Your Top 10 Maiden Songs

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I ranked all of Maiden's song last December, so you can check out the full list here. This is the Top 10:

10. "Journeyman"
Smith/Harris/Dickinson • Dance of Death (2003)
Maiden stepping outside of their comfort zones is always a 50/50 chance for either a weird song that doesn't hold up very well ("The Man Who Would Be King") or sheer brilliance. "Journeyman" is that brilliance. The only fully acoustic song in the catalogue, it is the perfect finale for Dance of Death. The album as a whole shifts through some experimental territory, so going all the way with an acoustic track is kind of a no-brainer. But the quality has to remain, of course, and that's where this song shines. Not just some experiment, this is a layered track with a beautifully nostalgic and hopeful sound that climaxes to a powerful (if repetitive chorus). Bruce's voice is beautiful and the soundscape that is woven is rapturous. Just a wonderful track from beginning to end.

9. "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate"
Murray/Harris • Brave New World (2000)
Another closing track, another song that sees the band stepping outside of their comfort zone. Of course this was the closer to the band's first album after the Bruce and Adrian reunion, so it's not surprising that they were toying with how to construct songs again. I love this one from start to finish. The riff is another dark, brooding one, and it leads us through some rocky territory that ends up soaring in the chorus. And if you thought that was all, suddenly things shift and we enter one of the most beautiful moments in any Maiden song. Bruce's voice, once again, is just glorious as he sings the title and really lets those notes glisten in the light. Dave is probably the weakest songwriter in the band (Nicko notwithstanding), but his songs are always interesting, and sometimes he really finds gold.

8. "Paschendale"
Smith/Harris • Dance of Death (2003)
Another track from Maiden's second post-reunion record, "Paschendale" was proof that the new reincarnation of the band could create classics as good as, if not better, than in the '80s. An Adrian-led epic thrusting you into the heart of The Great War, Bruce narrates a scene of death and despair as we trudge through mud and try to survive the gunfire. In terms of narrative this is one of Maiden's best storytelling tracks. Every moment brings to life another snapshot of the battle, each more devastating than the last. And the chorus hits your heart with a pang as it wraps up the final moments of a soldier at Ypres. Monstrously heavy, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

7. "Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.)"
Harris • Somewhere in Time (1986)
The final track on Somewhere in Time is easily one of the band's most incredible pieces of music. The guitars on here are amazing! The riff is so damn good! The chorus just makes you want to sing along! I understand that the lyrics can be frustrating (definitely to historians who have to correct some of the misconceptions that Steve threw together), but to me the encyclopedic nature of it is part of the charm. Love this song, hope they play it live this year, it deserves some time in the spotlight.

6. "For the Greater Good of God"
Harris • A Matter of Life and Death (2006)
Religion and war go hand in hand, and the highlight off Maiden's moody A Matter of Life and Death tackles that difficult relationship. Steve's lyrics are at their most raw, emotional, and pleading; the music he paints underscores the destruction. The instrumental section is awesome as well, as each of the guitarists work with their strengths and peak with a fantastic harmony that sends up back to the simple chorus that has you belting along with Bruce. And the final lines are, to me, some of Steve's most beautiful poetic: "He gave His life for us, He fell upon the cross / To die for all of those who never mourned His loss / It wasn't meant for us to feel the pain again / Tell me why... Tell me why..." Utterly perfect.

5. "Aces High"
Harris • Powerslave (1984)
My Top 10 has a lot of album closers, and this is the only opener that made it. But goddamn what an opener it is! Can you think of a better way to start an Iron Maiden concert? "Aces High" is a fantastic, pedal-to-the-metal rocker with a fantastic riff, fantastic solos, and possibly Bruce's best vocal performance. It is such an insane song, and packs a full-scale aerial battle into a tight as fuck four minute package. Fucking awesome.

4. "The Talisman"
Gers/Harris • The Final Frontier (2010)
To me, Maiden's fourth post-reunion album is also the weakest of the six, and yet it also features within its ranks the best song Janick Gers has ever written. "The Talisman" is just unbelievably good. The acoustic intro does not set you up at all for the storm a-comin'. The guitars billow over the stereo as the voice of Mr. Bruce Dickinson holds on for dear life to the mast. Music and lyrics go hand in hand here, and lead us through a pilgrim's voyage into destruction. And it all climaxes with the chorus, one of Bruce's most awe-inspiring moments without a doubt. Fan-fucking-tastic.

3. "Empire of the Clouds"
Dickinson • The Book of Souls (2015)
Those who have kept up with the Diesel lore know that this was my favorite Maiden song for quite some time. In spite of its being demoted to a still-impressive third place, I still find new things to like about it every time I listen to it. Bruce's storytelling here is unbelievably good; the piano is an appropriate touch. The way it moves from section to section is killer and the finale is tear-jerking. This is a masterclass in how to tell a story through music and how to take a song and bring it to its fullest potential. Another of Maiden's most beautiful songs.

2. "The Parchment"
Harris • Senjutsu (2021)
One of the reasons that "Empire" has gotten a demotion is that I no longer think of it as the definitive Iron Maiden song. It's a very unique track led by Bruce, which is both what makes it so good and what has lowered it down to third now. On Senjutsu, Steve - the heart and soul of Iron Maiden at the end of the day - took back the reigns and gave us four epics solely written by him. The crown jewel of the album is "The Parchment". To me, this song is everything I love about Iron Maiden rolled into one twelve-and-a-half minute monster. The cool, dark bass intro, every single riff, all six of the guitar solos, the narrative scope, and the peak in the final verse before the music explodes - I fucking love it. Time will tell if its luster shall diminish, but right now I am enthralled whenever I put it in. So. Damn. Good.

1. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Harris • Powerslave (1984)
A lot of my list comprises of Maiden's 21st century material, but their best song was crafted all the way back in 1984. Powerslave is my favorite Maiden album bar none, and "Rime" is such a fantastic album closer. Thirteen-some minutes worth of metal goodness, with so many different shades as it tells its story. "Then down in falls... comes the RAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNN!!!!!" Who DOESN'T get chills?? And the ensuing guitar solos... goddamn. Not just the ultimate, definitive Iron Maiden song (and best live song!), but also the greatest metal song ever written.


In through the out door.
  1. Powerslave
  2. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  3. The Writing on the Wall
  4. Moonchild
  5. The Apparition
  6. Montségur
  7. Blood on the World's Hands
  8. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
  9. Isle of Avalon
  10. Killers


Ancient Marinade
1. Starblind
2. Infinite Dreams
3. Seventh Son
4. Book of Souls
5. The Parchment
6. Rime of the Ancient Marinade
7. Hallowed by thy Name
8. Sign of the Cross
9. Caught Somewhere In Time
10. Alexander the Great
11. Juanita


Out of the Silent Planet
An impossible task! I can easily make a list of only epics. At the moment I would say:

1.Out Of The Silent Planet
3.The Wicker Man
4.Hell On Earth
5.The Evil That Men Do
6.Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
7.Aces High
8.Judgement Of Heaven
9.Hallowed Be Thy Name
10.Empire Of The Clouds

And I left out songs like: Talisman, Parchment, Stratego, Wasting Love, Blood Brothers, Ghost Of The Navigator, Dance Of Death, Paschendale, Powerslave, Alexander, Deja-Vu, Wasted Years, Fear Of The Dark, Clansman, Futureal, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Different World, Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger, Wrathchild... ! o_O


1 - Como Estais Amigos
2 - Paschendale
3 - Afraid to Shoot Strangers
4 - Blood on the World's Hands

These four are clearly my favourite Maiden songs, the rest could change on a daily basis...if I had to pick today, I'd go with

The Longest Day
Still Life
If Eternity Should Fail
Only the Good Die Young
Judgement of Heaven

Fuck, this game is too hard.
Sadly I don't think they'll play any of these this year even though I picked ATSS for the setlist contest.
My top 10 would be:

1. Phantom Of The Opera
2. Hallowed Be Thy Name
3. Revelations
4. Where Eagles Dare
5. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
6. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
7. Caught Somewhere In Time
8. Innocent Exile
9. Dance Of Death
10. Sign Of The Cross


Educated Fool
Phantom Of The Opera
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
The Evil That Men Do
Total Eclipse
Hallowed Be Thy Name
The Duelist
Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son


Ancient Mariner
As of today, my top 10 list would be as follows:

1. Powerslave
2. Revelations
3. Run to the Hills
4. Hallowed be Thy Name (plagiarism aside, it is superb)
5. Paschendale
6. Wasted Years
7. 2 Minutes to Midnight
8. The Evil That Men Do
9. The Longest Day
10. The Number of the Beast
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Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
2 Minutes To Midnight
Phantom of the Opera
22 Acacia Avenue
Run To The Hills
Fear of the Dark
The Talisman
Wasted Years
Ghost of the Navigator
(and Infinite Dreams)


Ancient Mariner
1.Phantom of the Opera
3.Dance of Death
4.7th Son
6.Lord of the Flies
7.Heaven Can Wait
10.Fear of the Dark (live RiR)


Meme Lord
I just tried to make my top 10 Maiden (for the first time) using Preference Revealer (thanks Diesel) and these are the results:

  1. Hell on Earth
  2. The Legacy
  3. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  4. The Parchment
  5. When the Wild Wild Blows
  6. Powerslave
  7. Paschendale
  8. The Wicker Man
  9. 2 Minutes to Midnight
  10. The Nomad
The order makes no sense, but yeah, I'd listen to those 10 over a lot of other Maiden songs.


Ancient Marinade
1.Phantom of the Opera
3.Dance of Death
4.7th Son
6.Lord of the Flies
7.Heaven Can Wait
10.Fear of the Dark (live RiR)
Damn, I bet you LOVE the Death on the Road live album/video! Half your songs are on it. Hmmmm…I should watch that again.


Ancient Mariner
10 to 3 (no order in particular):
The Prophecy
Murders In The Rue Morgue
Wasted Years
Phantom of the Opera
Sign Of The Cross
Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Top 2:
Aces High and Rime Of The Ancient Mariner


Ancient Mariner
Damn, I bet you LOVE the Death on the Road live album/video! Half your songs are on it. Hmmmm…I should watch that again.
Yes! Great album, small venue, fantastic stage set. Phantom and Transilvanya would fit great in that dark castle set.


clap hands
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Ghost of the Navigator
Empire of the Clouds
Stranger in a Strange Land
Children of the Damned
Infinite Dreams
For the Greater Good of God

I honestly don't have a number ranking from these. They're all perfect Maiden songs. Hallowed would be my #1, everything else is equally amazing.