Iron Maiden was a pioneer in the realm of melody-driven guitar metal. Out of Leyton in East London, Iron Maiden was the herald declaring the beginning of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. With songs like "Can I Play With Madness" and "Run to the Hills", Iron Maiden has tightened the fists of metalheads everywhere with lyrics of overcoming adversity, "slaying the dragon", a common theme in metal from other lyricists like Ronnie James Dio, and contemporary metal bands like Dragonforce and Protest the Hero.
Since their formation in 1975, bassplayer/songwriter Steve Harris and guitarplayer Dave Murray have melted faces with several permutations of band members, creating a pool of thirty albums. Paul Di'Anno had some memorable years with tracks like "Phantom of the Opera" and "Running Free", but when most people think of Iron Maiden they hear the Air-Raid Siren, Bruce Dickenson, wailing, "Six! Six, six! The Number of-ah the Beast!"
Blaze from Iron Maiden
Controversy over the alleged "Satanism" evoked from their iconic album in the early eighties only served to cement Iron Maiden deeper into the hearts of headbangers worldwide. Bruce Dickenson's high energy and stage presence have awed audiences for almost thirty years, inspiring cover songs from bands like Coheed and Cambria, Cradle of Filth, and Dream Theater. "Give me the sense to wonder, to wonder if I'm free... Give me the strength to hold my head up, spit back in their face," they cry in "Can I Play With Madness", and twenty-two years later a young boy grits his teeth and makes a fist.