Chris Welch - The Iron Maiden Vault book review

A cut-and-paste job for hardcore fans only

The Iron Maiden Vault book cover

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Chris Welch is an experienced, respected author with several worthy books to his name. Alas this isn’t one of them. Running to 62 pages and retailing at 30 quid, The Iron Maiden Vault is photo heavy and light on text, but it does come with several giant posters and items of memorabilia.

It’s plain that Welch and the production team are no fans. In a chapter focusing on 1975-’79, an image captioned as Dennis Wilcock is actually Bruce Dickinson. Among a litany of other schoolboy errors, it’s intimated that Maiden and not The Entire Population Of Hackney, a spin-off band featuring Adrian Smith and Nicko McBrain, “made a triumphant return to the Marquee, alongside FM and Urchin” in 1984 – a statement that contains a grain of truth but is false on so many levels.

Sprinkled around like confetti, standalone chapters feature individual band members and provide an album-by-album breakdown, though they’re out of sync with the story. And why does Blaze Bayley receive his own tribute, yet Adrian Smith and Janick Gers don’t?

That it includes a segment called ‘Satan’s Superstars: The 1990s’ tells us immediately that this book was written by someone who just doesn’t ‘get’ Iron Maiden.

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Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.