This is British heavy metal act Iron Maiden's thirty-sixth single and their first release from the band's fifteenth studio album, The Final Frontier. At 76 minutes and 35 seconds, it is Iron Maiden's longest studio record to date.
The track features the boys' own lyrics about the legendary "Lost City of Gold" supposedly located in the Andes - El Dorado being Spanish for "the golden one." Frontman Bruce Dickinson explained the meaning of the song to Kerrang! June 9, 2010; "[El Dorado] has a cynical lyric about the economic crap that's been happening. It seemed a bit like a perfect storm; people were borrowing money like crazy. I thought, 'This is really going to screw people up' and sure enough, we're all in deep doo-doo! And that's what El Dorado is about, it's about selling somebody the myth that 'The streets are paved with gold' and them asking, 'Where do I sign up?'"
Iron Maiden allowed fans to download the song free as an MP3 from their website. However, at their Final Frontier gig in Concord, California Dickinson said the song is only worth listening to live or on CD. The singer blamed Apple boss Steve Jobs and Google for the situation. He told the fans: "The problem is that when you listen to it on tiny little headphones, propelled by a battery, on a device made by Steve Jobs and Google, it sounds like s--t. But the song itself doesn't sound like s--t when you listen to it in the studio or when you buy the CD - it sounds f--king awesome. So we're going to play it for you and it's going to sound great."
The single's cover art was created by Anthony Dry and is based on the covers of the EC comics published by William Gaines that were popular in the 1950's.
Some chart facts re The Final Frontier: It was Iron Maiden's fourth #1 UK album and their first one to reach the summit for eighteen years. Their previous chart-topper was Fear of the Dark back in May 1992. The record also reached #1 in 20 other countries - Arabia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Final Frontier's #4 debut on the Billboard album chart, was the veteran rock band's highest ever chart position in the US.
Iron Maiden won their first ever Grammy 36 years after bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris formed the band. Having been nominated for awards twice before, the British sextet finally won the 2011 Best Metal Performance Grammy for this single.
Steve Harris told the Miami New Times
that he thought their Grammy win for "El Dorado" was less deserving than some other Maiden nominations. He argued that the band's three other songs that had been nominated - "Fear Of The Dark
," "The Wicker Man
" and "Blood Brothers
" - were better.
"To be honest with you, I think we ended up getting it for a song which I thought was not one of our best ones," he said. "I didn't think we really deserved it for that one, but maybe one of the others. So it was a bit off, really."