This pressing features the complete version of "Phantom Of The Opera" which is 7:20 in length. This has a short coda/reprise at the end, separated from the rest of the song by a few seconds of silence. Most other vinyl pressings have the shortened version. Only the UK Fame-edition, the Japanese pressing, the Greek pressing and the later released Czech pressings have the full length track too.
Catalogue number "EMC 3330" is printed on the rear sleeve, spine and face labels. "OC 062-07 269" is printed on the rear sleeve.
On bottom, original labels have credits on two lines and no "℗" symbol is present. Original inner sleeve is black with flipback and plastic bag inside. The original black inner sleeve has 'PATENT No 1,125,555 printed in tiny white font in the bottom left corner of one side. Some copies have a company inner sleeve with date code "480" or "680".
Recorded at Kingsway Studios, London. Mixed at Morgan Studios, London. ℗ 1980 Original sound recording made by E.M.I. Records Ltd. All titles published by Sanctuary Music.
Iron Maiden Produced by Will Malone Released April 1980, reached #4 in the UK (mostly ignored in the US) 1980 Good Shit *****
Along with punk (which most everyone in America had unfortunately ignored--much more than history would lead us to believe), this Maiden album proved that rock wasn't ready to die (as the disco crowd had been suggesting throughout the late 70s). The excess elements of this debut, with the electric-guitar based instrumental "Transylvania" and such, might have been cliche at another time, but this was when punk had just declared war on excess and had caused most rockers to reexamine their delivery. Meanwhile, Maiden didn't seem to give a rat's ass.
Unlike much of their output, this also understands that all great rock has a raw delivery and at least a bit of the sloppy. The pounding rhythms and imperfect vocals of Di'Anno helped give this set some grit and a connection with the roots of rock. These elements also helped ground the set, both resonating with and contrasting the excesses of the axe-grinding.
Obviously inspired by the cream of the UK hard rock outfits of the 70s (Rainbow, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Hawkwind, Motorhead, UFO, a bit of Sweet's Desolation Boulevard on "Running Free" and perhaps Curved Air's Air Conditioning on "Phantom of the Opera"), as well perhaps some American influences (Montrose, Nugent, and even Chuck Berry) and showing early heavy metal influences on some cuts, this band might have been dismissed as derivative, but with Harris's booming bass and song-writing, they not only matched the power of their 70s forefathers but delivered their own blistering hard-rock sound.
The opening cut "Prowler" grabs you by the throat, sounding like a nod to all of Priest's -er suffix songs; the set then slows down for "Remember Tomorrow," which shows a Uriah Heep and Deep Purple influence. If it sounds like it's going to be a bit overblown and derivative, they get into the basic and give everyone a run for the money with "Running Free." That song alone should get their name in the books.
If the beginning of the flip side sounds like a bit much too much with the instrumental "Transylvania," and another moody number called "Strange World," they bring it back to earth and return to the juvenile outlaw theme, launching into "Sanctuary" before offering the hip-shaking classic "Charlotte the Harlot."
To conclude the set, they return to the horror rock established with the sleeve art/mascot and at the beginning of the set with "Prowler." This horror rock hints back to Alice Cooper (who also had a mascot and focused on horror rock). The delivery, outlaw and violent crime themes, and the fact that the bass player is obviously the leader of this group, perhaps reveals a Thin Lizzy influence. In fact, how could a hard rock UK outfit that formed in the late 70s not be influenced by Thin Lizzy, UFO, and Alice Cooper.
While they sport their influences on their tattered sleeves, they deliver the goods. They made some noteworthy music in the years that followed, but they never matched this debut.
-- winch (Winch Records: only the good ones...the good, the odd, and the wonderful)
I have the same pressing with the £3.99 Limited Edition Label. I’m thinking that if you have this along with the black inner plus the credits on two lines of text instead of three then you have the first issue of this album. Would like to know for sure though! A1, B1 on the runout is misleading as many subsequent pressings have the same.
Was this album originally released as a limited edition pressing? I have a genuine copy of the EMC3330 first edition with a “Limited Edition, £3.99 RRP only” sticker. I k ie it’s original, had since 1980.
A truly impressive debut - 4th place in the British charts! Music Maiden has always been commercial, but it does not spoil the music. There is not a single weak track on the album. Of course, the band had a lot of time - some of the songs were written five years before the release, and all this time these songs are proved their quality on live shows of the band. So here are not just a songs, but in fact it is a hits compilation, and it's no wonder that it's hard to choose the best!
Just wandering, just listened to this album for the first time. With my copy on side A on the most inner run out groove I can clearly hear: Back at you lair. Anyone else have this?? Could it be a mispressing??
I think that regardless of any errors there may have been with the first Iron Maiden album, it is still such an essential piece of rock history and of the resurgence of heavy metal. It broke new ground and it helped to lead a new movement in music. Aside from the bass itself, that I very much enjoy about this album, and of course it is the element that has retained the essential feel of the band over its many decades of its existence, it is the work that they have done with the guitars that I find amazing. The one song, which in my opinion is masterful, it is Phantom of the Opera. The exquisite amount of detail and dexterity of the very complex and immensely rich syncopated scales throughout the whole song, it is incredible, specially in the solos, they are just remarkable, unparalleled by any one. It takes so much skill to develop something like that, and for them to have created something that intricate for their debut album, it is just amazing. Right from the beginning of their career they established themselves as an innovative force, not a riff band, but as a group composed of true musicians, and to this day that remains as their central trademark. UP THE FUCKING IRONS FOREVER!