Has there ever been a British metal group as satisfyingly glorious as Iron Maiden? The six-piece outfit - singer Bruce Dickinson, bassist and bandleader Steve Harris, the triple-threat guitar arsenal of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, plus the madcap drummer presence of Nicko McBrain - have, in one configuration or another, thrilled audiences across the globe for over forty years with their brand of melodic rock that cuts straight to the soul with a searing brilliance.
Like many of their compatriots though, they've grown with the times, pushing deeper into their influences and transforming themselves from former NWOBHM heroes into latter-day prog-rock maestros with nobody blinking an eye. The group however have always had such ambitions stretching back to fifth album Powerslave - and we've decided to take a look at just which of their long-form tracks are the best.
To qualify as an epic, we've set the simple barometer that a song has to run for more than eight minutes in its studio form; a qualification which naturally favours much of the band's reunion era output as they have settled more into their prog inclinations. From there, we've chopped the grand total - around twenty-five songs - down to what we think are the strongest across their catalogue, from the early days of Rime of the Ancient Mariner through the new gold era of The Book of Souls.
Without further adieu, let's join Eddie for a romp through the history books...
Something of a culture vulture, Mr Steel can historically be found in three places; the local cinema, the local stadium or the local chip shop. He is an avowed fan of franchise films, amateur cricket and power-chords.