In the preface, Daniels admits, “This book is by no means the definitive tale of Iron Maiden, but it is not supposed to be… a good starting point for newcomers, and an illustrated archive worthy of the attention of longtime fans.” Over the course of almost 200 pages, he didn’t talk to anyone specifically for this book (hence the unauthorized status), but rather serves as editor/curator, compiling old quotes from books/mags, or have other esteemed authors pen commentaries on various aspects of Maiden history, including the likes of Ian Christie, Martin Popoff and Mick Wall, who each ink an album review or two. All those referenced are acknowledged, over a 10 page appendix. At the end there’s also a lengthy discography and a “Where Are They Now” feature on some of the bigger named ex-members.
Squarely targeted at the completist fans, those who buy anything/everything IRON MAIDEN, including multiple re-issues of the same CDs, and will unwittingly fork over $40 USD for this. Even without having read a Maiden biography, this is a little lightweight: a glorified picturebook. The years ’75 to ’81 are afforded just two dozen, mostly visual, pages. Interestingly, the reviled Blaze Bayley era gets the same amount of space, albeit more word-filled! Minus a single quote (new or old) from any musician involved, two of the biggest albums, Piece Of Mind and Powerslave are handled in one page each: nothing beyond facts of when/where recorded, along with opinions on a couple of standout tracks. The final third of the book is where Daniels hits his stride. Dedicated to the post-2000 reformation with Bruce Dickinson & Adrian Smith, those 60+ pages utilize not only a greater number of quotes (mostly online) but more interest ones, at that.
Arranged chronological, with only cursory info on each musician prior to his involvement with Steve Harris’ brainchild (apart from singer Bruce Dickinson’s upbringing, there’s nothing of a personal nature: no childhood memories nor family data), there’s plenty of stock photos (live and publicity stills), as well as merchandise and Eddie memorabilia. However, many of the captions on photos simply repeat the written text (some quotes are also used more than once), verbatim. If you couldn’t come up with something witty, or at least factual (when/where image came from), would have preferred no explanation at all, rather than the needless duplication.
Scouring old magazine ads, fan club info and other firsthand source materials, painstaking efforts have been undertaken to chart/re-create year-by-year tour itineraries (at least town/country). Each list take up pages, without commentary nor stories about any particular show, while mentioning rumors, discrepancies and myths surrounding canceled or proposed dates, but never substantiating, nor denying their existence. Ah, the path not taken, as there seems to be a story there, or two.