"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."
— Music Radar, "10 reasons why Iron Maiden deserved their Brit Award"
- The band takes its name from the movie The Man in the Iron Mask.
- Bruce Dickinson's original stage name was "Bruce Bruce", a nod towards Monty Python.
- The coverart for the "Running Free" single has stencils of bands such as Scorpions, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin. There's also the word "Hammers", referencing West Ham United, Steve's favourite football/soccer team.
- "The Phantom of the Opera".
- "The Ides of March" is an interpretation of Samson's "Thunderburst".
- "Murders in the Rue Morgue", towards Edgar Allan Poe's work of the same name.
The Number of the Beast
- "Invaders" is about the viking invasions of Britain.
- "Children of the Damned", towards both the eponymous film and Village of the Damned (1960), as well as Ronnie James Dio-era Black Sabbath song "Children of the Sea".
- "The Prisoner", towards the eponymous series.
- The spoken intro of the song is taken from the second chapter, "The Chime of Big Ben".
- 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".
- "Run to the Hills" is about various Native American massacres, with "Cree" being name-dropped. The videoclip features images from various films.
Piece of Mind
- The quote at the back of the album is taken from Revelation 21:4.
- "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" 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 cover of the album has two paintings disguised as hieroglyphs, "Indiana Jones was here in 1941" and "Mickey Mouse".
- "Aces High" is inspired by the Battle of Britain, the first battle fought in the air in its entirety.
"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!"
- The live versions from both Live After Death and Flight 666 and the video of the song start with Winston Churchill's WWII speech.
- "2 Minutes to Midnight" is inspired by the Doomsday Clock.
- "The Duelists" 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 (already covered in the Main page), and a bunch of other science fiction:
- There's a TARDIS near the Rainbow Club billboard.
- "Isaac Asimov's Foundation"
- "West Ham 7 Arsenal 3" is a football/soccer match score. Steve Harris is a confessed fan of West Ham United, and the team itself is also known as "The Irons". Another reference is "Upton Park", their stadium.
- The Philip K. Dick cinema is playing Blade Runner. Also, right out of the pyramids, there's Tyrell Corp.
- "Bradbury Hotels International" is a reference to Ray Bradbury.
- Under the billboard of Tehe's Bar there's Batman.
- 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.
- The cover-art of the single has Eddie appearing as the "Man with No Name", with hints from Deckard.
- "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 its title from a quote from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". Bruce cites the quote in the Rock in Rio version of the song."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
- "The Fugitive" is inspired by the eponymous movie.
- In the same vein as "Stranger...", "Childhood's End" takes it's name from (but it's not inspired by) Arthur C. Clarke's book of the same name.
The X Factor
- "Sign of the Cross", towards The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.
- "Lord of the Flies" is based on William Golding's novel of 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.
- "When Two Worlds Collide" is based on Philip Wylie's novel When Worlds Collide.
- "The Clansman" is inspired by Braveheart.
- "Como Estais Amigos" talks about The Falklands War.
Brave New World
- "The Wicker Man" has an obvious inspiration, though not as much as Bruce's eponymous song from his solo career which downright tells the story of the movie.
- The Rock in Rio version of the song starts with Jerry Goldsmith's "Arthurs Farewell", from the film First Knight.
- Both the album and the eponymous song are inspired by the book of the same name by Aldous Huxley.
- "Out of the Silent Planet" was primarily influenced by Forbidden Planet, while it got named after the eponymous science fiction novel.
- While it was never stated by the band itself, "The Mercenary" has so many coincidences with Predator that it's hard not to think of it as an homage.
- "The Nomad" is one to Lawrence of Arabia.
Dance of Death
- "Montsegur" is about the fall of the Cathar stronghold of the same name, which fell during the Albigensian Crusade in 1244.
- "Dance of Death" was inspired by the final scene of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal.
- "Paschendale" is about the Battle of Passchendaele, which took place during World War I.
- In live performances (such as Death on the Road), there's a spoken introduction with a passage from Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" before the song.
A Matter of Life and Death
- "Different World" is stated to be an homage to Thin Lizzy, due to the low sounding melodies sung by Bruce, reminiscent of those Phil Lynott would sing.
- "Brighter than a Thousand Suns" is about The Manhattan Project.
- "The Longest Day" is about the Allied landings at Normandy on D-Day.
The Final Frontier
- "Isle of Avalon" takes some inspiration from the King Arthur myth.
- "When the Wild Wind Blows" is based off the darkly comedic (and later on just dark) graphic novel When the Wind Blows.
The Book of Souls
- The video for "Speed of Light" has shout outs to several video games, namely Donkey Kong, Contra, Mortal Kombat, and Halo.
- "Death or Glory" talks about the Red Baron, the most famous pilot from World War I.
- "The Red and the Black" is based on the eponymous book.
- "Empire of the Clouds" is based on the R101 Airship disaster.