Every one knows Eddie, Iron Maiden's lovable and seemingly un-killable zombie mascot. After all, he's graced every one of the group's studio album covers in a series of ever-more bizarre forms. But can you remember them all? ...
Eddie, or 'Edward the Head,' his proper name, was designed by artist Derek Riggs based on a mask the members of Iron Maiden had been given for an art-student friend. Here we meet young Ed in a simple street setting. Other than some skin issues, he seems like a normal, likeable fellow…
…Oh no, we spoke too soon! The cover and title of Iron Maiden's second album reveals that our boy Eddie is up to no good. This is the second cover reportedly taken from a previously finished Riggs painting. He would go on to do new work for the band's album covers for the next 10 years.
'The Number of the Beast'
Well, now we see where dear, impressionable young Eddie is getting all these bad ideas! Just look at the friend he's chosen to run with -- the devil himself! Actually things look even worse now. Look at who's on top, pulling invisible strings like a puppeteer -- it seems like Eddie's the bad influence on Lucifer's shoulder now.
Skip ahead a couple of years, and one encounter with the Devil himself on 1982's 'The Number of the Beast,' and it seems Eddie's been locked up in a padded cell for his crimes. Not only that, from the looks of that screw bolted to his now bald skull, they tried to scoop out the evil inside his brain!
Meanwhile, in another time, possibly another dimension, an Egyptian-type culture prepares to bury a seemingly deceased Eddie in a pyramid truly worthy of the mascot king of heavy metal. Is this the past or the future we're seeing?
Alas, you can't kill what's already dead, as a bolt of lightning from the sky has given our hero new life! Eddie rises, looking pretty ticked off, from what now seems like a very ordinary cemetery. (Presumably, they put a clone in the pyramid, to prevent grave-robbing.)
Ah-ha! Eddie has a time machine — that's how he can be in any era and place at any time. It's so obvious, we should have realized it all along. Here he is as a cyber-enhanced assassin, making up for lost killing opportunities by blowing away some lesser robot drone.
'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'
It appears possible that future gunslinger Eddie met more than his match in a battle, judging from his lack of legs or lower torso, on the cover of 1988's keyboard-heavy 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' album cover. Luckily, he's got a plan for eternal life literally in hand. We can't see through the bag, but we're guessing that's an Eddie, Jr., possibly one of many, ready to break out into the world.
Proving once again, terrifyingly, that he can be anywhere at any time, Eddie ruins whatever small measure of safety we felt among the bears and wolves on our already infrequent camping trips in the woods by emerging from a tree, ready to strike. Way to validate our childhood fears! Anybody want to buy a barely-used tent and backpack?
For the first time ever, Eddie looks to be in real danger on the cover to 'The X Factor,' the first album following the (temporary) departure of lead singer Bruce Dickinson. Could his disembowelment symbolize the trouble the band was in? More importantly, what manner of creature or force was able to get Eddie in such a helpless state?
Think nude pictures of over or underweight celebrities or foreign-banker scams are the worst thing that can happen to you on this new-fangled internet thingamabob? Well, Eddie's here to warn you about the real stranger-danger that's lurking, waiting to infect a virus on you or your unsuspecting children, on the cover to 'Virtual XI.'
When Iron Maiden brought back golden-era lead singer Bruce Dickinson after a seven-year absence for 2000's 'Brave New World,' it was only fitting that Derek Riggs also returned from a 10-year hiatus to present the cloud-based form of Eddie, looking down on all of us mere mortals in a very threatening manner.
First off, the title is misleading, this is not a dance album, much to the disappointment of our sister site PopCrush.com. Secondly, it seems Maiden was in kind of a hurry to get this chess-board-of-doom styled album art out into the world. So much so, that artist David Patchett requested his name be taken off the art if he wasn't given time to correct the album's many mistakes. Can you spot them all?
'A Matter of Life and Death'
What's a bored zombie to do after he had a lobotomy, traveled back to the time of the pharaohs, died, came back to life and slaughtered countless innocent souls? Why, join the army of course, which is exactly where a very retro-looking Eddie finds himself on the cover of 2006's 'A Matter of Life and Death.'
Eddie transforms once again, this time into a very lizard-looking alien, and preys on the skulls of long-dead astronauts on Iron Maiden's most recent album, 'The Final Frontier.' Why outer space? Look, after over 30 years and countless albums, singles, t-shirts and posters, it's probably getting pretty hard to find new adventures and personas for the poor guy here on earth.
The cover to Iron Maiden's second era-specific compilation serves as a visual greatest-hits of Eddie's last two decades, with at least one symbol or scene from each of the eight albums he appeared on in that time. Here's a handy guide to all of them.
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