Our list of the best 5 Iron Maiden songs guitarist Adrain Smith had a hand in writing.
The Prisoner -- The Number Of The Beast -- 1982
Steve Harris and Adrian Smith wrote The Prisoner based on the addictive namesake UK television series that ran briefly in the late 1960’s and the song is nothing short of magnificent. From the opening dramatic dialogue through to that monstrous opening riff and on to one of the biggest choruses Iron Maiden have ever produced. Patrick McGoohan gave his personal approval for the band to use his voice, and it’s not hard to imagine why. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with the most exciting young act on the planet?
The Flight Of Icarus -- Piece Of Mind -- 1983
Flight Of Icarus was the first release to feature Nicko McBrain on drums – having replaced Clive Burr the previous year. The song, as the name suggests, is based around the Greek myth of Icarus – the man who attempted to flee Crete on wings made of wax, but flew too close to the sun despite his fathers warning. Iron Maiden finally reinstated the song into their setlist on 2018’s Legacy Of The Beast tour.
The Flight Of Icarus was the first Iron Maiden single to be released in the United States, becoming one of the bands very few songs to gain substantial radio airplay.
Stranger In A Strange Land -- Somewhere In Time -- 1986
The idea for Stranger In A Strange Land actually sprang from Adrian Smith having a lunchtime conversation with an explorer who’d discovered a frozen body.
Stranger In A Strange Land was not the same Iron Maiden sound we had all grown accustomed to, incorporating guitar synthesizers was a risk but Maiden truly pulled it off.
“We went for a new kind of sound on Somewhere In Time, using guitar synths, and two of my songs for that album came out really well, Stranger In A Strange Land and Wasted Years,” -- Adrian Smith
Wasted Years -- Somewhere In Time -- 1986
Wasted Years truly pushed Iron Maiden into uncharted territory, while still satisfying people’s expectations of the band.
“Well, Steve constantly surprises me. The first time Wasted Years I was messing around with a little four-track and I’d just put that riff down. I was playing Steve some other stuff and I played it to him by accident and he said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘You probably won’t like this as it’s so commercial,’ but he really liked it and insisted we do it.
So something you’d think he wouldn’t want to do, he does. But I do like to sit down and visualize us doing different things. Obviously, we can’t do anything too drastic, but whatever works, really.” -- Adrian Smith
The Wicker Man -- Brave New World -- 2000
Adrian Smith, Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson all had a hand in writing The Wicker Man and Nicko McBrain certainly provided the groove, highlighting his unique approach to drumming and giving the hard edges track an almost Latin flavor. The entire Brave New World album, like Piece Of Mind, is an absolute masterpiece start to finish.