Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden achieved success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of platinum and gold albums. These include the US platinum-selling albums The Number of the Beast in 1982, Piece of Mind in 1983, Powerslave in 1984, the live album Live After Death in 1985, Somewhere in Time in 1986, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. The band are currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity, with their 2006 album A Matter of Life and Death peaking at number nine on the Billboard 200 and at number four in the UK. Their latest studio album, The Final Frontier, was released worldwide on 16–17 August 2010, peaking at number one in 40 different countries. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, the second song of the album, "El Dorado", won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
Iron Maiden was formed on Christmas Day 1975, by bassist Steve Harris, shortly after he left his previous group, Smiler. Harris attributes the band name to a movie adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, which he saw around that time and which had a verbal connection to the iron maiden torture device.
Vocalist Paul Day was fired as he lacked "energy or charisma onstage". He was replaced by Dennis Wilcock, a Kiss fan who utilised fire, make-up and fake blood during live performances. Wilcock's friend Dave Murray was invited to join, to the dismay of the band's guitarists Dave Sullivan and Terry Rance. Their frustration led Harris to temporarily disunite the band in 1976, though the group reformed soon after with Murray as the sole guitarist.