How To Play Total Eclipse By Iron Maiden


Total Eclipse is a track recorded during the Number Of The Beast Sessions in 1982 but was not included on the Album.

Total Eclipse was recorded during the Number of the Beast sessions in 1982 According to Steve Harris.

Iron Maiden’s third album, The Number of the Beast, was made under time pressure. The group had five weeks to record their first album with new lead singer Bruce Dickinson. The single ‘Run to the Hills’ was released in advance of the album and, with nine tracks running for longer than 40 minutes, the group had to make a snap decision on which track to relegate to non-album b-side.

Iron Maiden chose ‘Total Eclipse’ as the b-side but later regretted it. According to Mick Wall’s band biography, bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris stated that: “We just chose the wrong track as the B-side. I think if ‘Total Eclipse’ had been on the album instead of ‘Gangland’ it would have been far better.”

‘Total Eclipse’ is apocalyptic, but unlike other songs on The Number of The Beast it’s not based on the Biblical book of Revelation. The second side of the record opens with a reading from Revelation, and songs like ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and the title track cover similar territory. Travelling to the sessions, producer Martin Birch collided with a mini-bus full of nuns and paid a repair bill of £666.

Instead ‘Total Eclipse’ is about ecological collapse after nuclear war – it certainly would have fitted thematically onto the record.

The song was performed live on tour for “The Number Of The Beast” album in 1982, and appears on the live album “Beast Over Hammersmith”.

On November 18, 2022, it was released as a single

I have covered all the guitar parts performed by Dave and Adrian and have included tablature.