Fear of the Dark (song)

Last updated
"Fear of the Dark (Live in 1992)"
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album A Real Live One
Released1 March 1993
Genre Heavy metal
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Steve Harris
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Wasting Love"
"Fear of the Dark (Live in 1992)"
"Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live in 1993)"

"Fear of the Dark" is a song by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Written by Steve Harris, the band's bass player and primary songwriter, it serves as the title track to Iron Maiden's 1992 album Fear of the Dark .

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

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 thirty-nine albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.

Steve Harris (musician) English musician, founder and bassist of Iron Maiden

Stephen Percy Harris is an English musician, songwriter, bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British 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.


The single "Fear of the Dark (live)" is the 26th single released by the band. This live version of the song (as well as the live versions of "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", "Be Quick or Be Dead", and "Tailgunner") are taken from the live album A Real Live One . The single reached number 8 in the UK charts. The live version of "Hooks in You" was recorded at the Wembley Arena, London, UK on 17 December 1990. The initial pressing of the 7" cut-to-shape vinyl picture disc listed "Hooks in You" as the B-side but actually played "Tailgunner". This mis-press was quickly corrected by EMI on future pressings.

Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter 1990 single by Iron Maiden

"Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" is the second single from the 1990 Iron Maiden album No Prayer for the Dying.

Be Quick or Be Dead 1992 single by Iron Maiden

"Be Quick or Be Dead" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released as the first single release from their ninth studio album Fear of the Dark, released in 1992.

<i>A Real Live One</i> 1993 live album by Iron Maiden

A Real Live One is a live album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released in March 1993. The album tracks were recorded at 9 different venues in Europe on the Fear of the Dark Tour. This album features songs from the Somewhere in Time (1986) through Fear of the Dark (1992) eras, while counterpart A Real Dead One only contains songs from the pre-Somewhere in Time albums.

The song has been covered by German a cappella metal band van Canto on their album Hero, as well as the Italian metal band Graveworm on their 2001 album Scourge of Malice , by the also Italian death metal band Infernal Poetry on their 2005 album Beholding the Unpure and by the Finnish band Sturm und Drang as the bonus track on their 2008 album Rock 'n Roll Children . The song was covered by Fightstar for Kerrang! magazine's Maiden Heaven tribute album. [1]

A cappella music is group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. The term "a cappella" was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century, a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. The term is also used, albeit rarely, as a synonym for alla breve.

<i>Van Canto</i> German a cappella metal band

Van Canto is a German a cappella metal band, founded in 2006 and composed of six singers and a drummer. Although the group is often classified as an a cappella ensemble, they use real drums in their music, instead of vocal percussion or beatboxing.

Graveworm Italian gothic-symphonic black metal band

Graveworm is an Italian gothic-symphonic black metal band from Brunico formed in 1992.

The Flight 666 version of the song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series on 9 June 2009.

<i>Iron Maiden: Flight 666</i> 2009 film by Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 is a concert documentary film featuring the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The film follows the band on the first leg of their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March 2008, during which they travelled on their own customised Boeing 757, Ed Force One, which used the call-sign "666".

<i>Rock Band</i> series of music video games

Rock Band is a series of music video games developed by Harmonix and MTV Games, and distributed by Electronic Arts for the Nintendo DS, iOS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSP, Wii, Xbox One and Xbox 360 game systems. The series, inspired by Harmonix's previous efforts on the Guitar Hero series, allows up to four players to simulate the performance of popular rock music songs by playing with controllers modeled after musical instruments. Players can play the lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and drums parts to songs, as well as sing into a USB microphone. Players are scored on their ability to match scrolling musical notes while playing instruments, and by their ability to match the singer's pitch on vocals.

"Fear of the Dark" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994 in the "Best Metal Performance" category, but lost to "I Don't Want To Change The World" by Ozzy Osbourne. [2]

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname "The Prince of Darkness". Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and helped record the group's final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city, Birmingham, England, in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

When the song is performed live, the audience always sings along to the instrumental melody during the softer sections, at times becoming louder than the band themselves. It has been featured on all the band's live albums since its release.

The single's cover art features Eddie playing Steve Harris' signature Fender Precision Bass.

Eddie (mascot) mascot for Iron Maiden

Eddie is the mascot for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He is a perennial fixture of the group's artwork, appearing in all of their album covers and in their merchandise, which includes T-shirts, posters and action figures. On top of this, Eddie features in all of the band's concerts, as well as in the first-person shooter video game, Ed Hunter, and the Mobile game, Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast.

Fender Precision Bass Iconic guitar brand

The Precision Bass is a bass guitar manufactured by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. In its standard, post-1957 configuration, the Precision Bass is a solid body, four-stringed instrument equipped with a single split-coil humbucking pickup and a one-piece, 20 fret maple neck with rosewood, pau ferro, or maple fingerboard.


The song's lyrics tell the story of a man who has always been intensely afraid of the dark. He recalls the many times he has walked alone, and recollections of the feeling of being followed while walking at night.

According to Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris wrote this song because he himself was really afraid of the dark. [3]

Track listing

7" Poster Bag Single
Side One
1."Fear of the Dark" (Live at the Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland 27 August 1992) Steve Harris 7:22
Side Two
2."Tailgunner" (Live at the Patinoire de Malley, Lausanne, Switzerland, 4 September 1992) Bruce Dickinson, Harris4:10
7" Picture Disc Single
Side One
1."Fear of the Dark" (Live at the Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland 27 August 1992)Harris7:22
Side Two
2."Hooks in You" (Live at the Wembley Arena, London, England, 17 December 1990)Dickinson, Adrian Smith 3:45
UK CD-Maxi Single
1."Fear of the Dark" (Live at the Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland 27 August 1992)Harris7:22
2."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" (Live at the Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland, 24 August 1992)Dickinson5:30
3."Hooks in You" (Live at the Wembley Arena, London, England, 17 December 1990)Dickinson, Smith3:45
Italy & Holland CD-Maxi Single
1."Fear of the Dark" (Live at the Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland 27 August 1992)Harris7:22
2."Be Quick or Be Dead" (Live at Monsters of Rock Festival, Donington Park, England, 22 August 1992)Dickinson, Janick Gers 3:20
3."Hooks in You" (Live at the Wembley Arena, London, England, 17 December 1990)Dickinson, Smith3:45



Chart performance

Chart (1993)Peak
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) [8] 6
Irish Singles Chart 17 [9]
UK Singles Chart 8 [10]

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  1. "Maiden Heaven - A Tribute to Iron Maiden". Kerrang!. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  2. "Grammy Awards: Best Metal Performance". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  3. https://www.ironmaiden-bg.com/web/index.php/fotd-others-en/745-interview-with-bruce-dickinson-june-1992-en
  4. Encyclopaedia Metallum - Graveworm (Ita) - Scourge of Malice
  5. Sturm Und Drang - Fear of the Dark on YouTube
  6. Blaze Bayley and Doro Pesch - Fear of the Dark on YouTube
  7. Pentagram - Fear Of The Dark (Live in Izmir) on YouTube
  8. Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN   978-951-1-21053-5.
  9. "Irish singles archive". IRMA . irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 October 2011.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  10. "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 13 March 1993". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 17 October 2011.