Iron Maiden win Royal Mail seal of approval with 12 stamps

Band may have been snubbed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but Royal Mail pays tribute to ‘bona fide rock legends’

Iron Maiden may have been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, but Royal Mail at least has given its stamp of approval to the heavy metal band.

Twelve stamps will pay tribute to the “bona fide rock legends” – making Iron Maiden the fifth music group to feature in a dedicated stamp issue, following the Beatles in 2007, Pink Floyd in 2016, Queen in 2020, and the Rolling Stones in 2022.

Eight stamps feature performances by Iron Maiden and all the current members of the band. The guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, the lead singer Bruce Dickinson, the drummer Nicko McBrain and the bassist Steve Harris all appear in the commemorative project.

Four of the stamps feature Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie.
Four of the stamps feature Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie. Photograph: Royal Mail/PA

Other stamps pay homage to the band’s mascot, Eddie, including him dressed as a samurai warrior from the recent Senjutsu album. The studio album – the group’s 17th – was released in 2021 and made it to No 2 in the charts.

Harris said: “We were all absolutely astounded – in a good way – when we first heard about the commemorative project, and equally pretty much speechless when we saw the stamps for the first time. They look superb and really capture the essence and energy of Maiden.”

Iron Maiden was formed in London in 1975 by Harris. They have had one No 1 in the UK in 1991 with the single Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter and 35 songs in the Top 40, according to Official Charts Company.

They have also had five No 1 albums, including Fear of the Dark, The Book of Souls, The Final Frontier, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and The Number of the Beast.

In total, the band have sold more than 100m records and performed live about 2,500 times across 64 countries.

Though nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Iron Maiden were excluded from the list of inductees – a decision Kiss’s Gene Simmons called “disgusting”.

Responding to the stamp issue, Iron Maiden’s manager, Rod Smallwood, said: “As a band who have never played by anyone else’s rules for over 40 years, it’s very gratifying to see them honoured in their home country in this way.

“We’re proud to show how these six band members are still appealing to more and more fans every year with their music and their legendary shows – which I think these stamps really capture well.

Adrian Smith and Steve Harris in Helsinki, May 2018.
Adrian Smith and Steve Harris in Helsinki, May 2018, on a Royal Mail stamp. Photograph: Royal Mail/PA

“It’s also fantastic that Eddie has been honoured too. It’s incredible to think that Her Majesty, may she rest in peace, saw these and lent her iconic silhouette to them too.”

David Gold, the director of external public affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “Few bands in the history of rock music can be called bona fide rock legends – but Iron Maiden are just that – and more.”

The Royal Mail stamps are available to order from 5 January and are on sale from 12 January. Iron Maiden will be back on the road again with The Future Past tour in 2023.

• This article was amended on 5 January 2023. The single Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter was No 1 in 1991, not 1988.


Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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