"This is what not to do if your bird shits on you." That's probably the most memorable introduction Bruce Dickinson ever gave an Iron Maiden song as was evidenced on "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" off the electrifying Live After Death. But memorable and best are different things. What you probably haven't heard (or seen) is Maiden's 2005 set at Ullevi Stadium in Sweden when they were doing the first retro set behind The Early Days DVD. That's where Dickinson's best intro can be found.

Maiden's "Air Raid Siren" has a knack for banter, despite what opinions may be held by Steve Harris. He's a (shit) talker, comedic relief and a natural storyteller, which places emphasis on the way something is told, not merely the words used to tell it. The Ullevi performance was broadcast live on Swedish television and radio and Dickinson used this platform to give one of Maiden's eldest and most adored episodic tracks, "The Phantom of the Opera," its own story.

Adding his personal backstory to the track, he offers a recollection of a time before he joined Maiden and where the then rising British sensations wholly upstaged him and caught his ear with one particular song. We've provided the text below, but you should really watch this to grasp Bruce's sense of timing, emotion and, as always, a bit of arrogance cut with humor.

"You're a very lively crowd this evening, Sweden! It's good to be in one of the greatest rock n roll nations in the entire world right here tonight. This is no bullshit. Tonight is a really special night for us and we would like to play a very very special song which we haven't played for many many year. It's a song which — I was in a band a long time ago, before I was in Iron Maiden, there was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, sometime before you were born. Anyway... embarrassingly... I was in a band called Samson and Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden was our support band one evening. Well, they blew us offstage and they played this one song and I'd never heard a metal band play a song like this before and this song really is everything that Iron Maiden is all about. I know that you understand it because you are the hardcore of Iron Maiden fans in all of Sweden. But I should warn anyone watching the television that thinks that any minute now they're going to turn over and Wimbledon is going to be on, or football that for the next eight minutes there may be something very strange going on with your television. And if you don't like heavy metal, I advise you to go away before you have a heart attack and die, alright? ...THE PHANTOM. OF. THE OPERAAAA!"

Iron Maiden's "Legacy of the Beast" tour will resume next year with a massive North American leg and a trio of South American shows. See those dates below and see how we ranked every single Iron Maiden song from worst to best below that.

Iron Maiden 2019 Tour Dates

July 18 - Sunrise, Fla. @ BB&T Center
July 20 - Atlanta, Ga. @ Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
July 22 - Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion
July 24 - Washington D.C. @ Jiffy Lube Live
July 26 - Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Barclays Center
July 30 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ Wells Fargo Center
Aug. 01 - Boston, Mass. @ Xfinity Center
Aug. 03 - Hartford, Ct. @ Xfinity Theatre
Aug. 05 - Montreal, Quebec @ Bell Centre
Aug. 07 - Quebec, Quebec @ Videotron Centre
Aug. 09 - Toronto, Ontario @ Budweiser Stage
Aug. 10 - Toronto, Ontario @ Budweiser Stage
Aug. 13 - Buffalo, N.Y. @ KeyBank Center
Aug. 15 - Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 17 - Pittsburgh, Pa. @ PPG Paints Arena
Aug. 19 - Nashville, Tenn. @ Bridgestone Arena
Aug. 22 - Chicago, Ill. @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug. 24 - Indianapolis, Ind. @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Aug. 26 - St Paul, Minn. @ Xcel Energy Center
Aug. 28 - Winnipeg, Manitoba @ Bell MTS Place
Aug. 30 - Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place
Aug. 31 - Calgary, Alberta @ Scotiabank Saddledome
Sept. 03 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
Sept. 05 - Tacoma, Wash. @ Tacoma Dome
Sept. 06 - Portland, Ore. @- Moda Center
Sept. 09 - Sacramento, Calif. @ Golden 1 Center
Sept. 10 - Oakland, Calif. @ Oracle Arena
Sept. 13 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sept. 14 - Los Angeles, Calif. @ Bank of California Stadium
Sept. 17 - Phoenix, Ariz. @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
Sept. 19 - Albuquerque, N.M. @ Isleta Amphitheater
Sept. 21 - Dallas, Texas @ Dos Equis Pavilion
Sept. 22 - Houston, Texas @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sept. 25 - San Antonio, Texas @ AT&T Center
Sept. 29 - Mexico City, Mexico @ Sports Palace
Oct. 04 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Rock In Rio
Oct. 12 - Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Velez Sarsfield Stadium
Oct. 15 - Santiago, Chile @ Estadio Nacional

Iron Maiden Songs Ranked

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