Worldwide album sales

Maiden is an interesting phenomenon in the States based on my experience. Nearly every American rock/metal fan I know respects them, but most people really don't listen to them over here. People will spend an eternity dissecting every corner of Metallica's catalogue, waxing philosophically about the different eras of Sabbath, debating Pantera's lasting impact to modern metal, or interpreting Tool's cryptic lyrics, but if I mention anything Maiden related outside of NOTB or POTM, most people look at me as if I were from another planet. Maiden is treated sort of like the cool, mysterious war-hero Grandfather that everyone in the family is proud of, but no one really knows the actual details.
Why is it like that though? Is there something in their music or lyrics that doesn't go well with the american mainstream public? Or is it just that they didn't care about appearing on tv as other uses said on this thread?

I admit I find the case of Iron Maiden with the american public extremely curious because in the rest of the world, above all Europe and Latin America, Maiden is as big as it can get and we spend hours discussing about it as the other bands you mentioned.

Also in the dvd Flight 666 when they play in Canada Bruce complains about the american public and thanks the canadians for listening to them even before in America knew they existed.
So it seems like Bruce doesn't like the american public too much.
 
Why is it like that though? Is there something in their music or lyrics that doesn't go well with the american mainstream public? Or is it just that they didn't care about appearing on tv as other uses said on this thread?

I admit I find the case of Iron Maiden with the american public extremely curious because in the rest of the world, above all Europe and Latin America, Maiden is as big as it can get and we spend hours discussing about it as the other bands you mentioned.

Also in the dvd Flight 666 when they play in Canada Bruce complains about the american public and thanks the canadians for listening to them even before in America knew they existed.
So it seems like Bruce doesn't like the american public too much.
I'm a proud, patriotic, star-spangled 'Merican, and that means I'm an expert in two things:

1. America (NFL, guns, big cars & Big Macs)
2. Ignoring the rest of the world

That's just how it is here. Especially in the 80s & 90s. I can honestly say, in the 80s & 90s, I never once heard an IM song on the radio. Never. Everyone knew who they were 'cause of their T-shirts, but they literally got ZERO radio play... and MTV didn't really play their videos either. Maybe Maiden's label didn't do payola, but they were a total non-entity on mainstream American radio.

And in a weird way, that sorta made 'em cool. Ya know???

Metallica was more of an underground phenomenon too, 'til their "One" video broke. Then came the Black album & they were YUGE.

It's different now today, 'cause of the Internet... U.S. radio is dying, and everything is more global. (I even have a Dutch wife!) But particularly in the 80s & 90s, there was an arrogance in America (which I'm sure you're totally SHOCKED to hear), and we kinda assumed that anyone & anything worthwhile would move here. Lennon did. Ozzy did. Bowie did (even though he was afraid of us). Maiden didn't.

IM's fan base might not've been wiiiide in America, but it was deeeeep. The people who loved 'em REALLY loved 'em. And this is anecdotal, but my youngest kid is currently in elementary school... and those kids are still wearing Maiden T-shirts. See 'em every day.

One last thing: We never got into Oasis either. (What is THAT about?)

One last thing, part 2: Deontay Wilder will CRUSH Anthony Joshua. USA! USA! USA!
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
That's all correct but there were UK bands doing fine, like Priest, who did go into full MTV format with Turbo. I think US audiences at the time were looking to get the greatest show on Earth which Maiden had with Powerslave, but not with subsequent tours...in regards to kitsch and effects, Dio's Sacred Heart tour and JP Turbo tour were far more heavy on stage gadgetry than Somewhere on Tour.

P.s. Oasis has been always similar to U2 in one regard; they both suck.
 
I think JP's song lengths probably helped 'em with radio play (and probably hurt IM)... but really, JP wasn't that big in America either. AC/DC was probably the biggest "foreign" act in its genre during the early 80s... discounting the hair-rockers (Def Lep, etc.)

G'nR were huge, of course... a few years later.

In the 90s, Nirvana pretty much wrecked the metal scene in the U.S. for years...
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
P.s. Oasis has been always similar to U2 in one regard; they both suck.
Both have early stuff that is worth a look, for me. Oasis had an amazing trajectory, though. They went from edgy working class hallions with rockin tunes to rich douchebags makin bullshit music in 3 years. U2 were still doin decent tunes 20 years after formation, although it could be argued (successfully and easily) that Bono was always a douchebag.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
Who put 10p in Cried?
And what exactly are you liking in my post? Several points were made. I wish to know you better.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
Why is it like that though? Is there something in their music or lyrics that doesn't go well with the american mainstream public? Or is it just that they didn't care about appearing on tv as other uses said on this thread?

I admit I find the case of Iron Maiden with the american public extremely curious because in the rest of the world, above all Europe and Latin America, Maiden is as big as it can get and we spend hours discussing about it as the other bands you mentioned.

Also in the dvd Flight 666 when they play in Canada Bruce complains about the american public and thanks the canadians for listening to them even before in America knew they existed.
So it seems like Bruce doesn't like the american public too much.
I can't speak for all US folks, but in my area here on the West Coast, I theorize that it comes down to two general things.
  • The image and the lyrics: When people first see the album covers, they usually expect to hear a violent thrash or death metal band. When they find out Maiden are essentially proggy hard rock with an operatic-esque singer covering fantasy/history/film/literature, they're usually really surprised and a little confused. People also don't really know how to take the whole presentation - is it supposed to be serious? It is it parody? I'm going to generalize and simplify, but I think the reason for this is that most popular American rock/metal bands fall into broad lyrical camps - Angry (old Metallica, Slipknot, Pantera etc...) or hedonistic (Kiss, Van Halen, AC/DC, Motley Crue etc...). Maiden's educated/escapist angle doesn't fit into either. "Smart and serious" rock bands (Tool, Rush etc...) typically have more of a straightforward/artsy kinda image on stage. So what you end up with is that you've got a band giving people history and literature lessons with inflatable zombies and stiltwalkers going on in the background - it comes off as contradictory, and therefore cheesy/juvenile, to a lot of US fans who mainly grew up with bands trying to be hard-asses on stage (e.g. Metallica, GnR or Slayer). Dio suffered a similar fate with getting hit with the "cheese factor" (basically the 'Spinal Tap' syndrome). When my co-workers learned that I was going to a Metallica show, it was "Metallica rocks, dude! Horns up man!". When I told them I was seeing Maiden, the reaction was "oh, that cheesy devil worshiping band from the 80s? 666!!! Ha ha ha!". That pretty much typifies how they're seen by most people.
  • The lack of a true hit single: Judas Priest, Van Halen, Metallica, AC/DC, Guns and Roses et-al have not just had "hits" - they've had hits that have entered the American public consciousness (played at sporting events, movie soundtracks, commercials etc...). Run to the Hills, The Trooper, and Wasted Years received occasional mainstream airplay and episodic to rare MTV video support back when they were released. They never had anything that approached the level of cultural impact as "Jump" or "Enter Sandman". Because of that, most people's memories of Maiden stop NOTB or POM.
Having said all of that, there are new US fans who are super devoted to the band. I'm just passing on what I've observed from neutral/casual folks (or what I've observed at the shows).
 
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Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
I'll echo the previous mentions about Maiden shirts being seen as cool and sort of a fashion statement, even here in good old Finland where the band is very popular even among more casual music listeners. I see Maiden shirts a fair amount on people who are definitely not fitting of the usual Maiden fan stereotype and probably wouldn't be caught dead in any other band shirt.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
@soundwave I certainly think you have a good hypothesis there but I have to reply on the cheesy part. What some people find cheesy about Maiden stages isn't the content, is the technology. Which is logical because the content is tied to the themes of the lyrics and songs, and those themes are not usual heavy metal cheese as you already said. But the technology is almost stuck in mid 1980s. So you have this band that obviously plays hard on the visual image, but doesn't invest into upgrading it. Keep in mind that bands known for outstanding visuals kept them up to times, like Pink Floyd, or contemporary Rammstein. I remember Rammstein shows from late 90s where the main stage prop was a water squirting dildo. They've always played on their image and they've used as far as they could afford to keep that wow factor. I mean new Star Wars doesn't use effects of the old Star Wars, and even old Star Wars got upgraded meanwhile. Maiden in this regard could be seen as cheap because they got all the logistics in the world, they're flying a jumbo jet around ffs. Yeah those old painted cardboard boxes used for "the stage" fit nicely into cargo racks, however one might imagine them digging a bit of stash out of that retirement fund, adapting an Antonov 124 or something else of a strategic lift breed, to deliver a Division Bell tour class show to the worldwide audience. Until they do that, a part of the whole Maiden affair could be seen as cheap, and for a good reason.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Rush is not a serious rock band. Definitely not their presentation.

I also disagree with this: "When people first see the album covers, they usually expect to hear a violent thrash or death metal band."
Why?

"When I told them I was seeing Maiden, the reaction was "oh, that cheesy devil worshiping band from the 80s? 666!!! Ha ha ha!". That pretty much typifies how they're seen by most people."

No, that typifies the sheer ignorance of certain Americans, you happen to know some of. Usually people do not think like that. I've never met one before and I bet no one outside the US will have had such an experience. Some uninformed Americans hear bullshit which they instantly believe and keep repeating.
 
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