Iron Maiden
United Kingdom
Music group
The seminal British heavy metal outfit Iron Maiden formed in 1976 around bassist Steven Harris, the only member to remain in the group throughout its long history. Begun as a hard-rocking bar band in London's East End, the band, then featuring singer Paul Di'Anno, gradually developed its own sound, combining metal riffs with punk-inspired energetic vocals and foreboding stage theatrics, setting the stage for the famed New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Their self-titled 1980 debut won them a worldwide following in the rapidly-growing metal community; after the departure of Di'Anno, the group brought in ex-Samson vocalist Bruce Dickinson and began their rise to fame. The quartet settled on Harris, Dickinson, guitarists Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, and drummer Nicko McBrain, and over the next decade the group released a series of popular albums, played to packed houses in the U.S. and Europe, and became widely known for their innovative style and crazed mascot, "Eddie."

As the group incorporated synthesizers into their sound on albums such as Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988), their popularity only grew; hits such as "Aces High," "2 Minutes to Midnight," "Number of the Beast" and "Can I Play with Madness" became fantasy metal staples. In 1994, Dickinson left the band; his replacement, vocalist Blayze Bayley, debut on the 1995 album, The X Factor.

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