RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Neil Daniels – Killer: The Origins of Iron Maiden 1975-1983
Word Press


Rating: B

Iron Maiden has had many, many books written about them.  After all, they are the ‘80s version of Black Sabbath, the most important Metal band of their generation.  They came out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and they conquered the world without radio support or MTV airplay.  They are the Frank Sinatra of Heavy  Metal; they did it their way.  They played concert after concert and built their fan base until they were able to dominate the world.

What makes this book special is that Daniels goes after the early days of the band.  He takes us on a ride that starts when Iron Maiden was something that bassist and founder Steve Harris only dreamed about.  From there he builds it up…paints a heavy metal picture that takes Maiden through many lineup changes, and from early compilations like Metal for Muthas as well as the famous band demos The Soundhouse Tapes, right up until a guy named Bruce Dickenson took them to the next level.  Then the book is over, which is kinda cool. 

There are in-depth stories told from guys like Dennis Stratton, Tony More, plus fan club chief Keith Wilfort and former vocalist Paul Di’Anno.  Even cooler is the in-depth coverage of how the first two classic albums were written and recorded.  The Di’Anno albums, the self-titled debut and the excellent follow-up Killers are such iconic albums, yet they are often overlooked when the band is written about due to other albums such as The Number of the Beast and Piece of Mind, also both covered here. 

By ending the story at the beginning of the band’s massive success, Daniels has given the proper respect to a time period that needs more worldwide reverence.  These guys were simply amazing on those first four albums, so reading about them and the events that occurred prior to their existence was extremely enjoyable.

Up the irons!

By Jeb Wright