|Iron Maiden, released on April 14, 1980, is the debut album by the British rock band Iron Maiden. It was released by EMI in the UK, reaching number 4 in the UK album charts. The album was released a few months later in the U.S. originally on Harvest/Capitol Records and subsequently Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records and included the song "Sanctuary", which had been released in the UK only as a single, added to the track listing. In 1998, just like all other pre-X Factor albums, the album was re-released, and "Sanctuary" was added in all territories.
Of all the songs in this album, "Phantom of the Opera," "Running Free," "Sanctuary" and "Iron Maiden" remain on the set lists of nearly all of the band's concert tours, with the latter used to introduce a giant representation of the band's mascot Eddie from the back of the stage.
Four songs from the album: "Prowler", "Remember Tomorrow", "Running Free" and "Iron Maiden" were covered for the 2008 tribute album Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden released by Kerrang! magazine.
Every song on this album except 'Strange World' has since been recorded by the Dickinson-fronted line-up of the band, either on live albums, on studio B-Sides, or both.
This was the only album produced by Will Malone, who lacked interest in the project and allowed the band to produce most of the album themselves. The band (especially Steve Harris) criticised the quality of the production, but many fans like the raw, almost punk-like sound to the songs. This was also the only studio album for guitarist Dennis Stratton, who left a short time after the album was released. He was replaced by Adrian Smith. "Transylvania" is a well known instrumental piece by the band which was composed by founder and bassist Steve Harris. The song was covered by Iced Earth on the album Horror Show. "Strange World" tells of a dystopian society, where people never grow old. Amongst other things the narrator (singer) laments how "smiling faces ever so rare". Meanwhile, "Charlotte the Harlot" is the first of four Iron Maiden songs which make reference to the fictional prostitute 'Charlotte'. The 7-minute epic "Phantom of the Opera" remains a fan favourite, and is still performed at many Maiden concerts, while live performances of "Iron Maiden" often signal the entrance of band mascot Eddie onto the stage.
"Running Free" was released as a single on February 23rd, 1980, and reached number 34 in the UK singles chart. The band also performed the song entirely live on the UK TV show Top Of The Pops. The usual tradition was for artists to lip-synch, and Maiden were the first band to perform their song without lip-synching on the show since The Who in 1972.
The "Sanctuary" single was released on June 7th, and charted at number 29. Manager Rod Smallwood's management company was named after the song.
The 1998 re-release has, besides the addition of the previously mentioned song "Sanctuary", a different cover than the original release. The picture is the same, except that it's redrawn. However, on recent advertising-posters and the Iron Maiden website, the original cover is once again shown.
Metal For Muthas Tour and Europe 80 was the tour supporting the album Iron Maiden.
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