MY FAVORITE HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVER IS…
My favorite Heavy Metal album cover, (of my entire Metalhead life), is… IRON MAIDEN’S debut from 1980 – IRON MAIDEN.Why? It’s Heavy Metal art, in all of it’s glorious Metal infancy. This was 1980 for Metal sakes, well before the multi-thousands of “other” Heavy Metal album covers came forth. Artist Derek Riggs made Eddie into this haunting and nightmarish creature of all things horrible. This mascot called Eddie symbolized an enormous turning point, in the way Heavy Metal was to be portrayed visually, for decades to come. The Metal of Iron Maiden on their debut album coincides with the album artwork with precision… melancholy and haunting are both. It’s probably best summed up this way… the Eddie artwork of Derek Riggs and the Metal of Iron Maiden, on this initial album, was always for me, a match made in Metal heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, the ensuing Iron Maiden album covers of Killers, The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind and Live After Death are ultra legendary. I choose the debut Iron Maiden album cover for it is just that… the first appearance of not just a mascot and symbol of Iron Maiden, arguably Eddie was then and still is now, a mascot and symbol for all of Heavy Metal as well. Back in 1980, who would have predicted the rise and Metal proliferation of Iron Maiden? With Eddie being a prominent and symbolic fixture of the band spanning four decades now? It all had to start somewhere, commercially, for Iron Maiden. It started with their influential debut 1980 album and this cover, with Eddie as the macabre centerpiece, with those demonic eyes, standing underneath a moonlit creepy sky, amongst eerie street lamps.
Back in 1980, (when my Mom forbid me to have this album for its “bad news” cover), I would still seek it out at the Caldor Department Store… and stare at it in sheer bewilderment, (when my Mom wasn’t looking). The shock and awe this cover instilled in me back then, still gets my shock and awe meter ticking now. Sometime around 1985, my Mom was much more schooled on Heavy Metal… she bought me the Iron Maiden debut album one day, on a whim!
It’s funny how times have changed over the years and decades. Back in 1980, I’m certain there were a ton load of nervous parents out there, who fixed their eyes upon this Iron Maiden debut album… only to be handing down parental mandates to their sons and daughters, stating that this was the second coming of the anti-christ. It’s weird now, looking back on 1980, as a much more “innocent” time. As a parent of ten-year old twin daughters in 2010, there are many times I want to “shield” them from seeing and/or hearing what I deem inappropriate. They are only ten years old after all!
I witness for myself, the over sexed and gory album covers of today, with the infinite number of television, print and movie media’s sexual and violence laced appeal. I guess, after all this time, I can sympathize with my Mom’s feelings back then, in 1980. Regardless, I am anti-censorship when it comes to artistic freedom, our freedom of speech and to assemble as well!!
Picking out one’s favorite Heavy Metal album cover of all time can be difficult, I found this to be quite easy. Sure, Judas Priest and KISS, (just to name a credible twosome), had some incredible album covers in the 1970′s… before this Iron Maiden album was released, yet the visual impact, that this Iron Maiden cover had on me since I was straight out of eighth grade has never wavered. Oh… and every song on this Iron Maiden album, made just as equal an impact on me too. What is your favorite Heavy Metal album cover?
LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN!
LONG LIVE EDDIE!
LONG LIVE DEREK RIGGS!
* My favorite song on this Iron Maiden debut album is – Remember Tomorrow. This song seems to drift along in such a dreamscape and melancholy way. A true chameleon of a song, if there ever was one… the mellowness and somber mood, changes over to heaviness… and then repeats itself all over again.
I could go on and on about this Iron Maiden album cover… the pleasure I derive from looking at this artwork is worth its weight in Metal gold.
This entry was posted on March 25, 2010 at 10:35 am and is filed under 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal music, heavy metal records, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags 1980's heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album artwork, heavy metal music, iron maiden first album, metal music, metal odyssey, nwobhm, progressive metal music, scary album covers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.