Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eddie's Forgotten Tracks: Which Songs Should Return to Iron Maiden's Setlist

Iron Maiden's exceptional career has lasted  over 40 years. In that time they have played more than 2000 concerts in over 60 countries to millions of fans. Their live show has turned into one of metal's greatest spectacles and has laid the groundwork for what a concert should be. Maiden's catalog is nothing to scoff at either. With 16 studio albums containing 155 songs they have a lot of material to choose from. Typically Maiden derives their setlist with a good mixture of old classics and new songs with an obscure song or two to satisfy casual and hardcore fans alike. Naturally, not everyone is going to be happy and there are many songs fans wish they would play more. I myself am a mindless robot who is happy with any song Iron Maiden chooses to play in their set. But, there are a few songs that could use a bit more time in concert.

Heavy Metal Mania is going to take you album by album on which songs should be brought back to Iron Maiden's setlist. This list ONLY includes songs that are not regularly played in Maiden's setlist. Songs like "The Trooper","Wrathchild", and others that have been played on at least two of Maiden's tours in the past ten years are omitted.

Iron Maiden - 1980

Prowler - Last Played: 2005

No story about Iron Maiden would be complete without mentioning Prowler. The song was the first song on the album and was one of four featured on Maiden's debut EP, The Soundhouse Tapes, from 1979. It is a song synonymous with Maiden's early days. That's why it comes to no surprise that it was played on every tour Maiden did up until 1983. It had a ten year absence before reappearing on A Real Live Tour for whatever reason. It took twelve years off before coming back for the "Eddie Rips Up The World Tour" and it sounded great. I firmly believe Prowler could still exist on Maiden's setlist, maybe replacing Sanctuary or Running Free.

Remember Tomorrow - Last Played: 2005

Remember Tomorrow followed a similar path of "Prowler"; Played on the early tours, brought back in 1993, and put to rest after the 2005 tour. Bruce Dickinson has said this song is very special to him, as it is the first song he performed for Iron Maiden when he auditioned to join the band. This might explain why it was played on his farewell tour from the band in '93(he would of course rejoin in 1999). It sounds good with the band's modern form and even reminds me a bit of Revelations, but I think for now it should stay off the setlist. It has never been one of my favorite Maiden tracks and hearing it live does not help it that much.

Transylvania - Last Played: 1993

One common theme among metal acts is to include a bass/drum/guitar solo or instrumental song in between a set to give the vocalist some breathing time and maybe prepare the stage for a big performance.  Iron Maiden noticeably usually goes against this norm and does not include instrumentals or solos in their set. At least that's been the case in the past 20 years. Transylvania, the instrumental from the band's debut, was played off and on until hitting the stage for the final time in 1993. It could work if the band decided to bring it back and would be the best of their four instrumentals to be played live, so I say yes Transylvania should be brought back to Iron Maiden's set.

Strange World - Last Played: 1981

Songs like Strange World are definitely in Iron Maiden's lost and found category. The song first appeared in their 1979 set and was recorded for the band's aforementioned debut EP, the Soundhouse Tapes, but was not included on it due to sound issues. It was played on the tour in support of the band's debut album Iron Maiden, came on board for two shows of the Killer World Tour, and then it was vanished from thin air and never seen again. With Paul Di'anno this song sounds great. Bruce Dickinson never recorded the song on live or in studio so it is a mystery as to how it would be with him on it. I say yes this song should be performed live again just so that all 16 fans that want to hear it can get their wish.

Charlotte The Harlot - Last played: 2005

Most of Iron Maiden's eponymous debut has been played in the last 15 years. A lot of this is due to the fact Maiden embarked on the "Eddie Rips Up The World Tour" in 2005 where they dedicated a tour to their first four albums. That tour, was the last time Charlotte the Harlot was played live. Two venues in Western Europe got to witness Iron Maiden play the tribute to Ms. Charlotte for the first time since 1980. The recordings of the two performances of the song can be found on YouTube. After examining the song thoroughly and hearing it through the voice of Bruce Dickinson instead of the man who originally sang it, Paul Di'anno, it's clear to me that Maiden's show has evolved well past this song. It's great to hear this song be revived, but those lucky fans who witnessed it should probably be the last ones to hear it. Charlotte the Harlot should be retired from Iron Maiden's setlist, and I'm sure it already is.

Killers - 1981

Murders In The Rue Morgue - Last Played: 2005

If I was at my current age in 2005 and I heard that Iron Maiden was playing Murders in the Rue Morgue on tour I would be overjoyed. It is perhaps the best song form Paul Di'anno's final album and sounded great when Bruce Dickinson sang it. This is evidenced by the recordings of it on the live albums Beast Over Hammersmith(1982) and Live After Death(1985). Murders In The Rue Morgue should return to Maiden's setlist and could even be switched for another Di'anno era classic that is normally found in their set, Phantom of the Opera.

Another Life - Last Played: 2005

Most of the Di'anno era songs have the same short life of only existing in the early days tours and then disappearing forever. When the band brought this song back in 2005 it fit well for the tour, but it might have only fit for that tour. Another Life should not return to Maiden's setlist.

Genghis Khan - Last Played: 1982

See Transylvania above for exact commentary(yes I am that lazy).

Innocent Exile - Last Played: 1981

It's fair to say that Innocent Exile is one of the better appreciated songs of the Di'anno years. Fans love the opening bass riff and the continuing of the psycho killer theme on Killers. Bassist and founding member Steve Harris has stated that it was one of the first songs he wrote. That's why it puzzles me that this song has vanished from live shows, not even making a cameo performance in the 2005 tour. This song was played briefly with Bruce Dickinson when he joined the band late on the Killer World Tour in 1981 and sounded pretty good. It would have been a good tune to be played on the Beast On The Road tour that came in 1982. It's one of those songs that's good for old Maiden but probably would not fit in to their set today. This song should be played live just so we can see how it sounds with this modern incarnation of the band.

Killers - Last Played: 1999

The title track to Iron Maiden's second album is one of the most beloved of the Di'anno era. That alone makes it so mysterious as to why the band have not played it even once in this century. The song killed live(pun intended), and would absolutely be a stunner if played live today. The song is heard on live albums Beast Over Hammersmith(1982) and Maiden England (1988). It was dropped from the live show after 1988 and did not come back until 1999 on the Ed Hunter Tour where fans voted on their favorite songs to be placed in the set. When the Eddie Rips Up The World Tour took place, it was one of the most puzzling omissions from the setlist. When the band dedicated a tour to Maiden England, simply named the Maiden England World Tour, it was on a lot of fans minds that the song would return to the stage. The hopes and dreams of those fans were crushed as it did not appear. Iron Maiden should absolutely positively play this song live!

Prodigal Son - Never Played Live

Before I get to the actual commentary I want to make a quick note that the early days of the band(1975-1979) are relatively unknown. Iron Maiden has done a good job of documenting their history through books and videos, but of course the full story is not always told. There is a lot of speculation as to what actually happened and what is said by Maiden to have happened. This song, for example, does not exist on any live recordings or known bootlegs, but there are testimonials from former band members that the song was played live. For now I'm going to have it on account that this song was not played live. There exists facebook and web pages run by former Iron Maiden members who try to dispel fact from fiction of Maiden's early days. The Facebook page can be found here. The webpage can be found here.
Prodigal Son is like "Strange World" in that it is vastly different than most Iron Maiden songs. It has drifted into obscurity and is a forgotten Iron Maiden song. There is no telling how this song would sound with the band today. This song should be played live, maybe just once, so we can finally hear it live!

Purgatory - Last Played: 1981

The nifty little single was first written in 1976 and was titled "Floating". The band changed it up a bit and featured it on their 1981 album. It is one of the band's fastest and shortest songs, clocking in at only 3:20. After the 1981 Killer World Tour, the song was dropped and never seen again. Maybe that was for the best, the song did not really suit Bruce's voice, as is evidenced by the recordings of the final shows of the tour, which were the first he did with Maiden. Still, it would have been nice to see the song revitalized for the 2005 Early Days tour. Iron Maiden should not return this song to the set.

Twilight Zone - Last Played: 1981

This song follows the same path as Purgatory; Short song, short life. It was first intended as a 'B' side to Wrathchild, but was such a good song that it made its way to being a double-A side with Wrathchild. It was also dropped after the Killer World Tour and never saw the light of day again. With good reason too, it was not suited for Bruce's voice. This song should not return.

Drifter - Last Played: 2005

The final song on Killers was a staple in Maiden's live show for much of their early existence. The band would stretch the 4 minute song into a 9 minute anthem where Paul Di'anno or Bruce Dickinson, depending who was singing at the time, would chant along with the crowd in the middle of the song to pump them up. It was usually used as a way to close the set and it worked brilliantly. They dropped it after 1983 and brought it back in 2005 but it was clear that the stage presence of this song was lost. Drifter should not return to Maiden's live act.

The Number Of The Beast - 1982

Invaders: Never Played Live

Many of the most iconic metal albums all have stunning classic opening tracks. Metallica's Ride the Lightning has Fight Fire With Fire, Black Sabbath's Paranoid has War Pigs, and Motorhead's Ace of Spades has its landmark title track. The Number of the Beast, often regarded as one of the best metal albums of all-time, seems the odd man out in this scenario as its opening track is often forgotten. Invaders has never been played live by Maiden, and I have always wondered why that is. This song is awesome, I hardly find any Maiden fans who disagree, so why have they refused to play it all these years. There are rumors that it was played in New Zealand in 1992, but there is not valid evidence to support this claim and it doesn't make any sense. This song was originally titled "Invasion". There are two versions of it on The Soundhouse Tapes and the 'B' side to Women In Uniform. That song was played often in Maiden's early sets, but the re-polished version of it appears nowhere. Iron Maiden should play this song live!

22 Acacia Avenue: Last Played - 2003

The sequel to Charlotte the Harlot is heard on The Number of the Beast. It was a crowd pleaser in the first few tours it appeared on as Maiden would often bring a scantily dressed woman on stage to perform to the song. It was played on most tours through 1991, where it was dropped for good. It returned in 2003 for the "Give Me Ed... 'Till I'm Dead" tour and did not have the same spirit as it once had. It is surprising that the song was not even played once during the 2005 Early Days tour considering there was a giant stage icon that said "Acacia Avenue", but oh well. Iron Maiden should not play this song live anymore.

Gangland: Never Played Live

When Iron Maiden was recording The Number of the Beast they had a tough decision to make: Should they include Gangland or "Total Eclipse" on the release. One song would go on the record and the other would be degraded as a 'B' side to "Run to the Hills". Steve Harris and the gang ultimately chose Gangland but later felt this was a mistake. Gangland has always seemed like the bastard child among the The Number of the Beast and is treated so by the band, who have never played it live. Gangland should be played live by Iron Maiden!

Total Eclipse: Last Played - Last Played: 1982

Do you have a sibling who seems more prosperous and gets everyone's attention while you stand in the corner depressed? That's what Total Eclipse is to Gangland. Iron Maiden cherish it so much that they played it live on the Beast On The Road tour and even included it on the 1998 remastered version of The Number of the Beast. It was the cool kid on the street, or at least it was. Total Eclipse was only played on that tour and never saw the light of day again. Iron Maiden should bring this song back a time or two to the setlist.

Piece Of Mind - 1983

Where Eagles Dare - Last Played: 2005

This song has had a ...erm daring life span. It has been played seemingly on shuffle throughout its existence. It of course first appeared on the World Piece Tour, then was randomly thrown in for a leg of the Somewhere On Tour (1986) before disappearing until the A Real Live Tour in 1993. It regained life on the early days tour of 2005 and sounded great as ever. It's a classic song that sounds great when performed live. Iron Maiden should bring Where Eagles Dare back to their set, even if at random.

Flight Of Icarus - Last Played: 1986

Iron Maiden has never been a radio rock band. Their music is for the most part not heard on radio stations anywhere across the world, unless of course you count UTRGV Radio where yours truly is a DJ. This has been true for most of their career, but in 1983 they released a single in the U.S. for the first time and it went viral. Flight of Icarus is a classic metal track and was set to be one of Maiden's fondest and most recognized, until the band decided otherwise. Steve Harris never really liked the studio version of the song and prefered it live. The song was played on the initial album tour(1983), World Slavery Tour(1984), and Somewhere On Tour(1986), and that was it. The song was never played again despite being a fan favorite. It's time to bury the hatchet with this song. It's time to play Flight of Icarus live.

Die With Your Boots On - Last Played: 2005

There are bands made for live concerts and there are those made for the studio. Iron Maiden is a live band. Their studio work is exquisite, but their live act is on an untouchable level. Naturally, there will be songs that sound way better live than on record. Die Wit Your Boots On is one of those songs. It sounds spectacular live. The energy is amazing and the chorus fits perfect. The song was played on every tour until its final curtain call in 1991 on the No Prayer on the Road tour. It was brought back in 2005 and sounded awesome. This song should still be played live, it is still awesome.

Still Life - Last Played: 1988

Everyone knows "Run to the Hills" and "Wasted Years", but there are some hidden gems out there in Maiden's catalog. Still Life is the definition of a a hidden gem. It's great, it's melodic, it's genius, it's.... been almost 30 years since it was last played live. This song needs to be played live again... please!

Quest For Fire - Never Played Live

Every album has a filler song or two; Piece of Mind is no exception. Yes, Quest For Fire is a filler song, but it's still a fantastic tune. It's historically inaccurate, but that does not discredit it. Quest For Fire should be played live so we can hear every Maiden song and prove that even their filler songs are gold.

Sun And Steel - Never Played Live

Remember what I said about filler songs? Yeah... this is a filler. See above description.

To Tame A Land - Last Played: 1983

Iron Maiden, along with a lot of bands, like to save their best for last. The final track on an album is almost always the album's epic. The song recognized for superior musicianship.. To Tame A Land is one of Maiden's best written and arranged songs. Steve Harris said at the time it was the best song he had ever written. That is why it is so mind boggling that this song has been ignored since the initial World Piece Tour in 1983. The song tells the story of Dune by Frank Herbert, who told Maiden they could not use Dune as the title of the song because he did not like rock bands. That could play a role in the decision. Iron Maiden should bring this classic back now!

Powerslave - 1984

Losfer Words(Big 'Orra) - Last Played: 1985

Go ahead and look at my description of "Transylvania" if you want to know what I think of instrumentals in live sets.

Flash of the Blade - Never Played Live

One thing that's always bugged me about Iron Maiden is that they produce absolute masterpieces but refuse to play them live. There are several examples of this and Flash of the Blade is a prime one. There are obviously reasons that are not made public as to why this is but this is one I can just not get over. Flash of the Blade needs to be played live.

The Duelists - Never Played Live

Another terrific song off Powerslave that has yet to see the stage. Please Maiden, play this song... and Flash of the Blade.

Back In The Village - Never Played Live

I'm starting to sound like a scratched record, but Iron Maiden needs to perform every song! Iron Maiden needs to play ever song! Iron Maiden needs to play every song! There are rumors that this song was played on the first dates of the World Slavery Tour, but none of them can be confirmed as fact.

Rime Of The Ancient Mariner - Last Played: 2009

"What's your favorite song Nate?" "Hey Nathaniel what's your favorite Iron Maiden song?"
I'll always answer Rime of the Ancient Mariner! I love it! It's a hefty song, standing at 13 minutes(their 3rd longest song) of metal superiority. They played it live a few times; The World Slavery Tour(1984-85), a random addition to Somewhere On Tour(1986-87), and of course the Somewhere Back In Time Tour(2008-2009) where Bruce Dickinson said it was his favorite to bring back to the set. Even though it is my favorite song, I understand that the large spectacle needed to be performed along with the song might be too out of place with the current setlist Maiden has. I want Maiden to play this song if they can do it right, which I know they would.

Somewhere In Time - 1986

Caught Somewhere In Time - Last Played: 1987

There are sometimes that Maiden dedicates an opening track to the album tour and it is never seen again. We see this with Different World(A Matter of Life and Death), Aces High(Powerslave) until 1999, and Caught Somewhere In Time. Sometimes this makes sense, I honestly cannot see this song being performed on No Prayer on the Road or the Brave New World tours. Still, this is a great song and I'd be in awe if it was played live. Maiden missed a big chance to revitalize Somewhere On Tour when they redid Maiden England in 2012-2014. So it's likely we'll never see this song again. Iron Maiden should return this song to the set along with a tribute to Somewhere in Time.

Sea Of Madness - Last Played: 1987

Madness? I'll tell you what's madness: Having a brilliant album like Somewhere In Time and not paying any respect to it. Bring Sea of Madness back with the whole album in tow!

Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner - Last Played: 1986

This song was played as many times as I've had hope in my life: one time. One time this song was played. And on that fateful night of September 10, 1986 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia(now Serbia), all was right in the world. Then, suddenly Iron Maiden decided to drop the song and chaos erupted. The world has not been right since this song was dropped. People have died, prices have risen, United Airlines has partaken in heinous acts. Please Iron Maiden, play this song, you're our only hope!

Stranger In A Strange Land - Last Played: 1999

If you haven't noticed by now, I'm very bitter about Somewhere In Time's exclusion from Maiden's setlist. This may be the zenith of my anger. This is my favorite song on the album and it has barely been touched since the initial Somewhere On Tour in 1986-1987. In 1999, Iron Maiden held an online fan-vote for their 20 best songs to be chosen for an upcoming compilation album. Stranger In A Strange Land was voted on. The band embarked on the Ed Hunter Tour which marked the return of Bruce Dickinson on vocals and Adrian Smith on guitar who left in 1993 and 1990, respectively. All was right. Stranger In A Strange Land was even in the setlist and was played on five shows of the tour. Five time!?!? Five, the amount of times I've cried about this subject today. Iron Maiden, I beg, I plead, play Stranger In A Strange Land.

Deja-Vu - Never Played Live

Even the less desirable Somewhere In Time songs like Deja-Vu upset me for their exclusion from the set. Play it please!

Alexander The Great - Never Played Live

Is there a song that Iron Maiden fans panhandle for to be played live more that Alexander the Great? This is the quintessential Iron Maiden song to have never been played live. This album and tour are perhaps the most unappreciated in Maiden's history. The Somewhere On Tour was a massive spectacle and there is no live album or video to cherish, a true regret from the band and fans. If the band truly regrets not filming it, why not recreate the show along with Maiden England and give the fans double the amazement? At the heart of this disappointment is the fact that Alexander the Great has never been played live. Is this song destined to live in legacy? I sure hope not. Play this song. Hell, play the whole album live!

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - 1988

Infinite Dreams - Last Played: 1988

Iron Maiden pleased a lot of fans when they embarked on their Maiden Engalnd World Tour in 2012-2014. Most fans were eager to hear Infinite Dreams for the first time in almost 25 years. Those fans were let down when Maiden decided not to play their 1988 classic. Why this amazing song was not played is beyond me. Maiden, bring this song back!

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son- Last Played: 2014

Maiden might have pissed off some with the Maiden England World Tour's setlist, but a lot of fans were happy with what they got. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, the mammoth title track, returned to the stage in great form. It was a great close for the song's life. It's a great song, but it has seen its final days. Iron Maiden should not return this song to the set.

The Prophecy - Never Played Live

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is a concept album, or an album that tells a story. Any story cannot be told unless every part is acknowledged... well unless it's a movie adaptation. I guess consider Maiden's live show a movie and The Prophecy a chapter the director did not care about. Maiden should play this song because it was never played live.

Only The Good Die Young - Never Played Live

This song is great. It is actually one of my favorites on the album. The description of "The Prophecy" could be added here. Play it live!

No Prayer For The Dying- 1990

Tailgunner - Last Played: 1992

Tailgunner was voted onto the aforementioned 1999 compilation album, Ed Hunter. When the band emarked on the Ed Hunter Tour, 18 of the 20 songs were played live. Tailgunner was one of the two not played. To be fair, Tailgunner might have been 20th on the list, but it was still voted in and deserved to be played. Iron Maiden should play this song and other 90s songs.

Holy Smoke - Last Played: 1990

Iron Maiden has released 33 singles straight from the album throughout their career. Each of these with the exception of two have lasted at least one full tour. The first that didn't make the cut is Empire of the Clouds, the 18-minute behemoth off Maiden's 2015 album The Book of Souls. The other is a less beloved song. Holy Smoke is that song. Holy Smoke has not been played since 1991 and was abandoned by the band on the final four dates of the No Prayer on the Road tour, hammering the nail on the coffin of its fate. There are three things I would really love for Maiden to do in the future: The first of course is to do a tribute to Somewhere In Time, the 2nd is to do a revival 90s tour, the third will be revealed later in this post. The 1990s were a tough time for Iron Maiden, and metal as a whole, with low album sales and concert attendance. It may be a far-fetched, ridiculous idea financial wise, but it would make us hardcore fans really happy. Holy Smoke should be played when Maiden answers my wishes, unless there really is no prayer for the dying.

No Prayer For the Dying - Last Played: 1991

Iron Maiden has some awesome title tracks for their albums. Powerslave, Brave New World, Killers, The Number of the Beast, the list goes on. Then there's a song called No Prayer For the Dying. Maybe the title was foreshadowing for what was to come later in the decade. It's not their best, but if a 90s tour were to happen it would be a great addition.

Public Enema Number One - Last Played: 1991

I'm almost surprised this song was played at all. The 1990-1991 era of Iron Maiden really facinates me. Janick Gers had just joined as a guitarist replacing Adrian Smith and the band tweaked their sound a bit while recording the album in Steve Harris's barn! How exciting, yet we hardly hear any comments from any members about this period. That's why it is crucial to me that if there is indeed a History of Iron Maiden Part 4 that it does not cut corners and tells the full story. Oh yeah, this song could be played live again.

Fates Warning - Never Played Live

I never thought I would be happy about a song never being played live, but here I am. Don't get me wrong, Fates Warning is a good song, there is also a great band named Fates Warning you should check out here. However, the song would not work live. Thank you Iron Maiden for not playing this song, but I still would like to hear it at least once please.

The Assassin - Last Played: 1991

Don't crucify me for this, but I think The Assassin is a classic Iron Maiden song. It rules! However, it is in the middle of a long list of songs that do not get their due on this album. If you want to hear it live it's a 'B' side to "Wasting Love" which you can get on Ebay for anywhere between $50-$150. You could do that, or Maiden could grant my wish and play this on a 90s tour.

Run Silent Run Deep - Never Played Live

This song has never been played live, wow what a surprise, but I would see it work. Play it.

Hooks In You - Last Played: 1991

This song sounds cool live. It fits the early 90s vibe Maiden had going at the time. Which is why it should follow other songs from this album and be played on a 90s tour.

Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaugher - Last Played: 2003

The UK #1 hit that was voted "Worst Song of 1990" was featured on Nightmare On Elm Street Part Five with Bruce's solo band. It had the longest live life of any No Prayer For the Dying song before being abandoned in 2003. The song worked well live. Bring it back!

Mother Russia - Last Played: 1991

Iron Maiden has some epic album closers like Rime of the Anicent Mariner, Empire of the Clouds, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. Oh yeah, No Prayer For The Dying closes with Mother Russia. Yeah I'm having a laugh at this album one more time, but jokes aside this is a great song. It was never played live but it should be!

Fear of the Dark - 1992

Be Quick or Be Dead - Last Played: 1993

The first song from the 1992 album was the other song omitted from the Ed Hunter Tour despite being voted in, but maybe that was the best choice. This song sounded rather poor live and should not come back to the set.

From Here to Eternity - Last Played: 1993

Speaking of songs that are not great live, here's From Here to Eternity. This song would most likely be brought back if a 90s tour is done, and it may be good.

Afraid to Shoot Strangers - Last Played: 2013

Iron Maiden shocked a lot of fans by playing this song on the Maiden England World Tour for the first time since 1998. Personally, this is the only original Bruce song I prefer sung by Blaze Bayley, who replaced Bruce Dickinson from 1994-1998. It is a great song, but its time has passed. Hopefully it's a sign that they will play more obscure songs in the future.

Fear is the Key - Never Played Live

Get ready or a long list of songs never played from this album. Fear is the Key starts us off. Would it be good live? I don't know just play it for Eddie's sake so we can know!

Childhood's End - Never Played Live

Would probably not sound good live, but gee I wish I could hear it live once so it could be judged.

Wasting Love - Last Played: 1993

How this song became a single is beyond me, but it is a good song and sounded great live. Bring it back what the hell.

The Fugitive - Never Played Live

This is actually one of my favorites on the album. I know I'd be happy if they randomly whipped out this track on stage one day.

Chains of Misery - Never Played Live

Yet another song that has never been played live and maybe you've noticed my effort has dwindled from song to song, hey kind of like the band on this album huh!  Play the song sure go ahead.

The Apparition - Never Played Live

Noooooo! Don't do it!! Okay just once I guess.

Judas Be My Guide - Never Played Live

I often joke that this song is about Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford who "guided" Bruce Dickinson to leave Iron Maiden after he shocked the metal world by leaving Judas Priest in 1992. Bruce would leave after this album was released and this mysterious song was never played live. Now that both are back in the bands they belong, it's time to play it!

Weekend Warrior

No thanks.

The X Factor - 1995

Sign of the Cross - Last Played: 2001

We've reached everyone's favorite, the Blaze Bayley era!(sarcasm implied) Sign of the Cross is 1995's answer to Rime of the Ancient Mariner and it works well, not perfect like Mariner, but it's good. It is one of the most liked Blaze songs and was even performed by the band when Bruce came back until 2001. I always preferred this song with Blaze on vocals so this song should be retired.

Lord of the Flies - Last Played: 2003

This is the last song from the Blaze era that has been performed live. It closes the chapter on what is the most unforgotten and most unfairly treated era of the band. My 3rd and final request from Iron Maiden is to honor the Blaze Bayley years as if they actually existed and this song would be a big part of it. Play it!

Man on the Edge - Last Played: 1999

This is probably my favorite song on the album and I know I'm not alone. If you haven't realized by now... this album is underrated! Bring these songs back already.

Fortunes of War - Last Played: 1998

This song sounded good when it was done on the initial album tour, dubbed The X Factour. It was so good that they brought it back for their 1998 Virtual XI World Tour and played it a whole two times. Where's the fortune in that? One of those two shows has a bootleg recording on YouTube and it sounds great. The crowd even sounds enthused, which was rare for Blaze concerts. It would probably sound great with Bruce at the helm, and there's only one way to find out.

Look For The Truth - Never Played Live

This post has become a cliche of me saying every other Iron Maiden album is unappreciated and guess what? I stand by those statements. The X Factor is great and has some awesome songs on it. Look For The Truth may not be one of those awesome songs, but I'll request it to be played live just because it have has been.

The Aftermath - Last Played: 1998

The Aftermath saw "Fortunes of War" and its two performances in 1998, laughed in its face and only got played once in '98. The live performance of this song from The X Factour in '96 was put as a 'B' side to 1998's "The Angel and the Gambler". So it's puzzling as to why they took it off so quickly. Are live 'B' sides put there because the band legitimately liked the take, just to fill air, or to ward off people like me who demand every song be played live and recorded? I'll go with the latter and take their word for it. Do not play it live Maiden.

Blood On the World's Hands - Last Played: 1998

Steve Harris is what led me to first picking up a Bass guitar. His style, drive, energy, it all inspired me so much. Blood On The World's Hands is a change in his usual style with a 70 second bass solo to start off the song, something rarely found on Iron Maiden songs. It would be great to hear that powerful solo again live! Bring this one back.

Judgement of Heaven - Never Played Live

Works well when Blaze does it with his solo band, but probably not with Bruce. Play it live so we can find out.

The Edge of Darkness - Last Played: 1996

This is another song that had a live version as a 'B' side and yet it was not played live in 1998 or any other year. Bring it back with the Blaze reunion tour! Oh I didn't mention that in my 3rd wish?

2 AM - Never Played Live

The X Factor is a rare Iron Maiden album in that they did not really upset anybody by not playing some of the songs live. 2 AM is a great song, but would not work with Maiden's live show. Play it one time only.

The Unbeliever - Never Played Live

Remember that joke I made about "Mother Russia" not being a great closer? Well I take it back, this song makes "Mother Russia" look like "Hallowed Be Thy Name". It makes Sam Dyson look like Mariano Rivera(Baseball joke). Play it live once, and then banish it back to the depths from which it came.

Virtual XI - 1998

Futureal - Last Played: 1999

This song sounds good with both Bruce and Blaze singing, do I smell a duet? It worked then and it could work now. Bring it back!

The Angel and the Gambler - Last Played: 1998

Most people that know of this song's existence regard it as the worst Iron Maiden song. I do not agree with that but it's far from their best. Maybe it's for the best if this one stays on the shelf.

Lightning Strikes Twice - Last Played: 1998

This is my favorite song of the Blaze era and I really feel like it deserves more respect. Bringing it back live would do just that.

The Clansman - Last Played: 2001

This is one of the better remembered songs of the period and it deserves it. It's the only song from the album to have life in this century so why not play it again?

When Two Worlds Collide - Last Played: 1998

What? Another Virtual XI song that has not been touched in 19 years? Wow I'm so shocked. They must played it immediately.

The Educated Fool - Last Played: 1998

Iron Maiden get philosophical on this track. If I listened to it more than 4 times maybe I'd know the meaning behind it. I could either listen to my copy of Virtual XI  again or Iron Maiden could play this song again so I can finally decipher it.

Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger - Last Played: 1998

If you want to fool your friends into thinking your CD/Vinyl/iPod is scratched, play them this gem from Virtual XI. The words "don't look to" are repeated over 60 times you'll have a hell of a time. Amazingly this troll song was actually played live, albeit only 5 times. So you mean to tell me this band refuses to play Alexander the Great but actually played this nonsense of a song? I mean don't get me wrong it's a great song but what the hell Maiden? Steve, Dave, Nicko, Janick; what on Earth were you thinking? Sorry Blaze but we know you had minimal input by this time. To my knowledge this is one of the few Blaze era Iron Maiden songs that Blaze Bayley has not performed with his solo band so maybe even he thought it was a bad idea. Oh well, you know what, play this song every concert! That'd be awesome actually. At least I know all the words.

Como Estais Amigos - Never Played Live

The first of two Iron Maiden songs with Spanish titles. Maybe the British lads could not remember any Spanish and decided not to play it. We have Google Translate now guys, go ahead and play it!

Brave New World - 2000

The Wicker Man - Last Played: 2011

I was almost sure this song was played more often. It's the song that solidifes the new era of Iron Maiden with Bruce Dickinson on vocals, bassist Steve Harris, the guitar trifecta of Dave Murray, Janick Gers, and Adrian Smith, and the man behind the drumkit making all the noise Nicko McBrain. It's a great song synonymous with 2000s Maiden. Play it up!

Ghost of the Navigator - Last Played: 2011

Or as I like to call it: 2000's Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It's an epic song but I'm not so sure if it's the best song live. We have seen enough it for now.

Brave New World - Last Played: 2010

Brave New World might be the best Iron Maiden album of the 2000s decade and the title track is a big reason why. It rules live and should be played more often.

The Mercenary - Last Played: 2002

This song probably fits only on the Brave New World Tour. Leave it there for now.

Dream of Mirrors - Last Played: 2002

Honestly, I am surprised they played "Ghost of the Navigator" over this in 2010. It could work again. Play it.

The Fallen Angel - Last Played: 2001

This song was played sporadically on the Brave New World Tour, only appearing nine times. Maybe that's for the best. No more of The Fallen Angel for now.

The Nomad - Never Played Live

It is actually very surprising that this song has never been played live. That should end soon. Play it!

Out of the Silent Planet - Last Played: 2001

This song was somehow released as a single despite only being played four times on the homestretch of the Brave New World Tour. I mean were they going to pick a song they played more or what? Those four times were enough, no more.

The Thin Line Between Love and Hate - Never Played Live

If this song was shortened a bit it could work great live. Do it Maiden!

Dance of Death - 2003

Wildest Dreams - Last Played: 2010

This song really should not have even been played in 2010. The stage time it got in 2003 was enough. Goodbye for now Wildest Dreams.

Rainmaker - Last Played: 2004

This is the better single from the album, the other one is "Wildest Dreams". It deserved to be played more than its counterpart. On with the show!

No More Lies - Last Played: 2010

This song deserved its time on stage and has seen its best days. For now though, it's time to retire it.

Monstegur - Never Played Live

It's been a while in this post that I have been actually upset about a song's exclusion. This is one that really boils my blood. Monstegur is one of Iron Maiden's best songs. Yes, you can print that, depending on your web browser there are various steps to do so. I love this song and demand it be played live soon!

Dance of Death - Last Played: 2011

I don't know if people will get more upset at me for saying I love The X Factor  or that I don't really care for the song "Dance of Death". It's a great song don't get me wrong, all Iron Maiden songs are awesome, but it is far from one of my favorites. I will admit that it is amazing live. So yeah, this song can be played live from time to time.

Gates of Tomorrow - Never Played Live

Remember when I said "Quest For Fire" was a filler song on Piece of Mind? Well Dance of Death is full of filler songs. There are good filler songs, there are bad filler songs, it has them all. Gates of Tomorrow is a good filler song and probably would have sounded good if it was performed on the Death on the Road Tour.

New Frontier - Never Played Live

Nicko McBrain has been in Iron Maiden for a long time. He first joined the band in 1982 and first appeared on Piece of Mind. In that time he has acquired quite the resume of some badass drum lines. However, he had never written a song in his tenure with the band until one night when lightning struck McBrain's pen and the "madman" laid down song lyrics. The song was largely forgotten and never played live... the end.
Epilogue: New Frontier is a good song that could be played live.

Paschendale - Last Played: 2010

This is a spectacular song and put on quite the show when it was put on live. This song would be great if it was played more often.

Face in the Sand - Never Played Live

This is another great filler song on Dance of Death. It has some great lyrics as well in it. This is not my Iron Maiden lyrics post so don't expect commentary on that until later. Nicko McBrain is one of few metal drummers who does not use a double-pedal, calling it "undrummerish". Face in the Sand is the first song that features a double-pedal on board. That double-pedal has never seen the stage as this song has never been played live, but it should!

Age of Innocence - Never Played Live

This is the filler song on the album that is not very good. It just seems boring and lost without any real purpose. There exists a hilarious rendition of the song with Nicko McBrain on vocals. If this song is ever played live it should have him singing it!

Journeyman - Last Played: 2004

This is one of Maiden's most unique songs and is a great way to close out the Dance of Death album. It is Iron Maiden's only full-acoustic song and that is no gimmick, it is just plain awesome! I love this song and wish it would be played live more often.

A Matter of Life an Death - 2006

Different World - Last Played: 2007

There has been a theme with Maiden on their last couple of albums of releasing one of the weakest tracks as the lead single. Different World is not a bad song, but it is far from the best on the album. It's time on the A Matter of Life and Death Tour was all it needed.

These Colours Don't Run - Last Played: 2010

It is rumored that this song was against Sharon Osbourne, who notoriously egged Maiden in 2005 after a few comments Bruce made about reality TV. The band has stated that the song's inspiration did not come from that but who can tell. It's a great song and fit well with their 2000s vibe of war and desperation. This is a song that could be played live.

Brighter Than A Thousand Suns - Last Played: 2010

Iron Maiden made a bold effort during their Final Frontier World Tour(2010) when they made a commitment to playing mostly new material on their album. This received mixed reviews from audiences. The band opted to play 2000s songs such as "Dance of Death" or Brighter Than A Thousand Suns rather than classic material such as "The Trooper" or "Run to the Hills". Brighter Than A Thousand Suns is a song that I personally wish had been left out. They could have switched this song out for another 2000s great like "Journeyman" or "The Longest Day".

The Pilgrim - Last Played: 2006

Speaking of noble efforts, in 2006 Iron Maiden played their newly released A Matter of Life and Death album in its entirety. This was of course seen differently by the fans. Classics of course were cut out in favor of songs such as this one. On the 2007 leg of the tour, Maiden pleased most of their fans by playing a majority of their 1982 album The Number of the Beast to honor its 25th anniversary. The Pilgrim was one of the new songs that got axed from the set and that was a bad idea. This is one of the better songs on the album and deserves to be played live.

The Longest Day - Last Played: 2006

This is my favorite song on the album and I absolutely despise their decision to play "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" over it on recent tours. This song needs to come back.

Out of the Shadows - Last Played: 2006

Another song that got cut from the setlist on the 2007 portion of the A Matter of Life and Death Tour. This is one decision that I agree with. This song has seen its last days on the stage.

The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg - Last Played: 2010

This song was released as a single after the album was released and features one of the better artworks in recent Iron Maiden history. This gave it an even better feel when the backdrop was raised on stage when it was played. That reason, coupled with the fact that it's an amazing song, gives it the nod to be played live more often.

For the Greater Good of God - Last Played: 2007

This is a song that was surprisingly not brought back to the setlist for the 2010 tour. Again I'll ask, why "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" and not this song? It's great and should come back.

Lord of Light - Last Played: 2006

This is a great song, from a great album, but has seen its last days on the stage. Hey here is something that has not been said in a while: This album is severely underrated! Why is this album not cherished as much as it should be? I believe this stems from the fact that it falls in between two colossal Iron Maiden ventures, the History of Iron Maiden Part 1(2005) and the Somewhere Back in Time Tour(2008). These were two circumstances that elevated Maiden to a level that they had not even achieved in their "heyday"(the 1980s). Iron Maiden has grown to achieve a level of popularity that has never been seen in their career and the 2008 tour was a large part of that. Because of this, A Matter of Life and Death is kind of forgotten. This is a sad fact, but maybe it's better that way because of the amount of amazing exposure and respect Maiden has received the past decade.

The Legacy - Last Played: 2006

The beginning of this song is fairly polarizing. The acoustic mythical sounding into is different than the entire album, and most Iron Maiden songs. This held me back from the song for a while, but if you listen to the whole thing it is actually a great song. Unfortunately the beginning of the song slows down the album a bit and would not work live.

The Final Frontier - 2010

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier - Last Played: 2011

This might be the poorest song on the album and it's the opening track. It is good for the album tour that ensued, but it's best if this one does not come back.

El Dorodo - Last Played: 2011

The second of Iron Maiden's Spanish-titled songs. This one however, was played live and sounded great. I could see it being brought back.

Mother of Mercy - Never Played Live

This is a great song. How has it never played live? Why was Brighter Than A Thousand Suns played and this song was not???

Coming Home - Last Played: 2011

The single from this album received mostly praise from fans. It's a great song and should be returned to the stage someday.

The Alchemist - Never Played Live

This is a great song. How has it never played live? Why was Brighter Than A Thousand Suns played and this song was not???

Isle of Avalon - Never Played Live

I see a lot of fans say that this is their favorite song on the album. I don't know about that but it is a good song and could have definitely tagged along in the setlist with "The Talisman".

Starblind - Never Played Live

The Final Frontier features better material that most people, including myself, give it credit for. This is a good song and should be played live a time or two.

The Talisman - Last Played: 2011

I would love to go behind the scenes of a Maiden concert and find out why some songs they decide to play over others. This is a terrific song and I'm surprised that they played it.

The Man Who Would Be King - Never Played Live

This is one of my least favorite Iron Maiden songs, I'm talking bottom five, so I whole-heartily respect their decision to not play the song. It should still be played live just because it never has been.

When the Wild Wind Blows - Last Played: 2011

This song features some great imagery, as many Maiden songs do, but it feels like a let down. It is definitely far from my favorite on the album and it should stay away from future sets.

The Book of Souls - 2015

The second leg of the Book of Souls World Tour is set to kick off soon. It might be too early to determine whether some songs should be played and others should not, but I don't care.

Six of the album's eleven songs were played on the 2016 tour and it looks like we'll get more of the same in 2017. Here's a quick run down of the songs that were played in 2016 and whether or not they should be still played:

If Eternity Should Fail - Yes
Speed of Light - Yes
The Red and the Black - Yes
The Book of Souls - Yes
Death or Glory - Yes
Tears of a Clown - No

Now, here are the songs that were not played live and how often they should be in the set:

The Great Unknown - Just a few times
When the River Runs Deep - The whole damn tour
Shadows of the Valley - Just a few times
The Man of Sorrows - Just a few times
Empire of the Clouds - On special occasions, it's an 18-minute song after all

So, there you have it. Every Iron Maiden song that has not been played often in the past ten years and whether or not they should come back. I love every Iron Maiden song, and if they ever decide to do a "Least of the Beast Tour" with their disliked and unknown songs I would be the first to buy tickets. If I had a dream Iron Maiden setlist consisting of their average 15-18 songs(usually lasting 90-120 minutes) it would look something like this:

1. Aces High
2. The Wicker Man
3. The Evil That Men Do
4. Revelations
5. Man on the Edge
6. Stranger in a Strange Land
7. Killers
8. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
9. Monstegur
10. Coing Home
11. Tailgunner
12. Die With Your Boots On
13. Children of the Damned
14. Iron Maiden


15. The Number of the Beast
16. Death or Glory
17. Journeyman

I made that list up on the spot so it is not perfect.

If you can make up a better list, have any opinions on songs I think should be played, or want to tell me I am an idiot, go right ahead and leave a comment.
If not, stay tuned for the next post on Heavy Metal Mania!


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