Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden album)

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Fear of the Dark
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 11 May 1992
Recorded 1991 – April 1992 at Barnyard Studios, Essex, England
Genre Heavy metal
Length 58:29
Language English
Label EMI
Epic (US)
Producer Martin Birch, Steve Harris
Iron Maiden chronology
No Prayer for the Dying
(1990)
Fear of the Dark
(1992)
The X Factor
(1995)
Singles from Fear of the Dark
  1. "Be Quick or Be Dead"
    Released: 13 April 1992
  2. "From Here to Eternity"
    Released: 29 June 1992
  3. "Wasting Love"
    Released: September 1992
  4. "Fear of the Dark (Live)"
    Released: 1 March 1993

Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album released by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Released on 11 May 1992, it was their third studio release to top the UK albums chart and last to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead vocalist until his return in 1999.

It was the first album to be produced by Steve Harris, and last to feature Martin Birch (who retired after its release).

History[edit]

The Fear of the Dark album cover was the band's first not to be designed by artist Derek Riggs, whose contributions were rejected in favour of Melvyn Grant's.[1] According to Iron Maiden's manager, Rod Smallwood, the band began accepting contributions from other artists as "We wanted to upgrade Eddie for the 90s. We wanted to take him from the sort of comic-book horror creature and turn him into something a bit more straightforward so that he became even more threatening."[1] Melvyn Grant has since drawn several more covers for Iron Maiden, making him the band's second most-frequent artist after Riggs.

After recording its predecessor (1990's No Prayer for the Dying) in a barn on Steve Harris' property with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, leading to negative results, for this album Harris had the building converted into a proper studio (christened "Barnyard").[2] Bruce Dickinson describes the results as "a slight improvement because Martin [Birch] came in and supervised the sound. But there were big limitations on that studio – simply because of its physical size, things like that. [It] actually ended up not too bad, but, you know, a little bit under par."[3]

The album's musical style showed some experimentation with "Be Quick or Be Dead", a fast tempo song released as the album's first single,[4] and "Wasting Love", the group's sole power ballad,[5] which dates back to Dickinson's first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire.[6] Both songs were Dickinson/Gers collaborations, which contrast with Harris' "Afraid to Shoot Strangers," a political song from the point of view of a soldier in the Gulf War,[1] Dickinson would often introduce the song as an anti-war narrative.[7] "Fear Is the key" is about the fear in sexual relationships because of AIDS. The song was written around the time when the band learned about the death of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. Dickinson affirmed: «There's a line in 'Fear Is the Key' that goes: "nobody cares 'til somebody famous dies". And that's quite sadly true. [...] As long as the virus was confined to homosexuals or drug-addicts, nobody gave a shit. It's only when celebrities started to die that the masses began to feel concerned».[8] "Weekend Warrior" is about football and the violence that plagues it.[8]

Only two of the album's songs, the title track and "Afraid to Shoot Strangers", would survive on tours past 1993. "Fear of the Dark" has been on the set list of every subsequent tour except 2005,[4] in which the band only played songs from their first 4 albums,[9] and was the only song played on the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and the Maiden England World Tour (other than "Afraid to Shoot Strangers") which was not from the 1980s. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" became a frequent addition on setlists during Blaze Bayley's tenure with Iron Maiden, following which it returned in 2012.[10]

"Be Quick or Be Dead", "From Here to Eternity", "Wasting Love" and a live version of the title track were released as singles.

Fear of the Dark Tour was the tour supporting the album.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[4]
Billboard favourable[11]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5[5]

Reviews for the album were mixed, with AllMusic commenting that, while "easily an improvement over 1990's lackluster No Prayer for the Dying (both musically and sonically)," the release "still wasn't quite on par with their exceptional work from the '80s."[4] Sputnikmusic were more positive about the release, stating that "though many of the songs are still sub-par by their standards... the band returns to the lofty heights that they enjoyed for the entirety of the 80's."[5] Billboard had a positive reception upon release, saying Dickinson's voice "shows no sign of wear and tear" and the guitar work "sounds fresh and crisp".[11]

In October 2011, Fear of the Dark was ranked No. 8 on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[12]

Fear of the Dark became the third Iron Maiden album to top the UK Albums Chart.[13] It is the band's most successful record in North America after the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1991, with 438,000 copies sold as of 2008.[14]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Be Quick or Be Dead"   Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers 3:24
2. "From Here to Eternity"   Steve Harris 3:38
3. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers"   Harris 6:56
4. "Fear Is the Key"   Dickinson, Gers 5:35
5. "Childhood's End"   Harris 4:40
6. "Wasting Love"   Dickinson, Gers 5:50
7. "The Fugitive"   Harris 4:54
8. "Chains of Misery"   Dickinson, Dave Murray 3:37
9. "The Apparition"   Harris, Gers 3:54
10. "Judas Be My Guide"   Dickinson, Murray 3:08
11. "Weekend Warrior"   Harris, Gers 5:39
12. "Fear of the Dark"   Harris 7:18
Total length:
58:29
  • "Space Station No. 5" contains a hidden track entitled "Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Previously available as a hidden track on the UK Single of "Be Quick or Be Dead")

Personnel[edit]

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[15][16]

Iron Maiden
Additional musicians
  • Michael Kenney – keyboards
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[41] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[42] Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 289. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  2. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 316. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  3. ^ Berelian, Essi (June 2000). "The Wicked Man". Classic Rock (15): 36–43. 
  4. ^ a b c d Prato, Greg. Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Stagno, Mike (17 September 2006). "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 290. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  7. ^ James, Darren (2005). "No Sleep". Metal Hammer presents: Iron Maiden 30 Years of Metal Mayhem: 92–93. 
  8. ^ a b "Interview with Bruce Dickinson". ironmaiden-bg.com. June 1992. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Eddie Rips Up The World Tour Begins in Prague; Setlist Revealed". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 29 May 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Alderslade, Merlin (22 June 2012). "First Iron Maiden 'Maiden England' US Tour Setlist Revealed, Rest of World Weeps With Jealousy". Metal Hammer. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Album Reviews: Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Billboard. 30 May 1992. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Grassi, Tony (24 October 2011). "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1992". Guitar World. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Iron Maiden UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Iron Men". Billboard 120 (20): 51. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  15. ^ Iron Maiden (11 May 1992). "Album credits". Fear of the Dark Booklet. EMI. 
  16. ^ Iron Maiden (1998). "Album credits". Fear of the Dark (remastered) Booklet. EMI. 
  17. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". ARIA Charts. australian-charts.com. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  19. ^ musicline.de / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Media Control Charts (in German). musicline.de. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  20. ^ "Archívum › Kereső – lista és dátum szerint" (in Hungarian). Association of Hungarian Record Companies. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "アイアン・メイデンのCDアルバムランキング、アイアン・メイデンのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark (album)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. charts.org.nz. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". VG-lista. norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Sverigetopplistan. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  26. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Swiss Hitparade. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  27. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". IFPI Greece. greekcharts.com. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  29. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Be Quick or Be Dead'". ARIA. australian-charts.com. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  30. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Be Quick or Be Dead'" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Be Quick or Be Dead'". Dutch Top 40. dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  32. ^ musicline.de / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Media Control Charts. musicline.de. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  33. ^ a b c "Irish singles archive". IRMA. irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  34. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Be Quick or Be Dead'". RIANZ. charts.org.nz. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  35. ^ "Iron Maiden discography". VG-lista. Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  36. ^ "Iron Maiden discography". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Be Quick or Be Dead'". Swiss Hitparade. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  38. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 25 April 1992". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  39. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 18 July 1992". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 13 March 1993". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  41. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". Music Canada. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  42. ^ "French album certifications – Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2013.  Enter Fear of the Dark in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
Preceded by
1992 - The Love Album by Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
UK number one album
23–29 May 1992
Succeeded by
Michael Ball by Michael Ball