|Birth name||Adrian Frederick Smith|
|Born||27 February 1957|
Hackney, London, England
Adrian Frederick "H" Smith (born 27 February 1957) is an English guitarist, best known as a member of British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.
Smith grew up in London and became interested in rock music at 15. He soon formed a friendship with future Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray, who inspired him to take up the guitar. After leaving school at 16, he formed a band called Urchin, which he led until their demise in 1980. He joined Iron Maiden in November 1980, replacing Dennis Stratton. Following a short-lived solo project called ASAP, he left Iron Maiden in 1990 and, after a year-long hiatus, formed the band The Untouchables, which later became Psycho Motel. In 1997, Psycho Motel was put on hold when Smith joined the band of former Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson. Smith and Dickinson would both return to Iron Maiden in 1999, after which the band gained new success. During his second tenure with Iron Maiden, Smith has also led the side projects Primal Rock Rebellion and Smith/Kotzen.
Born in Hackney,Smith grew up in Clapton. He purchased his first record, Deep Purple's Machine Head , at the age of 15. This led him to befriend Dave Murray, with whom he formed a band called Stone Free, which comprised Murray on guitar, Smith on vocals and their friend Dave McCloughlin playing the bongos.
After seeing the attention Murray received from girls,Smith took up the guitar, starting with an old Spanish guitar once owned by his brother, before purchasing an old guitar of Murray's for £5. His early influences included Johnny Winter and Pat Travers, which he claims made him a "melodic player" rather than a "speed merchant or a shredder" as he "was inspired by blues rock rather than metal."
Leaving school after completing his O-levels, Smith formed a band called Evil Ways, including Dave Murray on guitar, which was later renamed Urchin.Smith began writing his own material, including "22 Acacia Avenue", which was later included on Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast (1982).
Murray left Urchin to join Iron Maiden. Urchin then signed with DJM Records and released a single, "Black Leather Fantasy", in 1977.Shortly afterwards, Murray rejoined Urchin on their next single, "She's a Roller", as he had been sacked from Iron Maiden after a row with singer Dennis Wilcock, although he was reinstated six months later. Smith was also offered a place in Iron Maiden while they were in the process of signing with EMI in 1979, but turned them down to continue with his own band, a decision he later regretted as Urchin split up in 1980.
Shortly after Urchin split, Smith encountered Steve Harris and Dave Murray on a street in his neighborhood, and the two asked him to reconsider joining Iron Maiden as the replacement for guitarist Dennis Stratton.This time Smith accepted the offer, and debuted with the band on a West German TV show Rockpop in Concert in Munich on 8 November 1980, before setting out on a UK tour and recording the Killers album, released in 1981. Smith's first song-writing contributions appeared on The Number of the Beast, co-penning "Gangland" and "The Prisoner", as well as the previously mentioned "22 Acacia Avenue", after which he began co-writing many songs with singer Bruce Dickinson, on the following Piece of Mind album.
Smith and Dave Murray combined playing dual lead guitars, creating what AllMusic calls "the most formidable twin-guitar attack in heavy metal, outside of Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing."Smith, along with Steve Harris, also provides the band's backing vocals, and sang lead on "Reach Out", the B-side to the "Wasted Years" single, featuring Bruce Dickinson on backing vocals. Originally written by guitarist Dave "Bucket" Colwell, with whom he had worked on The Entire Population of Hackney project, Smith would later sing "Reach Out" again for Colwell's solo album, Guitars, Beers & Tears, released in 2010.
While Iron Maiden were taking some time off in 1989, Smith released a solo LP with the band ASAP (Adrian Smith And Project),entitled Silver and Gold , which was a commercial failure in spite of a promotional club tour. Unhappy with the direction the band were taking for their next release, No Prayer for the Dying , and feeling that he could not help enough in the creative work, Smith left Iron Maiden in 1990 during the album's pre-production stages, and was replaced by Janick Gers. After releasing the experimental Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son albums in 1986 and 1988 respectively, Steve Harris had decided that the band should go for a "stripped-down" and "street level" approach, which Smith thought was a "step backward." No Prayer for the Dying contained one last Smith song, co-penned with Bruce Dickinson, entitled "Hooks in You".
After leaving, Smith started a family with his Canadian wife, Nathalie, and would not play guitar again until he joined Iron Maiden onstage at Donington Park in 1992 to "Running Free".That performance appeared on the live album Live at Donnington . In the same year, after hearing King's X for the first time, he decided that he would "love to play in a band like that" and formed The Untouchables, which later became Psycho Motel. The band recorded two albums, State of Mind in 1995 and Welcome to the World in 1997, during which they supported Iron Maiden on the British leg of The X Factour. The project was put on hold, however, when Smith joined Bruce Dickinson for his 1997 album, Accident of Birth , after which he became a full-time member of Dickinson's solo outfit, embarking on two world tours and contributing to one further studio release, 1998's The Chemical Wedding .
In 1999, Smith rejoined Iron Maiden, along with vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who commented, "When he left the band in 1990, I think everybody was a bit surprised at how much we missed him and certainly, I don't think anybody had realized how much the fans would miss him – big time. I wouldn't have rejoined Iron Maiden if he wasn't in the band. I just don't think it would have been complete without Adrian, and now, it's great having three guitarists."The band embarked on a short tour, after which the new line-up's first album, Brave New World , was recorded with producer Kevin Shirley and released in 2000.
He remains in Iron Maiden, with whom he has released four further studio albums, 2003's Dance of Death , 2006's A Matter of Life and Death , 2010's The Final Frontier and 2015's The Book of Souls . Smith claims that his guitar playing improved after leaving the band in 1990, in particular while working with Roy Z, from whom he "learned a lot about picking" and became "more disciplined."Since returning to Iron Maiden, he has also continued experimenting with tuning (which he began doing in Psycho Motel), stating that he has used drop D tuning in live renditions of "Run to the Hills", "Wrathchild", "The Trooper" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name". Although Smith had previously been known to contribute shorter, more "commercial" tracks, since his return to the band he has penned many longer songs, beginning with "Paschendale" from Dance of Death.
In 2011, Smith formed the side project Primal Rock Rebellion with Mikee Goodman. They released the album, Awoken Broken , in February 2012.In 2020, Smith collaborated with Richie Kotzen under the name Smith/Kotzen. Ultimate Classic Rock described the project's sound as a mixture of blues, traditional R&B, and hard rock. A video for teaser track, "Taking My Chances", debuted in January 2021. Their self-titled debut album was released in March 2021.
Adrian Smith was born in Hackney Hospital and grew up a few streets away from his childhood friend, and current bandmate, Dave Murray.Smith, whose father was a painter and decorator from Homerton, was the youngest of three, with an older brother, Patrick, and a sister, Kathleen. As a child, he was "a Manchester United fanatic," although he would lose his interest in football once he got into music.
In his spare time, Smith is a keen angler, revealing that he used to take "worms and maggots" with him on tour, and was featured on the front cover of Angler's Mail on 25 August 2009.Since 21 October 1988, he has been married to his Canadian wife, Nathalie Dufresne-Smith, who currently works for Maiden Flight, a cancer awareness/patient rights organisation, and the pair have three children, Dylan, Natasha, and Brittany, the last of whom works as a professional film production assistant.
In April 2020, ironmaiden.com announced Smith's autobiography titled Monsters of River and Rock would be released in September 2020.The book primarily details Smith's love of fishing, and relates anecdotes from his many decades of pursuing the hobby whilst touring and recording with Iron Maiden. Smith stated that around 70% of his book was focused upon fishing, with the remaining content discussing his music career. In its review of the publication, MetalTalk described the book as "a prize catch amongst rock biographies – highly recommended."
Smith currently prefers to use his Jackson signature 'San Dimas' Dinky, although he has used a variety of guitars over his career, including several different Dean models,various Jacksons, including the Randy Rhoads model, Fender Stratocasters (including three Fender Floyd Rose Classic Stratocasters; one with an added Roland midi pick-up), Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson Explorers, Gibson SGs, an Ibanez Destroyer, a Hamer Scarab, and Lado Guitars. On the A Matter of Life and Death DVD, he says the first decent guitar he bought was a Deluxe Gold Top 1972 Gibson Les Paul, which he paid £235 for when he was 17, in 1974. He still uses it to this day, stating that "it's still probably the best guitar I've got".
As of 2010, his touring guitars included: Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop 1972 with DiMarzio Super Distortion in bridge position,his Jackson Superstrat 1986 prototype (which can be seen in the Maiden England video) with the pickguard changed to resemble his signature model, a Jackson Signature model with black scratchplate and maple neck, an early 70s Gibson SG, and another Jackson, inspired by his Les Paul Goldtop.
As of August 2007, Smith endorses Jackson Guitars, his first guitar company endorsement in over fifteen years. With Jackson he has released two signature models, a San Dimas Dinky and an SDX.Prior to his endorsement, he was seen using other Jackson guitars, such as a King V during his time in Bruce Dickinson's solo band, before he went to Fender guitars. In August 2008, he had a Jackson guitar stolen from backstage at a show in Greece.
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to 40 albums, including 16 studio albums, 13 live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations. They have also released 45 singles and 20 video albums. Two electronic games have been released with Iron Maiden soundtracks, and the band's music features in number of other video games.
Maiden England is a live video by the band Iron Maiden during their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son world tour, which was dubbed Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour.
Stephen Percy Harris is an English musician who is the bassist, keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder/leader of heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He has been the band's only constant member since their inception in 1975 and one of only two to have appeared on all of their albums, the other being guitarist Dave Murray.
Janick Robert Gers is an English musician and one of the three guitarists in Iron Maiden. He was also previously a member of the bands Gillan and White Spirit.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the seventh studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 11 April 1988 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Capitol Records. Like The Number of the Beast (1982) and later Fear of the Dark (1992), The Final Frontier (2010), and The Book of Souls (2015), the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Can I Play with Madness" was also a commercial success, peaking at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.
Clive Burr was an English drummer. He was a member of British heavy metal band Iron Maiden from 1979 to 1982.
Rock in Rio is a live album and video by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, recorded at the Rock in Rio festival, Brazil in 2001 on the last night of the Brave New World Tour. The band played to approximately 250,000 people; the second largest crowd of their career and with the relatively recent return of lead singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith to the band, they recorded their fifth live release.
Live at Donington is a live album and video by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, documenting their second headlining appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park, a motorsport circuit located near Castle Donington. The concert took place on 22 August 1992 during the Fear of the Dark Tour in front of a crowd of almost 80,000.
A.S.a.P. were a band created by guitarist and vocalist Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden. A.S.a.P. released an album in 1989 entitled Silver and Gold. A.S.a.P. stands for "Adrian Smith and Project", and the full name of the band is incorporated within the band logo, with each word written in tiny font underneath the corresponding letter in the abbreviation.
"Run to the Hills" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released as their sixth single and the first from the band's third studio album, The Number of the Beast (1982). It is their first single with Bruce Dickinson as vocalist. Credited solely to the band's bassist, Steve Harris, although significant contributions were made by Dickinson, it remains one of their most popular songs, with VH1 ranking it No. 27 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs and No. 14 on their list of the Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
Urchin were an English hard rock band.
"Wasted Years" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the band's fourteenth single released and the first from their sixth studio album, Somewhere in Time (1986). It is the only song on the album that features no synthesizers. Released in 1986, it was the first single solely written by guitarist Adrian Smith, who also sings backing vocals. It reached number 18 in the UK Singles Charts.
"Wildest Dreams" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 1 September 2003 as the lead single from their 13th studio album, Dance of Death (2003). It was written by guitarist Adrian Smith and bassist Steve Harris, and produced by Kevin Shirley and Harris.
BBC Archives is a live album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 4 November 2002 as part of the Eddie's Archive box set. It is a collection of songs from three live shows and one live radio broadcast, recorded by the BBC between 1979 and 1988.
The Entire Population of Hackney is the name used for a project featuring members of Iron Maiden, FM and Urchin that played two concerts in 1985. It is also the name used for a bootleg recording of the first show. It is most notable for being the spark that would lead to Adrian Smith forming his ASAP project later on and ultimately his split with Iron Maiden in 1990. It is also notable for leading to the first Iron Maiden recording without the current lead singer on lead vocals.
David Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known as a member of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden since 1976. He joined Iron Maiden early in its history, and is the second-longest serving member of the band after founder Steve Harris. Murray and Harris are the only members of Iron Maiden to have appeared on all of the band's releases.
"Empire of the Clouds" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden from their sixteenth studio album, The Book of Souls. The song was issued as a single on 16 April 2016, tying in with Record Store Day.
We also get greater involvement in the songwriting from Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, whose themes are perfectly in tune with Steve Harris' epic storytelling.
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