This song is about a paranoid man who constantly fears that there's someone or something about to spring out at him from the dark as a result of watching horror films and studying the occult. Themes like this appear on much of Maiden's cover art (see: "Sanctuary," "Women in Uniform," "Iron Maiden," "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" etc.).
The album, which many consider a vast improvement over Maiden's previous album, No Prayer For the Dying, debuted on the UK charts at #1.
Three tracks off the album were released as singles. "Be Quick or Be Dead" charted highest, at #2.
Until Brave New World was released in 2000, this was the last Iron Maiden album to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead vocalist.
The album was Maiden's first that featured cover art not designed by Derek Riggs, but instead by Melvyn Grant. Riggs apparently designed some cover art, but it was rejected in favor of Grant's, so the D/R symbol is nowhere to be found. The cover art is rather popular and depicts a tree spirit called a driad. Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson once attempted to draw it himself.
Nyctophobia is the scientific term for the fear of the dark. It is very frequently seen among infants and many adults.
This song appears in the Iron Maiden computer game Ed Hunter. It plays during Level 4, Graveyard.
Some consider this a sequel to "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Innocent Exile," which also deal with a paranoid and nervous man. In those songs, he was on the run from the law after being falsely accused of murder.
The 1992 "Fear of the Dark" tour included the band headlining at the Monsters of Rock festival thrown at Castle Donnington (for the second time). The concert was recorded and released as the album Iron Maiden Live at Donnington, which since has gone out of print and become very hard to find.
This runs 7:16.
Kerrang! magazine, while interviewing singer Bruce Dickinson, quoted the Iron Maiden biography Run To The Hills, in which Steve Harris professed that Bruce "made very little effort" on the Fear of the Dark Tour. Bruce's response: "I've got my version of events and he's got his. It all comes down to how you see the world. For Steve, Maiden's more important than anything. To me, there are some things that are more important than the band I'm in. I didn't know it was going to be that much of a big deal when I left, but as soon as I walked out onstage and looked at the audience I thought 'Sh**! If I run around grinning like a fool, the audience is going to think, "What a wanker! If he's so happy, why is he leaving?".' And if I wander around looking miserable as sin, they'll wonder why they paid £20 for a ticket to see this tosser. I was stuffed. Some nights the audience was hostile. It was like doing a gig at a wake! Some nights I enjoyed it, but on others I was thinking, 'I wish I wasn't here!'. The moment I left Maiden I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't do anything that I didn't believe in ever again. Steve and myself always used to clash. He wanted to fire me after the first month of the 'Number Of The Beast' tour - because I kept getting in his way onstage! I had an extra six inches added to the base of my microphone stand so I could trip the bastard up! I got fed up of him standing in front of me when I was singing. I got all these chips in my teeth where he used to elbow me. After a gig in Newcastle in '82 we were going to go outside, sleeves rolled up. But we learned to live with each other. And if Steve hadn't had that personality, Maiden would never have existed."
Because many fans had scorned No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark as inferior Maiden albums, Bruce Dickinson was asked in an interview: "I assume you're much happier now than in the last few albums from Iron Maiden?" His response: "Oh, I'm not going to go anywhere and start making comments on Maiden and stuff. There's too much respect between the guys in Maiden and me and me and the guys in Maiden. I don't go there." He did, however, admit that he tried to do a different sound in his solo albums and was pleased with the result.
Suggestion credit: Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above
Grace from ArkhamI always think of this song whenever I play Fatal Frame. In fact, it's the first game video I did. If anyone's interested I can post the link.
Matt from UsaIron Maiden's most famous epic is "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", based on the poem of the same name by Coleridge. This song paraphrases Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The stanza in the poem is: "Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows, a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread."
While in the song, the lyrics are: "Have you ever been alone at night Thought you heard footsteps behind And turned around and no-one's there? And as you quicken up your pace You find it hard to look again Because you're sure there's someone there."
Kieran from Brisbane, AustraliaThis main riff in this sounds a lot like Breaking the Law.
Anthony from Parsippany, NjGood tune, no doubt. However, as much as I hate to say this, on a Maiden Tribute album, the version with Dio's old guitar player (Craig Goldie I think) and MotorHead's drummer....is the best. Check it out, Maiden Heads...see if I'm a dick or not.....
Andy from Taunton, MaThere is not much that beats this song played live, with a great Iron Maiden crowd in the background.
John from Chicago, IlWow this is really weird, because of Bruce's accent it sounds like he is saying "fear of the duck" Anatadaephobia is the fear/phobia that a duck is watching you. "fear of the duck, i have a phobia that someone's always there." dont think it was meant to be that, but whatever
Callum from Alton , United KingdomThis has got to be the best song ever
Terza from Novi Sad, YugoslaviaThis song is very similar to Achilles Last Stand form Led Zeppelin(Presence(1976))... Listen this song from 6:21 until the end and you will hear what i am talking about...
Patient X from Columbia, ScI used to suffer from a similar disorder. Still do to an extint. Meds help but sometimes I go off my meds, crank up this song, and just rock out.
Jaymz from Ayr, ScotlandAs some said below this song is about someone that suffers from a fear of the dark, and how they get paranoid when the lights are out. Stephen King suffers from it. Funny that, what with him being a horror writer and all.
Jordan from Bridgewater Nh, Nhthis song is insane and i dnt care if your a im fan or not you have to say im's version of the song kicks the crp out of any other bands!!!!!!
Ozzy from Fresno, Cathe guitar in this makes my life flash b4 my eyes... o and sorry but iron maiden aint me fav band either, but theyre still awesome. i like the beatles and zeppelin...-.-"
Josh from Los Angeles, CaIRON MAIDEN! i love these guys. my dad got me into them when i was 6. theyll always b my favorite band.
Vivek from Delhi, IndiaWhatta song, I cant get enough of it. I really like the first slow vocal part, pure crystallized paranoia.
And the cover art is probably the best of all maiden covers.
Evan from Otway, OhThis is one of my favorite Maiden songs, although I like Hallowed Be Thy Name better...I don't know...when I listen to Hallowed or Fear of the Dark, well, they remind me of each other. Still....they need to put some Maiden on Guitar Hero!
Joel from Columbia, ScGood song for a horror flick. Not much of a maiden fan but what the heck. Love these post thingies.
John from Sandy, UtI play this song often as a closer with my band and we do it just like the "Rock in Rio" version. I love it when the audience totally gets into it and interacts with the song. -John Wayne Yelland, UT
Devon from Westerville, Ohthe live version is better than the studio version.
Will from Near Dunedin, New ZealandMint song, our band covered it for our school prizegiving, and Andrew (lead guitarsit) did a real good job) it was mint.
Tim from Charlotte, NcActually this song was covered by Graveworm, not Cradle of Filth. A lot of people get that confused.. however Cradle of Filth did an incredible remake of Hallowed be thy Name(Shallow be thy Grave)
Stefan from Butler, PaIf your into black metal, Cradle of Filth did an awesome cover of this song...not as good as the original, but a very good take on the song...
Apoorv from Bhopal, IndiaOffffff the hook.no words at all harris ..... U R JUST GREAT
Billy from Otway, OhI Think Of Werewolves When I Hear This. HHHHOOOOWWWWLLLL!!!!!!!
Dave from London, EnglandCody, Listen to it from the Live At Donnington album. Not as many people there, I know, but much better audience mikes, you can hear them really give it up... Maiden's best ever song though would have to be either Hallow'd Be Thy Name or the monumentous Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.....
Up The Irons!!!!
Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadathis is a good song=|
Ben from Chinatown, Hong Kongeasily one of maiden's best songs. The solo's kinda odd though. The entire song is in the key of D minor, but during the second part of the solo (when dave's doing his part) it changes to F# minor... somehow it worked though and sounds way more badass, so if any music theory buff wants to help how this works plz tell!
Raymond from Palapye, Otheri have the feeling that something is always there.i have a constant feeling that something is always there.Big up to the iron boys.
Hildur from Reykjavik, IcelandI love this song! It's so great.
Travis from Minneaplouis, MnFEAR OF THE DARK, definely one of maiden's best songs EVER, but also their most overrated and all the wannabe maiden fans/metalheads listen to it's sad that when you talk to them and you say a maiden CLASSIC like BACK IN THE VILLAGE, SUN AND STEEL, PROWLER, KILLERS etc. they look at you like your from another planet
Cody from Houston, AkNE1 go to the Rock In Rio concert? Iron Maiden was sooooooo awesome. they have got to be the best heavy maetal band ever... period. Tis my favorite song, especcially on the Rock in Rio album. i noticed that the screaming audience in the background really added to the effect. I've compared the regular studio version to the concert version. The difference the audience makes is almost surreal.
Ryan from Lancashire, EnglandThis Is A Killer song live!