DAVE MURRAY & ADRIAN SMITH
Only two members of Iron Maiden have appeared on every one of the band’s albums – founder and bassist Steve Harris, and guitarist Dave Murray. So when you’re thinking of the sound of Maiden, Murray is the sixstring bedrock from which their multisolo flights are launched – and, as Harris told UK journalist Mick Wall, their revolving door of second guitarists in the band’s early days were largely a result of no one matching Murray’s talent.
That changed when Murray finally convinced his childhood friend Adrian Smith to join in 1980, creating what Allmusic accurately called “the most formidable twinguitar attack in heavy metal”. The SmithMurray axe axis is the sound in your head when you think of the “new wave of heavy metal”.
But after a decade, Smith grew increasingly uncomfortable with the band’s direction – he felt they were relying too much on keyboards – and quit in 1990 during preproduction for No Prayer For The Dying, replaced by the technically brilliant Janick Gers.
Smith’s solo career was sidelined when frontman Bruce Dickinson quit Maiden in 1993 and tapped Smith to be his guitarist. Happily for everyone, both Smith and Dickinson rejoined Maiden in 1999, where they remain to this day. And Gers stayed put too, giving the band a threeguitar frontline – you can never have too many solos, right?