Music Trajectory

Alternative music perspective

Top 20 Best Iron Maiden Songs plus 10 Honorable Mentions

Where did each song rank, let alone make the tough cut?!

Top 20 Best Of Lists
Posts
Lists
Endorsed Bands

Let’s cut to the chase. Iron Maiden is the best metal band, ever. You can go ahead and debate that in the comments section. This is my take on the best 20 songs in their discography. I even attempted to rank them. Don’t agree with the songs that made the list or where they ranked? Sound off in the comments section. That’s what it is there for.

What you should know about this post:

  • I thought it would be fun to use singles covers, where possible. If the song wasn’t a single, I used the album cover by default.
  • This list is not a ‘greatest hits’ list. Its more of a blend of ‘ask a million Iron Maiden fans their opinion’ and ‘if I had to purchase only 20 Iron Maiden songs, which ones should I buy?”

Up the Irons!

<Last updated: April 2017>


Skip to Spotify playlist OR Youtube video playlist

1. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (1982)

iron-maiden-hallowed-be-thy-name-single

The last track from arguably the best Iron Maiden album ever, The Number of the Beast.

Hallowed Be Thy Name has it all. Its epic, it has a great slow build, its catchy, and contains so many great riffs and excellent solos. A very deserving song to be deemed the best and I think the vast majority of fans would agree. Statistically speaking, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the top 3 of 99% of polled Iron Maiden fans 😀

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


2. “The Trooper” (1983)

iron-maiden-the-trooper-single-cover

“Run to the Hills” might be the most widely known Iron Maiden song and it was a hit. I believe the band wanted to have a similar song on the follow up album and The Trooper happened to end up being the better song. They play it at every show. Its the quintessential Iron Maiden song.

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


3. “Run To The Hills” (1982)

iron-maiden-run-to-the-hills-single-cover

Bruce Dickinson took over as lead vocalist for the band on their 3rd album The Number of the Beast. “Run To The Hills” was the lead single from that album. Just imagine what people thought when they heard him and this song for the first time. Another song that the band plays live pretty much at every show. Its a song that is synonymous with the band.

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


4. “The Number Of The Beast” (1982)

iron-maiden-the-number-of-the-beast-remastered-album-cover

Are you noticing a trend? Yes, 3 of the top 4 songs are from The Number of the Beast album. It was/is that damn good! The title track from the album is another must-have and must-hear Iron Maiden song. 2nd single off the album and the follow up to “Run To The Hills”

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


5. “Fear Of The Dark” (1992)

iron-maiden-fear-of-the-dark-remastered-album-cover

Most fans would agree that the band’s best work came earlier (rather than later) in their career. As of this writing, the Fear of the Dark album would technically be considered “middle-career” but it almost seems like its “late-career” which leads me to my point: isn’t it strange that a top 5 song came so much later in their career? Again, its only 10 years after The Number of the Beast but by then it could be argued that the band’s strength of material was lessening. The title track to 1992’s Fear of the Dark album became one of the most popular songs among fans and a mainstay during live shows. It was not released as a single from the album but it was released as a live single in 1993. Perhaps it can be said that it is the best (live) Iron Maiden song?

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


6. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1984)

iron-maiden-powerslave-remastered-album-cover

Much like “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, Rime has it all and up until “Empire of the Clouds” on the outstanding 2017 album The Book of Souls, it was the longest Iron Maiden song at 13 minutes 34 seconds. Although I argue the super slow part in the middle of the song is a bit long and drawn out, everything else about this song is perfect. Bad ass intro, bad ass riffs, complexity, character, dimension, you name it.

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


7. “The Evil That Men Do” (1988)

iron-maiden-the-evil-that-men-do-single-cover

It seems ridiculous that “Can I Play With Madness” was released as the lead single off of 1998’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album when “The Evil That Men Do” is clearly the better song, but I digress. Maybe I am a little bias since it is my personal favorite Iron Maiden song. Perfect guitar work, amazing solo, catchy. The song was a successful single. Check out this handy site to see how it stacked up against other Iron Maiden singles on the charts.

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


8. “Phantom of the Opera” (1980)

iron-maiden-iron-maiden-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipedia Amazon


9. “2 Minutes To Midnight” (1984)

iron-maiden-2-minutes-to-midnight-single-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipedia Amazon


10. “Aces High” (1984)

iron-maiden-aces-high-single-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


11. “Wasted Years” (1986)

iron-maiden-wasted-years-single-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


12. “Flight of Icarus” (1983)

iron-maiden-flight-of-icarus-single-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


13. Powerslave (1984)

iron-maiden-powerslave-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

Spotify • Youtube • Last.fm • Wikipedia • Lyrics • Amazon


14. “Revelations” (1983)

iron-maiden-piece-of-mind-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

Spotify • Youtube • Last.fm • Lyrics • Wikipedia • Amazon


15. “Wrathchild” (1981)

iron-maiden-killers-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


16. “Stranger In A Strange Land” (1986)

iron-maiden-stranger-in-a-strange-land-single-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


17. “Caught Somewhere In Time” (1986)

iron-maiden-somewhere-in-time-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmWikipediaLyricsAmazon


18. “Children Of The Damned” (1982)

iron-maiden-the-number-of-the-beast-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


19. “The Red and the Black” (2006)

Commentary (coming soon!

SpotifyYoutubeLast.fmLyricsWikipediaAmazon


20. “No Prayer for the Dying” (1990)

iron-maiden-no-prayer-for-the-dying-remastered-album-cover

Commentary (coming soon!

Spotify • Youtube • Last.fm • Lyrics • Wikipedia • Amazon


honorable mentions coming soon!


Links of Interest:

Iron Maiden Official Site
Iron Maiden Youtube Channel
Follow Iron Maiden on Facebook
Follow Iron Maiden on Twitter
Iron Maiden Wikipedia Page
Iron Maiden Last.fm Page
Iron Maiden Lyrics at Genius.com
Iron Maiden on Spotify


5 Comments on “Top 20 Best Iron Maiden Songs plus 10 Honorable Mentions”

  1. One question: how in the hell could you leave off powerslave? Or still life? I mean your list is a great compilation, but you left off some doozies.

  2. We could all argue for ever about what should be on this list – the catalog is so huge. Some things that are certain though: Run Silent, Run Deep; Be Quick or Be Dead and Different World are absolutely not in the top 25. The last record is great, and an argument could be made for a couple of songs (Coming Home. Talisman) making the list, just not that one. Run Silent is just an attempt to have representation from a weak record (probably the weakest Bruce record). I think I’d probably replace these with Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Coming Home and Powerslave….and something else needs to go for Blood Brothers.

  3. Surely this list that was made was a “IMO” type of thing at best….. I am almost 44 years old and I have been listening to Maiden since I was 10 and even though I agree that this is one great list, I would have to diagree on how the “Top 25 list” is done. Like Mike said ‘The catalog is huge’ and just because you might think one of the songs deserves a certain spot on this list doesn’t mean another fan would agree with that as well.

    I am quite sure if you asked all the maiden fans out there what there top 25 list would look like, it would be MUCH different than what you have made for yours. I haveliked every single album that Maiden has put out and I would have to admit that my ‘TOP 25″ would differ from yours. Like I said, I like ALL the albums, and if I was to have to choose one album as my favorite (which would be quite a task to begin with) I (IMO) would have to say “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” but, that doesn’t mean the next fan will agree.

    Every fan is different, we all have are favorites, and for YOU to come out and say ‘This is it, these are the ones’ is totally idiotic at best…. They are ‘the ones’ of YOUR choice, not every Maiden fan in general.

  4. I absolutely agree with your #1. Hallowed Be Thy Name live at Dortmund (on YouTube) is fabulous. But for my money, I’d have had Powerslave in there at #6 instead of The Evil That Men Do, and Rime Of The Ancient Mariner somewhere.

    • I need to go back and update the list to (possibly) include some Book of Souls songs. For the live video of HBTN, which year are you referring to? There are several live videos on Youtube for that song and location. Thanks!

Leave a Reply