It surprised me when I read that, and I imagine it’ll surprise you too.
Not because Iron Maiden are bad…I’m a fan.
But because Madonna is…well…a pop singer. And, popular music should be the most popular…right?
She’s certainly more commercial, in a traditional sense. Plus, as much as I personally enjoy it, I’m aware that metal is an acquired taste – whereas Madonna’s music is aimed at appealing to everyone.
She also had the bonus of appearing on MTV and stations such as BBC Radio One, Iron Maiden never really had that exposure.
As a singer Madonna has always looked to adopt the latest trends – performing the hits that the crowds of the day would enjoy.
Whereas Iron Maiden found their target audience early on and found out how to please them. They never wrote a love song or anything like that. They just kept on doing the things that their fans like…building an army of life-long supporters, who would no doubt look to spread the love onto their children.
Meaning that they’d have another generation of fans, starting off a cycle that will eventually mean that the East London outfit’s music will last far longer than they will.
Not only that, but Iron Maiden’s songs tell stories about things that their target audience like. Fantasy, history, horror and even sci-fi.
(it’s really good, too!)
Plus look at their branding – they brew their own beer just the way their fans like it, they tour as much as they can and they have their own Boeing 747 jet that lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, personally flies.
How cool is that?
Plus they have their own logo. Same as bands such as Nirvana and Metallica. Does Madonna have a logo? If she does, I can’t recall it easily. Neither can I recall a logo for bands such as Take That.
It’s why, when you go into high street fashion stores, you see Metallica or Iron Maiden t-shirts for sale, you don’t see Madonna T-shirts.
Here’s a quote from Lady Gaga:
“Some people really don’t know the importance of metal and the scope of it. Those guys were filling stadiums, and they still are. And it’s because of the culture of the music, the poetry that’s so powerful, that whenever the fans come together, they unite in the essence of what Iron Maiden is all about. I always used to say to people, when they would say, ‘Oh, she’s the next Madonna.’ No, I’m the next Iron Maiden.”
(the next Iron Maiden)
by Ashley Brown.
Oh, by the way the initial inspo for this article came from Ryan Holliday’s fantastic ‘Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts’