Learn how to play Flight of Icarus Iron Maiden, from the 1983 album Piece Of Mind.
It was released as their eighth single and the first from their fourth studio album, Piece of Mind (1983). It was the band’s first single to be released in the United States, becoming one of their few songs to gain substantial airplay, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart – the highest position of any Iron Maiden single in the US.
It was also a success in the UK, peaking at No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart. It is also the band’s first release to feature Nicko McBrain, who replaced Clive Burr on drums in 1982.
Despite being one of Iron Maiden’s most famous songs, “Flight of Icarus” was not performed live after 1986 until it was finally performed again on May 26, 2018.
The song is loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of Icarus who was imprisoned with his father Daedalus in the palace of Knossos on Crete. In an attempt to escape, the pair fabricated wings from feathers and wax so they could fly away.
Unfortunately Icarus, not heeding the advice of his father, flew too close to the Sun, melting the wax that held the feathers and thus fell to his death in the sea. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson modified the original tale to make it an allegory of teenage rebellion against adult authority, which caused the death of Icarus in this case.
The song received criticism in the UK on release, with Garry Bushell commenting, “Flight Of Icarus is Plodding rather than powerful, it seemed universally unpopular with hardcore British metallurgists whose worst fears were bolstered by the number’s release as the first American single.
Bassist Steve Harris has since said that “releasing ‘Flight Of Icarus’ in the States was a mistake,” going on to state that “I do wish we’d had time to break it in live before we recorded it, it’s a lot more powerful live, a lot faster and heavier.”
In support of the song, Dickinson stated, “Steve never liked it. He thought it was too slow, but I wanted it to be that rocksteady sort of beat. I knew it would get onto American radio if we kept it that way, and I was right.”
Here are the Tablature for Dave Murray’s guitar parts:Iron Maiden - Flight Of Icarus
Here are the Tablature for Adrian Smith’s parts:Iron Maiden - Flight Of Icarus - Adrian
No play along with the backing track, Drums and Bass only: