NWOBHM pioneers Iron Maiden will kick off their Legacy of the Beast World Tour later this year — a history/hits trek that will focus on the group's classic Eighties output. With that in mind, we asked our fans and followers to look back at the band's discography and pick their favorite Maiden album? You cast your votes on social media using the hashtag #TellRevolver; below are the ranked results.
With 1988's Seventh Son, Iron Maiden indulged their prog tendencies, as evidenced on toweringly epic tracks such as "The Clairvoyant" and "The Evil That Men Do," as well as their biggest hit single to date, "Can I Play With Madness?" Despite the fact that the record is a challengingly complex concept album, Seventh Son was a breakthrough LP for the band, hitting No. 1 on the U.K. charts and the Top 5 in seven other countries, including an impressive No. 12 showing in the U.S.
Iron Maiden cut Somewhere in Time mere months after wrapping up the 187-date World Slavery Tour, the most involved, extensive trek of the band's career up to that point. Even with Bruce Dickinson's resultant creative malaise, the group continued to push its own stylistic boundaries on songs like "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land," incorporating synthesized guitars to insidious and explosive effect.
The first Iron Maiden album to feature powerhouse vocalist Bruce Dickinson, 1982's The Number of the Beast was a landmark release for the Brits, topping the U.K. Albums Chart and cracking the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. That the record's controversial title and artwork prompted hilariously misguided accusations of Satanism from conservative Christians (and in some cases, public burnings of the band's catalogue) only reaffirmed the band's reputation for badassery, immortalized here on classics like "Run to the Hills" and, of course, its iconic title track.
Iron Maiden's fourth album marked the addition of drummer Nicko McBrain and solidified the group's classic lineup, which also included singer Bruce Dickinson, bassist/songwriter Steve Harris and guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. Released in 1983, the record was a massive platinum-selling success that bore all the hallmarks of Eighties Maiden: Dickinson spinning enthralling tales pulled from literature (from Tennyson poems to Greek mythology to Dune) over Harris and Co.'s ambitious song structures and rousing performances ("The Trooper," "Where Eagles Dare," "Revelations," "To Tame a Land"). Piece of Mind also showcased a bit of the band's deadpan humor with a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Satanic-panic hysterics of the time — spin "Still Life" backwards to hear McBrain's "diabolical" message.
Kicking off with the incredible one-two punch of smash singles "Aces High" and "Two Minutes to Midnight," Powerslave was a juggernaut upon its release, spawning the infamous World Slavery tour, which would be known for it's over-the-top theatrics. Powerslave features several other key Maiden cuts like "Rime of Ancient Mariner" and "Flash of the Blade," highlights crucial to the band's overall legacy — and, no doubt, contributing to the album's appearance in the lead spot here.