Iron Maiden is a staple name within the metal world and has been since the band burst onto the scene in 1975. Known for their huge sound, spectacular riffing, and diverse lyrical themes, the British outfit quickly became a worldwide hit when metalheads saw their musical prowess in tracks like “The Trooper” and “Run To The Hills”.
What may not be known by many, however, is that in between their songs of war and history, they have a few love songs up their sleeves also.
I’ve collected 10 of their best love songs here. Some may be more loosely related to love than others, and not all will be a happy ride!
1. Can I Play With Madness
Album: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Here we have one of Iron Maiden’s most popular tracks which helped catapult them into worldwide stardom. Accompanied by a strange music video, the song on the surface might point towards religious themes as opposed to love. However, I think the lyrics can also apply to the infatuation of a man with a woman who seems to be bad for him.
Whichever way you look at this track, the uplifting chorus and catchy guitar work make it a standout track in Iron Maiden’s discography.
2. Blood Brothers
Album: Brave New World
Before moving onto the romantic side of love, we have “Blood Brothers”. I believe this is one of Iron Maiden’s saddest songs, as it explores the death of bassist Steve Harris’ father. It’s an incredibly touching track with Bruce Dickinson’s iconic vocals bellowing a powerful tribute to Harris’ father.
While the song’s solo screams Iron Maiden, it also has a melancholic air around it which drives the emotional pull of the track forward. Full of love for another human, it had to work its way onto this list.
3. Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner
While the overall story of this poem-inspired track is not overtly romantic, the setting of “Rhgyme Of The Ancient Mariner” very much is. Taking place at a wedding ceremony, the story is told by a mariner who goes on to tell a tale of his adventures at sea. The story is long and winding but can be interpreted as a message to love all the creatures on earth.
Anecdotally, some have even used this song at wedding receptions or when walking down the aisle. I would say that’s as good a sign as any that Iron Maiden made a secret love hit with the progressive “Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner”.
4. That Girl
Album: The First Ten Years
Considering the rest of their discography, it might be strange to consider that Iron Maiden would cover a song like FM’s “That Girl”. However, in their B-side of the Stranger In A Strange Land single they did just that, and created a love ballad that remains an earworm today.
Steve Harris’ punchy, galloping basslines turn this track into an unmistakable Iron Maiden track, and the chorus is especially powerful.
Album: The First Ten Years
Here we have yet another offering from the B-Sides of Stranger In A Strange Land. “Juanita” is a fast and dirty track with some surprising glam influence that can be understood in several ways.
‘Juanita’ can be interpreted as either a woman or a drug, but I think the track works better in the former context. In the track, Bruce Dickinson is wailing to return to Juanita, but it doesn’t appear that she feels the same way. Some of his lyrics suggest she might even be bad for him.
6. Infinite Dreams
Album: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
We’re coming up to the segment in the article where Iron Maiden’s love theme becomes a little loose. “Infinite Dreams” has a much deeper meaning to it than a simple love song; it’s about a man who is experiencing paranormal dreams and nightmares and wishes to break free from them. It’s also one of their strongest songs, in my opinion.
Where I think the love theme loosely relates is in the song’s overall message of the importance of self-control and discovering your meaning in life. In my opinion, that’s an incredibly powerful message and one which can lead to a world of self-love, as opposed to fear and control.
7. Charlotte The Harlot
Album: Iron Maiden
Alright, this one is incredibly loose when it comes to the love theme. Not all of Iron Maiden’s songs are about serious historical events or monumental themes. “Charlotte The Harlot” is the first song in a series of Maiden tracks aptly called “The Charlotte The Harlot Saga” about a prostitute’s journey through life. The first track of the series depicts a man who is in love with Charlotte realizing he’s nothing special in her eyes.
I love the unexpected ballad-like chorus and emotional break in this track. It’s such a bizarre musical composition from guitarist Dave Murray that it almost doesn’t feel like an Iron Maiden song.
8. When The Wild Wind Blows
Album: The Final Frontier
“When The Wild Wind Blows” is one of Iron Maiden’s most iconic tracks in my opinion. Its gentle introduction beautifully begins the story inspired by the novel of the same name which depicts an elderly couple trying to save the world from nuclear annihilation.
There might not be any direct romance in that, but if saving the world together in your golden years isn’t love, what is?
9. Wasted Years
Album: Somewhere In Time
While it may not be directly related to love, I feel that “Wasted Years” is a great example of Iron Maiden being a grounding force in self-love. That may seem like a far reach, but within “Wasted Years” the band emphasizes the importance of focusing on the present instead of dwelling in the past, which is a bane for many.
Through the uplifting instrumentals of the track’s chorus, I can’t help but feel a wave of positivity and optimism toward today and tomorrow from “Wasted Years”, instead of thinking about yesterday.
10. Wasting Love
Album: Fear Of The Dark
Except for “That Girl”, “Wasting Love” is likely Iron Maiden’s most direct love song and it’s quite a sad tale. In this track, the protagonist is desperately trying to cling to a lost love and slowly realizing he has blown his chance. The track has a sorrowful air throughout that is amplified in the pre-chorus instrumentals and Dickinson’s defeated-sounding vocals. Delicate, reflective guitar tones help carry the emotional pull of the track while its chorus is explosive and unexpected.
For all of these reasons, I believe “Wasting Love” is one of Iron Maiden’s best songs of all time. It has the huge choruses you’d expect from the iconic outfit, but also a delicate, heartfelt ballad that is full of emotion and depth.
Justin is an audio engineer with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for engineering when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10. Justin has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and now works as a freelance engineer out of Boston, MA.