Iron Maiden are a heavy metal band from east London, England, formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris, formerly a member of Gypsy's Kiss and Smiler. They are one of the most successful and influential bands in the heavy metal genre, having sold more than 60 million albums world-wide.
Iron Maiden's work has inspired other sub-genres of heavy metal music, including power metal and speed metal and is generally thought of as an influence to any metal music containing dual-guitar harmonization. They are cited as major influences by (amongst others) the thrash metal band Slayer, flamenco-metal band Breed 77, pop-punk band Sum 41 and jam band Umphrey's McGee.
The band's mascot, Eddie, is a perennial fixture in the horror-influenced album cover art, as well as in live shows. Eddie also featured in a first-person shooter video game, Ed Hunter.
Iron Maiden have thus far released 13 studio albums, 3 "best of" compilations, 5 live albums and a limited boxed-set. Touring has slowed down recently, with the band opting to play the larger festivals instead of numerous smaller venues.
The band have been confirmed to headline several major events in 2005, notably Ozzfest alongside Black Sabbath, and are the closing act at this years Reading Festival, where the group last performed in 1982.