Killers (Iron Maiden album)

Last updated

Killers
Iron Maiden Killers.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 February 1981 (1981-02-02)
RecordedNovember 1980 [1] – January 1981 [2]
StudioBattery, London
Genre Heavy metal
Length38:18
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden studio albums chronology
Iron Maiden
(1980)
Killers
(1981)
The Number of the Beast
(1982)
Singles from Killers
  1. "Twilight Zone" / "Wrathchild"
    Released: 2 March 1981
  2. "Purgatory"
    Released: 15 June 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 9/10 [4]
Pitchfork 7.3/10 [5]
Sputnikmusic 4.0/5 [6]
The Daily VaultA− [7]

Killers is the second studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was first released on 2 February 1981 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and on 6 June in the United States by Harvest and Capitol Records. 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 performances arose due to his alcohol and cocaine use. [8] Killers was also the first Iron Maiden album recorded with producer Martin Birch, who went on to produce their next eight albums until Fear of the Dark (1992).

Contents

Background

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. It was written almost exclusively by Steve Harris; [9] only "Twilight Zone" and the title track are cowritten.

Bar "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (based on the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe) [10] and "Prodigal Son", the songs were written in the years prior to the recording of their debut album. [11] No songs were recorded professionally until the Killers sessions, with the exception of "Wrathchild" (a version recorded in 1979 was featured on the Metal for Muthas compilation). [11]

"The Ides of March" is nearly identical to "Thunderburst", by fellow British NWOBHM band Samson, who featured a pre-Maiden Bruce Dickinson on vocals; however, "The Ides of March" was written during the brief time in 1977 in which future Samson drummer Thunderstick was a member of Iron Maiden. While Harris took sole credit for "The Ides of March", "Thunderburst" is credited to Harris and all four members of Samson's Head On line-up, Bruce Bruce, aka Bruce Dickinson, Chris Aylmer, Paul Samson, and Thunderstick, aka Barry Purkis.

Killers spent eight weeks on the UK chart. [12] The North American edition, which came out a few months later, was initially released on Harvest Records/Capitol Records and subsequently on Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records. The song "Twilight Zone" was added to the album.

The Killer World Tour featured the band's first US shows, beginning at The Aladdin, Las Vegas, in support of Judas Priest. [13] Subsequently, "Wrathchild" is the only regularly played track from the album, appearing in almost all their tours.

"The Ides of March" is Maiden's shortest song and serves as an intro to their fourth-shortest song, "Wrathchild".

Track listing

All tracks are written by Steve Harris, except where noted.

Side one – UK standard edition
No.TitleLength
1."The Ides of March" (instrumental)1:48
2."Wrathchild"2:54
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 – UK standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Killers"
4:58
8."Prodigal Son" 6:05
9."Purgatory" 3:18
10."Drifter" 4:47
Total length:38:18
Side two – North American edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Killers"
  • Di'Anno
  • Harris
4:58
8."Twilight Zone"
2:33
9."Prodigal Son" 6:05
10."Purgatory" 3:18
11."Drifter" 4:47
Total length:40:51
Side two – Australian edition [14]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Killers"
  • Di'Anno
  • Harris
4:58
8."Women in Uniform" (Skyhooks cover) Greg Macainsh 3:07
9."Prodigal Son" 6:05
10."Purgatory" 3:18
11."Drifter" 4:47
Total length:41:25
1995 UK reissue bonus disc
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Twilight Zone"
  • Murray
  • Harris
2:33
2."Women in Uniform"Macainsh3:07
3."Invasion" 2:38
4."Phantom of the Opera" (live) 6:55
Total length:15:13
1995 US reissue bonus disc [15]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Women in Uniform"Macainsh3:07
2."Invasion" 2:38
3."Phantom of the Opera" (live) 6:55
4."Running Free" (live; from Maiden Japan )
  • Harris
  • Di'Anno
3:07
5."Remember Tomorrow" (live; from Maiden Japan)
  • Harris
  • Di'Anno
5:44
6."Wrathchild" (live; from Maiden Japan) 2:52
7."Killers" (live; from Maiden Japan)
  • Harris
  • Di'Anno
4:50
8."Innocent Exile" (live; from Maiden Japan) 3:46
Total length:32:59
1998 remastered edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Ides of March" (instrumental) 1:46
2."Wrathchild" 2:55
3."Murders in the Rue Morgue" 4:19
4."Another Life" 3:23
5."Genghis Khan" (instrumental) 3:09
6."Innocent Exile" 3:54
7."Killers"
  • Harris
  • Di'Anno
5:01
8."Prodigal Son" 6:12
9."Purgatory" 3:20
10."Twilight Zone"
  • Murray
  • Harris
2:33
11."Drifter" 4:49
Total length:41:21

Covers

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]

Personnel

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes. [19] [20]

Iron Maiden

Additional personnel

Chart performance

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [34] Platinum100,000^
France (SNEP) [35] Gold200,000*
Germany (BVMI) [36] Gold250,000^
Sweden (GLF) [37] Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [38] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [39] Gold500,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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