Book reviews: KILLERS – THE ORIGINS OF IRON MAIDEN 1975-1983 by Neil Daniels

Killers - The Origins of Iron Maiden by Neil Daniels

Soundcheck Books [Publication date 10.04.14]

Prolific music writer Neil Daniels has done it again. We all know the Iron Maiden story, or do we?

From their inception on Christmas Day in 1975, bass player Steve Harris has steered England’s best loved heavy metal band from album to album and the band have long been a household name.

But long before their best known line up was entertaining audiences around the world, there were a number of musicians who came and went – most of whom never really gained the success that they would have done in Maiden, aside from Paul Di’Anno who still has a number of followers.

“Killers – the origins of Iron Maiden 1975-1983” is a comprehensive look at the time frame between the bands formation to the “Piece of Mind” album – and if Daniels has missed anything out then it is not worth knowing as he once again immerses us in the subject.

The book is dedicated to former drummer Clive Burr who passed away last year and this is a really nice touch, as is the awesome foreword from Guns n Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (there is also an afterword from ex-Judas Priest frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens).

The book covers Iron Maiden’s first two albums, which had more of a raw, punk edged feel to them. Once Bruce Dickinson joined the band they had a more melodic and commercial, and ultimately more successful sound – and the period up until the end of the ‘Piece of Mind’ era.

It was these four albums, the subsequent tours and the upheaval in the band’s line-up that not only shaped the future of Iron Maiden but indeed the future of heavy metal in general as Maiden was one of the genres leading lights. In fact, in my opinion, Iron Maiden would have been even bigger had Dickinson not left the band in 1993 (to return in 1999), and may even have rivalled Metallica in size.

Rare pictures, insightful interviews and an in depth discography and tour dates sections will appeal to fans of the band but the book itself will appeal to most readers who enjoy rock music.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

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