Iron Maiden: Fear of the Dark [1992]

Released 11 May 1992
Recorded Barnyard Studios, EssexEngland, 1991–April 1992
Genre Heavy metal
Length 58:29
Language English
Label EMI
Epic (United States)
Producer Martin BirchSteve Harris

Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album released by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Released on 11 May 1992, it was their third studio release to top the UK albums chart and the last to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead vocalist until his return in 1999.

It was the first album to be produced by Steve Harris, and the last to feature Martin Birch (who retired after its release).

The Fear of the Dark album cover was the band’s first not to be designed by artist Derek Riggs, whose contributions were rejected in favour of Melvyn Grant‘s.[1] According to Iron Maiden’s manager, Rod Smallwood, the band began accepting contributions from other artists as “We wanted to upgradeEddie for the 90s. We wanted to take him from the sort of comic-book horror creature and turn him into something a bit more straightforward so that he became even more threatening.”[1] Melvyn Grant has since drawn several more covers for Iron Maiden, making him the band’s second most-frequent artist after Riggs.

After recording its predecessor (1990’s No Prayer for the Dying) in a barn on Steve Harris’ property with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, leading to negative results, for this album Harris had the building converted into a proper studio (christened “Barnyard”).[2] Dickinson describes the results as “a slight improvement because Martin [Birch] came in and supervised the sound. But there were big limitations on that studio – simply because of its physical size, things like that. [It] actually ended up not too bad, but, you know, a little bit under par.”[3]

The album’s musical style showed some experimentation with “Be Quick or Be Dead,” a fast tempo song released as the album’s first single,[4] and “Wasting Love,” the group’s sole power ballad,[5] which dates back to Dickinson’s first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire.[6] Both songs were Dickinson/ Gers collaborations, which contrast with Harris’ “Afraid to Shoot Strangers,” a political song from the point of view of a soldier in the Gulf War,[1]although Dickinson would introduce the song at Castle Donington as about “how shitty that war is, started by politicians and finished by people who don’t want to kill anybody.”[7]

Only two of the album’s songs, the title track, and “Afraid to Shoot Strangers,” would survive on tours past 1993. “Fear of the Dark” became a popular live track,[4] and was the only song played on the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour which was not from the 1980s. “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” became a frequent addition on setlists during Blaze Bayley‘s tenure with Iron Maiden, following which it returned in 2012.

Be Quick or Be Dead,” “From Here to Eternity,” “Wasting Love,” and a live version of the title track were released as singles.

Fear of the Dark Tour was the tour supporting the album.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Be Quick or Be Dead Bruce DickinsonJanick Gers 3:24
2. From Here to Eternity Steve Harris 3:38
3. “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” Harris 6:56
4. “Fear Is the Key” Dickinson, Gers 5:35
5. “Childhood’s End” Harris 4:40
6. Wasting Love Dickinson, Gers 5:50
7. “The Fugitive” Harris 4:54
8. “Chains of Misery” Dickinson, Dave Murray 3:37
9. “The Apparition” Gers, Harris 3:54
10. “Judas Be My Guide” Dickinson, Murray 3:08
11. “Weekend Warrior” Gers, Harris 5:39
12. Fear of the Dark Harris 7:18
Total length:


1. Be Quick Or Be Dead


Covered in sinners and dripping with gilt
Making you money from slime and from filth
Parading your bellies in ivory towers
Investing our lives in your schemes and your powers

You got to watch them – Be quick or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven – The thief’s in your head
You’ve got to watch them – Be quick or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven – The thief’s in your head….

Be quick !
Or be dead !
Be quick !
Or be dead

See… what’s ruling all our lives
See… who pulling the strings…
I bet you won’t fall on your face
Your belly will hold you in place

The serpent is crawling inside of your ear
He says must vote for what you want to hear
Don’t matter what’s wrong as long as you’re alright
So pull yourself stupid and rob yourself blind.

You got to watch them – Be quick or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven – The thief’s in your head
You’ve got to watch them – Be quick or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven – The thief’s in your head….

Be quick!
Or be dead!
Be quick!
Or be dead!

2. From Here To Eternity


She fell in love with his greasy machine
She leaned over wiped his kickstart clean
She’d never seen the beast before
But she left there wanting more more more

But when she was walking on down the road
She heard a sound that made her heart explode
He whispered to her to get on the back
“I’ll take you on ride from here to eternity”

[Chorus: (2 times)]
Hell ain’t a bad place
Hell is from here to eternity

She must be having one of her crazy dreams
She’d never sat on a piece so mean
I’ve made her feel like she’s on cloud nine
She even thought she heard the engine sigh.

But like all dreams that come to an end
They took a tumble at the devil’s bend
The beast and Charlotte they were two of a kind
They’d always take the line… from here to eternity

[Chorus 2 times]

3. Afraid To Shoot Strangers


Lying awake at night I wipe the sweat from my brow
But it’s not fear ‘cos I’d rather go now
Trying to visualise the horrors that will lay ahead
The desert sand mound a burial ground

When it comes to the time
Are we partners in crime ?
When it comes to the time
We’ll be ready to die

God let us go now and finish what’s to be done
Thy Kingdom come
Thy shall be done… on earth

Trying to justify to ourselves the reasons to go
Should we live and let live
Forget or forgive

But how can we let them go on this way ?
The reign of terror corruption must end
And we know deep down there’s no other way
No trust, no reasoning, no more to say

Afraid to shoot strangers
Afraid to shoot strangers.

4. Fear Is The Key


We live our lives in fever
In choking sweat of fear
In the heat of the night you can feel so much
In the heat of the night I scream “Don’t touch”

I remember a time when we used and abused
And we fought all our battles in vain
I remember a time we thought that passion was free
In the heat of the night… bodies aflame

We live in fever…

I hear your secret heartbeat
I can hear your silent cries
The kids have lost their freedom
And nobody cares till somebody famous dies…


Now we live, in a world of uncertainty
Fear is the key – to what you want to be
You don’t get a say the majority gets it’s way
You’re outnumbered by the bastards till the day you die…

5. Childhood’s End


I’d sail across the ocean
I’d walk a hundred miles
If I could make it to the end
Oh just to see a smile

You see it in their faces
The sadness in their tears
The desperation and the anger
Madness and the fear

No hope, no life, just pain and fear
No food, no love, just greed is here

Starvation and the hunger
The suffering and the pain
The agonies of all-out war
When will it come again ?

The struggle for the power
A tyrant tries again
Just what the hell is going on ?
When will it ever end ?


You see the full moon float
You watch the red sun rise
We take these things for granted
But somewhere someone’s dying

Contaminated waters
Pollution and decay
Just waiting for disease to strike
Oh will we learn someday ?

No hope, no life, just pain and fear
No food, no love, no seed, childhoods end.

6. Wasting Love


Maybe one day I’ll be an honest man
Up till now I’m doing the best I can
Long roads.Long days, of sunrise, to sunset
Sunrise to sunset

Dream on brothers while you can
Dream on sisters I hope you will find the one
All of our lives, covered up quickly by the tides of time

Spend your days full of emptiness
Spend your years full of loneliness
Wasting love, in a desperate caress
Rolling shadows of night

Dream on brothers while you can
Dream on sisters I hope you will find the one
All of our lives, covered up quickly by the tides of time

Sands are flowing and the lines are in your hand
In your eyes I see the hunger, and the desperate cry that tears the night

Spend your days full of emptiness
Spend your years full of loneliness
Wasting love, in a desperate caress
Rolling shadows of night

7. The Fugitive


On a cold October morning
As frost lay on the ground
Waiting to make my move
I made no sound

Waiting for the mist to cover all around
I carefully picked my time then took the wall

I’m sick and tired of running
The hunger and the pain
A stop to look about then off again

Being at the wrong place
And at the wrong time
Suspected of a hit that was my crime

I am a fugitive being hunted down like game
I am a fugitive but I’ve got to clear my name

Always looking ’round me
Forever looking back
I’ll always be a target for attack

Every morning onwards
Always on the run
Waiting for a sight of a loaded gun


Even if I find them
And get to clear my name
I know that things can never be the same

But if I ever prove
My innocence some day
I’ve got to get them all to make them pay


8. Chains Of Misery


There’s a madman in the corner of your eye
He likes to pry-into your sunlight
He wants to burst into the street with you and I
A world of shadows and of rain
He’s seen what love is…
He wants to pay you back with guilt…

He lies to you he won’t let you be
He’s got your Chains of misery
He won’t be still till he’s turned your key
He holds your Chains of misery

There’s prophet in the gutter in the street
He say “You’re damned !” – and you believe him…
He’s got a vision but it shines out through your eyes
A world of hatred and fear…
He’s felt what love means…
He wants to pay you back with pain


It’s only love that holds the key to our hearts… only love…

[Chorus 2 times]

9. The Apparition

[Harris / Gers]

Now I’m here can you see me
‘Cos I’m out on my own
When the room goes cold tell me you can feel me
……….’cos I’m here

Here I am, can you see me
Passing through, on my way
To a place I’d been to only in my dreams… before

In a world of delusion
Never turn your back on a friend
‘Cause you can count your real true friends on one hand
……….through life

There are those that deceive you
There are those That’ll let you down
Is there someone out there that would die for you
……….thought not

Live your life with a passion
Everything you do, do well
You only get out of life what you put in
……….so they say

In a world of confusion
People never say that what they mean
If you want a straight answer go look for one
……….right now

In a room full of strangers
Do you stand with your back to the wall
Do you sometimes feel like you’re on the outside
……….looking in ?

You can make your own luck
You create your destiny
I believe you have the power if you want to
……….it’s true

You can do what you want to
If you try a little bit harder
A little bit of faith goes a long way
……….it does

Are we here for a reason ?
I’d like to know just what you think
It would be nice to know what happened when we die
……….wouldn’t it ?

There are some who are wise
There are some who are born naive
I believe that there are some that must have lived before
……….don’t you ?

As for me, well I’m thinking
You gotta keep an open mind
But I hope that my life’s not an open and shut case.

Extra Sensory Perception
Life After Death, telepathy
Can the soul live on and travel through space and time ?

You know I feel so elated
‘Cause I’m about to find it out
And when I know all the answers
Maybe then I’ll come back
……….to fill you in

You don’t be alarmed now
If I try to contact you
If things go missing or get moved around …it’s me

And don’t disbelieve it
No matter what your `friends’ might say
We’ll meet up again some place some way
……….one day

10. Judas Be My Guide


Lights out – We live in a world of darkness
No doubt – Everything’s up for sale
We sleep – All of the world is burning
We pray – To god for better deal
Nothing is sacred – Back then or now
Everything’s wasted…
Is that all there is ?
Can I go now ?

Judas my guide
Whispers in the night
Judas my guide

Fight wars – Die in a blaze of glory
Come home – Meat in a plastic sack
Fall down – Better pray to your god for mercy
So kneel – and help the blade cut clean
Nothing is sacred – Back then or now
Everyone’s wasted…
Is that all there is ?
Is that it now ?

I live in the black
I have no guiding light
I’m whispering in your dreams…

[Chorus 2 times]

11. Weekend Warrior


The rebel of yesterday, tomorrow’s fool
Who are you kidding being that cool ?

Trying to break away from running with the pack
But they ain’t listening so you’ve gotta go back

You’re a weekend warrior when you’re one of the crowd
But it’s over, just look at you now…

You’re not so brave the way you behave
It makes you sick, gotta get out quick
It’s all bravado when you’re out with your mates
It’s like a different person goes through those gates
And the game begins, the adrenalin’s high
Feel the tension maybe someone will die…

A weekend warrior lately
A weekend warrior sometimes
A weekend warrior maybe you ain’t that way anymore

You’ve gotta get out gotta get away
But you’re in with a clique it’s not easy to stray
You’ve gotta admit you’re just living a lie
It didn’t take long to workout why

It’s hard to say why you got involved
Just waiting to be part, just waiting to belong…


Some of the things that you’ve done you feel so ashamed
After all it’s only a game… isn’t it ?
And after all the adrenalin’s gone
What you gonna do on Monday ?

A weekend warrior lately
A weekend warrior sometimes
A weekend warrior maybe you were never like that at all.

12. Fear Of The Dark


I am a man who walks alone
And when I’m walking a dark road
At night or strolling through the park

When the light begins to change
I sometimes feel a little strange
A little anxious when it’s dark.

Fear of the dark,fear of the dark
I have constant fear that something’s always near
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s always there

Have you run your fingers down the wall
And have you felt your neck skin crawl
When you’re searching for the light ?
Sometimes when you’re scared to take a look
At the corner of the room
You’ve sensed that something’s watching you.

Have you ever been alone at night
Thought you heard footsteps behind
And turned around and no-one’s there ?
And as you quicken up your pace
You find it hard to look again
Because you’re sure there’s someone there

Watching horror films the night before
Debating witches and folklore
The unknown troubles on your mind
Maybe your mind is playing tricks
You sense,and suddenly eyes fix
On dancing shadows from behind.

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear, thought you heard
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s always there.

When I’m walking a dark road
I am a man who walks alone

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