10 Greatest Iron Maiden Videos
Iron Maiden possess some of the most recognizable branding in all of music. Over the past few decades, the British band's creepy Eddie mascot has become a ubiquitous presence at any heavy metal and hard rock show through the countless t-shirts he adorns. Meanwhile, the many iconic album and single sleeves artist Derek Riggs created for Maiden have inspired countless musicians throughout the years. Quite simply, besides their groundbreaking musical output, Maiden have also left their mark on the graphic design side of the music spectrum.
When it comes to the music video medium, Maiden aren't considered pioneers by any stretch of the imagination, favoring live performance footage over cinematic conceptual pieces, but that doesn't mean the band hasn't released their fair share of visual gems. Noisecreep is taking time here to pay honor to the 10 Greatest Iron Maiden Videos.
The first video to include then new guitarist Janick Gers, 1990’s ‘Holy Smoke’ is a low budget production, but it makes our Greatest Iron Maiden Videos list because it shows off the band’s lighter side. In one clip, Steve Harris is inexplicably playing his bass on the back of a tractor. Sure, the video wasn’t going to win any awards, but it was refreshing to see one of the world’s biggest metal bands not taking themselves so seriously.
Originally written and recorded by Australian rockers Skyhook in 1978, most folks know ‘Women in Uniform’ via Iron Maiden’s cover of the track which was issued as a standalone single in late 1980. Filmed at the Rainbow Theatre in North London, the video for ‘Women in Uniform’ offers a rare glimpse of the Paul Di’Anno era of the band in a controlled, filmed setting.
The video for 1983’s ‘Flight of Icarus’ brings the viewer into the track's recording session. Producer Martin Birch -- a name any true Maiden fan is well-acquainted with -- makes an appearance in the clip as does Eddie. But what makes this video a true winner is the recording footage that was filmed at the famed Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas. It’s the hallowed studio where AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ and Anthrax’s ‘Among the Living’ albums were also cut.
Like ‘The Prisoner,’ the video for 1983’s ‘The Trooper’ also features film clips edited in throughout it, this time from 1936 war film, ‘Charge of the Light Brigade.’ The BBC deemed the movie footage too violent and banned the unedited version of ‘The Trooper’ video upon its release. Controversy aside, the ‘Light Brigade’ scenes perfectly capture the war-torn spirit its lyrics were written in. Oh, and don’t get us started on the song’s godly twin-guitar work!
The first single from ‘Brave New World,’ Bruce Dickinson’s 2000 comeback album with Maiden, ‘The Wicker Man’ is based on a 1973 British cult film of the same name. The video includes the band performing on a makeshift stage, flanked by towering flames, while a giant version of their Eddie mascot terrorizes a yuppie-looking dude. Again, we’re not sure what it all means, but the video still kicks all kind of you know what!
1984’s ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’ video looks like an expensive affair, featuring a somewhat confusing storyline based around -- from what we gather -- espionage, arms dealing and terrorism. But then again, we could be wrong about the entire thing. Confusing plot points aside, the filmed movie scenes mixed in with the footage of the band performing the song live, just looks way cool and earns it a spot on our 10 Greatest Iron Maiden Videos list.
Deemed too commercial-sounding for many hardcore Maiden fans, 1988’s ‘Can I Play with Madness’ is definitely a catchy number, with hooky keyboard lines and a radio-ready chorus. Putting our feelings for the song aside, the video for ‘Can I Play with Madness’ is a fun romp, with Monty Python member Graham Chapman playing an art teacher who chastises a young student for drawing Eddie during a class. By the end of the clip, Eddie has the last laugh.
Coming off Iron Maiden’s 2003 ‘Dance of Death’ album, ‘Wildest Dreams’ is a straight-ahead rocker, but its video is far more ambitious. The computer animated short created for ‘Wildest Dreams’ looks like one of those killer Playstation video games, but starring the members of Maiden instead of a fictional crew of characters. Also starring our beloved Eddie, the video’s doomed wasteland mirrors the artwork to the song’s CD single cover.
The music video for 2010’s ‘The Final Frontier’ is a sci-fi mini-film telling the story of an astronaut on a mission to destroy a fictional planet. The clip features a mixture of live action, CGI, and 3D animation and finds an alien version of Maiden’s Eddie mascot stalking the astronaut throughout space. Like ‘Wildest Dreams,’ ‘The Final Frontier’ video doesn’t include any performance images of Iron Maiden and ends with the destruction of the unnamed planet.
Topping Noisecreep’s 10 Greatest Iron Maiden Videos list is 1986’s nostalgic clip for ‘Wasted Years.’ The video features black and white footage of the metal gods performing the song in a jam room, mixed with scenes from their previous official videos, plus photos and video clips taken during their landmark World Slavery Tour. It’s a touching look at Maiden and complements guitarist Adrian Smith’s lyrics about the homesickness many musicians encounter on long tours.