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Iron Maiden musical inspirations and influences (list of musical artists that adopted or influenced their music)

Updated on May 27, 2016

After a long hunt for bands/musical artists or musical styles similar to (or influenced by) Iron Maiden I've managed to compile this short list of musical artists that "borrowed" or "ripped-off" parts of Iron Maiden's songs, as well as musical artists that influenced some of maiden's musical work. Because I can't cover all the bands that maiden has influenced (the list would take days to compile), I will stick to bands that copied maiden's style or parts of their songs.

*Bare in mind that this list isn't made for criticism.

*And The word "rip-off" isn't meant to be a bad thing.. what I mean by it is "copy".



{{Musical Artists that borrowed some of Maiden's music}}:

- Papa Roach "Last Resort": the main riff ripped off "Genghis Khan".. (Chorus also ripped off Metallica's "One" btw)
- Papa Roach "Between Angels & Insects" riff was ripped off "Prowler"

- Metallica "The Unforgiving II" Inspired by the intro of "Children of the Damned"

- YuGiOh GX Theme Song "Game on" ripped off "Judgement of Heaven"

- Pop artist Brandy in her song "I Tried" copied Maiden's "The Clansman" intro into her song without any editing (direct rip-off).

- Muse "Uprising" ripped off "Running Free"

- Gojira "The Gift of Guilt" inspired by "Flash of the Blade"

- Judas Priest "Battle Cry" riff very similar to "Wasted Years" (too many bands have ripped off that riff)

- Yngwie J. Malmsteen - "Devil In Disguise" very similar to "Mother Russia"

- Some Avenged Sevenfold songs were inspired by a couple of Maiden's guitar works some of them from the "Seventh Son" album, but no direct rip offs (that I know of).

- Nightwish "Sagan": the bridge at 2:48 is very similar to Dave's melody in "The Thin Line between love & hate".. but that might a coincidence.

- Influence of Maiden's galloping Riff can also be heard in many Iced Earth's and Sonata Artica songs (quite obvious why).

- Sum 41 has a long list of Maiden & Judas Priest inspired and ripped off riffs and tunes.

- Crooked X "Nightmare" took inspiration from many Maiden songs like "Wasted Years"

- Norther "Last Breath" ripped off "Fear of the Dark" ... plus, the chorus in their song "Blackhearted" sounds very similar to the pre-solo lead in maiden's "Sign of the cross"

- As I lay Dying "The Beginning" riff ripped of "The Trooper"

- Hammerfall is a maiden-inspired band and many of their songs were inspired by a couple of Maiden's iconic riffs such as "Powerslave".. it's quite clear if you hear "By Any Means Necessary"

- Green Day "Jesus of Suburbia" riff sounds highly similar to "Transylvania"

- Gama Ray has a wide list of songs inspired by Maiden Riffs and Melodies.. their album "Land of the Free II" had many iron maiden ripped off parts.

- This might be a funny pick but Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever" sounds very similar to the chorus in Maiden's self titled song "Iron Maiden" (even the lyrics lol)

- The Offspring - "The Future Is Now" has a very distinctive Maiden sound to it (not a rip off in any sense).

- Celtic Legacy ... many of their songs have been inspired by various Maiden songs.

- Iron Savior is also a cool Maiden influenced band and many of their riffs and choruses were obviously influenced by Maiden's music. their song "Deadly Sleep" is a collective song that was inspired by many maiden songs mainly "Aces High": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCfrL4ALb4A

- Ruler is another band with a wide list of Maiden ripped off Maiden riffs and song Verses & Choruses, their album "Evil Nightmare" is almost a remake of classic maiden albums: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eKYJRIuwGg

- Annihilator - "Striker" is a direct rip-off of "Be Quick or be Dead"

- Tierra Santa - "Sangre de Reyes" is an album inspired entirely by Iron Maiden's music.. you will hear many familiar riffs and melodies from Maiden's song library.

-Carcass - "This Mortal Coil" riffs and solos were ripped off a number of Maiden songs.

-Stinger in their album "Manic Depressor" took inspiration from many Iron Maiden riffs and compiled them into an album (more or less copied maiden's music).

*** There are many Bands who made Maiden "styled" songs that were obvious tributes to iron maiden like ""Louhikäärme Ja Ritari" by "Hevisaurus".. there are way too many to mention.. if you know any just write them down in the comments.


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****There is a huge controversy when it comes to Angel Witch's self titled album and Maiden's self titled album, because both sound very similar to each other...

The rip off contest between these two bands happened after the "Music Machine" gig in London back in 1979, when Iron Maiden, Samson & Angel Witch debuted there music in front of the metal-hungry crowd.. Iron Maiden and Angel Witch had the better crowd response.. and both bands witnessed each other's performances..

After researching this topic I came to the conclusion that both bands have inspired each other's material in a very casual musical sense.. for example Angel Witch's "Sorceress" and Iron Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow" sound very close to each other when it comes to tempo, song build, verses, choruses, riffs and even the bass at some point, but who ripped off who can't be determined for sure, but I nominate Maiden since angel witch debuted "Sorceress" in early 1978. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJkHaZt_I6E

After hearing Angel witch's "Sweet Danger" you'll see a notable similarity between Kevin Heybourne's guitar tune & technique and Dave Murray's famous guitar style, it seems that Dave Murray's guitar technique and tunes caught Kevin Heybourne's attention.. or maybe the other way around.. we can't know for sure but there is defiantly a connection somewhere.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7w_pqYUW68


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{{Songs or Riffs that influenced some Maiden Songs}}

-Dave's intro in "Children of The Damned" was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's "A Merman I Should Turn to Be" ... Quite obvious since Jimi is Dave's #1 inspiration.

- "Rush - 2112" has inspired many Iron Maiden songs such as "Hallowed be thy name" which is considered one of the (if not the) best Heavy Metal anthems ever made to date. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYSW73GWRUw

- Fear of The Dark's opening riff was ripped off "The Sisters Of Mercy - Temple Of Love 12"

- "Moonchild" intro was ripped off Simple Minds "70 Cities As Love Brings the Fall"

- "Blood on The World's Hands" bridge just before the last chorus was ripped of Carlos Santana's "Bella"

- Scorpions Songs have also inspired Maiden's music.. Ex: "Make it Real" has inspired "When the Wild Blows": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MnDr3acWz0

- Rainbow is also among the Maiden influence list.. their song "Spotlight" influenced some of Maiden's songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8kAzZs7x4

- Slowbone - "The Last Goodbye" has a very similar sound to Maiden's earlier music.

- The famous "2 Minutes to Midnight" riff isn't just a Maiden rip off, this riff seems to be a template riff that most classic metal bands have used.. it was played in more than 50 songs throughout the history of heavy metal:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQgqNWNLbAs

- The riff from "Starblind" was inspired by "Stairway To The Stars" by BOC

- the main riff in "The Wicker Man" sounds highly similar to the riff in "Running Wild" by Judas priest.. but that cannot count since the riff is generic and can be created in similar sounding ways with different techniques.. so it might as well be a shear coincidence.
But we should keep in mind that Maiden's early work was inspired by Priest.

- Janick's riff in "Ghost of The Navigator" sounds highly like Randy Roads riff from Ozzy Osbourne "I Don't Know"..
but that also cannot count as a rip-off since the riff is also generic.. similar riffs can be heard in "pull harder on the strings of your martyr" by Trivium & maiden's "can i play with madness"

- Sadly, Maiden's riff in "The Red & The Black" was directly Ripped-Off of Uriah Heep's "I hear Voices" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boZX2kCrO88

- Another thing I've noticed was that the album cover of Earth Wind and Fire "All 'N All" looks similar to Maiden's "Powerslave" cover.. but that's not a rip-off since it ain't music.. we can blame Derek for that lol

- Also Kate Bush's lyrics has inspired maiden throughout their carrier Bruce Dickinson has mentioned how much he likes her musical work.

- Janick Gers was mainly influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, his moves and style of playing clearly proves that.

- Maiden is also influenced by Thin Lizzy, it's quite clear if you hear some of their songs.. Maiden even made a tribute cover for them.



***Please Note: this list isn't made for criticism, it aims to give you a list of songs and styles similar to Maiden (as a personal research).. after all musical inspiration is the basis of the creation music itself.


*** If you think I might have missed something or there might be another song/album that should be added to this list then please feel free to write it down in the comments.




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      Johnny 19 months ago

      Very nice article! i agree with you

      Keep them coming!