is not really fit it well, but he deos pretty good non the less. I think that This band was still a very great band in this point of time.

Up the Irons!!!
BloodTears - 31.03.2008 at 21:15  
Actually, this is one of my favourite albums ever. I love it. These songs sound so good and they are so fun at the same time. Its a classic really.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 17.04.2008 at 20:39  
i love it cause bruce is not there for sure. and i dont think maiden ends with bruce cause u know they did albums without bruce later too. i dont know what did bruce that maiden fans like him so much.
i cant see any metal personality in him. for example at the "Holy Smoke" music video.

i give this album 10 cause this album started a new wave of all metal. and fortunatly the singer wasnt bruce. Remember Tomorrow is my favorite song here.
gerrard888 - 20.07.2008 at 18:21  
9/10 for sure great album given it was maiden's first
prowler, phantom of the opera, Transylvania,Iron Maiden.Strange World.Remember Tomorrow great songs
Elio - 20.08.2008 at 17:23  
Man the final vote is too low for this amazing album...Iron Maiden's best!
ALL the songs here are very good...Remember Tomorrow, Prowler, Phantom Of The Opera, Strange Wolrd...cannot choose.
10/10
Uirapuru - 19.10.2008 at 12:12  
Very fair review, completly agree on the best tracks too.
AngelOfDisease - 01.03.2009 at 03:11  
This is my favorite album by them. I can't understand why this does not have as much attention as their other albums... it's perfect. Much better than powerslave or the number of the beast.
Nyoink - 12.06.2010 at 12:27  
My fave Maiden album. Enough said.
@gent_-_orange - 11.08.2010 at 02:46  
In my opinion it is as good as anything they have released with Bruce, its just a classic
RavenKing - 11.08.2010 at 13:51  
Not their greatest album but still quite superior to anything post-Seventh Son.
BeastOfMetal456 - 26.07.2011 at 02:31  
Written by RavenKing on 11.08.2010 at 13:51

Not their greatest album but still quite superior to anything post-Seventh Son.

+1
@gent_-_orange - 19.03.2013 at 17:29  
Written by @gent_-_orange on 11.08.2010 at 02:46

In my opinion it is as good as anything they have released with Bruce, its just a classic

Scratch that, Its better.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.03.2013 at 17:48  
Written by @gent_-_orange on 19.03.2013 at 17:29

Written by @gent_-_orange on 11.08.2010 at 02:46

In my opinion it is as good as anything they have released with Bruce, its just a classic

Scratch that, Its better.


Welcome back to the dark side my friend
Imo it is indeed better than anything with Bruce.

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