Album rankings per person

Clearly you are not a big fan of reunion @Gk1
I know how it looks but this is not the case. Maiden would have stopped playing if Bruce did not get back. I respect them for not sticking to the 80s recipe. However there was no way that they could do what they did in the 80s and the solo albums Bruce did with H were much better to their post 2000 material(IMO of course). That being said I think that since BNW their albums get better and better.... but also longer. To make a long story short I am thankful Bruce and H got back. There are some songs I really enjoy and all albums have at least some amazing parts and passages. As a whole though I think that the new albums lack in comparison to the old ones. And it has nothing to do with me being stuck to the 80s, it is that I just think their new songs are not as good as their older material.

PS: I think they still got killer ideas but IMO they need to spend more time to trim the fat off their songs.
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A good time to redo my rankings ready for the new album:

16 - X Factor
15 - No Prayer For The Dying
14 - A Matter of Life and Death
13 - Killers
12 - Virtual XI
11 - Piece of Mind
10 - Iron Maiden
09 - Brave New World
08 - The Final Frontier
07 - Powerslave
06 - Fear of the Dark
05 - The Number of the Beast
04 - Somewhere In Time
03 - Dance of Death
02 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
01 - The Book Of Souls
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I respect them for not sticking to the 80s recipe.

You are right, there's an undeniable recipe but it has evolved; from 80's to No prayer for the Dying to X Factor, to Brave New World to Book of Souls.
And I agree, the songs while still very good, they aren't as tightly composed as those during the 80s.
No complaints for BNW & AMOLAD though they are among my very best.

I'm very, very bad at doing this kind of things. At the same time, that's what makes this so... fun, I guess? I suppose I can still stand behind the scorings I gave to the albums in their respective threads (from the debut to Virtual XI), so eh, why not to go with them.

Whether to give some individual song a 6, 7 or even 8 is a real struggle to me. And that shows. As mentioned, I guess I can stand behind these scorings, but at the same time they're not that good at indicating my listening preferences. For example, Killers got a better score than The X-Factor, but when it comes to listening a whole record, I usually prefer the latter. All of the 90's records, especially Virtual XI, scored surprisingly high and close to each other etc. Quite possibly it's Virtual XI and Killers indeed that got rated "too high."

Oh well, these scorings and rankings aren't a matter of life and death anyway... right? :p

Let's see how my previous "scorings" set up... and I'll add the albums from BNW to TBOS (and eventuallu Senjutsu) to appropriate slots afterwards. But yeah, so far...

No Prayer for the Dying / 6.5
Enjoyable album that has just enough saving graces to keep it interesting regardless some of their most lackluster songs and poor production, but overall the whole package doesn't really hold up well enough with most of the discography and even the very best songs have plenty of better equivalents of same kind in previous and later records.

Fear of the Dark / 6.5
The younger brother of No Prayer for the Dying is much more ambitious and has some special talents the big brother lacks, but is nowhere near as honest and good-spirited.

Virtual XI / 7
Virtual XI is a step into more traditional, melodic and bright soundscape of their late 80's heyday - and not very successful at that. Failing to find the spark, intensity and energy of the earlier days or properly and boldly enough continue the darker, more progressive narrative of The X-Factor (and Seventh Son before that, even though two more straightforward records sit in between) Virtual XI ends up being almost impressively dragging and repetitive for a record of just eight songs. All of the songs have some good ideas - some more than the others - and there are couple of true gems, but the overall package would have needed a rethink or two and a huge shake in the production department to really make it work. It's not entirely bad album - just rather lifeless one, despite many intriguing and impressive individual elements thorough the record.

The X-Factor / 7
A step up from the previous 90's records. New vocalist offers some fresh songwriting input, even if the arrangements and production do not really aim to get most out of him, and Gers/Harris manage to deliver some of their strongest writing efforts. Despite being occasionally monotonous and lacking on various fields, it's also one of the most coherent and atmospheric Maiden albums between Seventh Son and AMOLAD. While consisting of interesting ideas and much more refined elements than most of their 90's work, it cannot fully jump out of the shadow that departures of two major songwriters cast over the band. Altogether, it's still a fine example of the band's spectacular skill to create solid, consistent albums, even at very challenging circumstances and technical issues aside, it's a product with a lot of soul in it.

Killers / 7.5
--Killers is all over the place. It's the quality that makes it feel like it's consisting of leftover songs but it's also the quality that makes it so exciting. Every time you return to it, you can find something and experience certain songs in a different way, regardless if better or worse than the last time. There's certain level of the mentioned outrageous, aggressive and rough edge of the very early Maiden - this time combined with good production, which makes Killers very intriguing package. In all of it's imperfection, it's a very interesting one and while it contains some of the arguably weakest songs Maiden came up with during the 80's, it's also a very essential record when it comes to the evolution of the familiar Iron Maiden sound and it was important to get some of their earlier tunes, such as Wratchild and Purgatory (previously "Floating", as most if not all of you know) a proper treatment before moving to something much bigger that would be waiting just before the doorstep...

Iron Maiden / 7-8 (couldn't quite decide back then...)
While the debut album of one the most legendary bands ever is a good one, it also leaves a lot of room to grow, planting some seeds and hints of the glorious future that loomed ahead. While not a flawless record, it's definitely tightly packed and well balanced album full of quality songs played by a hungry band full of "burning ambition" - even if the often mentioned production doesn't quite live up to the material and performance. In all of it's rawness from the sound and song material to the cover art, there's some still some charm in it, that new and old listeners alike can enjoy.

The Number of the Beast / 8
--It's a very strong album, with not too much to discover when you've already given it a lot spins. That, of course, doesn't change the fact that it's a brilliant listen every time. There are a couple of songs that pale in comparison to the body of the album, the classic selection of RTTH, TNOTB, THe Prisoner, COTD and Hallowed, but the album is compact enough not to really lose grip at any time as far as the ferocity, songwriting and pure energy of the young band goes, you can't really find much to complain.

Powerslave / 9
Piece of Mind is a brilliant album that refines the direction it's predecessor started and Powerslave is the culmination of that, retaining the aggressive and unrelenting edge of the first albums and the more sophisticated and very dynamic side that Piece of Mind brought started to really showcase. As slightly more tight package, Powerslave is more "fierce" record than Piece of Mind, but it's not thoroughly better or worse, just a brilliant continuation of that direction.

The very defining factor and special value of Powerslave is, for me, adventure. The cover art is amazing and the journey the album goes through in relatively short runtime (by modern standards) is pretty amazing. Just look at first two songs, last two songs and the variety of stuff in between - it's truly an epic ride. Still, I don't find myself listening to the whole thing that often, but as far as the songwriting goes, it's tightly packed masterpiece that manages to dodge few quality drops here and there with it's good structure, performance and highs that are among their highest ever.

Somewhere in Time / 9
--There's some brilliant musical ideas, absolutely outstanding musicianship and brilliant bunch of quality song that have some "career-highlight" parts from probably all of the band members expect Bruce, who does fairly great job and carries the songs, but isn't quite exceeding any of his previous or upcoming efforts. However, the use of it's brilliant, more "sophisticated" elements and song structure in general doesn't quite reach the same epic yet compact nature that it's successor - in my opinion - manages to do. The world of Somewhere in Time is a very unique package, starting with beautiful cover art and futuristic sound and beautifully roaring synth-empowered guitars. It's a Maiden record that I genuinely love, but at the same time I don't find myself loving and craving it quite as deeply as one or two other Maiden records. A brilliant album that is, in any case.

Somewhere in Time is actually one of the most satisfying and filling Maiden records, for it's a real blast when you listen to it; if one wants some Maiden, Somewhere in Time definitely satisfies that kind of a hunger and leaves you with a happy grin and some shivers, thanks to that brilliant last melodies and vocal lines in Alexander the Great, but I'd say that the ride is just a tad bit bumpy at times... then again, maybe it just adds the flavour?

Piece of Mind/ 9.5 (?)
It never strays anywhere it shouldn't go and the musicianship of the then very young band really impresses you. The Number of the Beast and Powerslave are both amazing albums, but Piece of Mind, released between the two mentioned classics, might be just a tad bit more coherent. The first output of the "classic lineup", which many consider as their definite one, couldn't have been much, if any, better.
--One of my favourite aspects of the album is how well it translates into live performances: the dynamic and the tempo on the record are perfectly fine, but more outrageous and raw approach of the live performances gives the songs another, different yet equally amazing dimension. The way songs like Revelations and Flight of Icarus kick off live... wow.

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son / 10 (that was probably a bit biased score, but hey, it's my favourite anyways)
-- the coherent flow of this concept-album-except-not-quite-concept-album-but-a-bit-conceptual, yes-album, captivating sound, structure and excellent song material makes it very strong record. Add the "more than just a sum of it's parts" factor to it's already high quality and depth and it becomes more than justified to call this one a true masterpiece. or some other superlative of your choosing.

Is it that good? For me, it is. Perfect? That's another, harder question. I'd take this approach: when looking at my favourite version of it (either the original mix or 2015 remaster, therefore excluding the ok but a bit greasy 1998 remaster), is there anything I'd change if I could?


Even with one or two drops in overall quality and the theoretical chance of something "better" being there instead, I think it's pretty hard or even impossible to change or improve this body of work without affecting it's core essence, and as it is, 7th Son might be as close to that mystical definition of perfect as Maiden recording, or any rock album for that matter, can get.
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Good write-ups Randalf.

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

The only thing that has stayed consistent in this list for the past two years is the bottom 2 (Dance of Death being my least favorite for awhile, with The Book of Souls coming up close behind it). Piece of Mind was my favorite until about 3 or 4 months ago I suppose. There's just so much power and might in that Top 5 (7th Son, SiT, Matter of Life and Death, the Debut and Powerslave). I still do grapple with whether or not I like Powerslave more than Piece of Mind. The first two and last two songs of Powerslave are great and classic. But it's that middle part of the album where I start to get a little bored. Piece of Mind has great songs on it and the greatest Harris/McBrain performances (for my money), but it's inconsistent in its 2nd half and the whole album ends on a bit of a whimper.

I reckon The X Factor is back to being underrated on here. I love The Unbeliever, 2AM and The Edge of Darkness. That atmosphere on the album is great despite there being a lot of boring filler to slog through. I like it a lot more atleast than most of Maiden's albums.
2019 list (stumbled across this earlier in the thread):

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

Compared to my most recent list (lots of change from 2019):

1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (+3)
2. Somewhere in Time (-1)
3. A Matter of Life and Death
4. Iron Maiden (-2)
5. Powerslave (+1)
6. Piece of Mind (+2)
7. Brave New World
8. The X Factor (-3)
9. The Number of the Beast
10. Killers (+4)
11. The Final Frontier (+4)
12. No Prayer For the Dying (+4)
13. Virtual XI (-2)
14. Fear of the Dark (-4)
15. The Book of Souls (-2)
16. Dance of Death (-4)
Here is my ranking:

1. Brave New World

This album doesn't have a single weak track. and it's not like they are merely good either, most of them are absolutely amazing. Ultimately a pretty easy choice for 1st. It's extremely consistent too, I wanted to list the songs I like the most from it, but since I was basically writing out the whole album I'll leave it at that.

2. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

It's a bit hard to rank Seventh Son against some the post reunion albums, because of the difference in length, but SSOASS is kind of like Brave New World's pre-reunion counterpart in that it nearly doesn't have weak tracks (I don't care for Moonchild that much which is why BNW still takes the top spot). Funnily enough, this album is so loaded that one of its most well known song (CIPWM?) and a huge maiden's classic is probably one of the "worst" track on the record.

3. Senjutsu

It seems like this is where it lands. Mainly because its top 3 songs (The Parchment, Senjutsu and Hell on Earth) are insanely good and could easily compete with the top 3 songs of the albums above it. The middle part of the album in still very strong (less than BTW and SSOASS still), and there is really only 2 songs that I feel are forgettable (Time Machine and TWOTW).
Lost in a Lost World is a song that upon the first listen I didn't enjoy very much, but now think it is great.

4. A Matter of Life and Death

I love AMOLAD, and didn't think I would be putting it below Senjutsu, but once I compared the tracks, I felt Senjutsu had just a slight edge. It also has 2 songs I don't care too much about (Pilgrim and Lord of The Flies).
I think even though AMOLAD has a bit more depth than Senjutsu and is consistently great, it doesn't get quite as good as Senjutsu's top 3, which is why I ultimately decided to rank it 4th.

5. The Book of Souls

The Book of Souls has my favourite Maiden song ever in Empire of the Clouds, another truly great song in its title track, and even though I know a lot of people dislike it, The Man of Sorrows is a song I absolutely adore.
If Eternity Should Fail and Shadows of the Valley (a track I re-discovered recently) round up a very strong top half. After that, the record runs out of steam a little bit. The Red and the Black and The Great Unknown are still nice, Death or Glory, Tears of a Clown and When the River Runs Deep are an occasional listen, However, I very much dislike Speed of Light.
This weaker bottom half is what prevents TBOS for climbing higher than 5 in my ranking.

6. Somewhere in Time

Similarly to SSOASS, It was tricky to rank it among the longer post-reunion album. I love Alexander the Great, The Loneliness, Wasted Years, and I'm probably a bigger fan of Déjà-Vu than most. However, the 4 other tracks clearly aren't as good as SSOASS "worst" 4s, and Ultimately the 6th place is where it feels right for Somewhere in Time

7. The Final Frontier

The Final Frontier is a great album, and it's a bummer that a lot of people don't seem to appreciate it. It maybe doesn't quite have the highs of some of the albums ranked above, and have 3 or 4 "meh" tracks, but it really has a lot of great stuff to offer. Comming Home, Starblind and The Talisman are incredible tracks, and TMWWBK/WTWWB is a wonderful way to close the album. If you have written this album off, give it another try.

8. Dance of Death

My least favourite of the post-reunion albums is still a good one, but not quite the level of the others. Yes, Paschendale and Dance of Death are amazing, and it has some other nice songs (The last 3, mainly), but about half of the record is filled with very forgettable songs, which is why it falls to the 8th place

9. Piece of Mind

It's kind of similar to DoD in that I don't really care for half of the tracks on there. The first 3 tracks are very good, but then it really slows down. I do like Quest for Fire more than most however, the bass line is really cool.

10. The Number of the Beast

What, 10th, how dare you ? It's classic ! Yes. I know. Hallowed, Children of the Damned and the title track are great, Run to the Hills I guess has its moments, but the truth is that I really don't care for the rest. So for me, the good is really good, but it's barely half the album, which is why I can't put it higher.

11. Fear of the Dark

Not sure what they did with this one, but there's a lot of tracks on this record that I'm not sure I would label as Heavy Metal... And then there's Weekend Warrior, which is IMO the worst track Bruce has done with Iron Maiden.
Thankfully There are a few truly amazing gems hidden between the bad songs, and a couple more of nice tracks, that prevent FotD from falling even lower.

12. Powerslave

Yes. I do not like this album. I think it's just bad. I count 5 tracks that I really do not care about, which is more than half the album. Aces High and 2 Minutes are nice, but they aren't the very best amongst the Maiden's classics either.
The album gets saved by The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner which is an absolutely great song, and is the sole reason it beats the next album on the list

13. No Prayer for The Dying

The title track is amazing. Mother Russia is amazing. I love those two song. The rest of the record isn't good. I might be in the mood for something like the Assassin once every 3 years, but really, I wouldn't shed a tear if the other 8 tracks were wiped off the face of the planet.

14-17. The rest

Sorry, but non-Bruce Maiden is just not for me, I've tried to listen to it and I just don't like it.

1. Seventh son of a seventh son
2. Powerslave
3. Somewhere in time
4. Piece of mind
6. Fear of the Dark
7. Killers
8. Iron Maiden
9. Number of the beast
10. No prayer for the dying
11. The book of souls
12. The final frontier
13. A matter of life and death
14. Dance of death
15. Brave new world
16. VXI
17. TXF

1. Seventh son of a seventh son
2. Powerslave
3. Somewhere in time
4. Piece of mind
6. Fear of the Dark
7. Killers
8. Iron Maiden
9. Number of the beast
10. No prayer for the dying
11. The book of souls
12. The final frontier
13. A matter of life and death
14. Dance of death
15. Brave new world
16. VXI
17. TXF
Funny that you dislike post-reunion stuff but rank Senjutsu that highly. Any reason why ?
Funny that you dislike post-reunion stuff but rank Senjutsu that highly. Any reason why ?
I feel it lacks most of the shortcomings of the last 20+ years

1) Bruce does not sound so strained
2) The choruses are way less repetitive and sound like really thought out
3) There is no shortage of riffs, harmonies and solos (and by that I mean REAL 3 GUITAR HARMONIES)
4) This is way more diverse compared to what people see as the best reunion albums (BNW. DOD)
5) This is the first Maiden album that contains music that imo would easily sit in a Bruce solo album
6) I feel this is the first reunion album where the songs are not just long, but really thought out
7) 3 (almost 4) songs composed by H without Steve
8) Steve and Jan collaborations are much more to the point.

Of course we still get lots of trends but if done right work just fine.

Another main reason is that this album -apart from the older ones - has to compete with albums that IMO shouldn't have the maiden logo om their cpvers
Initial thoughts on the ranking with Senjutsu added:

17 - The X Factor
16 - No Prayer For The Dying
15 - A Matter Of Life And Death
14 - Killers
13 - Virtual XI
12 - Iron Maiden
11 - Piece Of Mind
10 - Brave New World
09 - The Final Frontier
08 - Senjutsu
07 - Powerslave
06 - Fear Of The Dark
05 - The Number Of The Beast
04 - Somewhere In Time
03 - Dance Of Death
02 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
01 - The Book Of Souls
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17 - Fear Of The Dark - 5.25/10
16 - Virtual XI - 5.75/10
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 - 8/10
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
05 - Killers - 8.75/10
04 - Piece Of Mind - 9/10
03 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 9.25/10
02 - Powerslave - 9.25/10
01 - Somewhere In Time - 9.5/10
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My rankings:

1.Brave New World - 9.60
The Number Of The Beast - 9.12
A Matter Of Life and Death - 9.00
Somewhere In Time - 8.87
Dance Of Death - 8.81
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 8.75
Virtual XI - 8.62
Fear Of The Dark - 8.50
No Prayer For The Dying - 8.40
Powerslave - 8.37
The Book Of Souls - 8.36
The Final Frontier - 8.30
Iron Maiden - 8.25
Piece Of Mind - 8.22
The X Factor - 8.00
Killers - 7.40

2.Senjutsu - 9.20

Maybe it's too early for rankings, but the album is one of Maiden's best imo - some of the songs (like Stratego, The Parchment and Hell On Earth) are contenders for my Top 10 list. If not in 2nd place, then I'm sure it will be near the top.
After a week it´s maybe too early for me to rank Senjutsu. But I can allready say I prefer it to every album released after SSOASS and before Powerslave.
2021 update

1. Somewhere in Time99%
2. A Matter of Life and Death97%
3. Brave New World96%
4. The Final Frontier93%
5. Piece of Mind92%
6. The Book of Souls92%
7. Seventh Son of A Seventh Son90%
8. The Number of the Beast87%
9. Senjutsu87%
10. Dance of Death86%
11. Powerslave85%
12. The X-Factor85%
13. No Prayer for the Dying84%
14. Virtual XI82%
15. Iron Maiden82%
16. Fear of the Dark82%
17. Killers78%
17 - No Prayer For The Dying
16 - Killers
15 - Virtual XI
14 - Dance of Death
13 - The Book Of Souls
12 - Iron Maiden
11 - Fear Of The Dark
10 - The Final Frontier
09 - The X Factor
08 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
07 - Piece Of Mind
06 - Somewhere In Time
05 - Senjutsu
04 - The Number Of The Beast
03 - A Matter Of Life And Death
02 - Powerslave
01 - Brave New World
17. The X Factor - 3.5/10
16. No Prayer for the Dying - 4/10
15. Virtual XI - 5/10
14. Fear of the Dark - 6/10
13. Dance of Death - 6/10
12. The Final Frontier - 6.5/10
11. The Book of Souls - 7/10
10. Iron Maiden - 7.5/10
9. Killers - 8/10
8. Senjutsu - 8.5/10
7. Piece of Mind - 9/10
6. Somewhere in Time - 9/10
5. A Matter of Life and Death - 9.5/10
4. The Number of the Beast - 10/10
3. Powerslave - 10/10
2. Brave New World - 10/10
1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - 10/10
  1. Seventh Son of Seventh Son
  2. Killers
  3. Somewhere in Time
  4. Powerslave
  5. Piece of Mind
  6. Iron Maiden
  7. The Number of the Beast
  8. Fear of the Dark
  9. Brave New World
  10. No Prayer for the Dying
  11. Dance of Death
  12. The X-Factor
  13. Book of Souls
  14. The Final Frontier
  15. Senjutsu
  16. A Matter of Life and Death
  17. Virtual XI