Killers continued Iron Maiden on their rise to prominence, selling over four times as many albums after its release than did its predecessor. Overall, Killers is an excellent album, although it lacks the usual epic track that almost all the other Maiden albums contain (for example: 'Phantom Of The Opera', 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', 'To Tame A Land', and 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner'). However, it contains a great deal of innovative material, including two of Maiden's best instrumental tracks.
Killers is not a concept album, but many of the songs do share a certain commonality. It is an interesting and complex thread, which explores the "killers" concept from several different perspectives including the angry searcher, the fleeing suspect, the innocently accused, the cold-blooded killer, the repentant disciple, and finally the reformed drifter. In this sense, with a bit of imagination the album can be viewed as a progression beginning with anger and violence and ending with repentance and reformation. This is not unlike 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', in which the mariner begins as an impulsive killer and ends as a repentant traveller and teacher.
A second and less obvious thread also exists in Killers, relating to the meaninglessness and hopelessness of life. In this sense the Killers album begins what has become a familiar Maiden topic out of which has emerged some of their very best material. But in contrast to some of the later material, the Killers exploration has an extremely depressing, regretful, and suicidal motif. This second thread is most obvious in 'Another Life', 'Twilight Zone', and 'Purgatory'.
It may take quite a few listens to fully appreciate Killers. The style of the Di'Anno albums is a bit different from Maiden's later sound, and can require some adjustment for those who are unfamiliar with it. But after you've given it a chance to sink in, it'll quite probably be one of your favourite Maiden albums.
February 1st, 1981
Twilight Zone, Purgatory, Maiden Japan
1. The Ides Of March 01:46
2. Wrathchild 02:55
3. Murders In The Rue Morgue 04:19
4. Another Life 03:23
5. Genghis Khan 03:10
6. Innocent Exile 03:54
7. Killers 05:02
8. Prodigal Son 06:13
9. Purgatory 03:20
10. Drifter 04:50
Total playing time 43:53
Paul Di'Anno - Vocals
Steve Harris - Bass
Dave Murray - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Adrian Smith - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Clive Burr – Drums
The American edition has a bonus track:
10. Twilight Zone ( 2:33 )
This also appears on the 1998 enhanced version. It also contains the bonus track "Twilight Zone", a special enhanced CD-ROM multimedia section, with videos, exclusive photo galleries, biographies, internet links plus a deluxe 24 page colour booklet with full lyrics, Eddie art and photos.
Martin "Headmaster" Birch
Battery Studios, London
Simon Hayworth at Chop 'Em Out (1998 re-release)
Rod Smallwood for Sanctuary, 165-167 Willesden High Road, London NW10 (original 1980 release)
Rod Smallwood at Sanctuary Music Management (1998 re-release)
Cover concept by:
Dave Lights (1998 re-release)
Front cover illustration by:
Thanks to the still long-suffering road crew (Dave Lights, Loopy, Pete "I certainly didn't need all this" Bryant, Doug "Road-Dog" Hall), "Radar" Bance, Keith "Bloody Arsenal Supporter" Wilfort F.C., Eddie, Neal and Mitchie Kay, Ian Nuttall, Pete "The Bulk" Bennett, Muscle and Meteorlites, John Jackson, the Lensmen (Ross, Bob, Watal, Hiro, George, Simon, Toshi) Trev Searle, Vic Vella, Derek Riggs, Doc Cardwell, Paiste and Ludwig and, last but not least, you the fans. Up the Hammers'
Robert Ellis (original 1980 release)
Robert Ellis, Ross Halfin, P.G. Brunelli, Simon Fowler, Denis O'Regan, George Chin, Rod Smallwood (1998 re-release)
Iron Maiden F.C.:
S.A.E. to 165-167 Willesden High Road, London NW10(original 1980 release)
Iron Maiden Fan Club:
P.O.Box 3803, Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NZ, England
Telephone/Fax: +44 (0)1279 442666