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]

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".

The sound of this album differs from all others with the exception of Killers in the fact that it holds more of a straight forward rock influence: The guitar harmonies aren't as heavy, the drums are more simplistic, and the bass lines tend to be more driving and prominent in a way that stands out from the usual Harris style. It is easy to tell, however, that his known style is a derivative from this era in Maiden's history- an evolution obviously has taken place since then.

The bass for this album though, is still superb. The intros to "Running Free" and "Phantom of the Opera" are especially superb. "Running free" because of the energetic and independent feeling that it gives you, and "Phantom of the Opera" because of the beautiful harmonized lead line that Maiden is known for providing in the rhythm section. Overall, while the bass is not as good as subsequent releases, it's still more than worth your while.

The guitar on this album holds all the elements required for a NWOBHM classic: heavy rock influenced rhythms, pentatonic solos, use of twin harmonies in all of its proto-power glory; yes the guitar work is very impressive. This can be primarily contributed to Steve Harris and Adrian Smith, however. Dennis Stratton was not with the group long enough to hold a pivotal influence on their sound, even for this album. He may as well have been there as a studio musician. Regardless of that fact though, the guitar work is arguably the most impressive aspect of this album.

The vocal work on this album is classic. I have met and spoken to those who dislike Paul Di'Anno, and to them I say this: you obviously don't know how to appreciate his voice. The voice that Di'Anno era Maiden carried is clearly the best accent to the style that they used, something which was rebellious and simultaneously casual. His vocal work on this album is haunting and beautiful sometimes, such as on the song "Remember Tomorrow." Many times though, it carried a rough, punkish overtone that made the statement, much like their controversial music at the time "I'm Running Free."

This is an amazing debut, and I have no idea what I would do without Maiden. Just think of what the world would be missing if this album had never been made. It is indeed a classic piece of history in the metal world.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 8

Band profile: Iron Maiden
Album: Iron Maiden


written by Arian Totalis | 23.02.2010

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

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.

published 29.09.2003 | Comments (9)

Guest review by

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."

published 04.08.2006 | Comments (24)


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Ellrohir - 23.02.2010 at 00:41  
I dont really "hate" Paul's voice, but it is simply "different" to what i am used to...
Lord_Regnier - 23.02.2010 at 00:46  
This album and "Killers" are my least favorites of Maiden's 80's stuff but they're still ten times better than "No Prayer For The Dying", "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI". Those are utter crap.
Arian Totalis - 23.02.2010 at 00:47  
Written by Ellrohir on 23.02.2010 at 00:41

I dont really "hate" Paul's voice, but it is simply "different" to what i am used to...

Yeah more often times than not that's why alot of people don't like Di'ano. I mean you get used to Bruce and then you hear this guy, and everything, even the music is really different. It took two years for a couple of my friends to apreciate his voice, and in both cases they didn't know who they were listening to. XD I guess some people need to be taken off guard. And others will simply just never like it.
DPM7 - 23.02.2010 at 01:27  
This album is very good, an amazing debut. It has many classic songs that are among Maiden's best

Di'Anno is a great singer... yes, his style is totally different to Bruce, but it fits the music in the album perfectly.
ponderer - 23.02.2010 at 03:11  
This is an absolutely fucking brilliant debut album. Prowler, Remember Tomorrow, Phantom of the Opera and Strange World are all epic masterpieces way ahead of their time. Paul did what needed to be done on the first two Maiden albums, and then Maiden went in the direction Maiden needed to go with Bruce.
Fat & Sassy! - 23.02.2010 at 04:50  
Another great review, but I would dare to say that this is their 2nd best release. :O Also, this is one of the first whole Maiden albums I heard (back in the day), so I never had a problem with Paul's "punk-ish" vocals. XD
Richard - 23.02.2010 at 05:27  
A fair review. This isn't one of the best Maiden albums IMO, it's a bit hit and miss ('Phantom of the Opera' is brilliant, though!) but they were finding their feet at this time, and would mature shortly afterwards. A pretty strong debut, but with better yet to come!
Pap - 23.02.2010 at 11:03  
This album is a classic 10/10. Nice review but i completely disagree with the rating. We have to do with a masterpiece
BloodTears - 23.02.2010 at 11:48  
It's funny but Transylvania and Phantom of the Opera were the first Maiden songs I learnt to play on guitar. So, just for that, this album was very important. Needless to say, that the songs are actually good, all of them.
Arian Totalis - 23.02.2010 at 18:26  
Written by BloodTears on 23.02.2010 at 11:48

It's funny but Transylvania and Phantom of the Opera were the first Maiden songs I learnt to play on guitar.

haha yeah they were pretty early on for me as well.
Tornado Of Souls - 25.02.2010 at 17:00  
Adrian Smith didn't play on this album he joined on killers it was Dave Murray.
thewall30 - 25.02.2010 at 17:44  
Album is an amzing debut!
Arian Totalis - 26.02.2010 at 06:27  
Written by Tornado Of Souls on 25.02.2010 at 17:00

Adrian Smith didn't play on this album he joined on killers it was Dave Murray.

oops, you're right. Lil bit of a mixup I guess Too late to fix that now.
BeastOfMetal456 - 26.07.2011 at 02:32  
Good review. The rating needs to be a little bit higher.
Ellrohir - 02.02.2013 at 17:50  
Bruce sings "Iron Maiden" much better how Paul...
Lord_Regnier - 20.10.2013 at 21:41  
Written by Tornado Of Souls on 25.02.2010 at 17:00

Adrian Smith didn't play on this album he joined on killers it was Dave Murray.

The guitarists were Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton.

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