Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album released by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Released on 11 May 1992, it was their third studio release to top the UK albums chart and the last to feature Bruce Dickinson as the group’s lead vocalist until his return in 1999.
It was also the first album to be produced by bassist and band founder Steve Harris, and the last to feature the work of producer Martin Birch (who retired after its release). At 57:58 minutes in length, Fear of the Dark was Iron Maiden’s first double studio LP, as well as the longest album from Dickinson’s first tenure in the band.
The album’s musical style showed some experimentation with “Be Quick or Be Dead”, a fast tempo song released as the album’s first single, and “Wasting Love”, the group’s first power ballad, which dates back to Dickinson’s first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire. Both songs were Dickinson/Gers collaborations, which contrasted with Harris’ “Afraid to Shoot Strangers”, a political song from the point of view of a soldier in the Gulf War, Dickinson would often introduce the song as an anti-war narrative. “Fear is the Key” is about the fear in sexual relationships resulting from AIDS. The song was written around the time when the band learned about the death of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. Dickinson affirmed: “There’s a line in ‘Fear Is the Key’ that goes: “nobody cares ’til somebody famous dies”. And that’s quite sadly true. […] As long as the virus was confined to homosexuals or drug-addicts, nobody gave a shit. It’s only when celebrities started to die that the masses began to feel concerned”. “Weekend Warrior” is about football hooliganism.
Only two of the album’s songs, the title track “Fear Of The Dark” and “Afraid to Shoot Strangers”, would survive on tours following 1993. “Fear of the Dark” has been on the set list of every subsequent tour except 2005, in which the band only played songs from their first 4 albums, and was the only song played on the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour and the Maiden England World Tour (other than “Afraid to Shoot Strangers”) which was not from the 1980s. “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” became a frequent addition on setlists during Blaze Bayley’s tenure with Iron Maiden, following which it returned in 2012.
“Be Quick or Be Dead”, “From Here to Eternity” and “Wasting Love” were released as singles.
180 Gram Black Vinyl Original Album Art And High Res Audio Remasters. Made in the EU. Discs are in black inner sleeves.