Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden [1980]

Released 14 April 1980 (UK)
17 August 1980 (U.S.)
Recorded February 1980, at Kingsway Studios, London[1]
Genre Heavy metal
Length 40:39
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Will Malone

Iron Maiden, released on 14 April 1980, is the debut album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released by EMI in the UK, and a few months later in the U.S., originally on Harvest/Capitol Records and subsequently Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records. The U.S. release also included the song “Sanctuary“, only released in the UK as a single. In 1998, along with the rest of the band’s pre-X Factor releases, Iron Maiden was remastered with “Sanctuary” added in all territories.

Although Iron Maiden have since criticised the quality of the album’s production, the release was met with critical and commercial acclaim, debuting at number 4 in the UK Albums Chart as well as achieving prominence for the band in mainland Europe.

When first issued in 1980, the album received immediate critical acclaim, with Geoff Barton, reviewing the album in Sounds, writing, “Heavy metal for the ’80s, its blinding speed and rampant ferocity making most plastic heavy rock tracks from the ’60s and ’70s sound sloth-like and funeral-dirgey by comparison.”[5]

Since its release, Iron Maiden has continued to receive praise from reviewers, with Allmusic describing it as “a landmark” as well as “no better place to hear how both punk and prog rock informed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.”[7] In addition, Sputnikmusic describes it as “one of the top debut albums in the world of heavy metal,” containing “the raw, aggressive power [which] defines the early years of the band.”[28]

Iron Maiden is one of two Iron Maiden albums listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (The Number of the Beast is the other).

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted.

Original UK release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Prowler” 3:55
2. “Remember Tomorrow” Paul Di’Anno, Harris 5:27
3. Running Free Di’Anno, Harris 3:17
4. “Phantom of the Opera” 7:20
5. “Transylvania” (instrumental) 4:05
6. “Strange World” 5:45
7. “Charlotte the Harlot” Dave Murray 4:12
8. “Iron Maiden” 3:35

Lyrics

1. Prowler

[Steve Harris]

Walking through the city, looking oh so pretty,
I’ve just got to find my way.
See the ladies flashing. All there legs and lashes.
I’ve just got to find my way.

Well you see me crawling through the bushes with it open wide.
What you seeing girl?
Can’t you believe that feeling, can’t you believe it,
Can’t you believe your eyes?
It’s the real thing girl.

Got me feeling myself and reeling around,
Got me talking but feel like walking around.
Got me feeling myself and reeling a…
Got me talking but nothing’s with me…
Got me feeling myself and reeling around.

2. Sanctuary

[Harris / Murray/ Di’Anno]

Out of winter came a warhorse of steel
I’ve never killed a woman before
But I know how it feels
I know you’d have gone insane
If you saw what I saw
So now I’ve got to look for
Sanctuary from the law

I met up with a stranger last night
To keep me alive
He spends all his money on gambling
And guns to survive
I know you’d have gone insane if you saw what I saw
So now I’ve got to look for Sanctuary from the law

[CHORUS]
So give me Sanctuary from the law
And I’ll be alright
Just give me Sanctuary from the law
And love me tonight…tonight

I know you’d have gone insane if you saw what I saw
So now I’ve got to look for Sanctuary from the law

[CHORUS]

I can laugh at the wind
I can howl at the rain
Down in the canyon or out on the plains

I know you’d have gone insane if you saw what I saw
So now I’ve got to look for Sanctuary from the law

[CHORUS]

3. Remember Tomorrow

[Steve Harris and Paul Di’anno]

Unchain the colours before my eyes,
Yesterday’s sorrows, tomorrow’s white lies.
Scan the horizon, the clouds take me higher,
I shall return from out of fire.

Tears for rememberance, and tears for joy,
Tears for somebody and this lonely boy.
Out in the madness, the all seeing eye,
Flickers above us, to light up the sky.

Unchain the colours before my eyes,
Yesterday’s sorrows, tomorrow’s white lies.
Scan the horizon, the clouds take me higher,
I shall return from out of fire.

4. Running Free

[Steve Harris and Paul Di’anno]

Just sixteen, a pickup truck, out of money, out of luck.
I’ve got nowhere to call my own, hit the gas, and here I go.

[Chorus]
I’m running free yeah, I’m running free.
I’m running free yeah, Oh I’m running free.

Spent the night in an L. A. jail, and listened to the sirens wail.
They ain’t got a thing on me, I’m running wild, I’m running free.

[Chorus]

Puller here at the Bottle Top, whiskey, dancing, disco hop.
Now all the boys are after me, and that’s the way it’s gonna be

[Chorus]

5. Phantom Of The Opera

[Steve Harris]

I’ve been looking so long for you now you won’t get away from my grasp.
You’ve been living so long in hiding in hiding behind that false mask.
And you know and I know that you ain’t got long now to last.
Your looks and your feelings are just the remains of your past.

You’re standing in the wings, there you wait for the curtain to fall.
Knowing the terror and holding you have on us all.
Yeah, I know that you’re gonna scratch me, maim me and maul.
You know I’m helpless from your mesmerising cat call.

Keep your distance, walk away, don’t take his bait.
Don’t you stray, don’t fade away.
Watch your step, he’s out to get you, come what may.
Don’t you stray, from the narrow way.

I’m running and hiding in my dreams you’re always there.
You’re the Phantom of the Opera, you’re the devil, you’re just out to scare.
You damaged my mind and my soul it just floats through the air.
Haunt me, you taunt me, you torture me back at your lair.

6. Transilvania

[Instrumental]

7. Strange World

[Steve Harris]

The only place where you can dream, living here is not what it seems.
Ship of white light in the sky, nobody there to reason why.
Here I am, I’m not really there, smiling faces ever so rare.
A let’s walk in deepest space, living here just isn’t the place.

Stalks of light come from the ground, when I cry there isn’t a sound.
All my feelings cannot be held, I’m happy in my new strange world.
Shades of green grasses twine, girls drinking plasma wine.
A look at love, a dream unfolds, living here, you’ll never grow old.

Don’t you hear me call? Ooh

8. Charlotte The Harlot

[Dave Murray]

Giving a swish with your arse in the air, don’t you know what they’re saying?
Charlotte you’re so refined when you take all the love that they’re giving.
Sticking with every man that you find, don’t you know what they’re after?
Charlotte you’ve got your legs in the air, don’t you hear all the laughter?

[Chorus]
Charlotte the Harlot show me your legs,
Charlotte the Harlot take me to bed.
Charlotte the Harlot let me see blood,
Charlotte the Harlot let me see love.

Taking so many men to your room, don’t you feel no remorse?
You charge them a “fiver”, It’s only for starters.
And ten for the main course.
And you’ve got no feelings, they died long ago.
Don’t you care who you let in?
And don’t you know you’re breaking the law with the service you’re giving.

[Chorus]

There was a time when you left me standing there,
Picking up pieces of love off the floor.
Well Charlotte you left me alone in there,
To make your ends as a bloody whore.
Well Charlotte you told me you love me true,
Picking up pieces of love yesterday.
Well Charlotte you’re draws are off color too
‘Cause you’re making love all day.

Giving a swish with your arse in the air, don’t you know what they’re saying?
Charlotte you’re so refined when you take all the love that they’re giving.
Sticking with every man that you find, don’t you know what they’re after?
Charlotte you’ve got your legs in the air, don’t you hear all the laughter?

[Chorus]

9. Iron Maiden

[Paul Di’Anno]

Won’t you come into my room, I wanna show you all my wares.
I just want to see your blood, I just want to stand and stare.
See the blood begin to flow as it falls upon the floor.
Iron Maiden can’t be fought, Iron Maiden can’t be sought.

[Chorus]
Oh Well, wherever, wherever you are,
Iron Maiden’s gonna get you, no matter how far.
See the blood flow watching it shed up above my head.
Iron Maiden wants you for dead.

Won’t you come into my room, I wanna show you all my wares.
I just want to see your blood, I just want to stand and stare.
See the blood begin to flow as it falls upon the floor.
Iron Maiden can’t be fought, Iron Maiden can’t be sought.

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