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 Smithand their last with vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was sacked after problems with his stage performance arose due to his alcohol and cocaine use.[5] 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 2003 by British metal band Sikth and featured as a b-side on their single "Scent of the Obscene".[6] The song was also 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.[7] "Wrathchild" was featured in the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.[8]


 [hide*1 History


[1][2]Killers was the second and final Iron Maiden album with vocalist Paul Di'Anno

Killers is the only Iron Maiden album to feature two instrumentals and was written almost exclusively by Steve Harris,[9] 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", based on the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe,[10] and "Prodigal Son", had been written in the years prior to the recording of their debut album,[11] although none were recorded professionally until the Killers sessions, apart from "Wrathchild" (an early version recorded in 1979 was featured on the Metal for Muthas compilation).[11]

The US 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 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, Las Vegas in support of Judas Priest.[12]

Track listing[edit]Edit

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

The original Australian version of the album also includes the band's cover of Skyhooks' "Women in Uniform", which was previously released as a single in 1980.[13] The US Castle Records 1995 bonus disc contains several live tracks which originally appeared on the 1981 EP Maiden Japan.[14]


Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[15][16]

Iron Maiden
Additional personnel

Chart performance[edit]Edit


Country Chart (1981) Peak


Austria Ö3 Austria Top 40 20[17]
Germany Media Control Charts 10[18]
New Zealand RIANZ 41[19]
Norway VG-lista 19[20]
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 11[21]
United Kingdom Official Albums Chart 12[22]
United States Billboard 200 78[23]
Country Chart (2010) Peak


Greece IFPI Greece 64[24]
Country Chart (2012) Peak


Sweden Sverigetopplistan 44[21]


Single Chart (1981) Peak


"Twilight Zone" UK Singles Chart 31[25] Killers
"Purgatory" 52[26]
Single Chart (1990) Peak


"Women in Uniform / Twilight Zone" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 10[27]
"Purgatory / Maiden Japan" 5[28]


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


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[29] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[30] Gold 200,000
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[32] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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