The Essential Iron Maiden is the fourth greatest hits compilation by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on July 5, 2005. Released exclusively in North America, it is part of Sony Music Entertainment's The Essential series. Contrary to other releases from this series, the track listing is presented in reverse-chronological order (i.e., the latest studio-recorded songs appear first).
The Essential Iron Maiden is the band's fourth compilation album, the others being Best Of The Beast (1996), Ed Hunter (1999), and Edward The Great (2002) ndash; incidentally, did you notice how such releases are regularly issued every 3 years? Its actual release date coincided with the start of the North American leg of the 2005 Tour and the album was only distributed in the USA and Canada (although it can be found anywhere else as an import). This is basically a commercial ploy to re-introduce Iron Maiden to the American audience in order to reconquer this market that's been ailing since the late 1980s when Heavy Metal was still e"fashionable0" on that continent.
The older fans, on the other hand, know the score and do not have to be reminded what a great band Iron Maiden is andash; these fans have therefore no need for such a record, as they probably already own all the other releases by the band and The Essential Iron Maiden does not contain anything new with the exception of the live rendition (yet another one!) of 'Iron Maiden' from the upcoming live DVD ndash; all the rest is composed of a couple of songs picked from each studio album (some recorded live) in reverse chronological order.
Well jump to 2005 and metal is still breathing heavily in my veins. In place of all the recycled metal-core acts of today I now am finding myself clutching to the albums that started it all for me. With the release of The Essential Iron Maiden I couldn’t help but get a little excited. Sure there have already been a few releases of this type but I hoped for more to feed my hunger for old unearthed recordings.