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 .

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)
07) Somewhere in Time (favourite song: Wasted Years, 17)

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
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
16 - Face In The Sand

Isn't it funny how your opinions of an album can change over time? Take this song, for example. It wasn't one of the standout tracks (though I certainly didn't think it was bad) on my first few runs of the Dance of Death album, but over time it and No More Lies have effectively swapped places. There's a comforting familiarity about the latter, but over time it's been replaced by the amount of texture this song has.

If I refer to a song having a lot of texture, I'm intending to convey that I feel it's got a lot going on behind the band proper. Empire of the Clouds is your prototypical example. The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album is a good one too, with all of the keyboards going on. Dance of Death is up there at points and it's no coincidence that the three songs I feel embrace this the most are my favourites from the album.

Off the bat, this song has a lot of warmth and feeling. The opening is superb - the sparse drumming and the rich bass perfectly complements the melancholic guitar riff, with understated keyboards underneath. This then gives way to the relentless bass in this song, firstly from Steve's guitar. There's some cool stuff going on with the guitar, but the keyboards behind really drive the song with some wonderful flourishes. It provides for a build with a lot of feeling, and a lot of power behind it, augmented by guitar flourishes at e.g. 1:25. This is then driven home by the powerful double bass drumming on this song. I can understand why Nicko doesn't always use it, but it works to magical effect here.

This forms the basis of a relentless rhythm section that pushes the verses along at a much more driving pace than the guitars and keyboards. The guitars in particular impart a real atmosphere on the song, a desperation that belies the tempo of the song. Bruce delivers over the top with a wonderful set of great verses.

The chorus here is a subtle one, but I adore it. It's much catchier than it initially appears, and I find it difficult not to sing along to nowadays.

A short bridge gives way to a break in the rhythm, alongside some solid solo action culminating in some majestic keyboard flourishes nearing 5:00 before the second chorus. These give way to a "Whoa-oa" section to break the massive amount of tension built up over the past 6 minutes. It works really nicely in my opinion.

All this said, if this is a marmite song I can to some degree understand why. The song has an idea and it devotes it's entire length to seeing that idea through. If you're a fan like me then those 6 minutes are powerful, moving stuff but if you don't I could understand criticisms of it being monotonous as it doesn't try to deviate or mix it up throughout.

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 - Wasted Years
16 - Face In The Sand

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

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
The opening is superb - the sparse drumming
Technically speaking, the drumming is anything but "sparse" in the introduction since it is the only moment in Maiden's history that double-bass drum is used (however "undrummerish" it is ;) ).

All this said, if this is a marmite song I can to some degree understand why. The song has an idea and it devotes it's entire length to seeing that idea through. If you're a fan like me then those 6 minutes are powerful, moving stuff but if you don't I could understand criticisms of it being monotonous as it doesn't try to deviate or mix it up throughout.

Well put. Unfortunately, I'm in the "if you don't" group that's why I'm not keen on this song so much. ;)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Top 15: there are 7 full albums outside the top 15:

1. Iron Maiden
2. No Prayer for the Dying
3. Virtual XI
4. A Matter of Life and Death
5. The X-Factor
6. Brave New World
7. Somewhere in Time

All other albums (9) have at least one song in the top 15.


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)
07) Somewhere in Time (favourite song: Wasted Years, 17)

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
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
Imagine the setlist:
Aces High
Killers
Flight Of Icarus
Shadows Of The Valley
Dance Of Death
Powerslave
Number Of The Beast
Run To The Hills
Iron Maiden
(Orchestra enters the stage during intermission)
------------------------------------
Satellite 15.... The Final Frontier
Empire Of The Clouds
Paschendale
Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Hallowed Be Thy Name
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
16 - Face In The Sand

Isn't it funny how your opinions of an album can change over time? Take this song, for example. It wasn't one of the standout tracks (though I certainly didn't think it was bad) on my first few runs of the Dance of Death album, but over time it and No More Lies have effectively swapped places. There's a comforting familiarity about the latter, but over time it's been replaced by the amount of texture this song has.

If I refer to a song having a lot of texture, I'm intending to convey that I feel it's got a lot going on behind the band proper. Empire of the Clouds is your prototypical example. The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album is a good one too, with all of the keyboards going on. Dance of Death is up there at points and it's no coincidence that the three songs I feel embrace this the most are my favourites from the album.

Off the bat, this song has a lot of warmth and feeling. The opening is superb - the sparse drumming and the rich bass perfectly complements the melancholic guitar riff, with understated keyboards underneath. This then gives way to the relentless bass in this song, firstly from Steve's guitar. There's some cool stuff going on with the guitar, but the keyboards behind really drive the song with some wonderful flourishes. It provides for a build with a lot of feeling, and a lot of power behind it, augmented by guitar flourishes at e.g. 1:25. This is then driven home by the powerful double bass drumming on this song. I can understand why Nicko doesn't always use it, but it works to magical effect here.

This forms the basis of a relentless rhythm section that pushes the verses along at a much more driving pace than the guitars and keyboards. The guitars in particular impart a real atmosphere on the song, a desperation that belies the tempo of the song. Bruce delivers over the top with a wonderful set of great verses.

The chorus here is a subtle one, but I adore it. It's much catchier than it initially appears, and I find it difficult not to sing along to nowadays.

A short bridge gives way to a break in the rhythm, alongside some solid solo action culminating in some majestic keyboard flourishes nearing 5:00 before the second chorus. These give way to a "Whoa-oa" section to break the massive amount of tension built up over the past 6 minutes. It works really nicely in my opinion.

All this said, if this is a marmite song I can to some degree understand why. The song has an idea and it devotes it's entire length to seeing that idea through. If you're a fan like me then those 6 minutes are powerful, moving stuff but if you don't I could understand criticisms of it being monotonous as it doesn't try to deviate or mix it up throughout.

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 - Wasted Years
16 - Face In The Sand

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

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds

Great critique and proper placement for yet another underrated song from the great DOD
Album!!
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
We're getting there, slowly but surely. Time for the final fifteen:

15 - The Number Of The Beast

This song here forms the first half of (in my opinion) the greatest double team Maiden have ever done alongside Run To The Hills. Beyond the massive controversy it generated there are very good reasons why this song is one of their greatest hits - so perhaps the more interesting question is why only #15?

The songs opening is one of the bands all time classics. It's one of the few times I find a spoken word intro to a song easily defensible. In studio, it has one problem: not enough volume compared to the rest of the song. Live there is no such problem, and the sound of tens of thousands of people chanting along to it is one of the better live moments the band has.

The main riff is pretty electrifying too, and one of their most recognisable. Bruce gives a great delivery, and Clive does beautiful things when the drums come in at 0:53. The highlight is the scream - how could it not be? - but it follows it up with one of the bands most energetic verses.

It's going to sound odd, but the chorus is perhaps my least favourite part of the song. It's iconic and goes down a treat live, but I've always found it too short and not nearly as catchy as their best.

Let's talk about the instrumentals though. The first solo is phenomenal, and the second solo even better. The transition between the two is good, and the post-solo bass bridge is a lovely section. I almost always prefer a faster solo and they work really well on this song in particular.

This certainly deserves to be amongst Maiden's best, but it is not the best of the best in my opinion. I would like to raise a question though: Why is it always Run To The Hills everyone is tired of, when this song has (according to http://www.setlist.fm/stats/iron-maiden-3bd6803c.html) been played nearly 500 times more, and is their second most played song ever? The Trooper is similar having been played nearly 400 times less, despite the band definitely not performing that many times on tour between the release of the two albums.

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 - Wasted Years
16 - Face In The Sand
15 - The Number Of The Beast

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

Songs Remaining:

Killers
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
This one I cannot get tired of, and will always want it in the set list. Even though it's been "played" , once the spoken intro begins, it's fricken' ON!! I always catch myself thinking : "damn, this is their best song, and THE best song ever" as I listen. Not nessesarily before or after. This is much, much more desired than Iron Maiden or FOD for me.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
14 - The Talisman

Let's settle one debate here and now - Yes, I think it's a better seafaring song than Ghost of the Navigator, and no, it's not really close. The difference really comes in the feeling of the two songs - Ghost of the Navigator is great but it just doesn't have the same atmosphere or level of storytelling that The Talisman does, and that makes all the difference.

This atmosphere is present right from the beginning of the song. The quiet introductory verse is incredibly evocative, creating a wonderful musical landscape of a harbour at dawn. The guitars are really good here, the bass is nice and restrained, as is Bruce. The lack of drums is a good touch as well.

This all sets up for one of the best drops I've ever heard at 2:21, as the song explodes and our voyage begins. Bruce lets rip and I enjoy his vocals on this song more than perhaps any other of the album - some say he sounds strained but to me he sounds like he's actually trying. The shredding is great. On the surface it's similar to Ghost of the Navigator, but benefits from not having Brave New World's very sharp, almost metallic production. It also benefits from having more melodies from the other guitars (e.g. 2:54) that really help provide the adventurous atmosphere.

3:33 sees a nice shift in pace, and 3:44 provides some of the great melodies this song has to distinguish itself from a straight forward shred. We see this again at 4:33, to great effect. 4:48 sees the verses obtain an ominous change of pace, which lead nicely into the great chorus at 5:33 - perhaps the best on the album.

If I have one qualm with this song, it's the post-chorus instrumental section. I don't think it works in the context of this song, which would've done better with a more straightforward, fast paced solo as opposed to the odd breakdown we get here. It ruins the pace of the song in my mind to the extent that were it not there, this song would probably be in my top 10 - because the rest of it is a stunning piece of storytelling and a rollicking good time.

The elimination of The Talisman leaves this album on its last song - the title track! Who saw that one coming?

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 - Wasted Years
16 - Face In The Sand
15 - The Number Of The Beast
14 - The Talisman

13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Killers
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

ghkghk

Trooper
We're getting there, slowly but surely. Time for the final fifteen:

15 - The Number Of The Beast

This song here forms the first half of (in my opinion) the greatest double team Maiden have ever done alongside Run To The Hills. Beyond the massive controversy it generated there are very good reasons why this song is one of their greatest hits - so perhaps the more interesting question is why only #15?

The songs opening is one of the bands all time classics. It's one of the few times I find a spoken word intro to a song easily defensible. In studio, it has one problem: not enough volume compared to the rest of the song. Live there is no such problem, and the sound of tens of thousands of people chanting along to it is one of the better live moments the band has.

The main riff is pretty electrifying too, and one of their most recognisable. Bruce gives a great delivery, and Clive does beautiful things when the drums come in at 0:53. The highlight is the scream - how could it not be? - but it follows it up with one of the bands most energetic verses.

It's going to sound odd, but the chorus is perhaps my least favourite part of the song. It's iconic and goes down a treat live, but I've always found it too short and not nearly as catchy as their best.

Let's talk about the instrumentals though. The first solo is phenomenal, and the second solo even better. The transition between the two is good, and the post-solo bass bridge is a lovely section. I almost always prefer a faster solo and they work really well on this song in particular.

This certainly deserves to be amongst Maiden's best, but it is not the best of the best in my opinion. I would like to raise a question though: Why is it always Run To The Hills everyone is tired of, when this song has (according to http://www.setlist.fm/stats/iron-maiden-3bd6803c.html) been played nearly 500 times more, and is their second most played song ever? The Trooper is similar having been played nearly 400 times less, despite the band definitely not performing that many times on tour between the release of the two albums.

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 - Wasted Years
16 - Face In The Sand
15 - The Number Of The Beast

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

Songs Remaining:

Killers
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds

Because TNOTB is a gazillion times better than RTTH. So people gets tired way earlier with the latter than the former, even being less played.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
I think that's where The Talisman would fit in my list too. I'm too lazy to look though. I must say though I'm really confused as to why TFF isn't gone yet.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
Without paying attention to the lyrics very closely, "Ghost of the Navigator" has always evoked Ulysses to me, while "The Talisman" conjures up more historically recent images (C17 or 18). As far I'm concerned, I love both. They tend to prove how "discreetly essential" Janick's input is to the band.
 
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