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Iron Maiden Album Covers by Derek Riggs
Derek Riggs Cover Art
From the Start
Iron Maiden muscled their way into the 80s metal ranks and were one of the first groups to be classified as "British Metal" a new wave of the "British Invasion". Despite a lack of radio play coupled with early allegations of Satanism, the band evolved into one of metal's most influential bands, who set the scene for the 80s and have influenced bands for generations to come. Iron Maiden have been one of metal's most enduring and distinctive acts, in part to their ambitious songwriting, powerhouse vocals, savage guitars and one of the most iconic and distinctive mascots the world over "Eddie The Head" or simply "Eddie",
Eddie is a macabre, skinless, zombie-esque figure who has appeared on the cover of every Iron Maiden record since their 1980 debut. Eddie was an amalgamation of the the bands early papier-mache mask from the late 70s and "Electric Matthew" the early inception art by graphic artist Derek Riggs.which was punk in nature. Armed with Ideas from the band and their management Derek Riggs made the ideas come to light and unknowingly created one of the most iconic images in rock n' roll today. Eddie assumes a different guise relating to the themes of the individual albums and their corresponding world tours, Eddie has appeared as an egyptian mummy, a lobotomized mental patient, a futuristic cyborg, among a host of other themes and has been the bands merchandising icon for more than three and a half decades.
Eddie’s creator, graphic artist Derek Riggs, handled the artwork for each Iron Maiden album and the singles all through the 1980s including 1990s "A Prayer for the Dying. Starting with 1992's "Fear of the Dark" Iron Maiden started excepting submissions for album cover art. The band wanted to give Eddie a new look, they were looking for less of a Creep-show style comic art for something more dark and menacing. Riggs did create the "Live One" "Dead One" covers in 1993 but after more than a decade of drawing Eddie and few album concepts being rejected, Riggs called it quits with Iron Maiden. This Hub-page shows of the early Derek Riggs Iron Maiden album and single covers.
Iron Maiden "Iron Maiden" 1980
Running Free 7" Single
Sanctuary 7" Single
Woman In Uniforms 12" Single
Iron Maiden 1980
In 1980 British Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden, hit No. 4 in the UK Albums Charts with their debut album of the same name and In addition a live version of the title track would be one of the first music videos aired on MTV. The album was Issued by EMI in the UK, and later in North America, on Harvest/Capitol Records, the album includes other early fan favorites such as "Running Free", "Phantom of the Opera", "Transylvania", and "Sanctuary"
After the albums completion the band set out on a headline tour of the UK in support of the album and later opened for Kiss on the European leg of their Unmasked Tour as well as opening for Judas Priest on select dates. After the Kiss tour, Dennis Stratton was dismissed from the band as a result of creative and personal differences and was replaced by Adrian Smith in October 1980.
"Running Free" was the first single released from the album "Iron Maiden". The picture sleeve was created by Derek Riggs and Eddie was kept in the shadows as to not reveal the identity of Eddie prior to the release of the first album. There is graffiti spray painted on the building in the alley and a closer inspection reveals several band names such as Scorpions, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin as well as the word "Hammers," a tribute to West Ham United an English professional football team.
The "Sanctuary" picture sleeve depicts Eddie having stabbed Margaret Thatcher, who at the time was the British Prime Minister. The cover was later censored with a black bar across Thatchers eyes which was widely believed to have been banned by Magaret Thatcher herself which is not true. Rod Smallwood, the bands manager had decided the censorship of the cover was good publicity. The black bar is only present in the UK edition, the European The picture sleeve for
The third single release was "Women In Uniform" the picture sleeve portrays Margaret Thatcher hiding behind a wall with a sub-machine gun waiting to ambush Eddie, while Eddie is shown walking along hand in hand with a nurse and a schoolgirl which caused more controversy and ended with feminists branding Iron Maiden sexist.
Early Derek Riggs Logo Art
"Iron Maiden" LTD Edition Vinyl Record
Did You Know ??
The band's bassist and founding member, Steve Harris, explains that the name "Eddie" comes from the fact that the mask was referred to as "The Head" which sounded like "Ead" in the band members' London accent.
Derek Riggs signed his cover art with his trademark logo, like the one shown here, Riggs also incorporated hidden messages within his art work which is something that is lost now with CD covers.
The location of the Riggs, logo on the first album "Iron Maiden" is located on the yellow brick wall behind Eddie, the sixth row down and two in from the left.
"Running Free" -- The Riggs logo is on the box next to the garbage can with no lid.
"Sanctuary" - The logo is on the back of the torn concert poster to the left on the brick wall.
"Woman In Uniforms" - You will find the Riggs logo just below Margret Thatchers right elbow.
Iron Maiden "Runnig Free" Live "Pop & Rock" German TV Show
Iron Maiden "Killers" 1981
Twilight Zone 12" Maxi-Single Germany
Purgatory 7" Single
"Killers" LTD Edition Vinyl Record
Released in 1981 "Killers" is the title of the second album by British Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden. The album is comprised of left over material which was all written prior to the bands debut album "Iron Maiden" with only two new songs written for this record "Killers" which are "Prodigal Son" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue".
As a result of the band being completely dissatisfied with the production on their debut album, they decided to hire veteran producer Martin Birch, who would work with Iron Maiden until his retirement in 1992. The record was followed by the band's first world tour, dubbed "The Killer Tour" which included their debut performance in the United States, opening for Judas Priest at The Aladdin Casino, Las Vegas.
Like their two previous single covers, the artwork for "Twilight Zone" was subject to criticism in the press, where it was interpreted as "gratuitous sexism." The media were offended by what appeared to be the band's mascot, Eddie, spying on a young girl in her bedroom. but the media got it wrong, as the song lyrics and picture on the girl's dressing table insinuate that Eddie is dead and contacting his lover Charlotte from beyond the grave, which makes this the band's first love song. "Twilight Zone" was a non-album single in the UK, but it did appear on the US and Canadian versions of the "Killers" album. The second single "Purgatory" was a re-worked version of "Floating" with a faster tempo and did not fare so well in the charts.
The location of the Riggs logo on the second album "Killers" is in the middle window just behind Eddies back right pocket.
"Twilight Zone" -- The Riggs logo is carved into the nightstand just to the right of Charlottes right thigh.
"Purgatory" -- This is an easy one, the logo is just left of the devil side of the cover.
Maiden Japan 12" EP Censored Cover
Un-Censored Cover Art
Maiden Japan 1981
The "Maiden Japan" EP was recorded on the Asian leg of "The Killer Tour" in 1981 There are two versions of this EP (not relating to the cover art) the first being the original Japanese release with a four song edit and the second is a five song edit, all tracks were recorded in Kosei Nenkin Hall in 1981 which would be lead singer Paul Di'Anno's final recordings with Iron Maiden.
It was never the band's intention to release this EP, but Toshiba-EMI wanted a live album. The original cover pictured the band's mascot Eddie holding the severed head of singer Paul Di'Anno. The replacement cover or censored cover art was done on very short notice prior to the EP's release, requested by Iron Maiden's manager, Rod Smallwood however "Maiden Japan" was released in Venezuela in 1987 with the original cover.
The Riggs logo on "Maiden Japan" is another easy one it is just to the right of Eddies' left ankle
Iron Maiden "The Number of the Beast" 1982
Run To The Hills 12" Maxi-Single
Number of the Beast 7" Red Vinyl
"Number of the Beast" LTD Edition Vinyl Record
Number of the Beast
In 1982, Iron Maiden released there third album "The Number of the Beast" an album which earns the band their first No. 1 UK Album which subsequently became a Top Ten hit in many other countries as well.
At the time, Bruce Dickinson, the bands new singer was in the middle of legal difficulties with his former band Samson's management and was not permitted to add his name to any of the songwriting credits, but it is said that he helped with "Children of the Damned", "The Prisoner" and "Run to the Hills". According to Riggs, the idea behind the original "Run to the Hills" cover was based around the idea of a "power struggle in hell", in which the band's mascot, Eddie, battles Satan with a tomahawk which references the song's subject matter which documents the conflict between European settlers in the New World and Native American tribes during the days of colonization and later westward expansion. The song is written from both perspectives, covering the Natives' viewpoint in the first verse and the Europeans' in the rest of the song.
For the second time the band embarked on a world tour, dubbed "The Beast on the Road", during which they visited North America, Japan, Australia and Europe, including a headline appearance at the Reading Festival. On the US leg of "The Beast on the Road" Tour. In the U.S. the album was the center of controversy, where a conservative political lobbying group claimed Iron Maiden were Satanic due to the nature of lyrics and the cover art by Derek Riggs depicting Eddie controlling Satan like a puppet, while Satan is also controlling a smaller Eddie.
Iron Maiden "The Number Of The Beast" Music Video
Did You Know ??
The cover art for "Number of the Beast" was originally drawn for the picture sleeve single release "Purgatory" from the "Killers" album. With band and management agreeing that the cover should not be used for the single but instead used for their next album cover. The album cover depicted Eddie controlling Satan like a puppet, while Satan is also controlling a smaller Eddie which sparked allegations of satanism.
The Riggs logo on Iron Maidens third album "Number Of the Beast" is down at the bottom to the right of the devils left foot in the black just beneath the dancing demons.
"Run To the Hills" -- The Riggs logo is chiseled in the stone to the far left in the shadow.
"Number Of the Beast" -- The Riggs logo is at the bottom of the cover, on the stone just to the left of the blood dripping from the devils severed head.
Iron Maiden "Hallowed Be Thy Name" Live 1982 Hammersmith
Iron Maiden "Piece of Mind" 1983
Flight of Icarus 12" Single
The Trooper 7" Single
Piece of Mind 1983
In 1983 Iron maiden released their fourth studio album "Piece of Mind" where Eddie was in a mental asylum and has been lobotomized, which is the reason why from this release forward that Eddie has a metal plate with bolts on his forehead. "Piece of Mind" was the first of three albums recorded in The Bahamas at Compass Point Studios. The record reached the No. 3 spot in the UK Album Charts, and was the band's debut in the North American charts, reaching No. 70 on the Billboard 200.
"Piece of Mind" includes the successful singles "The Trooper" and "Flight of Icarus", the latter of which being particularly notable as one of the band's few songs to gain substantial airplay in the US The picture sleeve, is something of a parody of the original myth, which portrays a winged Eddie burning Icarus's wings with a flamethrower. The Derek Riggs Icarus resembles the figure in "Evening: Fall of Day", by William Rimmer, which was used as a record label logo by Led Zeppelin. According to the artist, Derek Riggs, this was a reference to Led Zeppelin's break-up a few years prior.
The Derek Riggs Logo art is a little more difficult on "Piece Of Mind" as its on the back cover, as part of a necklace held within a skeletal hand. The signature is not on the cd version since part of the picture has been cut off.
"Piece Of Mind" LTD Edition Vinyl Record
Did You Know ??
At the beginning of the sixth track, "Still Life", Iron Maiden included a hidden message which could only be understood by playing the song backwards. This was a joke and intended as a poke in the eye towards the critics who had accused the band of being Satanic. The backwards-message features McBrain mimicking actor John Bird's impression of Idi Amin, uttering the following phrase "What ho said the t'ing with the three 'bonce', do not meddle with things you don't understand...", followed by a belch. The phrase itself is taken from the satirical album "The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin" (1975) by Bird and Alan Coren.
Still Life "Piece Of Mind"
Iron Maiden "Powerslave" 1984
2 Minutes To Midnight 12" Single
Aces High 12" Single
In 1984 Iron Maiden released their fifth studio album "Powerslave" The album cover depicts Eddie as a huge shrine on a pyramid in ancient Egypt. This cover had many hidden messages included on it such as "Bollokz" on the left hand side of the pyramid and "What a load of crap" on the right hand side. Above the entrance to the shrine is where you will find Derek Riggs logo.
The album featured fan favorites "2 Minutes to Midnight", "Aces High", and "Rime of The Ancient Mariner", the latter based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem of the same name and running over 13 minutes long.
The tour that followed the album, was dubbed the "World Slavery Tour" which began in Warsaw, Poland on 9 August 1984 and lasted 331 days, during which 187 shows were performed which tied in with their 1984 album, "Powerslave", the "World Slavery tour's" stage show adhered to an ancient Egyptian theme, which was decorated with sarcophagus and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and mummified representations of the band's mascot, Eddie, in addition to numerous pyrotechnic effects. The theatrics of the stage show meant that it would become one of the band's most acclaimed tours, making it the perfect backdrop to their first live double album and concert video "Live After Death".
The Derek Riggs logo on the "Powerslave" album is right above the entry to the Pyramid
Iron Maiden "2 Minutes To Midnight" Official Music Video
Iron Maiden "Live After Death" 1985
"Live After Death" Back Cover
Run To The Hills Live 12" Single
Running Free Live 12" Maxi Single
Live After Death 1985
For the filming of the "Live After Death" video, Iron Maiden hired director Jim Yukich who filmed two shows of their four nights at Long Beach Arena, California from March 1985. Although the audio recordings for the albums release were also recorded at Long Beach, side four does contain tracks that were recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, London in October 1984..
The cover art was created by Derek Riggs, which pictures Eddie, rising from a grave complete with his metal screw cartouche from his "Piece of Mind" lobotomy which is being struck by lightning. Engraved on the tombstone is a quote from fantasy and horror fiction author H. P. Lovecraft's The Nameless City: "That is not dead which can eternal lie, Yet with strange aeons even death may die" Also engraved on the headstone is what appears to be Eddie's full name, "Edward T H--", the remainder of which is obscured by a clump of sod. Near Eddie's grave is a black cat with a halo and to the cat's left, there is a tombstone engraved with "Here lies Derek Riggs". Riggs also included gravestones which state "Live With Pride", added at the band's request to show opposition to lip-synched performances, "Here Lies Faust In Body Only", the German legend who sold his soul to the Devil and a stone which simply reads "Thank You", The back cover shows the rest of the graveyard and a city being destroyed by lightning.
The first single released from 1985's "Live after Death" was a live version of "Run to the Hills" live versions of "Phantom of the Opera" and "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)" as its B-sides. According to Riggs, he was asked to paint a cover illustration both "Run to the Hills" and "Phantom of the Opera" and so the artwork depicts Eddie as the phantom in a hilly landscape. The second single released was "Running Free" Live which was released with a photo cover of Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris live on stage which is the first cover to not feature Derek Riggs Album Art
If you follow along the path on the back cover one of the tombstones has the Derek Riggs Signature.
Iron Maiden "Somewhere In Time" 1986
Wasted Years 12" Single
Stranger In A Strange Land 12" Single
Somewhere in Time 1986
Now established as a powerful and unique metal band, returning to the studio Iron Maiden experimented on their long-awaited 1986 album, "Somewhere in Time", incorporating synthesized bass and guitar and futuristic themes with added textures and layers to their sound. The release charted well across the world, particularly with the single "Wasted Years", but notably the album included no writing credits from lead singer Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band. While Dickinson was focused on his own music, guitarist Adrian Smith, who typically collaborated with the vocalist, was "left to his own devices" and began writing songs on his own, the tracks include "Wasted Years", "Sea of Madness", and "Stranger in a Strange Land", the last of which would be the album's second single.
In the top-right corner of the cover slightly right of Eddie's lit match, the time on the clock appears as "11:58". This is a reference to a previous Iron Maiden single, "2 Minutes to Midnight". -- Several cards can be seen falling from the table. One, (orange background, next to red coloured card) contains a picture of the Grim Reaper, like that on the Trooper cover and just under one of the stacks of cards, on the edge of the table, Derek Riggs' signature can be seen.
The logo art on "Somewhere In Time" is on Eddies chest plate.
"Stranger In A Strange Land"
Did You Know ??
The gatefold or wrap-around album cover for "Somewhere In Time" has many hidden messages or references to earlier Iron Maiden albums and songs.
Eddie's appearance on the picture sleeve single cover of a "Stranger In A Strange Land" is in homage to the Clint Eastwood character "Man with No Name".
Iron Maiden "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" 1988
Can I Play With Madness 12" Single
The Evil That Men Do 12" Single
The Clairvoyant 12" Single
Infinite Dreams 12" Maxi Single
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son 1988
The experimentation that was evident on "Somewhere in Time" continued on Iron Maidens seventh album titled "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", which was released in 1988. A concept album, based on the 1987 novel "Seventh Son" by Orson Scott Card, this would be the band's first record to include keyboards, performed by Harris and Smith, as opposed to guitar synthesizers as on the previous release "Somewhere In Time". The album proved to be another popular release and became Iron Maiden's second album to hit No. 1 in the UK album charts.
During the tour that followed, the band headlined the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park for the first time in August 1988, playing to the largest crowd in the festival's history, also included on the bill were Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, Kiss, David Lee Roth, and Helloween. The festival was marred, however, by the deaths of two fans in a crowd-surge during the Guns N' Roses performance; with the following year's festival being cancelled as a result. The tour concluded with several headline shows in the UK in November and December of 1988, with the concerts at the NEC Arena, Birmingham recorded for a live video, entitled "Maiden England".
"Can I Play with Madness" is the first single from "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" and hit number 3 in the UK charts. The song is about a young man who wants to learn the future from an old prophet with a crystal ball where the young man thinks he is going mad and seeks the old prophet to help him cope with his visions or nightmares. The B side "Black Bart Blues" is about the suit of armour that rode in the back lounge of Iron Maiden's tour buses named Black Bart and a cover of the Thin Lizzy song "Massacre" which comes from their "Johnny the Fox" album. The second single "The Evil That Men Do" from their seventh studio album The single debuted at number six in the UK charts and quickly rose to number five. The single's B-sides are re-recordings of "Prowler" and "Charlotte the Harlot" which appear as tracks number one and seven/eight respectively on the band's debut album "Iron Maiden". The third single, which was also released as a clear vinyl, debuted at number six in the British charts. It contains three live performances from Maiden's 1988 headlining performance at the Monsters of Rock festival in Donington Park. "The Clairvoyant", "The Prisoner", "Heaven Can Wait".
"Infinite Dreams" was the fourth single released from "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" the single was released at the same time as a vhs video recording titled "Maiden England". The video performance was recorded at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England in 1988 towards the end of the massive world tour to support the album. The singles B-sides are "Killers" "Still Life".
Iron Maiden "The Clairvoyant" Official Video - Live
Iron Maiden "No Prayer for the Dying" 1990
Did You Know ??
Two versions of the album cover for Iron Maidens "No Prayer for the Dying" exist. The original 1990 version above has Eddie bursting from his grave and grabbing a grave-digger by the throat, the image of the grave diggers' is that of manager Rod Smallwood. Smallwood disliked the cover, so he asked artist Derek Riggs to remove his image from the cover for the 1998 re-release. The image below is that of the 1998 re-release with Smallwood removed, however on the CD version of the re-release the original cover is printed on the CD.
Iron Maiden "No Prayer for the Dying" Alternate Cover
Holy Smoke 12" Single
Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter 12" Single
Bring Your Daughter To the Slaughter 7" Single Brain Pack
No Prayer for the Dying 1990
Iron Maidens eighth studio album "No Prayer for the Dying" was released in October 1990 and was the band's first release with Epic Records in the US, after parting ways with Capitol Records, This was Iron Maiden's first full-length album in over two years and was a stripped down, straight forward style, reminiscent of the band's earlier material. The album also departed from literary and historical lyrical themes in favor of more political content, with songs focusing on religious exploitation such as in the record's first single, "Holy Smoke" which is about the many televangelist scandals that were in the news in the United States in the late 1980s, including mentions of "Jimmy the Reptile" a reference to Jimmy Swaggart, "The TV Queen" Tammy Faye and "plenty of bad preachers for the Devil to stoke."
"Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", was the second single from "No Prayer for the Dying" released December 1990 and was the band's first No. 1. Charting UK Single. The song was originally recorded as a side project by Dickinson's solo outfit for the slasher film soundtrack "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child". In addition to the standard 7" and 12" editions, the single was also released as a special edition picture disc 7" flip-top picture sleeve "brain pack" edition which is also a picture record with side a being an image of a brain. The B-side features cover versions of "I'm a Mover" originally by Free and Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown".
Additionally an inscription was added to the plaque on the tomb, which Riggs had initially left blank to allow the band to add their own words, and reads "After the Daylight, The Night of Pain, That is not Dead, Which Can Rise Again."
The album does not follow the continuity of previous album covers, as Eddie no longer exhibits either his lobotomy or cyborg enhancements.
Iron Maiden "Tailgunner"
Iron Maiden "A Real Live One" 1993
Fear the Dark Live 12" Single
Hallowed Be Thy Name 7" Single
Live One -- Dead One
In 1993, Bruce Dickinson left the band to further pursue his solo career but agreed to remain for a farewell tour which produces two live albums. The first album being, "A Real Live One", which featured songs from 1986 to 1992, and was released in March 1993, the album cover depicts Eddie playing with some live high voltage wires. The second album, "A Real Dead One", featured songs from 1980 to 1984, and was released after Dickinson had left the band. The album cover depicts Eddie as a DJ in Hell. The album tracks were recorded at 9 different venues in Europe on the "Fear of the Dark Tour". and later, for future re-releases the two albums were packaged together as a two album set. The picture sleeve for the "Fear the Dark" single from the "Real Live One" release portrays Eddie as Steve Harris playing his bass on stage whereas on the picture sleeve for the "Hallowed Be Thy Name" single from the album "A Real Dead One" shows Eddie as Satan stabbing Bruce Dickinson with a Triton. Killing the departing vocalist in album art was an idea that you will remember was also used on the cover of Maiden Japan in 1981 with Eddie holding Paul Di'Anno's severed head, as well as in the video of Bruce's farewell concert with the band which was filmed, and broadcast by the BBC, and made into a video under the name "Raising Hell," where horror illusionist Simon Drake appears to impale Bruce in an iron maiden torture device.
Iron Maiden "A Real Dead One" 1993
Iron Maiden "Brave New World" 2000
Run For Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs
Brave New World 2000
Iron Maidens twelfth studio album "Brave New World" recorded at the Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris in November 1999 with producer Kevin Shirley.The bands thematic influences continued with "The Wicker Man" based on the 1973 British cult film of the same name and "Brave New World" title taken from the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. The album furthered the more progressive and melodic sound present in some earlier recordings, with elaborate song structures and keyboard orchestration and marks the return of singer Bruce Dickinson and a new guitar player Janick Gers. Iron Maiden now had a three-guitar line-up and embarked on a hugely successful reunion tour. Dubbed "The Ed Hunter Tour". The tour consisted of well over 100 dates and culminated on 19 January 2001 in a show at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, where Iron Maiden played to an audience of around 250,000. While the performance was being produced for a CD and DVD release in March 2002, under the name "Rock in Rio"
The album cover is only partial done by Derek Riggs which is the top half or the sky, which was part of Riggs wicker man submission for singles picture sleeve art that was rejected by the band. The bottom half of the cover was done by digital artist Steve Stone. So this album cover does not have a Derek Riggs signature logo.
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The Complete Vinyl Collection
"Aces High" Live 1984
"Phantom of the Opera" Live 1980
"Killers" Live 1980
Iron Maiden Flight 666
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