Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Iron Maiden
Album : Iron Maiden (Self Titled Debut)
Released : April 14, 1980
April 14, 1980. It would be hard to find a not only more historic, but also more important day in the history of Heavy Metal Music. Not only had the band Judas Priest released what is now a landmark metal classic that finally broke them to the American audience known as “British Steel”, but a new band would be introduced that along with Priest would become two of the three most influential Heavy Metal Bands in Music History (along with Black Sabbath) the one and only Iron Maiden. Imagine what it would’ve been like to walk into a record store 37 years ago today and see the now iconic cover for the very first time.
The most influential, and most talented band to come out of the “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal” was also the luckiest. Everything they did even of they thought was a travesty seemed to benefit them. For instance it’s no secret that Steve Harris had complained for years and years about the sound of this album. Constantly throwing producer Will Malone under the bus about his lack of involvement, and how the band basically had to learn on their own how to produce a record. This would give the album a very raw sound, that actually would become a blessing. With the sound like that it would bridge the gap between “Punk” and what was becoming “Heavy Metal”, especially with Punk music now on the decline, all those fans needed a new place to go.
Steve Harris has said for years how much he always detested Punk music, but that being said you can’t deny a Punk influence all over this record. Just listen to the beginning of the song “Running Free” that starts off with a drum pattern that could’ve been on a Ramones album. Along with original lead singer Paul Di’Anno whose voice was perfect for this raw sounding music. Maiden wasn’t ready or writing the music that would eventually adjust to the voice of Bruce Dickinson just a couple of albums later. This would also be the only Maiden album with guitarist Dennis Stratton, who would be fired months later and replaced by the man who would be on all the classic Maiden records Adrian Smith.
Recorded in just thirteen days, the album was a huge success in the UK once it was released. They would tour with both Judas Priest on their “British Steel” tour, and also with Kiss on their “Unmasked” shows. Today this album is just as important as the classic records the band made with Bruce Dickinson, and even if Maiden would’ve folded after the two Di’Anno records, and never continued this album would still be considered a highlight of what Heavy Metal music became in the 1980s. One of the most important debut records ever made that still holds up better than ever !
Prowler – 3:55
Remember Tomorrow (Paul Di’Anno, Harris) – 5:27
Running Free (Di’Anno, Harris) – 3:17
Transylvania (instrumental) – 4:05
Strange World – 5:45
Charlotte the Harlot (Dave Murray) – 4:12
CD Reissue bonus disc
Sanctuary (Di’Anno, Harris, Murray) – 3:14
Burning Ambition – 2:42
Drifter (live) – 6:04
I’ve Got the Fire (Ronnie Montrose) – 3:14