IRON MAIDEN 1st / debut / st LP. Original UK 1980 vinyl w. black inner. EMC 3330. Check all songs
An original UK 1980 vinyl LP on the EMI label Original black inner.
Released: 14 April 1980 (UK)
Recorded: February 1980, at Kingsway Studios, London
Genre: Heavy metal
Producer: Will Malone
Check all samples:
All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted.
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Prowler” 3:55
2. “Remember Tomorrow” Paul Di’Anno, Harris 5:27
3. “Running Free” Di’Anno, Harris 3:17
4. “Phantom of the Opera” 7:20
5. “Transylvania” (instrumental) 4:05
6. “Strange World” 5:45
7. “Charlotte the Harlot” Dave Murray 4:12
8. “Iron Maiden” 3:35
Catalogue number: EMC.3330
Country of origin: UK
Paul Di’Anno vocals
Dave Murray guitar
Dennis Stratton guitar, backing vocals
Steve Harris bass guitar, backing vocals
Clive Burr drums
Check all samples:
Will Malone, who is the discs producer, was apparently completely uninterested in the job so the credit for the raw and punky sound should be enough rather than actually go to the sound engineer Martin Levan and the band itself. Best: its totally sick, but all the songs are so damn good, “Prowler”, “Remeber Tomorrow” (5 minutes magic), “Phantom of the Opera” (7 minutes magic), the instrumental “Transylvania” , “Sanctuary”, “Charlotte the Harlot” and “Iron Maiden”. And not forgetting “Strange World”.
Iron Maiden, released on 14 April 1980, is the début album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released by EMI in the UK.
Although Iron Maiden have since criticised the quality of the albums production, the release was met with critical and commercial acclaim, debuting at number 4 in the UK Albums Chart as well as achieving prominence for the band in mainland Europe.
This was the bands only album produced by Will Malone, who Iron Maiden have since claimed lacked interest in the project and effectively left them to produce most of the album themselves, which, according to bassist Steve Harris, was completed in just 13 days. Prior to the recording with Malone, the band made two attempts in December 1979 with two different producers while still a four-piece. Guy Edwards, the first, was dismissed as the band were unhappy with the “muddy” quality in his production, while Andy Scott was sacked after insisting that Harris use a plectrum rather than his fingers. After these efforts, the band decided not to sack Malone as Steve Harris describes that they could “bypass him and [go] to the engineer.” The group criticised the quality of the production, although many fans still prefer the raw sound to the songs.
This was also the only studio album with guitarist Dennis Stratton, who, having been brought in as a last-minute placement, was sacked due to “musical differences” after the bands European tour in support of Kiss. Suspicions were first raised during Iron Maidens recording, when Stratton added Wishbone Ash-esque harmony guitars and backing vocals reminiscent of Queen to “Phantom of the Opera”, which the rest of the band immediately disapproved of and had removed. Although Stratton states that he was not “trying to push the band in a new direction,” Harris comments that it “really pointed up the difference between Den and us,” after which he began to notice that “Dennis was so much more into playing stuff like “Strange World” than he was “Iron Maiden” or “Prowler”, because it was more slow, melodic… when he was soloing on one of the heavier songs, it wasn’t with quite the same passion.”
“Running Free” was released as a single on 23 February 1980, reaching number 34 in the UK Singles Chart. The band also performed the song on the UK TV show Top of the Pops, refusing the usual tradition for artists to mime and thus becoming the first group to perform live on the show since The Who in 1972. Vocalist Paul Di’Anno, who wrote the songs lyrics, describes it as “a very autobiographical song, though of course I’ve never spent the night in an LA jail. Its about being 16 and, like it says, just running wild and running free. It comes from my days as a skinhead.”
According to Classic Rock and Metal Hammer contributor Dave Ling, writing in the Metal for Muthas CD re-issue liner notes, “Sanctuary” was originally penned by guitarist Rob Angelo, a member of Iron Maiden in 1977, who was paid £300 for the songs rights. The “Sanctuary” single was released on 7 June 1980 and charted at number 29, with the censored cover of Eddie standing over Margaret Thatchers body earning the band publicity in the British press.
“Charlotte the Harlot”, their only song to have been written by Dave Murray alone, is the first of four Iron Maiden tracks which make reference to the fictional prostitute ‘Charlotte,’ although Murray states it was “based on a true story.”
The 7-minute epic “Phantom of the Opera” is also a personal favourite of Steve Harris and is still performed live relatively frequently. With lots of mood and time-changes, Harris marks it as “the first song Id written that was a bit more proggy.”
“Transylvania” is an instrumental piece, composed by Harris.
Of all the albums songs, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Running Free”, “Sanctuary” and “Iron Maiden” are the most frequently played in the bands concert tours, with the last being played at every show since the bands inception and signalling the arrival of Eddie, the bands mascot, onstage.
All of the records songs, excluding “Strange World”, have been recorded with Bruce Dickinson on vocals, either on live albums, studio B-Sides or both. “Strange World” and “Transylvania” were the only songs not played on the “Eddie Rips Up The World Tour”, 2005.
When first issued in 1980, the album received immediate critical acclaim, with Geoff Barton, reviewing the album in Sounds, writing, “Heavy metal for the ’80s, its blinding speed and rampant ferocity making most plastic heavy rock tracks from the ’60s and ’70s sound sloth-like and funeral-dirgey by comparison.”
Since its release, Iron Maiden has continued to receive praise from reviewers, with Allmusic describing it as “a landmark” as well as “no better place to hear how both punk and prog rock informed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.” In addition, Sputnikmusic describes it as “one of the top début albums in the world of heavy metal,” containing “the raw, aggressive power [which] defines the early years of the band.”