Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (Review)

Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (1980)

He was the lurking, shadowy menace on the cover of Iron Maiden’s first single Running Free and now wwoooaarghh… here’s Eddie! The band’s undying, murderous mascot was finally revealed in his full glory on the front of their self-titled debut album. His ghoulish presence amidst London’s grubby bins, doorways and streetlights perfectly evoking the rough, dangerous music on this NWOBHM classic. Iron Maiden sounds like it wants to jump you in an alleyway and cut your face. Gritty and aggressive tunes like Prowler, Transylvania and Iron Maiden taking the metal pioneered by Priest and Rainbow to a new level of raw intensity. And guided by bassist/songwriter/Genesis fan Steve Harris, there’s also plenty of ambition and excitement in the extended structures of tracks like the lucozade-powered Phantom Of The Opera. These days I gravitate to the Hendrix-y mellowness of Remember Tomorrow and Strange World but all the songs on this album have been a favourite at one point or another. The whole band impress but Paul Di’Anno’s raucous vocals and Harris’ forceful basslines deserve special mentions. The band members still whinge about the gnarly production but nobody else gives a flying fuck. Iron Maiden wants you for dead and if this album doesn’t get your blood flowing, you might as well be.

HMO Rating: 5 Out Of 5

67 thoughts on “Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (Review)”

  1. Brilliant review! One of those all-time greats with a band with no money at that time just going for the throat!
    Good call on the chillness of Remember Tomorow and Strange World. Harris flexing his writing muscle on that one!
    A good way to start the workday with a Maiden review HMO!

    Up The Irons!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Phenomenal album. Terrific review. I too lean towards the slower tracks in hindsight. DiAnno had a great voice. I would have liked more music from him that some of the ‘oh shit I left Iron Maiden’ stuff he put out afterwards. It’s got such bite this first album. You can’t hear Phantom without thinking Locozade can you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Remember Tomorrow and Strange World are awesome. Strange World in particular is so different.

    Harrison gives me shit for liking this better than Killers, but I think it’s hands down better.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What’s all this badmouthing here about me? I’d better read this site more often.
      Holen does it too, don’t forget

      But, actually, I give you shit for VLSOF. I consider Killers and this one to be pretty even, Killers having an edge maybe for more songs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Harrison. “Twilight Zone” doesn’t fit on Killers! It’s better left off as a single! It’s too bouncy happy good time rock on an album full of thrashy intense punk numbers full of piss and vinegar, and darker offerings.

        It should never have been a single, one of the weaker songs for sure. Or if it was on a single it should have been the B-side. The LP flows better without it, and just so it’s known, I heard the version with it on there first! I heard the European LP without it later, and was astonished at how much better the title track transitions to “Prodigal Son” than it does to “Twilight Zone”. Maybe it’s the only thing holding Mike back from truly loving Killers?

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      2. Right, this has gone on for long enough. Desist thy ridiculous babble or I shall be forced to write you a strongly worded comment

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      3. “Twilight Zone” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Make It Big by Wham! That’s how peppy it is!

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      4. Dear Holen Magroin
        It has come to the attention of my client that you are being a thundering cockwomble. Please be advised that this will no longer be tolerated any further. You will recieve a court summons in the next week.
        (Non) sincerely, Harrison Kopp

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      5. It’s even wimpier than that one song on Make It Big, “Suck Me Off (Before You Blow-Blow)”. Also wimpier than “Careless Jizzer”, the best ballad I’ve ever heard about premature ejaculation.

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      6. You think when George Michael sang, “It’s cold outside, but it’s warm in bed…” that he was admitting to cutting the cheese in the sack, and was wondering if his partner wanted to get hot-boxed by his poo vapor under the blankets?

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      7. Shit, Harrison. I’m a thundering cockwomble. I shoulda known better than to cheat a friend.

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    2. Take the shit! Search your intestines, you know it to be true! Killers is the superior album! “Remember Tomorrow” is awesome, “Strange World” is a bore. Killers rocks almost start to finish, with “Prodigal Son” being the only moment where things slow down, and its a complex acoustic marvel. It flows better without “Twilight Zone” tacked on.

      How can you not be won over by the title track, “Wrathchild”, “Murders in the Rue Morgue”, “Innocent Exile”, “Drifter”, etc?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the debut as well, and consider “Strange World” the only hiccup on an otherwise perfect release. And it’s a mild hiccup at that. I think another thing that pushes Killers over the top for me is that the production is much better.

        Twilight Zone is okay, but its quality is that of a cool B-side at best. Per usual, we’re right and Harrison is wrong. Just like Stained Glass.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m just so used the the Euro version that when I hear Twilight Zone on Killers it annoys me. Its not really the song’s fault… I don’t like Sanctuary on the debut either.

        Strange World used to be meh but its grown on me. I like this watery sounding ballads. All the NWOBHM acts had one of those. I like that psychedelic Hendrix-y sound.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. As stated somewhere in the mess above, I heard the version with “Twilight Zone” first, and when I heard my Euro LP copy I got as a gift from a friend there was no going back. The title track just flows so much better going into “Prodigal Son”, I feel like “Twilight Zone” just doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of the album. It also makes the pacing drag on the second side. On the Euro record each side is about 19 minutes, and then “Twilight Zone” comes in and kills the pacing and balance.

        Don’t know where or how my buddy got a European import of Killers when he grew up in a small town in the middle of the USA just like me. Glad I ended up with it though. I’ve never had a copy of the debut with “Sanctuary”, but I like that song. I’m not sure I’d want it on the debut though. Seems like it’d interrupt things.

        You European, HMO? Is that how you’ve grown accustomed to the European versions?

        HMO sounds like something health nuts want to keep out of their food.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah I’m Scottish. So grew up with Euro versions. It was the remastered/enhanced CDs that added those pesky extra tracks. I love Sanctuary but it just shouldn’t be on there. And Total Eclipse on NOTB. I like the songs but they just fuck with the album flow for me. Like you say, kills the pacing and balance.

        You definitely want to keep me out of your food. That is good advice.

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      5. Scottish, eh? No wonder you like my vulgar diatribes. I guess we’re both of the opinion that Gangland works better than Total Eclipse in the context of the album. Gangland is a good speedy track to follow the single up with and prepare you for Hallowed.

        Invaders is just shit. I think it’s okay until the chorus, then it can just fuck right off.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. YES. Gangland>>>>>Invaders

        But not you too HMO, Twilight Zone rules. I like Strange World too, but much more the Soundhouse Tapes versions. I do think Total Eclipse is a tad overrated, but I’m fine with Sanctuary on the debut (probably the only place other than Metal for Muthas that I’m fine with it)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. I actually don’t own one Iron Maiden album and I don’t know why. The songs I know, I really like. I plan on getting some albums, but there are so many it is a little intimidating. I was going to start with the 80’s stuff as that is all I really know.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Absolutely. I just can’t fault Paul’s vocals on his albums at all so I don’t like to do him down really. With Bruce you got a great singer but he was also a great front man and a writer too. He had more strings to his bow than Paul did

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m kind of spotty with those since I haven’t spent much time most of them. I did really enjoy A Matter of Life and Death with “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns” being my favorite tune one it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Oh yeah, Brave New World was the big comeback album. I like that one too. I have no excuse but I haven’t gotten to Book of Souls yet. Might be because I didn’t care too much for the one before that. I only gave it one or two spins though.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Cut my face!! Jeez. It’s that danger that’s kept me away from this one. Just cannae risk it.

    And they had a tune on a Lucozade ad?

    Anyhoo, in all seriousness, I don’t think I’ve ever heard those two early Maiden albums. Or at least I’m not familiar with them if I have. Yir review suggests that’s my bad. I’ll get to them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cannae get it working on the phone (working a few hours today, so reading via the reader). I mind the Daley Thompson ads… Iron Maiden and Daley Thompson and Lucozade. That’s odd.

        But I’ll listen to the album quick smart… don’t slice me!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this album, the connection between the band members because of playing live was at a high and the studio tapes captured it perfectly. And although DiAnno is unique I really enjoy hearing these songs with Dickinson singing, in the same way I enjoy the Blaze era with Bruce singing em live

    Liked by 1 person

    1. … but to clarify. Di’Anno does give the songs an attack which they don’t have with Bruce which is why I prefer that it’s him on the album. And prefer him doing them. But I don’t like to get too into the comparison cause I love both! It’s like comparing awesome with awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, I just thought of something: The HMO profile image is like someone looked at the cover to Slade’s Til Deaf Do Us Part, took it to heart, and turned it up to 11

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good spot. I’ve got that CD so I know what you’re talking about. It’s actually a detail from an old CD. Noise Records… it’s from one of the old mail order leaflets you used to get inside.

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      1. The live 2CD is great. And yes I do indeed like The Sweet. I have their 1986 Live at the Marquee album, with none other than former Maiden frontman Paul Mario Day on vocals

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s definitely worth it if you can find it, and for more than just the historical value. It got a CD reissue in 2013, with 2 excellent bonus tracks

        Liked by 1 person

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