4th August 2016

iron maiden
The very first Maiden logo, created by Steve Harris in the mid-70s when he was studying to be an architectural draughtsman

"Walking on water are miracles all you can trust
Measure your coffin does is measure up to your lust?
So I think I'll leave you
With your bishops and your guilt
So until the next time
Have a good sin"

This is it - it's the day of the big night in as Iron Maiden descend on Wacken Open Air to play the final gig of the most ambitious tour ever undertaken in the history of music.

And just in case you didn't know, this incredible event will be streamed live globally at 8.30 UK time tonight at and so get the Trooper beers in and enjoy the very last Maiden gig of the year and the very last performance of the incredible 72-date Book Of Souls World Tour which began back in February.

We've been covering the tour extensively so instead of repeating the facts and figures that we've been quoting since Bruce first flew Ed Force One to Fort Lauderdale six months ago, we've created an index of all our tour articles which you can find at the bottom of this page and peruse at your leisure.

And whilst you are counting down to 8.30pm tonight, we've also added something a little different - a collection of rare and interesting Iron Maiden tracks that you may not have heard before due to them not having appeared on official album releases. It's by no means a comprehensive list of rarities, just a selection that we found worthy enough to include and for you to enjoy as you wile away the hours until Maiden hit the stage tonight.

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We'll start with this, the US Radio Promo for 'The Wicker Man', the opening track from 2000s "reunion" album, 'Brave New World'.

There are big surprises in the chorus which are not in the album version of the song because Steve Harris decided against this version as it wouldn't have been possible to reproduce it live.

Here's a version of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' that was recorded twenty three years after 'The Number Of The Beast' album. This version was played live on BBC Radio 1's Late show with Zane Lowe which was transmitted on 13th September 2005 as part of the Legends sessions.

Maiden were playing at Maida Vale studios and this is a great listen.

This is the electric version of the song 'Journeyman' from 2003s 'Dance Of Death' album and this version appeared in Maiden's 'No More Lies' souvenir EP. The album version was Maiden's first acoustic song.

Maiden said they decided to make the song acoustic only after recording this version. It's the same drum set-up but there are no keyboards on this version.

'Blood Brothers' was originally on the 'Brave New World' album but this is the orchestral version which appeared on the 'Wildest Dreams' single of 2003.

'Wildest Dreams' was the opening track from 'Dance Of Death' and several different versions of the single appeared, some including either the album or orchestral version of 'Blood Brothers' as a b-side with other versions featuring both.

'Age Of Innocence' is another track from 'Dance Of Death' and not only do Maiden have a singer who can fly, they have a drummer who can sing. Well, actually you should make you own mind up on that.

Here's two songs cut from 'The X Factor' album that didn't make it into the final cut of the album.

It's a mystery as to why 'Justice Of The Peace' was excluded and the same can be said about 'Judgement Day' which was written by Blaze and Janick.

This is a bonus track from the UK 12" version of 'Be Quick Or Be Dead', the number two single and opening track from the 'Fear Of The Dark' album.

It's called 'Bayswater Ain't A Bad Place To Be' and just as he did on the b-side of 'Wasted Years' on 'Sheriff Of Huddersfield' Bruce imitates and makes fun of Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. Bruce and Janick wrote this song.

And finally, this isn't a rarity as such as it's been doing the rounds for a few years now. It's Bruce's full audition tape from 1981 when he first tried out for the band and you don't need us to elaborate on what happened after this session.

Iron Maiden will tour the UK in 2017 and we'll bring you dates as soon as we have them plus, of course, full coverage of the tour.

In the meantime, turn like the Devil and shoot straight from the sun, climb like a monkey, out of Hell where I belong. Iron Maiden's gonna get you, no matter how far.

Iron Maiden February to August 2016

11th February: Outside Iron Maiden: A Book By Erwin Lucas
20th February: Ed Force One Lands In Fort Lauderdale As The Book Of Souls World Tour Gets Underway
12th March: Ed Force One Seriously Damaged At Santiago Airport
17th March: HSBC Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Gig Review
22nd March: Massive Ed Force One Repairs Completed In Just Ten Days
17th May: Airforce, Featuring Former Iron Maiden Drummer, To Release New Album In July
20th May: Nicko McBrain Recalls Getting Fired, How He Got His Broken Nose And Staying Sober
31st May: Iron Maiden: Waldbühne Amphitheatre, Berlin Gig Review
3rd June: Iron Maiden Release Official Performance Video For 'Death Or Glory'
9th June: Ed Force One Set For A UK Landing This Weekend
11th June: Iron Maiden Land At East Midlands Airport For Sunday's Download Headline Appearance
12th June: Nicko McBrain: "Bruce Dickinson Is My Hero"
12th June: Download Festival, Castle Donington Gig Review
16th June: Iron Maiden Part Company With Ed Force One: Watch Bruce Say "Goodbye" On Video Here
29th June: Watch Iron Maiden Headline Wacken On Thursday Via Worldwide Stream
3rd July: Iron Maiden Ilustrator Designs Shirt For One Direction's Zayn Malik, Maiden Launch Third Trooper Beer And Hi-On Maiden To Headline Puccstock
6th July: Legacy Of The Beast Mobile RPG Game Is Out Now
8th July: Iron Maiden Want West Ham Manager Slaven Bilić To Join Them On Stage In Split
21st July: Steve Harris Drops The Price Of His Essex Mansion By £1million
1st August: Watch New Ed Force One Special Video Right Here

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