DJMayes' Complete Ranking Of Maiden Songs

Which song will win?

  • Run To The Hills

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Empire Of The Clouds

    Votes: 6 37.5%

  • Total voters
    16
  • Poll closed .
AMOLAD is a weird one. Lord and Colours are a couple of the band's finest imo, but some tracks seriously drag; God, Day.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Never been a big fan of Light.
It has interesting parts, but too many unattractive melodies to work as a whole.
It's Starblind's boorish older brother.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
It's a great song, LOrd of Light. But on AMOLAD it is in the 2nd half for me. I'd take Breeg, 1000 suns, longest Day, the Shadows and TCDR over it. But I dig the melodies on LOL big time. No problem with this high spot.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Top 25:

20 - Judgement Of Heaven

I'm sorry, Blaze. It wasn't meant to be. But it was fun whilst it lasted, and you did leave a few spectacular tunes to remember you by, and none moreso than Judgement Of Heaven.

With the lyrical content of the song it was perhaps inevitable that I have read several people have found this strong highly impactful upon their personal lives, for the better. This is a wonderful thing, but at the same time it's something I cannot relate to at all. I've been lucky enough never to experience the sort of issues this song addresses, and I don't want to belittle them for people who have so I'm not going to talk about the lyrics of the song further unless I'm highlighting a lyric I find particularly catchy due to delivery.

Anyway, let's begin. The start of the song seems like a good place. The bass intro here is simple but enjoyable, an understated piece of work. It's a theme that stays throughout the entire verse, but the verse is masterfully constructed in its progression so that it is constantly evolving without feeling stale. The first is Blaze's entry itself, followed by the pick up in power at 0:54. 1:16 sees a further progression, as does 1:28 with extra guitars coming in for added effect. In my opinion it's one of the bands better constructed progressions. Each part is definite and noticeable and yet they adhere to the underlying motif extremely well.

The band now make it 2 for 2 with a fantastic chorus. The keyboards, guitar, and Blaze's beautiful delivery make for a beautiful singalong chorus that doesn't belittle the subject at hand.

The short bridge after is the most "meh" section of the song, but it's followed by a tantalisingly brief solo. It does lead into some exquisite guitar melodies though, so I'll forgive it. It's a simple melody but as in the verses progresses in the second run, before breaking at 3:20 for the best bit of the song. This guitar melody and Blaze's vocals ("All of my life now, I have believed...") are triumphant. These break into a further instrumental section, skillfully executed, before returning to the chorus a final time.

Judgement Of Heaven is the best the X Factor has to offer. It's never content to sit still, constantly evolving and always with purpose. It's incredibly catchy, and it stands in direct juxtaposition to the gloom that pervades the rest of the album.

But speaking only in the context of its album is not doing justice to the song. This is easily the best thing Blaze did with Iron Maiden. Perhaps the biggest credit to it is that this is one of the few songs I don't think Bruce would perform better. Blaze is stunning here, and I'm so glad he still keeps in touch with this song.

I leave you with this:


You may not have had the best time of Maiden, Blaze, and you had an impossible shadow to climb out from under, but you're an absolute class act.

Top 25:

25 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
24 - The Edge Of Darkness
23 - Revelations
22 - Judas Be My Guide
21 - Lord Of Light
20 - Judgement Of Heaven

19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Killers
The Number of the Beast
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Wasted Years
Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Blood Brothers
Dance of Death
Paschendale
Face In The Sand

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

The Red and the Black
Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Cheers! I have that around 35-40.

DJMayes' album order of last appearance

01) No Prayer for the Dying (favourite song: Bring Your Daughter .... To the Slaughter, 60)
02) Virtual XI (favourite song: The Clansman, 44)
03) Iron Maiden (favourite song: Prowler, 26)
04) A Matter of Life and Death (favourite song: Lord of Light, 21)
05) The X-Factor (favourite song: Judgement of Heaven, 20)

DJMayes' album order of first appearance
01) No Prayer for the Dying (least favourite song: Mother Russia, 160)
02) The X-Factor (least favourite song: Blood on the World's Hands, 159)
03) Powerslave (least favourite song: The Duellists, 158)
04) The Number of the Beast (least favourite song: Gangland, 156)
05) Brave New World (least favourite song: The Nomad, 154)
06) Killers (least favourite song: Innocent Exile, 150)
07) Piece of Mind (least favourite song: Quest for Fire, 149)
08) Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (least favourite song: The Prophecy, 148)
09) Iron Maiden (least favourite song: Running Free, 146)
10) The Final Frontier (least favourite song: Isle of Avalon, 143)
11) Fear of the Dark (least favourite song: Fear is the Key, 139)
12) A Matter of Life and Death (least favourite song: The Legacy, 136)
13) Virtual XI (least favourite song: Como Estais Amigos, 127)
14) Dance of Death (least favourite song: New Frontier, 125)
15) Somewhere in Time (least favourite song: Alexander the Great, 104)

16) The Book of Souls (least favourite song: The Man of Sorrows, 102)

Top 100:
There are no full albums in the top 100 of DJMayes complete ranking of Maiden songs.
There are no full albums outside this top 100.
Top 50:
There is one full album outside the top 50 (No Prayer for the Dying). All other albums have at least one song in the top 50.
Top 25:
There are 3 full albums outside the top 25 (Iron Maiden, No Prayer for the Dying, Virtual XI). All other albums have at least one song in the top 25.
Top 20:
There are 4 full albums outside the top 20 (Iron Maiden, No Prayer for the Dying, Virtual XI, A Matter of Life and Death). All other albums have at least one song in the top 20.

DJMayes' non-album song order of appearance
01) Invasion, 153
02) Virus, 151

03) Burning Ambition, 135
04) I Live My Way, 132
05) Justice of the Peace, 124
06) Judgement Day, 114
 
Last edited:

soundwave

Educated Fool
For me back in the day when I was a kid, 80s era Maiden was basically a swashbuckling escapist soundtrack to my Mt Dew fueled Dungeons and Dragons sessions with my friends. TXF threw for a complete loop when it came out as it did a 180 on the 'comic book' metal stuff. I usually don't seek out Maiden for introspective insights , but I thought that JOH did a really good job with it.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
I like judgement of heaven. I do. Unfortunately, in my ears anyway, it suffers from the same affliction as most of the two albums. It just WOULD sound better with Bruce. It would be more interesting and unpredictable with Adrian.

Plus, the best parts here, sound like a "not as good" lord of the flies. Way. Way too high. Like over 100 spots too high. To each their own though. Still loving the thread!
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Judgement is okay to me. I have it in like the 120's. It's better than Look For The Truth and 2AM, but nothing else. I'll say that your ranking of Blood on the Worlds Hands and Edge of Darkness screws with me. Those two go hand and hand with each other and I find it hard to listen to one without hearing the other. Yet you have them like 120 spots apart lol.
 

tarikz

Nomad
The melodies in Judgement of Heaven are absolutely amazing. In my view, the song contains one of the best instrumental sections in the whole discography!
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Apologies for the day off, folks. Caught up in watching the Olympics and such forth.

19 - The Red And The Black

The Red And The Black is an understandably controversial song. It is Steve Harris, with all of his quirks and excesses. It's not a particularly original song - almost every section of it can be traced back to something before.

Not particularly high praise, so why is it in the top 20? Because regardless of what I just said, this song is raucous fun pretty much the entire way through - and for a song as long as this, that counts for a lot.

When I say pretty much the entire way through, what I mean is "once Steve has finished with his bass intro". If I had to choose a least favourite part of Steve's recent songwriting, it would be his inexplicable need to give his songs a bass bookend. I'm not a huge bass man, and though I don't hate these sections I don't think of them as anything more than Steve scribbling a signature on the song. The endings are particularly unnecessary and just bloat out the songs they're on as a rule. This bass bit is one of the ones I enjoy more, but I digress.

Once we hit 0:30, we're golden. There's a driving bit of riffage for the next 35 seconds, bringing us to the songs brilliant mid-tempo groove. Comparisons to Rimeare apt, though the real magic is the dancing guitar line that follows the vocals. I loved it in When The Wild Wind Blows, and here it's ratcheted up to 10. It makes for one of my favourite verses in Maiden's catalogue.

The chorus is completely mindless fun, though at least they still have the dancing guitar line. It's difficult to really sum it up further in my mind.

Beyond the first two verses/choruses, the urgency of the verses slows a little as the melody changes. It's still a great verse, but it's not as strong as the first two - though the diversification is probably a good thing for the song overall.

That this only lasts 5 minutes is incredibly odd to me, as it feels like a huge chunk of the song. Nonetheless, we soon move onto the triumphant "Red and the blaaack..." section. The guitar tone works really well here, setting the mood and feeling like a significant change to the song despite the rhythm section chugging on as it was before. Bruce is solid here, as he is throughout the song, though I don't think this song was intended to be a vocal showcase for the band.

6:30 sees the band switch gear, going into the first of many solos at around 6:45. This solo, as with the majority of the section, is best summed up as really enjoyable even if not earth-shattering.

The second and third solos see an accompanying change in pace to the rhythm, and both are really nice pieces of work, before returning to another triumphant guitar melody at around 8 minutes. The guitarwork around here is great fun, and of course what would this song be without a fourth guitar solo? It's difficult to pick a standout, so I'll resort to my default position of "whichever one Dave plays".

After this the pace picks up again, with a rollicking riff before some beautiful melodies at 9:41. This is my favourite part of the entire instrumental, with the rhythm section on full tilt behind it before transitioning back to the triumphant guitar melodies once again, and returning to the same melodies nearly a minute later. Repetition is fine when the stuff you're repeating is this good.

11:54 sees an end to the glory, as it tries to get back on track. Unfortunately it only half succeeds, as this detour does always last a lot longer than I expect it to before finally making it back to the singalong chorus.

This is a song that I can easily enjoy without really concentrating on it, and it has a really good tempo. It's pretty much the only song I use whilst running (I'm not a particularly strong runner) due to that (as well as a great tempo for it) - though this is surprising as in general I don't really think of Maiden as workout music.

Top 25:

25 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
24 - The Edge Of Darkness
23 - Revelations
22 - Judas Be My Guide
21 - Lord Of Light
20 - Judgement Of Heaven
19 - The Red And The Black

18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Killers
The Number of the Beast
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Wasted Years
Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Blood Brothers
Dance of Death
Paschendale
Face In The Sand

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
18 - Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers, for me, is a song that's gone from strength to strength. It was amongst the best songs on the album the very first time I listened, and over time and after having seen it live it has only continued along that trajectory.

I really love the style of this song. It makes for a really interesting piece of music from the get-go, and works phenomenally live. The intro mixes this with some really nice guitars and beautiful, subtle rhythm work that continues into the first verse for a beautiful atmosphere. This ramps up towards 54 seconds in with some nice orchestra in the background, before leading into the chorus.

Objectively it's another repetitive chorus, but subjectively I really like it. It has great feeling, especially live.

After a quiet bridge following the second chorus, we get a more riff based section of the song, though still with the great atmosphere provided by the bass and keyboards underneath.

Beyond this, the first solo fits quite nicely, and is followed by some strong melodies. A quick break at 4:00, and then back into the action at 4:22 with a beautiful instrumental section. Hey hey! The waltzing here is a standout section from Maiden's entire discography, and Nicko's drumming accentuates it really well. This entire section leads into a spectacular solo at 5:44 - not a shredder, but definite feeling. After this, the final choruses get accentuated with some extra power at 6:27 to wonderful effect.

Perhaps my last word on Blood Brothers is to remark again how well it works live. Whilst I would never be disappointed to see it in a setlist (it is my favourite after all), it wasn't until hearing it that I realised just how well it worked live. Some songs I expect it from but this one wasn't and so it was a real unexpected treat for me.

I'm never sure what to think of Brave New World as an album. It only has one song I really take issue with, and the top end of the album is pretty strong even if few make significant inroads for me. The production is crisp and clear, though perhaps a little too much - there is definitely a BNW sound and I almost would prefer it a little muddier. Perhaps controversially it's one of the reunion albums I rate quite low, but I still think it's a very good album with lots of highlights.

Top 25:

25 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
24 - The Edge Of Darkness
23 - Revelations
22 - Judas Be My Guide
21 - Lord Of Light
20 - Judgement Of Heaven
19 - The Red And The Black
18 - Blood Brothers

17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Killers
The Number of the Beast
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Wasted Years
Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale
Face In The Sand

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
DJMayes' album order of last appearance
01) No Prayer for the Dying (favourite song: Bring Your Daughter .... To the Slaughter, 60)
02) Virtual XI (favourite song: The Clansman, 44)
03) Iron Maiden (favourite song: Prowler, 26)
04) A Matter of Life and Death (favourite song: Lord of Light, 21)
05) The X-Factor (favourite song: Judgement of Heaven, 20)
06) Brave New World (favourite song: Blood Brothers, 18)

DJMayes' album order of first appearance
01) No Prayer for the Dying (least favourite song: Mother Russia, 160)
02) The X-Factor (least favourite song: Blood on the World's Hands, 159)
03) Powerslave (least favourite song: The Duellists, 158)
04) The Number of the Beast (least favourite song: Gangland, 156)
05) Brave New World (least favourite song: The Nomad, 154)
06) Killers (least favourite song: Innocent Exile, 150)
07) Piece of Mind (least favourite song: Quest for Fire, 149)
08) Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (least favourite song: The Prophecy, 148)
09) Iron Maiden (least favourite song: Running Free, 146)
10) The Final Frontier (least favourite song: Isle of Avalon, 143)
11) Fear of the Dark (least favourite song: Fear is the Key, 139)
12) A Matter of Life and Death (least favourite song: The Legacy, 136)
13) Virtual XI (least favourite song: Como Estais Amigos, 127)
14) Dance of Death (least favourite song: New Frontier, 125)
15) Somewhere in Time (least favourite song: Alexander the Great, 104)

16) The Book of Souls (least favourite song: The Man of Sorrows, 102)

Top 100:
There are no full albums in the top 100 of DJMayes complete ranking of Maiden songs.
There are no full albums outside this top 100.
Top 50:
There is one full album outside the top 50 (No Prayer for the Dying). All other albums have at least one song in the top 50.
Top 25:
There are 3 full albums outside the top 25 (Iron Maiden, No Prayer for the Dying, Virtual XI). All other albums have at least one song in the top 25.
Top 20:
There are 4 full albums outside the top 20 (Iron Maiden, No Prayer for the Dying, Virtual XI, A Matter of Life and Death). All other albums have at least one song in the top 20.

DJMayes' non-album song order of appearance
01) Invasion, 153
02) Virus, 151

03) Burning Ambition, 135
04) I Live My Way, 132
05) Justice of the Peace, 124
06) Judgement Day, 114
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I would add that the lyrical content in Blood Brothers is really good. It's introspective and reflective without being cloy.
 
Top