Album rankings per person

2018 list:

16- Fear Of The Dark
15- Virtual XI
14- Brave New World
13- No Prayer For The Dying
12- The Book Of Souls
11- The Final Frontier
10- Dance Of Death
9- The Number Of The Beast
8- Iron Maiden
7- The X Factor
6- Killers
5- A Matter Of Life And Death
4- Piece Of Mind
3- Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
2- Powerslave
1- Somewhere In Time
1.-4. Masterpieces: Iron Maiden, Killers, Somewhere In Time, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
[May contain hiccups such as Heaven Can Wait and Can I Play With Madness]
5.-7. Solid, with some heavy riffs: The Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave.
8.-?. Some other stuff with occasional good ideas.
[May contain hiccups such as Heaven Can Wait and Can I Play With Madness]
Hiccups???? Another blasphemer... penitentiate!!!! :D :D :D
On a more serious note it's curious the number of IM albums that, IMO, haven't got a single 'meh!' track (or worst). Namely:
  • Somewhere In Time, Powerslave and Seventh Son are all killer no filler (with more than half the songs being out of this world!)
  • A Matter Of Life And Death, Killers, Iron Maiden and The X Factor's least achieved moments are great tracks to say the least (yes... even the overplayed Iron Maiden or The Unbeliever if we skip those cringe harmonics in the beginning).
  • Even The Final Frontier and Senjutsu (records I don't rate that high) haven't got a single lackluster (perhaps what comes closer to it is The Man Who Would Be King for being a bit derivative but it's still amazingly entertaining and well structured).
On the other hand great records I love such as The Number Of The Beast and especially Piece Of Mind feature Gangland and Quest For Fire that are utter trash. :p
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16.No Prayer For The Dying
This album was uninspired, probably came out because it had to, forced, rushed, even the Cover Art has no personality. Supposedly Iron Maiden wanted to go "back to the roots" but you won't find any Transylvania or Phantom here. Mother Russia could have been a masterpiece but sounds unfinished to me, only time I say this for a Maiden song but it should've been longer. I enjoy Run Silent Run Deep a bit. Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter is disturbingly bad, Bruce's version is better.Tailgunner sounds like some discount energy lacking aces high, Hooks In You is probably the worst on the album. Bruce's vocals aren't good, hell even the covers are bad, especially Communication Breakdown. Definitely some good guitar parts to play if you are a beginner tho (the title track, public enema number one, mother Russia). I still wonder why The Assassin was given more length in the 1998 remasters.

15.Book Of Souls
I was into this when it came out, I liked the hype, but this album has no flow. I really hope Maiden produce for LP again cause this monster was 3 of them (2 if you like CD). The opening song, If Eternity Should Fail is part of Bruce's upcoming concept solo album afaik so it feels a bit out of place without the rest of the story, who is Necropolis? Most of the songs are formulaic, long, repetitive. Why did The Red And The Black need to be almost 14 minutes? The climb like a monkey part in Death or Glory is probably the cringiest part in any Maiden song. While I'm not a fan of the length I like the empire of the clouds, this song is an easy listen despite it's length. Man of sorrows is Dave's only contribution, I like the first part but not the rest. The title track sounds like The Fallen Angel on some bits. Overall a very safe record with bad production, mistakes in playing, unpolished, unattractive guitar tone, the band has three guitarists and added instrumentation (keyboards etc.) but the compression and mixing really drowns them all and makes it sound bad. Dickinson's vocals aren't the best on this, he was going through things at this era so probably the Live Recording practice wasn't the right approach. The album brought back the old logo that doesn't cut corners (no pun intended) and the cover art while a bit simplistic isn't bad, the inside art is gorgeous tho and the same goes for the stage.

14.A Matter Of Life And Death
Not a bad album overall but not my favorite either, I hate the cover art tho but love the soldier Eddie logo. The album mostly deals with war and religion, something The X Factor album did before. Again on this one songs feel very formulaic and similar to each other. I really dig the first part of The Longest Day but stop listening to the song when the How Long part starts, The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg is an interesting riff too. Different World is one of my least favorite songs of their discography. Not much to say really, could never get into it.

13.Dance Of Death
Just like AMOLAD, I don't like the opening track Wildest Dreams (The cgi videos are bad too). The album has some very nice tracks with an okay length so just by trimming the fat you get a good record so the quality of the songs isn't an issue. The four songs that follow are very good. Rainmaker is a very nice short song with a Dave Murray esque good single choice. No More Lies is a very powerful song I'd love to experience live. Montsegur is probably the best song on the album written by Dickinson, it's fast, talks about history, very adrenaline rushing song overall. The title track reminds me of fear of the dark, it has a medieval atmosphere, highlight of the reunion songs. Paschendale is also one of the best reunion songs, I'm really into the Bodies falling like the rain part. Journeyman is a very special song in the IM discography, going fully acoustic was a very good choice, it has a very nice feeling, I prefer the Death On The Road version cause that small solo by Adrian adds to the experience. Gates of tomorrow and New Frontier aren't bad songs but not standouts either, Face in the sand is better. Age of innocence is just abysmal, I prefer Nicko's parody. I don't feel the need to judge the artwork, everyone knows how bad it is, the rainmaker single had a better one. It was fun listening to this while downmixing the DVD-Audio.

12.The Final Frontier
I haven't listened a lot to that one. It was interesting hearing Steve playing Bass with distortion in the intro (Satellite 15), for some unknown reason this song is merged with the title track. Some of the songs REALLY stand out. Mother Of Mercy is probably my favorite, sounds like Spirit Crusher at a part, Starblind is a magical song too that fits the space theme, The Alchemist and Isle Of Avalon I really adore they have the literature/medieval influence I like in maiden songs. The talisman is the epic of the album, what a beast, really immersive. Coming home is a very cute song by Dickinson that talks about missing your home I guess.When the Wild Wind Blows is a Harris solo song and a good one at it that existed for some time before the album's conception. I don't like Final Frontier and El Dorado but the comic style cover art and CD are very nice unlike the albums artwork. The Man Who Would Be King is probably the only maiden I have yet to listen to. Definitely not the bad album some make it out to be.

11.Virtual XI
The album's name is atrocious combined with the whole football/ ed hunter game promotion thing, the game is bad too btw. That being said, this album is the last album produced for LP, only 8 songs. The first song is Futureal, and boy this is one of the best songs one can open an album with. It's sort, filled with energy just a perfect song to start a gig and an album, has that Aces High feel, it could use some dual guitar harmonies like Blaze does it with his own band but this is a production issue and this album lacks good production (or production at all). The angel and the gambler isn't a bad song, the keyboards are awesome and sound like Deep Purple a bit, the solos are out of this world but it bigger than it should be, that's not a problem tho since the edited version exists (the 4 minute radio one too). The Clansman is one of Maiden's best epics no wonder it's on the LOTB tour. When Two Worlds Collide is one of my favorite maiden songs, Ave Dave Murray. The Educated Fool feels like a very popular song for some reason. Como Estais Amigos is also one the best songs of the album very nice closer, has an emotional feel. Lightning Strikes Twice and Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger aren't bad either. Overall only good songs on this one, a bit lighter than it's predecessor but that's not a bad thing. I like the artwork too, gorilla Eddie but not the logo with the cut corners.

10.Fear Of The Dark
This album has some bad songs but also some of Maiden's absolute best, the cover art is iconic too btw. The albums starts with Be Quick or Be Dead Maiden's hardest song and it's awesome, really gets you going. From Here to Eternity is just a putrid hit song attempt. Afraid to Shoot Strangers is a very emotional Maiden song, one of their best, sister song to Fortunes Of War I'd say. Fear Is the Key isn't a perfect song, but not a good one either. Childhood's End is definitely a highlight with an awesome interlude. Wasting Love is the song Janick was afraid to give to Steve because didn't believe is an Iron Maiden song but I'm glad he did, very frequent on my playlists. (Is the Triumph Mix even different?) The Fugitive talks about someone who escaped a prison ig and is on the run, another one I like from this album. Chains of Misery, ehhh, not great not terrible, definitely not a Maiden-style song, more like Dokken. The Apparition is probably the only Maiden song without a chorus, a fan least favorite, I like this one, guess its a guilty pleasure. Judas Be My Guide is a song you may find in articles like "Iron Maiden's most underrated songs", it's true tho, never played live either. Weekend Warrior isn't good but still had some fun with the chorus. The last song Fear Of The Dark, nice song, check it out, hope they play it again some day. I mixed good and not so good songs to show that bad songs tend to overshadow the good ones. First Maiden album produced for CD, definitely some fat must be trimmer, I wanna listen to the four rejected songs at some point. The reason this one is so high is because it has some of the top classics.

09.Brave New World
Bruce and Adrian are back, cover by Derek Riggs (wonder why they don't do this anymore), this album is very promising, it has that magical feeling that everything is good again, a true follow up to SSOASS, this album is a Maiden classic. The album kicks it off with The Wicker Man, a true Maiden classic these days with a riff that resembles the song Running Wild by Judas Priest. Ghost of the Navigator is the epic that follows, one of my picks from this album. The title track is also nice, the chorus reminds me of Stranger In A Strange Land. We're all Blood Brothers, probably the most known song of this album along with the Wicker Man. It was a remaining song from the VXI sessions along with The Nomad(this one also has some parts from a White Spirit song), Mercenary and some other song. Overall the songs are all very good not much to say. Out of the silent planet was a single not played often and I prefer the full album version.

08.The X Factor
This album is a masterpiece, criminally underrated. It deals with war, probably religion, and life issues like suicide and depression, it's a dark one so definitely not an album for all the moments. Sign of the cross is a true Harris magnum opus, very happy to hear it live on LOTB
Lord Of The Flies and Man On The Edge are the two rockers of the album, really love them, especially Lord Of The Flies. Like I said before, Fortunes of War reminds me of Afraid To Shoot Strangers. The Aftermath and The Edge of Darkness are two of the best in there, the latter is very powerful, especially at the Here I am, the knife in my hand part. Judgement Of Heaven and 2AM deal with suicide thoughts and depression respectively, especially 2AM has some top notch lyrics like:
Life seems so pathetic I wish I could leave it all behind
This canvas chair, this bed, these walls that fall in on my mind

The unbeliever has some very nice harmonics and Blood on the worlds hands a bass solo. The three other songs are very nice too, especially Justice Of The Peace.

07/06.Iron Maiden and Killers and B Sides
I'll rank those two together cause most songs on Killers predated the album but it sounds different due to Martin Birch. These are probably the most influential IM albums, some songs are from the 70s, many B sides, many different editions, killer live tracks and bootlegs, 3-4 different producers, this era had some variation before they settled to some things. Phantom of the opera is THE Iron Maiden, it has everything, an anatolitic sound to the solo too, true epic. Transylvania is their best instrumental, it's amazing. Purgatory is filled with energy, wonder how it sounded when it was still called Floating. Drifter and Prowler are killer live tracks, especially the Live!!+One full 8 minute version of Drifter. Killers is a song Bruce Dickinson owned in the audition tape and Maiden England (especially the remember to walk in the light part). Wrathchild and Iron Maiden are played to death these days but are still nice. Remember Rommorow and Strange World are lighter Iron Maiden songs (especially Strange World) that sound so emotional on Paul's voice. Ides of March or Thunderurst if you will is a killer (pun intended) mood settler before the live and Murders in the Rue Morgue an awesome opening. These albums are amazing, probably the favorites of many, the cover art too, very important.

05.The Number Of The Beast
Very influential this one also got some Christians mad so extra points for this :p, Clive's last one sadly. The opener Invaders has crazy vocals, criminally underrated sadly never player live. Pretty much most of the songs are classics in this one. The prisoner is awesome, got me into The Prisoner series which was one of the best I've ever binged. Total Eclipse rips on Beast over Hammersmith and Gangland gets some unreasonable hate for no reason. Hallowed be thy name is one of the best songs every written btw.

04.Piece of mind
Nice pun. First album with Nicko who introduced himself with the best way, a legendary drum intro to the opener Where Eagles Dare. While The Trooper is the most known song of the album and Revelations one that's played often, there are other songs among the best Maiden epics. Still life is a song that gives me goosebumps, especially the '88 live version. Dune (later renamed to To Tame a Land due to Frank Herbert hating metal :p) is the epic of the album but one we may not hear live again. Sun and steel and quest for fire are usually referenced as the worst from the 80s but I believe they are great songs, Quest for fire talks about a movie afaik so that's why it puts dinosaurs and humans on the same timeline.

Probably the most epic classic Iron Maiden album. Aces High is the best song ever to start a gig and an album, an easy ten. 2 Minutes to Midnight is another live classic. Losfer words is the last instrumental, no singer on it. Flash of the blade and The Duelists are simple and to the point solid Maiden classics and back on the village has what defines a classic Maiden song, the riff, and it does it justice, plus it talks about The Prisoner again and you can hear a subtle 666 on the I see sixes all the way part, listen to this song on the original EU vinyl, unbelievable ammount of punch. Powerslave has awesome gallop riff and technique, the theme and performance are metal as it goes abd the slow melodic part at the solo is art, gave the album a killer artwork. Rime of the ancient mariner is big but not boring cause it's not monotonous, true epic, 11/10.

02.Somewhere In Time
This and the first albums are different, they are ,for me at least, on the top 10 of the best albums of this world. Maiden really experimented and I really wish they continued. That gallien krueger sound makes me wet and made me buy an ML250 (it's defective). From the first note of the title track you can understand how special and different than anything else that exists this album is. Synth guitars and soft clipping distorion combined with Dave, Adrian and Steve at the peak of their creativity gave birth to an album ahead of its time, ahead of our time. Everything about it is special, the awesome cover with the many references, the songs, the tone, the tour. The title track has the best Iron Maiden solo probably, one that gives me goosebumps, this song is just perfect, for running too. Wasted years is played often, motivating and wholesome song, good Adrian backing vocals. Sea of Madness is also on my running playlist, really immersive song, adrenaline pumps to the full. Heaven Can Wait is also one thats played often and the live version from '88 is nice. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was only played on the first gig (obviously in the running playlist), if I had to choose one song to be played live from this album it would be this(I'm from Greece btw), the opening melody is bloody awesome. Stranger in a Strange Land is an Adrian Smith penned song filled with his bluesy and one of the best maiden solos, really love playing the first slow part of it. Deja-Vu is the only song written by two people and the only with a Murray credit, awesome Murray song, like all his songs, criminally underrated too. Last two tracks have never been played live this one and Alexander the Great. The latter is always requested by the Greek fans (and not only), it's the epic of an epic album. The B Sides are must check too. Although Dickinson has no writing credit on this on it would've been my No1 but

01.Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
this album is the best. It has that magical feeling, it's a concept album, Dickinson really delivered on this one, the tone is perfect, the cover is the Best ever, everything is the best, the tour, the setlist, the songs. The album starts with Moonchild, this keyboard riff is so awesome I use it as a ringtone. Infinite Dream is probably the best Maiden song and the best song in general, these changes, the philosophical meaning, the live version, this song cannot be any better. Can I Play With Madness comes next and oh man what a song this is, gives me a sense of wonder. The Evil That Men Do is just beautiful, I really hope for a Donington 88 sbd version of this one. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is one of the most epic songs ever written, it basically sums up this awesome story and really makes you feel it. The Prophecy is another song with that Dave Murray touch, and a killer acoustic part. The Clairvoyant is my all time favorite, the bass intro, that guitar intro is orgasmic. Only the Good Die Young is the perfect closer, sadly never played live and awesome bass solo.

P.S. While I talk about the artwork, production etc I only judge the songs
After my 2020 review I must admit there was a minor change in my ranking:

  • 17 - Fear Of The Dark - 5.75/10
  • 16 - Virtual XI - 6/10
  • 15 - Brave New World - 7/10
  • 14 - No Prayer For The Dying - 7.25/10
  • 13 - The Book Of Souls - 7.5/10
  • 12 - The Final Frontier - 7.75/10
  • 11- Senjutsu - 7.75/10
  • 10 - Dance Of Death - 8/10
  • 09 - The Number Of The Beast - 8.25/10
  • 08 - Iron Maiden - 8.25/10
  • 07 - The X Factor - 8.5/10
  • 06 - A Matter Of Life And Death - 8.5/10 (-1 position)
  • 05 - Killers - 8.5/10 (+1 position)
  • 04 - Piece Of Mind - 8.75/10
  • 03 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 9/10
  • 02 - Powerslave - 9/10
  • 01 - Somewhere In Time - 9.25/10
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16. Dance Of Death
15. Fear Of The Dark
14. Virtual XI
13. Iron Maiden
12. The Book Of Souls
11. Killers
10. No Prayer For The Dying
09. The Final Frontier
08. Brave New World
07. A Matter Of Life And Death
06. The Number Of The Beast
05. The X Factor
04. Piece Of Mind
03. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
02. Powerslave
01. Somewhere In Time
Current ranking

16. No Prayer for the Dting
15. Fear of the Dark
14. Virtual XI
13. Iron Maiden
12. Book of Souls
11. Powerslave
10. Brave New World
9. The Final Frontier
8. Number of the Beast
7. Piece of Mind
6. Killers
5. A Matter of Life and Death
4. The X Factor
3. Dance of Death
2. Somewhere in Time
1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Som
My rankings:

2. Somewhere In Time
3. The X Factor
4. DoD
5. Iron Maiden

These are my top 5 and don't usually change. AMOLAD and DoD are both flat out masterpieces. SiT is really good too, a very consistent album that you can pretty much play at any time and enjoy. The X Factor, by contrast, is more of an album I have to be in a particular mood for, but I rate it highly as it's very consistent and is one of the few albums I listen to for catharsis when I'm feeling down (most times when I feel like that I just don't listen to music). Sign Of The Cross is Maiden's best song and the version from Rock In Rio is probably their finest hour. The debut has somewhat basic production but its own charm, sharing (with Killers) a sort of East End noir atmosphere, and it's just a great set of songs and vibe.

6. Powerslave

These four albums I find very hard to rank as they're all classics and about as consistent as each other, with great songs aplenty etc. FOTD is a much more consistent and diverse album than most realise, and the band were on superb form live for the first half of the tour for it too.

10. BNW
11. Piece Of Mind
12. The Final Frontier

These three albums are all good but either don't reach the incredible heights of the ones after them (BNW), have some shaky moments (POM), or are a comedown from what came before (TFF). Still very consistent albums though.

14. VXI
15. Killers
16. TBOS

These albums are all still listenable but are in the bottom category. NPFTD has some very good songs on it (Run Silent Run Deep for example) but is a massive comedown after 7th Son and the production is shite. The Assassin is also hands down the worst Maiden song ever written. VXI is likewise a big step down from The X Factor, looks cheap and sounds rushed, with very thin production. There are some good songs on it (The Clansman, Como Estais Amigos) but some lesser ones too (oddly a few stronger tunes were held over for BNW) and there is no need for The Angel And The Gambler to be ten minutes long. Killers has great cover art and production but, as mentioned by someone above, most of the best songs in the band's early repertoire went on the debut and with some exceptions (such as the title track) the lesser songs went on the second album, and you can clearly tell as a few sound more like B-Sides (Innocent Exile). It also lacks an epic a la Phantom Of The Opera and had one been included then I would rate it a few places higher. Finally, The Book Of Souls didn't need to be a double album and has some songs on it which sound half finished.

As a bonus, here's my top 5 live album rating (I've not heard them all yet)

1) Beast Over Hammersmith
2) Donington 1992 (Video only, NOT the CD. The performance is great but the CD mix is really muddy and the guitars are too quiet. The video mix is perfect however).
3) Rock In Rio
4) Flight 666 soundtrack
5) Live After Death
It has high points but a ton of filler. Empire Of The Clouds sounds half finished.

Harris should have kept to his original plan to make 15 albums. Though TFF is a step down from the career peak of AMOLAD - if Maiden had kept on as a live band but not a studio one after 2006 their recording career would have ended on a phenomenal high.
It has high points but a ton of filler. Empire Of The Clouds sounds half finished.
That is my problem with the bulk of The Book of Souls: it just sounds like open ended heavy metal music to me (if that makes sense). I constantly find myself asking, "where is this gonna go?" when listening to the album; and I never really get an answer.
As a bonus, here's my top 5 live album rating (I've not heard them all yet)

1) Beast Over Hammersmith
2) Donington 1992 (Video only, NOT the CD. The performance is great but the CD mix is really muddy and the guitars are too quiet. The video mix is perfect however).
3) Rock In Rio
4) Flight 666 soundtrack
5) Live After Death
Now that you mention it here's mine:
  • 13 - Nights of The Dead 3.5/10
  • 12 - A Real Dead One 5.5/10
  • 11 - A Real Live One 5.75/10
  • 10 - The Book Of Souls Live Chapter 5.75/10
  • 09 - Live In Donnington 5.75/10
  • 08 - En Vivo 7.5/10
  • 07 - Death On The Road 7.5/10
  • 06 - Rock In Rio 8/10
  • 05 - Flight 666 8/10
  • 04 - Beast Over Hammersmith 8/10
  • 03 - Maiden Japan 8.25/10
  • 02 - Maiden England 8.5/10
  • 01- Live After Death 10/10
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My current ranking, albums that I enjoy listening to from start to finish:
  1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  2. Powerslave
  3. Brave New World
  4. The Number of the Beast
  5. A Matter of Life and Death
  6. Piece of Mind
  7. Iron Maiden
  8. Somewhere in Time
  9. The Final Frontier
  10. Killers
  11. Fear of the Dark
  12. No Prayer for the Dying
  13. Dance of Death
  14. The X Factor
  15. The Book of Souls
  16. Virtual XI
I relistened to a couple of Maiden albums lately (Killers, NPFTD and The X Factor) and planning to listen to some more and that might change my February ranking. Right now my top 3 is SIT, Powerslave and SSOASS and bottom 3 VXI, DOD and FOTD.
1. Seventh son of a seventh son
2. Powerslave
3. Somewhere in time
4. Piece of mind
5. Fear of the Dark
6. Killers
7. Iron Maiden
8. Number of the beast
9. No prayer for the dying
10. The book of souls
11. The final frontier
12. A matter of life and death
13. Dance of death
14. Brave new world
15. VXI
16. TXF