Unless you're an elephant (which is highly unlikely, because everyone knows elephants can't use computers), you probably can't remember every single song in Iron Maiden's colossal discography. They've got 15 studio albums to their name, so that's totally understandable. We forgive you. Anyway, to help jog your memory, here are some of Iron Maiden's best songs that had slipped our minds. Turn these all the way up to 11, maaaan.
10. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
"Start your engine, Davey”. It’s kind of cheesy when Bruce says that to introduce Dave Murray’s guitar solo (which, incidentally, begins like a revving motorcycle). But it’s just SO GOOD. And the chorus is the sort of football terrace shout you can bellow with your mates. If only the producers of the musical of From Here To Eternity had enlisted Steve Harris’ songwriting help…
9. QUEST FOR FIRE
Here’s a good reason why metal songs are terrible places to do research: there were several million years separating dinosaurs and humans. Doesn’t stop Bruce Dickinson recalling humans ‘In a time when dinosaurs walked the earth’, though. And nor should it. Because lyrical inaccuracies are what keep the metal world turning. By which we mean, keep nerds pointing and laughing in pubs across the world.
8. THE CLANSMAN
It would appear that Steve Harris likes to watch films then write songs about them. Thus, The Clansman is all Braveheart, dealing with an uprising and resistance and a massive cry of ‘Freedom!’ for the chorus. We’re still waiting for confirmation from LoveFilm that the next Maiden album with feature songs about The Nutty Professor, Ace Ventura and The Lego Movie.
7. THE SHERRIFF OF HUDDERSFIELD
A cheeky tribute to Maiden’s legendary manager Rod Smallwood, this is quite sadly confined to the history books. Whether that’s because the band don’t like it, or they’re even more scared of Rod than everyone else is, we don’t know. But we can confirm that it’s a beast, and a very good salute to one of the music business’ finest characters.
6. HOLY SMOKE
Like Black Sabbath, if you spend any length of time looking into Maiden, you’ll find a bunch of blokes down the boozer long before you find any trace of allegiances with the Devil. Didn’t stop Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. (more than anywhere else) tarring Maiden with the evil brush and including them with other ‘evil’ bands in their outbreak of Satanic Panic following Number Of The Beast. Maiden, ever keen to respond to ridiculous situations by taking the piss, penned this little ditty. ‘I’ve lived in faith, I’ve lives in sin,’ snarls Bruce, ‘And I still smell cleaner than the shit you’re in’. Poetry.
5. WHERE EAGLES DARE
Again with the movie references… This time, it’s to do with the killer World War II flick of the same name. But even without thinking of Clint Eastwood behind enemy lines in an is he/isn’t he espionage romp, this is a banger. That drum intro is like a machine gun, and the groove of the chunky, descending riff is absolutely optimum stuff for serious air guitar. And no, if you watch the film at the same time, they do not sync up. We tried.
Not forgotten, but if there’s an excuse to roll this one out we’ll take it. From its sinister bass riff to its razor-sharp guitars, this is as gritty and backstreet as Maiden ever got. Oh no, Paul Di’Anno’s just started on about the song’s character who ‘Laughs as he watches you bleed’. NOW it’s the grittiest they ever got. And for such deadly subject matter, a surprisingly catchy chorus. Result!
3. THE NOMAD
You want to know what’s really disappointing about The Nomad? Waste of a good chorus. Why write something as simple, yet epic as Bruce’s ascending cry of ‘Noooo-Maaaaad! You’re the rider of the desert sands!’ if you’re not gonna play it live? It’s perfect for a singalong. Perfect we say. Even the desert-y guitar melodies would make a good shoutalong. Come on, lads, do it for us, eh?
2. FLASH OF THE BLADE
Firstly: that riff. Tap-tap-tap-tap – nice. Secondly: when you remember that Bruce Dickinson is an Olympic standard fencer (sword fights, not garden demarcation), his fierce snarl about ‘One man and his honour’ and how the fighter must ‘Cut and thrust and parry at the fencing master’s call’ makes him sound quite dangerous. So that’s planes and swords. Have they found a baddie for the next James Bond film, we wonder?
There are some who don’t give a lot of time to Maiden’s two albums with Blaze Bayley at the helm, The X Factor and Virtual XI. FOOLS! Just listen to how the latter’s opener comes out of the traps, all big classic riff and choppy vocals. It’s bleedin’ brilliant. Plus, Blaze’s vocals on the chorus are a reminder that in the early days, Maiden were playing rough, tough London boozers where you ordered drinks with your fists (or something), and had to be rough round the edges to fit in. A proper walloper.