In September 2015 iconic English heavy metal pioneers Iron Maiden once again held court at the top of the album charts with their five years in the making double album ‘Book of Souls’ some 35+ years after the band released their first eponymous offering.
Many of the elements of the new album were more than familiar to the Maiden faithful; Bruce Dickinson’s soaring 4.8 octave range, Steve Harris’ incredibly literate songwriting skills, the galloping twin guitar attack and of course, Eddie.
For those who somehow don’t know Eddie is the band’s mascot and he was born in 1980 with the release of the first record. Originally a demonic zombie designed and rendered by UK artist Derek Riggs Eddie has evolved – and changed – many times over the past three decades and counting but one thing remains the same; he and the Irons are inextricably linked.
Perhaps more than any major band in recent history Iron Maiden delve deep both into the annals of history and art. In 2015 while other chart toppers warble about lost love, big bottoms and odd dance crazes, Iron Maiden wax lyrical about the R 101 Air Disaster, offering a history lesson to younger fans that is far more entertaining than anything their teachers at school could present. Iron Maiden are, and always have been, the ‘thinking man’s’ heavy metal group and one to whom the art attached to their brand is every bit as iconic as their songs.
Eddie’s presence is not just limited to album cover art though. He appears on every tour, a huge lumbering animatronic monster that the band members, especially champion fencer Dickinson, ‘duel’ with over the course of a show.
Eddie also makes numerous video appearances, with the first visual from ‘Book of Souls’, the video for ‘Speed of Light’ being entirely dedicated to him. Bassist, primary songwriter and band founder Steve Harris even has one of the monster’s most beloved incarnations (‘The Trooper’) tattooed prominently on one of his forearms (as do countless numbers of die hard fans.)
But now you have heard all about him it’s time to meet Eddie in some of his most famous forms. Enjoy!