Believe it or not, the current line-up of Iron Maiden has been together for 16 years this month!
The previous record for Maiden line-up longevity was held by the classic line-up of Harris-Murray-Smith-Dickinson-McBrain, which lasted seven years and five classic albums from 1983 until early 1990. That seemed like ages, didn’t it?
But the current line-up, classic plus Gers, has more than doubled it, proving that Harris meant business back in 1999 when he stated his hope for this being not just the final Maiden line-up but also more than a flash.
Maiden had come to the end of the road with Blaze Bayley as singer in late 1998 and called him in for a meeting “the first chance they got in January”, according to Blaze himself. He was out, Bruce was back in.
The chronology of events is not quite clear – in Blaze’s version it seems that Bruce agreed to rejoin before he himself was fired, while the band has vaguely stated that Blaze would be going anyway because of performance problems – but it all happened in January 1999. Manager Rod Smallwood hosted a meeting at his house in Brighton where Bruce and Steve talked their way back together and also agreed that Adrian should rejoin the band in a three-guitar line-up. And boom:
(Continues under pic!)
Maiden headed out on a short tour, which included their incredible first European reunion show in Paris, and then ran right from the stage to the recording studio to make Brave New World. The rest is 16 years of Maiden history, and counting.
To commemorate this incredible run of stability and success we have revised our earlier in-depth article about the people who have left Iron Maiden, and the reasons why it happened. From Doug Sampson in 1979 to Blaze Bayley in 1999:
And here’s to more years of the final Iron Maiden line-up!
UP THE IRONS!