Great Metal Albums of 1980: Iron Maiden

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God, I still can’t believe that as I go through this journey into metal history just how many magnificent albums, now considered classics there were in 1980. So with no further waffling from me, here’s yet another great album from said year, the self titled debut album from none other than Iron Maiden.

I would not even hear of these metal legends for another two years so like so many of these albums I’m writing about, I didn’t listen to it until after some of their later albums. Still, I can appreciate the fine quality of this album and I hear the hunger they had in their music. Each and every song in the album bears witness to this. There are the classics like “Running Free” and “Phantom of the Opera” but there are also the great non filler ones like “Prowler,” “Iron Maiden” and the rather amusing, (well at least for me) “Charlotte the Harlot.” Had I heard this album in the year I was supposed to have heard, I would have known to expect great things from Iron Maiden and history would prove me right.

I did note something rather interesting when I researched the story behind the album. This was the only Iron Maiden album to feature Dennis Stratton on guitar. From what I’ve read, he was fired because of musical differences in the band. It has been said that his guitar solos were more of the Wishbone Ash melodic sound. Don’t get me wrong, I love long melodic solos from blues based guitarist but I have to agree that it definitely isn’t the style for Maiden. Furthermore, the arrival of punk a few years earlier proved the point that most rockers were getting a little tired of 20 minute long guitar solos no matter how well they were played. Maiden and Priest gave us the shredding in your face guitar solo and I like those just as much.

Track Listing:

1. Prowler

2. Remember Tomorrow

3. Running Free

4. Phantom of the Opera

5. Transylvania

6. Strange World

7. Charlotte the Harlot

8. Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Paul Di’Anno- vocals

Steve Harris- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Stratton- guitar, backing vocals

Dave Murray- guitar

Clive Burr- drums

One thing that will be stating the obvious as I continue down this metal road as that Iron Maiden will eventually come to dominate the world in the 1980s and there will be many a good album to solidify it. The first piece in the foundation of their superstardom begins with their self titled debut album. Maybe it’s not considered a masterpiece by many, but for Iron Maiden, it was a great place for them to start.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Scream Dream

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9 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1980: Iron Maiden”

  1. This album is metal perfection. Every song is awesome, they even wrote a “ballad” for us girls, Strange World. I also heard the album way after it was released and loved and embraced it immediately. Great post!


  2. Seconding Metalkween: liked the post, every track’s a winner. I’d go as far as to say it could only be not considered a masterpiece by people who have no ears.


  3. Love this album. Definitely one of their best and any Metal fan that doesn’t own it should hang their head in shame!


  4. It took me a long, long time to warm to this record, but its definitely a winner.


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