Iron Maiden are one of heavy metal’s more enduringly popular and influential bands. They, along with Judas Priest, made the guitar duo commonplace as their peers readily adopted the use of harmonized melodies set against Steve Harris’ mighty bass gallop. Pushing the concept of speed with bouncing riffs, triplet bass notes alongside acrobatic vocals and lyrics derived from history, film and literature, Iron Maiden defined the metal genre while stretching its boundaries.

So where did this all come from? Naturally, there’s some bands who seemingly influenced every heavy act of the ‘80s and beyond, but Maiden were digesting some lesser known groups and were deeply in tune with England’s thriving prog rock scene of the ‘70s. And if you think they got the whole twin guitar thing from Thin Lizzy, think again.

Scroll through the gallery below to see what bands made a major impact on Iron Maiden's sound.

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