10 Best Iron Maiden Songs
Iron Maiden are one of the most beloved, celebrated, innovative and influential metal bands ever to exist. The iconic group has released dozens of immortal metal songs, and making a Top 10 list for a band like Iron Maiden isn’t a task we take lightly.
Maiden are the type of band where each individual fan’s personal Top 10 could be unique to only them. With this in mind, we’ve taken into account cultural significance, originality, influence, fan response and a dash of personal subjectivity to create this Top 10.
Check out Loudwire’s list of the 10 Best Iron Maiden Songs below:
‘The Phantom of the Opera’
Featured on Iron Maiden’s self-titled debut album, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ acted as a precursor to what would become one of the band’s greatest strengths. The seven-minute piece was Maiden’s first foray into the world of progressive metal, and the track is still performed live by the band to this day. Paul Di’Anno‘s voice shapes ‘Phantom of the Opera’ tremendously, while the guitar and bass follow Di’Anno’s vocal pattern in daring unison.
The quality of Iron Maiden’s discography is completely unparalleled when it comes veteran heavy metal acts. Since vocalist Bruce Dickinson‘s return shortly before the turn of the millennium, Iron Maiden’s 21st century catalog has been consistently solid, proof of which is showcased perfectly within ‘The Talisman.’ From Maiden’s most recent album, ‘The Final Frontier,’ Dickinson utilizes his brilliant storytelling abilities to lure the listener straight into a storm on the high seas for the nine-minute epic, while exploring the entirety of his massive vocal range.
‘Run to the Hills’
“Run to the hills! / Run for your life!” Admit it, you just sang that chorus in your head immediately after seeing the song title. The Maiden classic, which is surely one of the catchiest metal songs of all time, details colonial times when European settlers came to take North America from its native peoples. Told from the viewpoint of both sides, ‘Run to the Hills’ contains lyrics such as “White man came across the sea / He brought us pain and misery” and “Raping the women and wasting the man / The only good Indians are tame.”
‘Fear of the Dark’
Although Iron Maiden’s ‘Fear of the Dark’ album didn’t get stellar reviews, especially by Maiden’s standards, the album pumped out the most fan-driven track of the band’s history. The essential recording of ‘Fear of the Dark’ is undeniably from Maiden’s 2002 live album, ‘Rock in Rio,’ and to this day, Maiden crowds “woah” along with the lead guitar during the anthem’s intro, opening verse, bridge and outro exactly as the Brazilian crowd did more than a decade ago.
‘The Evil That Men Do’
Released on the Maiden’s seventh studio album, ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,’ the track ‘The Evil That Men Do’ consists of every element which constructs a phenomenal Iron Maiden song. Beginning with a strong opening riff, the track goes full-speed-ahead with addictive triplets before Bruce Dickinson interjects with “Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade.” After the alluring verses, the song’s chorus is yet another perfect singalong for rabid fans, and is followed by guitars blazing into the track’s bridge.
It’s very possible that the Iron Maiden hit ‘Aces High’ has recruited more pilots into the Air Force than conscription. As another Maiden song with rich historical context, ‘Aces High’ tells the story of a British Royal Air Force pilot fighting against German Luftwaffe forces during the first ever battle entirely fought by aircraft, the Battle of Britain in 1940. The track has everything a Maiden fan could ever want out of a single, and is an iconic piece of heavy metal history.
Containing perhaps Iron Maiden’s most noteworthy riff, ‘The Trooper’ was one of the first songs to be completely tailored for the voice of Bruce Dickinson. The singer helped cement his status as a metal legend with the track’s spotlit lyrical solos, with the instrumental section’s galloping triplets only stopping for the first four lines: “You’ll take my life, but I’ll take yours too / You’ll fire your musket, but I’ll run you through / So when you’re waiting for the next attack / You’d better stand, there’s no turning back.”
‘The Number of the Beast’
‘The Number of the Beast’ is perhaps most notable for two things; the use of the number 666 (known as the Devil’s number according to the Book of Revelation), and the soaring scream of Bruce Dickinson after the track’s intro. The singer’s wail has never been replicated, as Dickinson improvised the high-pitched scream after becoming frustrated with producer Martin Birch, who forced Dickinson to sing the intro for a number of hours in the studio.
‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
It was a difficult task choosing which Iron Maiden epic would come in at No. 1 on this list, and after a great deal of thought, ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ arrives at No. 2. Singer Bruce Dickinson cited the song as his favorite to perform live in Iron Maiden’s ‘Flight 666′ documentary, and the over 13-minute masterpiece contains some of Maiden’s most powerful riffs. Steve Harris’ bass line during the bridge of the track, along with the sound of a creaky boat and an ominous spoken-word part, remain as some of the creepiest and most atmospheric pieces of songwriting in the band’s history. ‘Rime’ is to ‘Powerslave’ as ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ is to ‘The Number of the Beast,’ and speaking of which…
‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’
As the closing track on one of heavy metal’s greatest albums, ‘The Number of the Beast,’ Iron Maiden’s ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ acts as one of the strongest conclusions to a full-length record in history. Each Maiden member has their brilliant moments within the track, especially late drummer Clive Burr. The seven-minute epic remained in every Iron Maiden setlist for over 30 years, with the 2012 ‘Maiden England’ World Tour being the first not to contain a performance of the track since it was written. Iron Maiden fans voted the track as the band’s best song in an official poll on Maiden’s website, and we’re inclined to agree.