Killers (Iron Maiden album)

Killers (Iron Maiden album)
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 2 February 1981 (UK)
6 June 1981 (US)
Recorded Battery Studios, London, November 1980 – January 1981
Genre Heavy metal
Length 41:18
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Martin "Headmaster" Birch
Iron Maiden chronology
Iron Maiden
The Number of the Beast
Singles from Killers
  1. "Twilight Zone"
    Released: 2 March 1981
  2. "Purgatory"
    Released: 15 June 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Wiki letter w.svg This table needs to be expanded using prose. See the guideline for more information.

Killers is the second album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 2 February 1981 in the UK, and 6 June 1981 in the US. The album was their first with guitarist Adrian Smith and their last with vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was sacked after problems with his stage performance arose due to his alcohol and cocaine use. This was also the first Iron Maiden album made with veteran producer Martin Birch, who went on to produce their next eight albums before retiring after Fear of the Dark in 1992.

The song "Wrathchild" is the only regularly played track from the album, appearing in almost all their concert tours. The song was covered in 2005 by female tribute band "The Iron Maidens" on their 2007 album Route 666 and again in 2008 by Gallows on the tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden released by Kerrang! magazine.[3] "Wrathchild" was also featured in the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.



Killers is the only Iron Maiden album to feature two instrumentals and was written almost exclusively by Steve Harris, with only minor assistance from the rest of the band (the title track and "Twilight Zone" being the only other songs to receive additional writing credits). Each song, with the exception of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Prodigal Son," had been written in the years prior to the recording of their debut album, although none were recorded professionally until the "Killers" sessions, apart from "Wrathchild" (an early version featured on the Metal for Muthas compilation).

The U.S. edition, which came out a few months after it did in the UK, was initially released on Harvest Records/Capitol Records and subsequently on Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records. "Twilight Zone" was also added to the album.

The song "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is based on the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. "Rue Morgue" is the name of a fictitious street in Paris, which translates as "Mortuary Street" in English, however, the only reference to the story in the song is when two girls are found dead.

The Killer World Tour was the tour in support of the album and would feature the band's earliest shows in the US, the first being at The Aladdin Casino, Las Vegas in support of Judas Priest.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted. 

Original UK release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Ides of March" (instrumental)   1:46
2. "Wrathchild"     2:54
3. "Murders in the Rue Morgue"     4:18
4. "Another Life"     3:22
5. "Genghis Khan" (instrumental)   3:06
6. "Innocent Exile"     3:53
7. "Killers"   Paul Di'Anno, Harris 5:01
8. "Prodigal Son"     6:11
9. "Purgatory"     3:20
10. "Drifter"     4:48
Original U.S. release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Ides of March" (instrumental)   1:46
2. "Wrathchild"     2:54
3. "Murders in the Rue Morgue"     4:18
4. "Another Life"     3:22
5. "Genghis Khan" (instrumental)   3:06
6. "Innocent Exile"     3:53
7. "Killers"   Di'Anno, Harris 5:01
8. "Twilight Zone"   Dave Murray, Harris 2:33
9. "Prodigal Son"     6:11
10. "Purgatory"     3:20
11. "Drifter"     4:48

An older cassette version was also released which contained "Women in Uniform" on side two.

Chart Performance


Year Chart Position
1981 Austrian Albums Chart 20[4]
German Albums Chart 10[5]
Norwegian Albums Chart 19[6]
Swedish Albums Chart 11[7]
UK Albums Chart 12[8]
U.S. Billboard Hot 200 78[9]


Year Single Chart Position Album
1981 "Twilight Zone" UK Singles Chart 31[10] "Killers"
"Purgatory" 52[11]
1990 "Women in Uniform / Twilight Zone" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 10[12]
"Purgatory / Maiden Japan" 5[13]


  1. ^ Re-release of both singles as part of "The First Ten Years" box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.


Additional personnel


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. Killers (Iron Maiden album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  2. ^ "Sputnikmusic review". Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Kerrang! Maiden Heaven Track Listing Revealed!". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Killers- Austrian Albums chart". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  5. ^ "Killers- German Albums chart" (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Killers- Norwegian Albums chart". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  7. ^ "Killers- Swedish Albums chart". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  8. ^ "UK Albums Archive- 28th February 1981". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  9. ^ "Killers billboard Chart". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  10. ^ "UK Singles Archive- 21st March 1981". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  11. ^ "Purgatory- Chart stats". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  12. ^ "UK Albums Archive- 3rd March 1990". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  13. ^ "UK Albums Archive- 10th March 1990". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 

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