(Iron) Maiden Voyage: Preface

Iron Maiden are an enigma. To a casual observer, they embody the worst of heavy metal’s excesses, a bygone era of Bill and Ted, big hair, leather and spikes. To the countless legions of metal fans, they are almost universally revered as a formative force within the genre, influencing the mainstream and the underground musicians alike, and commanding respect reserved for very few metal icons.

Whatever point of view you may espouse, it is undisputed that any artist whose career has remained vibrant and relevant almost four decades after inception must be doing something right. Over the next several posts, I am going to spend some time reflecting on Iron Maiden’s recording career, both as a would-be music critic, and as a fan of the music. This is not a series of reviews, but rather a look at the band’s discography in the context of what it meant to me, where the music fit into my life – and what meaning it still has, many years later.

Having first heard Iron Maiden as a teenager in the 1990s, I could have hardly imagined that their music would be a frequent fixture in my playlist at a point in life when most people shop for minivans and learn the intricacies of children’s TV shows and parent-teacher conferences. And yet, as a thirty-something father of two, I find myself as drawn to Iron Maiden’s musical output as ever. What is it about the band that explains this longevity, and why would it still hold as much appeal to me now as it did to onetime scrawny fourteen year old?

Over the course of this series of posts, I will try to answer this question, as well as to share my thoughts on different stages of Iron Maiden’s career. So, let’s get started – at the beginning.

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1 Comment

  1. I am very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on this. IMO Iron Maiden are arguably the embodiment of everything that is heavy metal. Everything from the basics of the genre, to the artistic exploration of their later career, to their cultural importance and musical influence. If you told me they were the greatest metal band ever, even though they are not my *absolute* favorite, I’d have a hard time disagreeing. “UP THE IRONS” =]

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