FEATURE FRIDAY: The History of Iron Maiden’s 1980s Era

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This summer is your last chance to enjoy Iron Maiden’s 1980s retro spectacle live on stage. To warm up, here’s our in-depth look at the band’s glorious 1980s period!

Okay, so it’s not yet Friday. But with the lack of news to report right now, we thought it could be good to start gearing up for the 2014 tour via our in-depth Feature Friday articles.

The summer of 2014 will se Iron Maiden hitting the road in Europe for their final History shows. That’s right, singer Bruce Dickinson has stated that this will be the band’s last ever History tour, and manager Rod Smallwood has also confirmed that 2014 will most likely be the last time that Maiden will ever tour with a set based on the 1980s.

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Expect to see longer hair on this gentleman as he jumps around European concert stages this summer.

This means that Iron Maiden’s soon-to-be legendary History tours are: The Early Days 2005, Somewhere Back In Time 2008-09, and Maiden England 2012-14. As the Maiden England tour finally winds down, it’s the end of the 1980s retro tours.

Feeling melancholy…? Nah, there is so much to celebrate! And after this tour there is a brand spankin’ new Maiden album to look forward to in 2015! Planet Maiden never stops spinning, as you all know so well.

To get going, here’s an overview of our Feature Friday series of in-depth articles that look at the making and near-breaking of Iron Maiden in their glorious 1980s period.

Click on the red links to read the stories!

It all began with the birth of the Iron Maiden sound in 1980-81, a process that drove Steve Harris beyond his wits several times as tempers flared and producers were tested and nixed. The band finally met Martin Birch, and from there on the sound was killer.

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It wasn't all a walk in the park for Maiden... (ouch). Stratton and Di'Anno, to the left, would be out before the big-time really hit.

Clive Burr, Dave Murray, Steve Harris, Dennis Stratton and Paul Di’Anno. The latter two would not survive the creation of the classic Iron Maiden sound, due to their inability to get in line with the nearly overfocused regiment of manager Rod Smallwood.

With the arrival of singer Dickinson and drummer Nicko McBrain, the band reached the dawn of their classic era. The albums The Number Of The Beast and Piece Of Mind made their 1982-83 period one giant leap forward.

And just to prove that they were no fluke – how about Powerslave and Live After Death, bookending the humongous and completely legendary World Slavery Tour? In 1984-85 Iron Maiden were undoubtedly at the height of their commercial powers, in no small part thanks to guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith.

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The classic Iron Maiden line-up: Adrian Smith, Nicko McBrain, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Dave Murray. From 1983 to 1988, a period of five years, they released 5 (!) classic albums.

The late 1980s, which were supposed to be the focus of the Maiden England tour, produced two more undeniable classics. But not without problems! Singer Dickinson was in major conflict with Harris and Smith over the direction of Somewhere In Time in 1986, and the lingering effects of post-tour burnout came close to ending the classic line-up right there…

But the band survived and ended their first decade with one of their best ever albums, 1988’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, as well as the 1989 concert video Maiden England, which was recently released on DVD as Maiden England ’88.

As the 1980s ended, so did Iron Maiden’s classic era. The new decade would bring artistic and commercial challenges aplenty, including the departures of both Smith and Dickinson. But in the summer of 2014, get ready for the final celebration of Maiden’s first golden age!

See you all out there!

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Maiden’s classic line-up end their glorious 1980s period on a high note: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, the main attraction of the current Maiden England tour.

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10 thoughts on “FEATURE FRIDAY: The History of Iron Maiden’s 1980s Era

  1. to bad this is the last time we will ever see rare 80s songs live
    Farewell to my dream of listening to prowler , remember tomorrow , 22 acacia and stuff from SIT

    what can we do right ?

    Cheers – Good Feature πŸ˜‰

  2. I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing. To me, it signifies that they’re at a place where they want to move on and want their fans to go with them. They’re way past the “please and appease” phase in their careers and who knows? They may have wonderful new work in store. In any case, there are plenty of resources where you can watch them perform the classics live. Personally, I’m excited that they’re looking ahead. Personally, the 90’s were not that glorious, anyway…

  3. Heads-up guys πŸ™‚ It’s not all that bad, there will be tours again with classic maiden songs; such as new album material tours and probably when they do eventually say farewell; they will most definitely play classic songs that will cover all Maiden’s history.

    • Well, no one has stated they won’t ever play 80s songs again. But Bruce and Rod say it’s the last tour based on the 80s. Which obviously means that any tour from here on is unlikely to include other 80s material than The Trooper, Run To The Hills, and a few other standards. Will be interesting to see what the final History set is like this summer.

      And if anyone thought my little article here needed cheering up, they should read it again. πŸ˜‰

  4. Pingback: Maiden Revelations in Barcelona – LIVE UPDATE! | maidenrevelations

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