Tournament of Iron Maiden Solos: 2nd poll (qualification stage)

Which solo do you like the most? (pick your favourite)

  • 04. The Educated Fool (see 4th link)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Ancient Mariner
UPDATE 17-05-2015

The previous poll had a clear winner: Dennis Stratton's solo from Strange World qualifies for the main game!

Going through all the solos, I noticed another error. An ex-member (Moon Child) counted both Dave Murray solos in SSOASS as one. I decided to let the forum decide which of these following can qualify (I also added the other two from the previous poll).

Please take your pick (one vote):

01. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1st solo) (7:05 - 7:26)
02. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (2nd solo) (7:38 - 7:48)
03. Mother Russia (3.37 - 4:00)
04. The Educated Fool (3:56 - 4:15)

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UPDATE 15-05-2015
It's still a while before this game starts but preparations are underway. I decided to do a little qualification game, in order to have the final contestant.

Please take your pick (one vote):
01. Strange World (0:42 - 1:28)
02. Mother Russia (3.37 - 4:00)
03. The Educated Fool (3:56 - 4:15)

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UPDATE 09-05-2015

No more new solos please! The list is completed!

Hi everyone. Right now I have 128 solos taken from this topic. To get to this number I counted all solos mentioned by forum members (only a max of 10 per person per guitarist) and removed a few from inactive users that were not mentioned by others.

Once again, thanks for all your submissions. Sorry to the ones who missed the boat (I'm thinking of e.g. mckindog, Perun and perhaps Brig and Sixes), but you'll see there's enough left to enjoy!

Here the list, which will be the basis for the Iron Maiden Solo Game (e.g. Tournament or Survivor, or other form of game; I still have to think about which format would suit (me) best).

Dave Murray: 49
Adrian Smith: 42
Janick Gers: 36
Dennis Stratton: 1

Some songs in the current list have time indications, others haven't. I'll have this in order before the game starts. Every round will have links and needed info to hear the right thing. For now, here we go:

2 A.M. Janick Gers
2 Minutes to Midnight Adrian Smith
2 Minutes to Midnight Dave Murray
2 Minutes To Midnight (LIVE: En Vivo! '11) Adrian Smith
22 Acacia Avenue Dave Murray
Aces High Adrian Smith
Afraid to Shoot Strangers Janick Gers
Alexander the Great Dave Murray
Alexander the Great (5:50 - 6:30) Adrian Smith
Blood Brothers Dave Murray
Blood Brothers Janick Gers
Blood on the World's Hands Janick Gers
Brave New World Dave Murray
Brave New World (3:59-4:33) Janick Gers
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter Janick Gers
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns Janick Gers
Caught Somewhere in Time Adrian Smith
Caught Somewhere in Time Dave Murray
Children Of The Damned (3:21 - 3:41) Adrian Smith
Coming Home Adrian Smith
Como Estais Amigos Janick Gers
Dance of Death Adrian Smith
Dance of Death Dave Murray
Dance of Death Janick Gers
Die With Your Boots On Adrian Smith
Die With Your Boots On (3:00 - 3:22) Dave Murray
Different World Adrian Smith
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger Janick Gers
Dream of Mirrors Janick Gers
Drifter Adrian Smith
Fear of the Dark Dave Murray
Fear of the Dark Janick Gers
For the Greater Good of God Adrian Smith
For the Greater Good of God Janick Gers
Fortunes of War (5:03-5:26) Janick Gers
From Here to Eternity Janick Gers
Futureal Dave Murray
Gates of Tomorrow Janick Gers
Ghost of the Navigator Janick Gers
Hallowed Be Thy Name Dave Murray
Hallowed Be Thy Name (Rock in Rio) Dave Murray
Hallowed Be Thy Name (Rock in Rio) Janick Gers
Heaven Can Wait Adrian Smith
Heaven Can Wait (flight 666) Janick Gers
Holy Smoke Janick Gers
Invaders Adrian Smith
Isle of Avalon Dave Murray
Isle Of Avalon (4:30 - 5:30) Adrian Smith
Judas Be My Guide (1st solo) Dave Murray
Judas Be My Guide (2nd solo) Dave Murray
Killers Dave Murray
Lord Of Light (5:15 - 5:37) Adrian Smith
Lord of Light (5:52-6-14) Dave Murray
Lord of the Flies Janick Gers
No More Lies Janick Gers
No Prayer for the Dying (2nd) Dave Murray
Only the Good Die Young Adrian Smith
Out of the Silent Planet Janick Gers
Paschendale Adrian Smith
Paschendale Janick Gers
Paschendale (4:52-5:14) Dave Murray
Phantom of the Opera (first) Dave Murray
Phantom of the Opera (starting at 5.09) Dave Murray
Powerslave (1st) Dave Murray
Powerslave (2nd) Dave Murray
Prodigal Son Adrian Smith
Prowler (LIVE: A Real Dead One '93) Dave Murray
Public Enema Number One Dave Murray
Quest for Fire Adrian Smith
Quest for Fire Dave Murray
Rainmaker (2:00-2:24) Dave Murray
Revelations Adrian Smith
Revelations Dave Murray
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Adrian Smith
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Dave Murray
Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Flight 666) Adrian Smith
Sea of Madness (main) Adrian Smith
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (7:05 - 7:48) Dave Murray
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (7:58 - 8:17) Adrian Smith
Sign of the Cross Janick Gers
Sign of the Cross (Rock in Rio) Dave Murray
Starblind Dave Murray
Starblind (2:34 - 2:53) Adrian Smith
Starblind (4:15 - 4:43 ) Adrian Smith
Still Life Adrian Smith
Still Life Dave Murray
Still Life (intro) Dave Murray
Still Life (Maiden England) Dave Murray
Strange World Dennis Stratton
Stranger in a Strange Land Adrian Smith
The Alchemist Janick Gers
The Assassin Janick Gers
The Clairvoyant Dave Murray
The Clansman Janick Gers
The Duellists Dave Murray
The Duellists (3:38 - 4:13) Adrian Smith
The Evil That Men Do Adrian Smith
The Final Frontier Dave Murray
The Fugitive Janick Gers
The Ides of March Adrian Smith
The Legacy Janick Gers
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Adrian Smith
The Longest Day Dave Murray
The Man Who Would Be King Dave Murray
The Mercenary (3:20-3:38) Adrian Smith
The Number of the Beast Adrian Smith
The Number of the Beast Dave Murray
The Pilgrim Janick Gers
The Prisoner Adrian Smith
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg (5:34-6:06) Dave Murray
The Talisman Janick Gers
The Thin Line Between Love & Hate (4:50 - 5:20) Dave Murray
The Thin Line Between Love and Hate (last 6:54) Dave Murray
The Trooper Adrian Smith
The Unbeliever Dave Murray
The Unbeliever Janick Gers
The Wicker Man Adrian Smith
These Colours Don't Run Adrian Smith
To Tame A Land (5:18 - 5:37) Adrian Smith
Transylvania Dennis Stratton
Wasted Years Adrian Smith
Wasting Love (4:18-4:44) Janick Gers
Weekend Warrior Dave Murray
Weekend Warrior Janick Gers
When the Wild Wind Blows Adrian Smith
When the Wild Wind Blows (last) Janick Gers
Where Eagles Dare Dave Murray
Where Eagles Dare (Ullevi) Dave Murray

- - - - - -
Original post:

A new member, Barik, came up with this post ...
(don't worry: below are no tour/setlist spoilers; I just wanted to win some space)
Adrian Smith and Dave Murray are very match with together and a really excellent team.
Smith' solos drives on songs intelligently and Murray's solos are nice and protean properly.
and Janick Gers plays mysterious and cleverly.

I think top Smith's solos are:
1. Stranger In A Strange Land
2. Alexander The Great
3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
4. Revelations
5. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
6. Wasted Years
7. The Prisioner
8. Drifter
9. Different World
10. The Evil That Men Do

top Murray's solos:
1. Powerslave
2. Alexander The Great
3. Where Eagles Dare
4. Killers
5. The Thin Line Between Love And Hate
6. 2 Minutes To Midnight
7. Mother Russia
8. Still Life
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. No Prayer For The Dying

top Gers's solos:
1. Holy Smoke
2. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
3. Out Of The Silent Planet
4. Mother Russia
5. From Here To Eternity

and furthermore Dennis Stratton's solo in Transylvania is amazing.
... in which he described his view on the differences between the solos of the three amigos. Also he mentioned his favourite solos per guitar player. I thought it could be nice to do this as well, and I call other members to do the same. When I deem the time right, I'll find out which solos (and which album songs) are the most popular.

I'll give the solos a thought and try to come up with my own lists soon.

Let's do 10 solos per guitar player, and if it's too much, then less. Naturally, you can also name your favourite Stratton solo(s). Thanks in advance for taking part, everybody!

Some songs have more than 1 solo, even by the same person. If necessary, please be exact in which solo you mean.

If you don't know who plays the solo, no problem, just mention in which song (and if necessary: where in which song) it is.
Last edited:

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
Ooo, this is good! I'll definitely have to put some thought into this one. I know a couple off the top of my head but just need some time to sort them out.


Free Man
Nice topic -as usual- from one of our most important -if not the most- solo experts, Forostar.. I will definitely contribute, but it may take me some time. If anything Maiden is an amazing adventure for the listener to distinguish who's playing what solo, with every new release. Especially after 2000!

I had to remove this post from Adrian Smith to here, where it belongs


Black-and-white leopard
My top 10 Adrian Smith solos:
(I need more like top 30 here)

1. Caught Somewhere in Time
2. Stranger in a Strange Land
3. Alexander the Great
4. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
5. The Wicker Man
6. Different World
7. For the Greater Good of God
8. Aces High
9. Children of the Damned
10. Die With Your Boots On

Top 10 Dave Murray solos:
(this was the hardest for me)

1. Hallowed
2. Quest for Fire
3. The Final Frontier
4. Powerslave (first one)
5. Alexander the Great
6. No Prayer for the Dying (second one)
7. The Thin Line Between Love and Hate (the last one)
8. Phantom of the Opera (starting at 5:09)
9. Still Life
10. The Man Who Would Be King

Top 10 Janick Gers solos:

1. Blood Brothers
2. Out of the Silent Planet
3. The Legacy
4. Afraid to Shoot Strangers
5. Dream of Mirrors
6. Ghost of the Navigator
7. Sign of the Cross
8. The Talisman
9. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
10. Lord of the Flies

At the end of this I really felt like listening to The X Factor for some reason. :)


Black-and-white leopard
Oh, I've missed that. Thanks. I meant his second one, starting at 5:09.

Phantom Of The Opera
2:47 Dave Murray
5:09 Dave Murray
5:26 Dennis Stratton

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
It really isn't tough to guess who plays which solo since all three guys stick to their respective styles all the time. If it's an impassioned, fired up solo that feels like its notes are picked one by one with lots of bends and maybe tappings, it's Adrian. If it's a moving, flowing, nice solo that feels like its consisted of notes sticked together with legato technique, it's Dave. If it's a messy, fast, furious, chaotic and somewhat sloppy (by intention) solo, it's Janick.

I like Adrian's style the most since it showcases the ultimate feeling behind guitar soloing, passion. Also he seems to be the most creative one of the three, while Dave's and Janick's solos start to sound similar after a while, Adrian's solos always had a different edge. Keep in mind that Dave is also one of my favorite soloists of all time, so I'm not dissing him or anything.

Adrian Smith

I've always concentrated Adrian's solos heavily since, well, he's my favorite soloist. So coming up with a Top 10 for him wouldn't be that tough. I've done that sort of a list back in the day, actually.

1. Stranger in a Strange Land (3:18 - 4:26)

I think it's fair to say that Somewhere in Time is the richest Maiden album in terms of solo qualities and that mainly has to do with Adrian who came up with some of the greatest solos ever in the rock music history. Stranger in a Strange Land's solo is a prime example. Starting off slow yet emotionally powerful, going along with Steve Harris' nice bass playing behind, it hits its edge at its second part where it starts to go nuts. Amazing bends, amazing screams from the guitar and overall an amazing melodic guitar solo.

2. Alexander the Great (5:50 - 6:30)

Alexander the Great's instrumental section is one of the richest in Maiden history and Adrian's solos have a lot to do with it. Dividing his main solo to three different parts would be fair. First one picks up a fabulous guitar harmony and continues to hit the listeners with power. After Steve's little bridge a nice solo comes. The last note of that part is particularly interesting since it has a "continuous" edge, leaving the listener with curiosity about what will come next. His holiness, H, doesn't disappoint once again and comes up with a jaw-dropping last solo, starting with a great tapping section. I've always liked Adrian's tapping more than any other guitarist I've listened to, don't know why.

3. Caught Somewhere in Time (4:05 - 4:50)

Coming just after Dave's solo between 3:27 - 4:05, Adrian's solo feels like a superior one and a true "statement". After an harmonic entrance, he goes up to the first frets of his guitar and does a classic "going higher" move which leads to a nice little tapping section then a little part consisted of powerful bends. The part between 4:32 and 4:36 again gets us ready for an amazing move. Then again, Adrian does the same ol' trick, does a dive-bomb, then comes up with yet another superbly melodic part to end his solo. Powerful as hell.

4. Paschendale (5:14 - 5:34)

It may be shorter than the ones in Top 3, but you simply cannot pass up on Adrian's solo on Paschendale. It's the main moment of a masterpiece. Again picking up after Dave's solo, just the way he enters the solo is enough to drop your jaw on your keyboard. A great bend then some powerful fast playing, then a superb melody at 5:19-5:23 mark. Adrian loves throwing something chaotic for a couple of seconds then coming up with a classic "one-by-one picking" melody on his solos. (another example of that can be heard on his solo in These Colours Don't Run) He finishes with a classic moving around. A fine piece of art in just 20 seconds.

5. Wasted Years (3:13 - 3:46)

Yet another Somewhere in Time solo. Connection is essential in creating a good solo. Since Adrian is the sole writer of this song, it's no surprise that main melody transfers into the solo perfectly. It's tough to talk about solos second by second, but after an usual start, the "falling" notes between 3:18-3:21 suddenly increases the level of curiosity of the listener once again and it's again followed by a section of amazing bends and then some fast playing with a great atmosphere. Solo itself transfers into the chorus perfectly, too.

6. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (9:10 - 9:38)

This one plays a big role in some of rock's greatest minutes ever. The song leads to this solo perfectly, Adrian comes up with a nice entrance once again, followed by great touches. Especially the ending of the solo (9:30-9:38) is simply jaw-dropping. If it wasn't for that solo (and of course Dave's which follows) the harmony between 10:03 and 10:15 wouldn't be as powerful.

7. The Prisoner (3:43 - 4:40)

I don't know if it would be fair to make the amazing, goosebump giving melody at the start a part of the solo but since Adrian plays it solely by himself, I decided to count it in. The main solo starts at 4:21 with again, a series of bends which set the mood. 4:26 - 4:32 bends lead us to the main powerful part of the solo, the falling notes between 4:35 - 4:40 which is one of my favorite Maiden moments of all time.

8. These Colours Don't Run (4:32 - 4:53)

Probably one of the most underrated solos of him. The part itself has a tremendous melancholy to it and Adrian's solo adds to it, giving me goosebumps everytime I hear it. Gotta love the way the notes get around between 4:35 and 4:37. Then like I've said before, notes that feel like they're picked one by one. The part I talked about in my write up for Paschendale, then "darat darat darat dat dat dat daaat". Amazing.

9. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (7:58 - 8:17)

Yet another great entrance to a solo. Since it comes after a powerful guitar harmony, a good entrance is essential and Adrian does just that. Sound rises then again a bend followed by tasty playing. Around 8:08 a little chaotic passage enters then a great way to connect us to the bridge, which ultimately connects us to the next solo. It may be short, but it's a special sounding solo and does a great job on the song itself.

10. Starblind (2:34 - 2:53)

Since Starblind has many guitar licks thrown on it, it's hard to come up with just one to appear on this list. I'm gonna go with this one, which I call the "summary" of Starblind's musical feeling. Great atmosphere, notes flowing gracefully and ending with a great way to end it. Note that Starblind is my favorite song of all time.

Honorable Mentions : Starblind (5:47 - 6:03), Children of the Damned (3:22 - 3:41), The Wicker Man (2:33 - 2:51), Flight of Icarus (2:11 - 2:28), Die with Your Boots On (4:06 - 4:28), 22 Acacia Avenue (5:29 - 6:32), 2 Minutes to Midnight (3:04 - 3:26)

Dave Murray

Dave is a great soloist but I think after the Reunion his solos started to sound the same. Don't know if he lost his edge or if he just improvizes his solos on the song which they certainly feel like. His work back in 80's were awesome though.

1. Powerslave (3:03 - 3:52)

Gotta go with that one. Picks up greatly from the bass leading backing with a slow, deep and powerful first note. Love how it builds up until the ending. A great example of Dave's emotional playing and that not only he does use legato well on fast solos but on slow ones too.

2. Alexander the Great (6:30 - 7:08)

There's a reason why I consider Alexander the Great to be the greatest Maiden "guitar solo track". All credit doesn't go to Adrian, Dave solo that comes afterwards is an amazing ending touch, the icing on the cake. Love how it fits the general atmosphere of the track, simply epic sounding. Adrian's solos sound more rocking and have nothing to do with the story, but this one feels like it. Great choice of using it as the last solo since it all comes back to vocals once again after this one. Great stuff.

3. Where Eagles Dare (2:11 - 2:48)

Best solo off Piece of Mind. Chaotic, even absurd sounding at times, but simply amazing. One of the most experimental Murray solos. Love how it builds up to the great harmony starting at 2:49, too.

4. Still Life (0:13 - 0:59)

It's an intro but I guess still counts as a solo, right ? What an amazing piece of art. I remember when I was trying my parents to get to know of electric guitar a little better since I was going to pick up one and I used this one as an example. They were fascinated by the sound. How can you not be fascinated by it ? Melancholic, emotional yet still "in your face".

5. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (9:36 - 10:02)

Although it gets overshadowed by Adrian's solo on the song, Dave's solo has much to do with Rime's instrumental section's success. Picks up well, continues to add flavour around 9:43 - 9:49 mark, falls with a dive-bomb, comes back again strong and leads us to a beautiful harmony.

6. Quest for Fire (2:39 - 2:52)

Underrated as hell, like the song itself. So what if it has bad lyrics ? Listen to that solo, that backing track. If I'm not mistaken Dave considered this one of his best works, trust the man, it really is.

7. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate (4:50 - 5:20)

Emotionally powerful solo in an emotionally powerful song. Great bends, not the usual type of Dave Murray solo, really. But a great one of that.

8. Caught Somewhere in Time (3:27 - 4:05)

Love how it kicks in. Also there great ups and downs on the solo, tempo switches, melody rising and falling all of a sudden. A really creative, passionate and powerful solo. Fabulous melody, too.

9. The Man Who Would Be King (3:57 -4:58)

Chaotic as hell but yet melodic as hell. It's actually tough to hear the solo and it doesn't sound that good when it's all alone, but it sound simply amazing on the song. It just fits the atmosphere right in. Weird how it works, really.

10. Hallowed Be Thy Name (4:49 - 5:09)

Again, love how it kicks in. Fast, furious, fitting the backing track. The song goes nuts from then on and it's never the same again. Your life is never the same again. What a powerful thing this is.

Janick Gers

Probably the hardest one for me since, well, I don't really like Janick's soloing. I tend to stay away from fast, furious and sloppy solos but Jan loves playing aggressive and not playing the same thing again and again.

1. Blood Brothers (5:43 - 6:12)

Not surprisingly, my favorite Gers solo is a one that's very different from his usual style. Shows how powerful he actually is on the emotional side of things, he shows that side of his in his composing which is awesome for the band, shame he doesn't for his solos enough.

2. The Pilgrim (3:03 - 3:22)

I've always had a thing for eastern sounding solos and this one is a good example of that even though it's short. Starts off fabulous, builds up nice. I don't like how it all gets messy at 3:14 but it only stays that way for two seconds and ends well.

3. Out of the Silent Planet (3:51 - 4:49)

Best Gers solo in that chaotic style, mainly because the song fits it, and that a great melody finishes the solo. (4:26 - 4:49) It builds up to the chorus well, also.

4. Lord of the Flies (3:19 - 3:42)

Again, not a chaotic solo, an emotionally powerful one. Great solo consisted of awesome bends, followed by a nice melody.

5. 2 A.M. (3:25 - 3:49)

Can't believe how somebody would pass up on that solo. A nice little solo between one of the best (and underrated) guitar harmonies in Maiden history.

6. Como Estais Amigos (3:14 - 3:38)

Fits the song's atmosphere perfectly. I really can picture soldiers screaming in pain while I'm listening to this solo. Again it's between repeats of a great guitar harmony.

7. Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger (5:56 - 6:09)

So short, but simply great. Fits the song well. This is the part where the song breaks out of its shell and goes nuts and Jan's aggressive playing sounds amazing here.

8. Ghost of the Navigator (4:35 - 5:03)

You can see how Janick's solos fit to the songs he writes himself. They most of the time don't fit in other guys' works, though. The messy sound of that solo builds up to a aggressive rhythm part and it feels great.

9. The Unbeliever (4:10 - 4:36)

Weird sounding at times but certainly not "forced" sounding. Fits the mood, the rhythm and the overall composition. Creative work with the ups and downs, too. Adds flavour to the atmosphere.

10. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns (5:25 - 5:52)

Doesn't really fit the mood of the song but sounds great on its own. Experimental, weird and interesting. Jan really hits his best work when he tries other stuff, comes out of his style, shame he doesn't do it more often.


My favorite Dennis Stratton solo would be the one on Strange World, an amazing solo, one of the best of the band's history, actually. His solos on Transylvania and Phantom of the Opera are also cool.


Meme Only Account
Great analysis The Flash! Although, let's keep it simple --Adrian's AtG solo is one solo, with breaks; not really three... :)
I agree with you regarding his tapping; it's a technique he doesn't really employ for speed, which is unusual.

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
This is going to be tough and might take some time for me (maybe not). Well not so much on Adrian's solos and Dave's too but I'm honestly not all that familiar with Janick's work. Maybe if anything, I'll start with Adrian and Dave then once I get a list for Janick, I'll put his in. I know there's no rush but, I'd like to try and have mine in more sooner than later.

Kill Devil Hill

westwards the tide
I don't know what to do about solos that sound so great because they're next to each other, you know? Like Flight of Icarus, those two solos together are perhaps the best combined guitar solo ever, but separately they wouldn't rank so high. Maybe they could be special mentions. :p


After the war?
Staff member
If you don't know who plays the solo, no problem, just mention in which song (and if necessary: where in which song) it is.

There's a pretty good website out there called The Iron Maiden Commentary, which among many other things mentions all the solos and who played them on the lyrics pages. The site credits mention a certain Forostar as contributor for the solo information.

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
I don't know what to do about solos that sound so great because they're next to each other, you know? Like Flight of Icarus, those two solos together are perhaps the best combined guitar solo ever, but separately they wouldn't rank so high. Maybe they could be special mentions. :p
I was wondering about that too. I was thinking, I really like the solos in Flight of Icarus together but they aren't so great alone...and I want to add that to the list maybe? I'd like to know how this would work too. Maybe for Adrian and Dave, add the song as the same number and put the times?

Kill Devil Hill

westwards the tide
For The Thin Line, I just want to put all the solos. I love them nearly exactly the same, and in general, it's my favorite guitar work from Dave.