Iron Maiden: '80-81
Greg Prato
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Iron Maiden: '80-81
Greg Prato
April 2014
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Iron Maiden has influenced virtually every metal band that followed them. Their keen use of twin guitars and soaring falsetto vocals set the standards for everyone from Anthrax to Metallica. Though Maiden's presence as one of the key players in what would become known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal--abbreviated as NWOBHM--happened when singer Bruce Dickinson joined the band in September 1981, the band enjoyed several years of creativity when it was fronted by vocalist Paul Di'Anno.

Here, in another one of music journalist Greg Prato's superbly researched books, the DiAnno years are dissected and examined through a series of wonderfully constructed interviews. Prato has interviewed everyone from DiAnno himself to Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden guitarist, 1979-1980), Scott Ian (Anthrax guitarist), Dave Lombardo (former Slayer drummer and current member of Philm), Biff Byford (singer for Saxon), Richard Christy (Death and Iced Earth drummer), Charlie Benante (Anthrax drummer), David Ellefson (Megadeth bassist), Mike Portnoy (former Dream Theater drummer), and a host of others.

Through this narrative history, Di'Anno and this surrounding cast talk about the importance of the early years, specific tracks, tours, and much more. There are also some terrific black-and-white photos included.

Nobody handles this style better than Prato. You will read this one front to back in just a couple sittings. A very revealing tale.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2015

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