Iron Maiden are, depending on who you ask, one of, if not the greatest heavy metal band in history. They’ve been around for over 40 years at this point. In those 40 years, they’ve toured extensively. So you might wonder, what songs have they actually not played live? We have a list of their most-played songs right here, but what about those select “few” songs they haven’t played live?
Thanks to our friends at Setlist.fm, we now have an answer. It’s 43 songs, and if you’re a huge Iron Maiden superfan, some might not surprise you. The albums that have the least played songs might surprise you though. So without further ado, let’s dig into the unplayed 43.
Killers – 1981
They’ve played every song off Iron Maiden and most of Killers live. With most bands, they actually play the living crap out of their first couple albums. This is because early on, they don’t have very much music to their name, so they just play what they have. In the case of Killers, it’s been every single song, besides this sort of ballad. It’s for good reason, I wouldn’t put this track among my favorites from the Iron Maiden catalog.
The Number Of The Beast – 1982
“Invaders” and “Gangland”
Looking at the tracklist for The Number of the Beast, this is pretty easy to guess. I would have thought that “Total Eclipse” would also make the list, but they’ve played that one live before. It makes sense, because in the years since they’ve released this metal classic, the band agrees that “Total Eclipse” should have made the original tracklist. No surprises outside of that though.
Piece Of Mind – 1983
“Quest For Fire” and “Sun And Steel”
No surprises here, once again. “Quest For Fire” is silly fun, but it’s not among the best Iron Maiden songs out there. “Sun And Steel” very easily could have been a single for the album, due to it’s catchy tune, and short length, but alas, it’s relegated to not being played live. The rest of the tracks are pretty ironclad here with the amount of plays, besides “To Tame A Land”.
Powerslave – 1984
“Flash Of The Blade”, “The Duellists”, and “Back In The Village”
Now this one is a shame, because I’m sure there are fans out there that really want to see Powerslave performed in it’s entirety. After the Somewhere Back In Time World Tour that’s probably not going to happen. “Flash Of The Blade” fits into that “Sun And Steel” territory with how catchy it is. “Back In The Village” might be a bit too fast for them to play these days, but it’s a real shredder if you haven’t listened to it. They’ve even played the instrumental “Losfer Words” over these tracks. I’d kill to hear “Back In The Village” though.
Somewhere In Time – 1986
“Deja Vu” and “Alexander The Great”
Shoutout to “The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner” for barely missing this list by ONE play. If you ask most hardcore Iron Maiden fans what song they want to hear live, the most, it’s “Alexander The Great”. Please, just end the memes, the pain, my suffering, and everything, and play the song live. As for the rest of the album, it’s a wonder they’ve played most of these songs live, with how much they DON’T play them these days. This is my favorite Maiden album, so it’s a bit of a sore subject…
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son – 1988
“The Prophecy” and “Only The Good Die Young”
How this album never got played in it’s entirety is a mystery. After all, it’s a concept album, you’d think they want to tell the full story! Outside of that gripe, it’s also understandable that these two tracks were the ones that haven’t made the live cut. You can check out the Dream Setlist that we made for a theoretical Somewhere In Time-Seventh Son-No Prayer For The Dying- Fear Of The Dark tour.
No Prayer For The Dying – 1990
“Fates Warning”, “Run Silent Run Deep”, and “Mother Russia”
“Mother Russia” is the worst Iron Maiden song ever recorded, so that makes sense. The other two songs here, “Fates Warning” and “Run Silent Run Deep” are guilty pleasures of mine. But I cannot even remotely fathom Iron Maiden singing about a submarine on stage. So these all make sense, it’s actually surprising that more songs off this album were played live.
Fear Of The Dark – 1992
“Fear Is The Key”, “Childhood’s End”, “The Fugitive”, “Chains Of Misery”, “The Apparition”, “Judas Be My Guide”, and “Weekend Warrior”
Well, I would not have guessed that Fear Of The Dark would have the most songs not played live. This album is among their most popular (because of the title track, and the time of it’s release). Some of these songs are not their strongest. “Judas Be My Guide” would be absolutely savage live though, that’s one of my favorite tracks by the band ever, going back to my earliest days with Iron Maiden. Some of these songs just wouldn’t fit with the modern day sound of the band though. Fear Of The Dark is a strange album at a strange time for the band.
The X-Factor – 1995
“Look For The Truth”, “Judgement Of Heaven”, “2 AM”, and “The Unbeliever”
Now we get to the Blaze Bayley era albums. These two are deeply personal to me, so it’s nice to see that so many tracks have been played live from them. In his solo career, Bayley has played the majority of the songs, if not all of them, from these two albums. So if you’re hankering to hear these tracks, he has live recordings of them. “Look For The Truth” is really the only song from these that’s a disappointment that they never got to play live. It just has such a great message and power to it. “2AM” might just make the whole audience want to die a depressing death, so that makes sense not to play it live.
If you want to read about The X-Factor‘s bonus tracks and how they could have fit onto the full album. check it out here: https://www.thathashtagshow.com/2020/03/26/the-x-factor-bonus-tracks-iron-maiden-music-rec-3-26/
Virtual XI – 1998
“Como Estais Amigos”
This one is a real strange one. They played almost all of the tracks from this album live, besides this one. Which might be the one that translates the BEST to live play. It has audience participation written all over it. If Blaze had continued with the band, who knows, they likely would have played this one. Outside of that, this is still a good album, and it makes sense they played most of it live.
Brave New World – 2000
“The Nomad” and “The Thin Line Between Love And Hate”
This was the big reunion album for Maiden, so it makes quite a lot of sense why they would play the majority of the album live. This album also kicks an immeasurable amount of ass. They toured for it for almost a year, and “The Nomad” really is the weakest song from the record. I would like to hear “The Thin Line Between Love And Hate” live at some point though.
Dance Of Death – 2003
“Montsegur”, “Gates Of Tomorrow”, “New Frontier”, “Face In The Sand”, and “The Age Of Innocence”
Well besides the fact that this is the worst Iron Maiden album cover out there, Dance Of Death might be among the band’s most underrated albums. They did tour extensively for it, but it was also butted up against a “classic” tour for the band. So it didn’t get the shine that it deserves. “New Frontier” is the real highlight that would be a killer live track. “Montsegur” would also likely melt some brains and faces out there. Just play the whole album.
The Final Frontier – 2010
“Mother Of Mercy”, “The Alchemist”, “Isle Of Avalon”, “Starblind”, and “The Man Who Would Be King”
The band played A Matter Of Life And Death in it’s entirety for that tour, so we’re leaving that one off the list. However, the next album, The Final Frontier was also butted up against two “classic” album tours. So a lot of the tracks off this album got left off. It also was their longest album in length (beaten out by The Book Of Souls), so some of these tracks would be unreasonable to play live (they also proved this wrong with The Book Of Souls World Tour).
Some of these would be an absolute smash to hear live though, this album gets a lot of unnecessary shit, and it doesn’t make sense. Just because it’s a long album, doesn’t make it bad.
The Book Of Souls – 2015
“When The River Runs Deep”, “Shadows Of The Valley”, ‘The Man Of Sorrows”, and “Empire Of The Clouds”
This album could have the same criticism as The Final Frontier, but they threw that out the window and played multiple 10+ minute songs from it live. That might be the reason that some of these tracks didn’t make it out of the vault on the Book Of Souls World Tour. Either way, “Empire Of The Clouds” might need it’s own show entirely to play live. They did bust out a surprise with “Shadows Of The Valley” on the second leg of the tour, due to legal issues with “Hallowed Be Thy Name”.
Well that’s it! All the different main studio album tracks that Iron Maiden has never played live! It’s quite the list.
What songs would you want to see them play live that they haven’t played? Let us know in the comments!
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