Shout Out: Iron Maiden
"Heavy metal has a reputation as being music for idiots. That's not just unfair, it's also completely inaccurate – and nobody proves it more than Maiden. They are metal's most bookish band."
- The band takes it's name from the movie "The Man In The Iron Mask".
- Bruce Dickinson's original stagename was "Bruce Bruce", a nod towards Monty Python.
- "Murders In The Rue Morgue", towards Edgar Allan Poe's work of the same name.
The Number of the Beast
- "Children Of The Damned", towards both the eponymous film and Village of the Damned, as well as Ronnie James Dio-era Black Sabbath song "Children of the Sea".
- "The Prisoner", towards the eponymous series. It's rumoured that Patrick McGoohan himself, when the band asked for permission to use lines from the show, said "What was the band's name again?...a rock band, you say?...do it!". Picture those words in your mind along with that trademark cadence to Patrick McGoohan's voice and you're spot on.
- The eponymous track is inspired by a nightmare bassist Steve Harris had after watching the film Damien: Omen II. According to him, the lyrics were also influenced by Robert Burns' "Tam O' Shanter".
- The spoken introduction by Barry Clayton was King James' Version of "Revelation 12:12" and "Revelation 13:18".
- Dickinson's scream seems to be inspired by Roger Daltrey's scream at the middle of "Won't Get Fooled Again".
- "Run To The Hills" is about the native-american massacre. The videoclip features images from various films.
Piece of Mind
- "Where Eagles Dare" is inspired in the eponymous film and book.
- "Revelations" includes references to the British hymn, the writer G. K. Chesterton, and Aleister Crowley.
- "Flight of Icarus", towards The Metamorphoses.
- "The Trooper" is about the poem "The Charge Of The Light Brigade" by Lord Alfred Tennyson, which is in turn about the Crimean War.
- "Quest For Fire" is inspired by the eponymous film by Jean Jacques Annaud.
- "Still Life"it is inspired by Ramsey Campbell's "The Inhabitant of The Lake."
- Nicko's hidden backwards rant in the beginning of the song is taken from the satirical album "The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin" by Bird and Alan Coren.
- "Sun And Steel" is about legendary Japanese Swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Several passages of the song also references Musashi's book "A Book Of Five Rings."
- "To Tame A Land", towards Dune. It's a shame Frank Herbert wasn't quite so accommodating regarding Dune - the song had to be renamed To Tame A Land. This lack of accomodation was "mentioned" by Bruce in the 1983 World Piece Tour:
Next song is all about a gentleman who wrote a science-fiction book called Dune(...). He's an American called Mr. Frank Herbert, this particular gentleman, alright? And Mr. Herbert, as it turns out, is a bit of a cunt actually, because he... among other things he said that if we called this track that we wrote on the album "Dune", that he'd sue us and stop the album coming out, and all kinds of very unpleasant things... So we had to re-title the track which is on the new album, and we had to call it To Tame A Land.
- "The Duellists" is inspired by Ridley Scott's movie of the same name.
- "Back In The Village", towards The Prisoner.
- "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem of the same name. Two passages from excerpts 1815-16 are quoted directly in the song.
Somewhere In Time
- The cover art of the album references a lot of Maiden's stuff, and a bunch of other science fiction. You can see a TARDIS and "Isaac Asimov's Foundation" in the background, amongst others.
- The B-side of the "Wasted Years" single, "The Sheriff of Huddersfield", contains the line "We're on a mission from Rob".
- "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" takes its title from the book by the same title by Robert Heinlein. It's also based on the Alan Sillitoe short story.
- "Stranger In A Strange Land" takes its name from (but it's not inspired by) Robert A. Heinlein's eponymous work.
- "Alexander The Great" talks about the eponymous conqueror.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
- The album is based on Orson Scott Card's book Seventh Son.
- "Moonchild" references Aleister Crowley's works "Liber Samekh".
- "The Evil That Men Do" takes it's title from a quote from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"
"The evil that men do lives on after them, But the good is oft interred with their bones".
No Prayer For The Dying
- "Run Silent Run Deep" is inspired by the movie of the same name.
- "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter" is loosely based on the poem "To Coy His Mistress."
- "Hooks In You" has the line "stone cold sober," from the song "Cold Sweat," by Thin Lizzy.
Fear of the Dark
- In the same vein as "Stranger...", "Childhood's End" takes it's name from (but it's not inspired by) Arthur Clarke's book of the same name.
- "The Fugitive"
The X Factor
- "Sign of the Cross", towards The Name of the Rose by Humberto Eco.
- "Lord Of The Flies" is based on William Golding's novel by the same name.
- "Man On The Edge", towards Falling Down. The movie's even name-dropped in the chorus.
- "The Edge of Darkness", towards Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which in turn inspired Apocalypse Now.
- "The Clansman" is inspired by Braveheart.
- "Como Estais Amigos" talks about The Falklands War.
- "When Two Worlds Collide" is based on Philip Wylie's novel When Worlds Collide.
Brave New World
- "The Wicker Man"
- Both the album and the eponymous song are inspired by the book of the same name by Aldous Huxley.
- "The Mercenary"
Dance of Death
- "Paschendale", about World War I.
A Matter of Life And Death
- "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" is about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- "The Longest Day" is about the Allied landings at Normandy on D-Day.
The Final Frontier
- "When The Wild Wind Blows" is based off the darkly comedic graphic novel When the Wind Blows.