Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band’s discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six compilations.
Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden achieved success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of platinum and gold albums. These include the U.S. platinum-selling The Number of the Beast in 1982, Piece of Mind in 1983, Powerslave in 1984, the live release Live After Death in 1985, Somewhere in Time in 1986, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. The band are currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity, with their 2006 album A Matter of Life and Death peaking at number nine on the Billboard 200 and at number four in the UK. Their latest studio offering, The Final Frontier, was released worldwide on 16 and 17 August 2010, peaking at number one in 40 different countries and receiving universal acclaim from reviewers. The album’s second track, “El Dorado”, won in the Best Metal Performance category at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, Iron Maiden have reportedly sold over 85 million records worldwide with little radio or television support. The band won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002, and were also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California during their United States tour in 2005. As of October 2009, the band has played over 2000 live shows during their career.
For the past 30 years, the band has been supported by their famous mascot, “Eddie”, who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as in their live shows.