Iron Maiden

Soundhouse Tapes

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AllMusic Review by

Reviewing a demo recording may seem like a completely pointless exercise. But when the demo in question is influential enough that the average fan knows it by name, its humble intentions transcend beyond the normal bounds of an imperfect pre-career statement. Such is the case for Iron Maiden's legendary Soundhouse Tapes, which became one of the linchpins of the then-emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal upon its release in November 1979. Recorded nearly a year earlier and named after one of the group's regular early haunts, the rough recordings gave sympathetic DJs clamoring for Iron Maiden material something to spin while the band still waited for a well-deserved record deal to materialize. Containing three early day live favorites ("Iron Maiden," "Invasion," and "Prowler"), the original 7" vinyl's initial 5,000 unit pressing sold out via mail order in less than a week and offered conclusive proof of the band's potential appeal to EMI, which subsequently rewarded them with an impressive five-album deal. The rest, as they say, is history, and while quite impossible to find in its original pressing, occasional re-releases have kept Soundhouse Tapes' legend alive and well over the years. [When Sony Music reissued the entire Iron Maiden catalog (for the third time) in 2002 using a slipcase, mini-LP package, avid fans who purchased six titles were given the chance to remit the stickers inside, along with a check for six dollars and 66 cents (get it?) to receive their very own copy of Soundhouse Tapes on CD.]

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:36
2 2:39
3 3:49
blue highlight denotes track pick