Let’s get this out of the way first: I don’t like Iron Maiden. At all. In fact, in the great metal arguments of old I choose Megadeth over Metallica, Bush over Belladonna, and Judas Priest over Iron Maiden (Which is mentioned quite a bit in this book I’m about to mention). It’s just how I’m wired! That said, I respect the band and what they do. And even I can admit that “Number of the Beast” is a goddamn infectious metal anthem, although “Run to the Hills” still drives me bonkers.
But I digress.
Being an avid reader lately (and having just premiered our ‘Pulp Rawk’ column) superseded my need to skip Iron Maiden: Album By Album entirely and even as a non-fan, I’ll admit that the book is a compelling guide to the legacy and discography of Maiden. And I’ll go so far as to say that the book has even made me revisit their catalog based on the enthusiasm of the panel within this book! Speaking of the panel, Album By Album has quite the roster of industry vets for you! You have current recording artists (Chris Jericho, Matt Heafy, Nita Strauss, and Marty Friedman) alongside journalists (Rich Davenport, Tim Henderson, and Jimmy Kay) and so many more (Ahmet Zappa! Brian Slagel! Kirsten Rosenberg of The Iron Maidens!) including former IM vocalist Blaze Bayley.
Lovingly curated by Martin Popoff (Former EIC of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles and writer of so much more including other Album By Album books featuring Rush, Pink Floyd, and AC/DC), the book explores every album from Iron Maiden in 1980 through to the most recent release, The Book of Souls, in 2015 with a gorgeous array of full color pictures accompanying each entry. Learn how “Phantom Of The Opera” provided the roots for modern thrash and how, according to Overkill’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, “Strange World” and “Remember Tomorrow” laid the groundwork for “Metallica-type ballads”. Read about the exit of original vocalist Paul Di’Anno and how the band eventually (mostly) solidified their line up by album number four with the addition of Nicko McBrain (iconic frontman Bruce Dickinson joined just before the seminal third album, The Number of the Beast). Delve into the Blaze Bayley years and what led to Dickinson’s eventual return and how IM persevered through radical changes in the musical climate during the mid-’80’s and ’90’s.
Iron Maiden: Album By Album is out on October 16th through Voyageur Press (An imprint of The Quarto Group). You can pre-order your very own by clicking here or here. For the latest on Iron Maiden, head here and for the latest releases from Martin Popoff, head here.