30 years, 80 million album sales, close to 2000 live performances, countless satisfied customers and now 15 studio albums of unerring quality and power: Iron Maiden have more than earned their proudly-held status as undisputed heavy metal champions of the world.
Founded by bassist Steve Harris in the mid '70s, Iron Maiden were already firmly established as heavy metal's brightest hopes when they stormed the world with their third album (and first with vocalist Bruce Dickinson) The Number Of The Beast in 1982. Unstoppable throughout the decade that followed, Maiden recorded and toured relentlessly with seven new studio albums and seven World Tours in the '80s alone , cementing their reputation as the hardest-working band on the planet and further strengthening a unique identity and remarkable relationship with their fans.
With the unmistakable figure of band mascot Eddie adorning every album cover, T-shirt and backdrop, Iron Maiden created a world of their own; one that welcomed fans from every culture, creed and social sphere with a guarantee of heartfelt conviction and unprecedented professionalism.
A five-piece band for the first 20 years of their career, in 1999 Iron Maiden became a six-piece, and established the ultimate Iron Maiden line-up of Bruce Dickinson on vocals, Steve Harris on bass, Nicko McBrain on drums and "the three amigos" -- Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers - on guitar. This line-up has scaled breath-taking new heights and become increasingly fearless and boldly creative since the release of the Brave New World album in 2000.
With both 2003's diverse and ingenious Dance Of Death album and its dark and daring follow-up, 2006's A Matter Of Life And Death, they dazzled fans and critics alike. With each successive tour, whether revisiting classic songs from their first few albums or playing A Matter Of Life And Death in its entirety, Maiden accrued countless new admirers, momentum building all the while.
This brave new Maiden era reached an astonishing zenith during the band's Somewhere Back In Time Tour that began in February 2008 and initially took the band 50,000 miles around the world in 45 days, flying in their own specially chartered Boeing 757, Ed Force One, piloted by Bruce Dickinson, a qualified airline captain, traversing the planet, from India to Costa Rica, Australia to Argentina, Sao Paolo to Tokyo. Along with tours of Europe and North America, the Somewhere Back In Time tour saw Maiden play 89 concerts in front of two million fans in 38 countries on five Continents, forging new relationships with countries they had never performed in before and strengthening ties with nations that had long been part of Maiden's global family. This unique undertaking was celebrated in 2009's widely praised, award-winning Flight 666 movie, and subsequent DVD release which topped the music DVD charts in 25 countries.
Proudly refusing to take their collective foot from the accelerator, and picking up their first ever Brit Award along the way for Best British Live Act 2009, Iron Maiden are now back with a brand new studio album, just over a year on from the end of that mammoth tour. The Final Frontier is the band's 15th album in 30 years and it is plainly one of the strongest and most wildly inventive things they have ever produced; a 76-minute tour-de-force of soaring melodies, thunderous heaviness and astonishing compositional bravery it looks certain to be regarded as a new landmark in the band's caree