Ranking IRON MAIDEN: The Beast to the Least – 16 Studio Albums

The Numbers of the BeasT


6. Killers (1981)

There exists a strong contingent of early Maiden devotees who consider this the better of the two Di’Anno era records. The album features a blistering compliment of power and raw energy.  “Prodigal Son”, “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “Drifter”, as well as the instrumental “Ghengis Khan” make this record a most own, but “Wrathchild” is among the band’s greatest recorded efforts. Best Song: “Wrathchild”.

7. Somewhere in Time (1986)

This album was something of a departure for the band. It was the first use of guitar synthesizers by the band. It also marked a real breakout for guitarist Adrian Smith who penned both of the album’s hits “Wasted Years” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”. Dickinson’s offerings were rejected by the band, and he had no songwriting credits on the record. Other strong tracks included “Caught Somewhere in Time” and “Heaven Can Wait”. Best song: “Wasted Years”.

8. Book of Souls (2016)

The Book of Souls is the most recent in the band’s iconic catalog, and arguably its most ambitious, clocking in at a beastly 92 minutes. The album is also a testament to the band’s tenacity, as frontman Bruce Dickinson battled tongue cancer during the recording. Sonically, the album is a mix of Maiden at their best, and in fact this is the band’s best effort since its 80s heydey. The Book of Souls is but another grand and fulfilling chapter in a legendary career that is distinguished by deft musicianship, intelligent lyrics, and masterful songwriting. Kevin Shirley‘s production is understated yet flawlessly brilliant. Best song: “If Eternity Should Fail”

9. Brave New World (2000)

The album that marked the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith and the start of Maiden’s six-man line-up which remains to this day. Perhaps more artistic than Maiden of old, even a little slower over all, but a very impressive work. From the divine opener “Wicker Man” to the title track, to mid-temp thrashers like “The Nomad” and “Mercenary”, to the addictive “Ghost Ship Navigator”, this reminded fans why they are among metal royalty. Best song: “Blood Brothers”.

10. A Matter of Life and Death (2006)

While one can hear a bit of wear and tear on Bruce Dickinson’s vocals here, he’s as energetic as ever. A maturing of the band sound is noticeable here, and as always there are the intriguing lyrics. Songs like “Brighter than a Thousand Suns”, “Lord of Light”, “These Colours Don’t Run” and “Different World” stand as signposts pointing toward classic Iron MaidenBest song: “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg”.

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