Aces High (song)
|Single by Iron Maiden|
|from the album Powerslave|
|B-side||"King of Twilight"
"The Number of the Beast" (live)
|Released||22 October 1984|
|Iron Maiden singles chronology|
"Aces High" is a song by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, written by bassist Steve Harris. It is Iron Maiden's eleventh single and the second from the 1984 studio album Powerslave. The song tells the story of a British RAF pilot fighting against the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain (1940), the first battle to be completely fought by aircraft.
Aces High is one of Iron Maiden's most popular songs, and has been covered numerous times, by bands including Arch Enemy and Children of Bodom. It was released as a single over a month after Powerslave came out. It was featured on the video game Madden NFL 10 as part of the game's soundtrack and on the MTV show Nitro Circus, it also features in Steve Peat's segment on the mountain bike film on New World Disorder III. Colin Mckay used it on his part of the skate video Plan B Questionable as well.
When performed live - as seen in among others, Live After Death and Iron Maiden: Flight 666 - it is usually preceded by Winston Churchill's famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech with the sound of planes in the background. Churchill's speech was also added into the beginning of the song's official music video.
The first B-side is a cover of Nektar's "King of Twilight", from their 1972 album A Tab in the Ocean. Their cover is actually a medley of the songs "Crying in the Dark" and "King of Twilight", the last two songs on the album.
- "Aces High" (Steve Harris) - 4:31
- "King of Twilight" (Nektar cover) - 4:54
- "The Number of the Beast" (live in Dortmund - 18 December 1983) (Harris) - 5:07 (12" only)
Japan and Brazil 12"
- A1 - "Aces High" (Steve Harris) - 4:31
- A2 - "The Number of the Beast" (live in Dortmund - 18 December 1983) (Harris) - 5:07
- B1 - "King of Twilight" (Nektar Cover) - 4:54
- B2 - "Rainbow's Gold" (Beckett cover; Terry Slesser, Kenny Mountain) - 4:57
- B3 - "Cross-Eyed Mary" (Jethro Tull Cover) - 3:55 
- Iron Maiden
- Bruce Dickinson - vocals
- Dave Murray - guitar
- Adrian Smith - guitar
- Steve Harris - bass guitar
- Nicko McBrain - drums
- A version recorded in the summer of 1996 by Arch Enemy was – as guitarist Michael Amott observed in the liner notes to Wages of Sin (on which the cut reappears) – "released on the Japanese Iron Maiden tribute album Made In Tribute. This one turned out really intense, and was easily one of the better songs on a really terrible collection of Iron Maiden cover versions."
- It was covered in 2005 by Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen), Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Niacin), and Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) – drums on the tribute album Numbers from the Beast.
- It was covered in 2005 by Scott Lavender on the album The Piano Tribute to Iron Maiden.
- It was covered in 2006 by Concord Dawn (featuring State of Mind) on the album Chaos by Design.
- It was covered in 2006 by The Iron Maidens on the album The Iron Maidens
- It was covered in 2008 by Children of Bodom on the album Skeletons in the Closet.
- It was covered in 2011 by Reinxeed on the album 1912
- It was covered in 2013 by Thomas Zwijsen on the album Nylon Maiden
|"Aces High"||Irish Singles Chart||29||Powerslave|
|UK Singles Chart||20|
|"2 Minutes to Midnight / Aces High"||UK Albums Chart[note 1]||11||—|
- Re-release of both singles as part of The First Ten Years box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.
- 92 Squadron - Geoffrey Wellum, RAF website
- "2 Minutes To Midnight". Retrieved 05/04/2012.
- "The Trooper". Retrieved 05/04/2012.
- "Aces High". Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- Iron Maiden (22 October 1984). "Single credits". 'Aces High' 7 Inch Single Cover. EMI.
- Iron Maiden (22 October 1984). "Single credits". 'Aces High' 12 Inch Single Cover. EMI.
- Numbers From The Beast Last.FM entry
- Scott Lavender - Aces High Last.FM entry
- Concord Dawn - Aces High Discography
- The Iron Maidens Last.FM entry
- Children of Bodom - Aces High Last.FM entry
- "Irish Singles". IRMA. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 10 November 1984". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 31 March 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2011.