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The Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden

Album: Iron MaidenReleased: 1980
  • Running 7:22, this song was inspired by the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux which was later turned into a popular musical adaptation for the stage and screen.
  • Bass player Steve Harris, who wrote this song, explained: "This is a very long song that was done in sections. The middle part was totally separate but it fit in very well. It felt right to go from the slow part into the middle section. Phantom is one of the best pieces I've ever written, and certainly one of the most enjoyable to play. It's got all these intricate guitar lines which keep it interesting. Then there's the slow middle part which creates quite a good mood. It's also got fast heavy parts which are really rockin'. And it's also got areas for crowd participation. It pretty much covers all the bases for the band. It was also a good example of what I wanted to get across."
  • Derek Riggs, yet again, hid his logo (his stylized initials) into some Maiden cover art. In this case, it's depicted clearly near the bottom of the stone in which the organ is imbedded, directly across from the Phantom Eddie's ankle/knee. Eddie is Iron Maiden's mascot.
  • On the back of the Somewhere in Time album, there is a "Phantom Opera House."
  • New Eden covered this for the 1998 compilation A Call to Irons: A Tribute to Iron Maiden.
  • In the Iron Maiden computer game Ed Hunter, this plays during Level 1, London. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above
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Comments: 16

For Ian, the song by Andrew Lloyd Webber was written in 1986, six years after this one.Caitlin - Colmesneil, Tx
I discovered something creepy about this song: when you rip it from CD onto a computer using Windows Media Player, the original studio version comes out as a Windows Media Audio file with a file size of 6.66 megabytes, and it is the only pre-NOTB Maiden song to directly mention the devil in the lyrics. Spooky...Caitlin - Colmesneil, Tx
Pretty-much the first song I ever learned to play on lead guitar and, coincidentally, pretty-much the last song I played live with my old band on bass guitar. (Technically the actual last song we played at that last gig was Freebird - we always finished with that!)Emarkm - Cheshire, United Kingdom
I first saw the sheet music for it before I listen to the song and still can't beleave that anyone can play guitar and bass at over 225+ beats per minute! oh love this song too!V-starr - ??????, Mi
One of Maiden's best songs! :)Donna - Hunsel, Netherlands
The first time I heard this song, I was blown away, thinking, "how can anyone play that on the bass, or guitar on that note?"Eddie - Timbuktu, Kazakhstan
This is the best early Maiden song to me...time changes, awesome solos from all guitars involved...this should've been in the 2005 movie (or at least the badly received Robert Englund version) along with the Webber stuff. That would've been cool!Ringgo - Montclair, Ca
This is easily one of Maidens best songs, along with Prowler and Wrathchild i think it really shows that the band was in full gear even before Bruce Dickenson. Sadly to Anthony's comment,"second to none in guitar, bass and drum playing." I have to say that they arn't the best guitar players in the world. They could easily have the best Drummer, one of the best Bassists, but as far as the guitar goes they are good but they arn't the best. The thing that makes them stick out though is the level of thier writing, it makes the good guitar players seem awsome. Im not trying to detract from maiden, dont get me wrong, they are easily my favorit band but i have to be honest with you guys. If you compare the guitar playing to say, the guys in Dream Theater, its a no contest. Anyways i hate to be the critic, sorry to rain on the party. Keep those heads banging. UP THE IRONS!Matt - Calgary, Canada
Another classic...I too, NEVER EVER get tired of listening to it. As a matter of fact, most Maiden songs are as freaking fresh as the first time I listened. Truly the best band...thought provoking lyrics and really, second to none in guitar, bass and drum playing. They got it all!Anthony - Parsippany, Nj
Maiden rules!.....they'll never ever get musical credit from the likes of the webbers of the world who have made a career out of being exhaulted by stuffy critics who work for the mainstream media and producers. Disney tunes for musicaly challenged elitists who say"Webber" like it lends credit to their tastes. By the way, how is it that every movie that comes out buries the name of the original author to the story?Judas - Brisbane, Australia
Phantom Of The Opera is one of the all time great songs by this band. There are so many time changes that it dosn't get boring. The song is almost an instrumental as it has only around a minute of vocals at the begining and a minute at the end. UP THE IRONS.Steven - Penzance, England
I just went to an iron maiden concert and this song is the best song when they played it and it is one of the greatest songs ever created.Josh - Thornhill, Canada
I think it's sort of funny that the song by Andrew Lloyd Webber and iron Maiden have the same title. That'd be pretty funny if either song was inspired by the ohter's work. I can't see iron Maiden listening to 'Fantom Of the Opera," but who knows, and vice versa.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
i personally think this song has one of the best solos ever written! i never get tired of listening to it :) its so rich and got lots of intricate detail

wow simply stunning

i think this is thier best song
(including lost of others lol)
Chris - Gzira, Europe
The fast instrumental break in the middle was used as the backing music in TV adverts for Lucozade, a sports energy drink. The adverts also featured Daley Thompson, at the a time a recent winner of the Olympic gold in the decathlon.Iain - Newcastle, United States
If i am not mistaken, the "musical adaptation" written by Andrew Lloyd Webber that Brett reffered to was actually made in the mid or late '80s, long after this amazing song had ever been concieved of. Therefore, it would make more sense if Webber would have been inspired by Iron Maiden's work rather than Iron Maiden being influenced by Webber (which I doubt is the story anyways).

UP THE IRONS!
Ian - San Marino, Ca
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