Killers (Iron Maiden album)

Last updated

Iron Maiden Killers.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 February 1981
RecordedNovember 1980 [1] – January 1981 [2]
StudioBattery Studios, London, England
Genre Heavy metal
Length38:18 [3]
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden studio albums chronology
Iron Maiden
The Number of the Beast
Singles from Killers

Killers is the second studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 2 February 1981 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and on 6 June 1981 by Harvest Records and Capitol Records in the United States. The album was their first with guitarist Adrian Smith, and their last with vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was fired after problems with his stage performance arose due to his alcohol and cocaine use. [4] Killers was also the first Iron Maiden album recorded with the assistance of producer Martin Birch, who went on to produce their next eight albums until Fear of the Dark (1992).

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 9/10 [6]
Pitchfork 7.3/10 [7]
Sputnikmusic 4.0/5 [8]
The Daily VaultA- [9]


Killers was the second and final Iron Maiden album with vocalist Paul Di'Anno (shown here in 2008) DiAnno.jpg
Killers was the second and final Iron Maiden album with vocalist Paul Di'Anno (shown here in 2008)

Killers is the only Iron Maiden album to feature two instrumentals, and was written almost exclusively by Steve Harris; [10] only two tracks, "Twilight Zone" and the title track are co-authored. The opening track, "The Ides of March" is the band's shortest song to date.

Each song, with the exception of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (based on the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe) [11] and "Prodigal Son", had been written in the years prior to the recording of their debut album, [12] though none were recorded professionally until the Killers sessions with the exception of "Wrathchild" (an early version recorded in 1979 was featured on the Metal for Muthas compilation). [12]

The North American edition, which came out a few months after it did in the UK, was initially released on Harvest Records/Capitol Records and subsequently on Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records. The song "Twilight Zone" was also added to the album.

The Killer World Tour was the tour in support of the album and would feature the band's earliest shows in the US, the first being at The Aladdin, Las Vegas in support of Judas Priest. [13] The song "Wrathchild" is the only regularly played track from the album, appearing in almost all their concert tours.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted:

Original release

Side one
1."The Ides of March" (Instrumental)1:48
3."Murders in the Rue Morgue"4:14
4."Another Life"3:22
5."Genghis Khan" (Instrumental)3:02
6."Innocent Exile"3:50
Side two
7."Killers" Paul Di'Anno, Harris4:58
8."Prodigal Son" 6:05
9."Purgatory" 3:18
10."Drifter" 4:47
Total length:38:18

1981 North American version

1998 Remastered release

1995 reissue bonus disc

1995 US Reissue bonus disc

The original Australian version of the album also includes the band's cover of Skyhooks' "Women in Uniform", which was previously released as a single in 1980. [14] The US Castle Records 1995 bonus disc contains several live tracks which originally appeared on the 1981 EP Maiden Japan . [15]


The song "Wrathchild" was covered in 2003 by the English metal band Sikth and featured as a B-side on their single "Scent of the Obscene". [16] The song was also covered in 2005 by female tribute band The Iron Maidens on their 2007 album Route 666 , by Gallows on the 2008 tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden released by Kerrang! magazine, and by Six Feet Under on the reissue of their 1999 album Maximum Violence . [17] "Wrathchild" was featured in the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s . [18]


Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes. [3] [19]

Iron Maiden

Additional personnel

Chart performance


RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada) [33] Platinum100,000^
France (SNEP) [34] Gold200,000*
Germany (BVMI) [35] Gold250,000^
Sweden (GLF) [36] Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [37] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [38] Gold500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 83. ISBN   978-0-946391-84-4.
  2. Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 88. ISBN   978-0-946391-84-4.
  3. 1 2 Killers (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 2 February 1981.
  4. Saulnier, Jason (22 November 2012). "Paul Di'Anno Interview, Legendary Singer talks Life on the Road". Music Legends. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  5. Huey, Steve. Iron Maiden - Killers at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  6. Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 170. ISBN   978-1-894959-31-5.
  7. O'Connor, Andy (4 December 2018). "Iron Maiden: Killers". Pitchfork . Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  8. Stagno, Mike (27 June 2006). "Iron Maiden - Killers". Sputnikmusic . Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  9. McDonald, Riley (2019). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : Killers". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  10. Doran, John (2005). "Murder Most Foul". Metal Hammer Presents: Iron Maiden 30 Years of Metal Mayhem: 144.
  11. Brannigan, Paul. "Hack Job?". Kerrang! Legends (2): 26–27.
  12. 1 2 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 183. ISBN   978-1-86074-542-3.
  13. Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 251. ISBN   978-1-86074-542-3.
  14. "Iron Maiden - Killers 1981 Australian LP". Discogs . Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  15. "Iron Maiden - Killers 1995 US 2CD". Discogs . Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  16. "Sikth - Scent Of The Obscene". Discogs . Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  17. "Kerrang! Maiden Heaven Track Listing Revealed!". Kerrang! . 25 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  18. "Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s: Complete List Of Songs Revealed". 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  19. Killers Remastered (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 1998.
  20. "Iron Maiden - Killers". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  21. Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 166. ISBN   978-951-1-21053-5.
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  27. "Iron Maiden - Killers - Billboard Albums". AllMusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  28. "Iron Maiden - Killers (album)". IFPI Greece . Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  29. "UK Singles Archive- 21 March 1981". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  30. "Iron Maiden Chart History". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  31. "UK Albums Archive- 3 March 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  32. "UK Albums Archive- 10 March 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  33. "Canadian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Killers". Music Canada. 30 January 1991. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  34. "French album certifications – Iron Maiden – Killers" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 1993. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  35. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Iron Maiden; 'Killers')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie . Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  36. "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden . Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  37. "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Killers". British Phonographic Industry . Retrieved 26 April 2013.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Killers in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  38. "American album certifications – Iron Maiden – Killers". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved 26 April 2013.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.