Yeah, it's a tough call. Phantom is on the debut, Killers is on Killers, they aren't equal. But the low points are pretty low on each. I generally don't listen to either too often, but I listen to more songs from the debut than Killers.
Agree. The debut has the worst production of any Maiden album, and some of the songs that are usually praised just aren't that good in the end. Killers also contains a few weaker tunes, but overall it's a much more enjoyable experience to listen to. I wasn't always too fond of it, but I've grown to appreciate it a lot over the years.
Killers songs sound perfect with Paul, while most IM songs actually sound better with Bruce.
I've no doubt that Martin Birch has a great deal to do with that.
Also, he managed to capture the level of energy and ferocity that is unparalleled in their catalog (Powerslave comes close)
Granted, Killers is perhaps the most un-maidenish album if you like their "classic" era, so it's easy to overlook or dismiss
But it has some great moments, and directions rarely trodden by them, such as "groovy" or "funky" (Wrathchild, Innocent Exile, ...)
I'd say Iron Maiden is the better album. It basically encompasses nearly everything Iron Maiden is about on a single album - It's got the short rockers, an epic, some more progressive elements, even a mellow song in Strange World and ends with something like a mission statement in the song "Iron Maiden".
Both are very fine albums. Iron Maiden (8,3) I find slightly better than Killers (8,0).
07. Iron Maiden 8,33
08. A Matter of Life and Death 8,3
09. The Number of the Beast 8,22
10. Brave New World 8,2
11. Fear of the Dark 8,08 12. Killers 8
13. The Final Frontier 7,9
14. The Book of Souls 7,82
15. Virtual XI 7,63
16. Dance of Death 7,36
Killers has so much filler and not to mention the song order arangment is the worst of all maiden albums. The Debut album is solid all the way through, it's in my top 5. Killers has songs like Ides of march, Wratchchild, G..Khan, Killers, and the EPIC Purgatory (yeah I know it's not what you would call a harris epic via long song) but really those are the only badass songs, and prodigal son is a great song also though but Another life, Inncocent Exile, Drifter ,Twilight zone (I know it wasn't a song on the first release but it was on the NA version) and Murders in the rue mourge (A song that I think is average, but it has it's moments) are all filler. One thing to is that even on some of the good songs they have some parts that just are not as great as the rest of the song and even the 80's catalog. Ides is to me a low level badass song and Genghis Khan is cool Instrumental but it has parts that I do not like as much. The only songs really that I come back to alot on this album are Wratchild and Purgatory and sometimes Killers. Killers makes 8th place for me just because I give it a pass.
Iron Maiden on the other hand is one hell of a record. I listen to the version with Sanctuary as the second track but even without it , it is still a great order arangment. Prowler is one heck of an opener, Remember tomorrow is such an atmospheric classic, Sanctuary is a song that get's you going, Running free is a solid rocker and of course Phantom the epic of the album, Transilvania is still my favorite Maiden Instrumental, even with the 3 lesser songs on the album they are still great highlights especially Strange world, such a beautiful loomy song, Charlot the Harlot gets my blood rushing and the closer the classic Iron Miaden song gets a thumbs up from me.
Killers is a good album but Iron Maiden is a much much better album to me especially if you listen to them back to back, IM is more solid while Killers is more filler whith great moments.