STEVE PILKINGTON – on track… Iron Maiden

on track... Iron Maiden Book Cover
  • 8.5/10
    STEVE PILKINGTON - on track... Iron Maiden - 8.5/10


Sonicbond Publishing
Publication: 25th October 2020 (USA), 11th September 2020 (World)
Format: 8.7 x 5.8 inches (210 x 148 mm)
Pages: 143 pages

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

If you’ve never heard of them Sonicbond Publishing is a UK based publishing company that focuses on mainly publishing books about music. They also dabble some with film and TV focused books. The company is also unique in that they openly look for new authors who have expertise in a certain band or artist.  A popular series for the company that has grown exponentially is their “On Track Series”. At the time of this review, the publishing company has more than twenty-seven “On Track Series” books. One of the latest entries focuses on a Heavy Metal band that is known to everyone, Iron Maiden!

About The Author

The author of this particular edition is Steve Pilkington. Steve is a music journalist, editor, and broadcaster. This is actually Steve’s third entry in the “On Track Series” of books. His other two focused on Deep Purple / Rainbow and The Rolling Stones. Steve’s resume is much more lengthy than this, just know his analysis writing in this book is detailed and impeccable!

The Formula

These “on track” books typically have a subtitle, and this one is no different, that being “every album, every song”. That should give you a general idea of the format of these books, this one in particular.

This book starts out with an adequately sized “Introduction” which is basically a short, historical overview of the band Iron Maiden. While in most books this section is typically fluff that’s not the case here.  Even hardcore Iron Maiden fans will find a note or two of information they hadn’t heard before in Steve’s introduction, e.g. in the early stage’s Dave Murray was in the band, out of the band then back in the band!

Album By Album

Each “chapter” in this book is effectively dedicated to a studio album in Iron Maiden’s discography. These are of course discussed in chronological order with a pretty static content outline.

Album Overview

Each chapter starts off with the album’s name along with some key information. You’ll find all the typical information here, e.g. release date, personnel, record label, chart positioning, etc. Then what follows is a lengthy introduction of the album’s place in Iron Maiden’s history. Steve, once again, does a great job spooning the reader information whether it be hearsay, fact, rumor, etc.

on track... Iron Maiden UK Book Cover
The UK version of the book cover with “Bruce, Bruce” as opposed to Steve Harris.

Album Cover Details

Next is a textual discussion about the album’s cover. Steve goes to great detail describing both the front and back covers. He includes historical references, details within the art, hidden messages, etc. It’s without a doubt that even hardcore Iron Maiden fans will pick-up some information that is new to them here.

The only critical point here is that including an inline image of the album cover, in this section, would be helpful to the reader to help them better visualize. Rather, the album covers are included in a glossy photo section inlaid within the book later on. Given that photos are glossy and the book itself is standard paperback stock this request might be difficult to implement.

Every Song

Most of each chapter is dedicated to Steve’s track-by-track analysis, once again chronologically based on the original vinyl pressings. Steve lays down a detailed analysis of each track in most cases going to extremes only seen by the most diligent album reviewers. After reading several of these song breakdowns it’s hard not to be humming the track in your own mind, or at the very least refrain from given said album a quick spin. Once again Steve accentuates snippets of little known information that’s relevant to the track’s lyrics, etc.and he has no qualms about expressing his opinion of the strength of the song’s writing!

Closing out the chapter is a section on “related songs”. This is where Steve talks about B-side tracks from any singles and such. Once again he gives us his best musical reviewer opinion and detailed breakdown.

This chapter format continues for all sixteen of Iron Maiden’s studio albums. Closing sections include a discussion about the Live Albums, Videos, and Compilations as well as the author’s “Top 30 Iron Maiden Playlist” and a bibliography. The inlaid photo section not only includes album covers but several rare photos of the band.

Parting Thoughts…

This book is in paperback format and weighs in at about 142 pages. Its easy to carry as the book is roughly measured at 8.7 x 5.8 inches (210 x 148 mm). It’s portable size makes it a great hard copy for taking on the train ride to work. With very little whitespace there are a lot of words packed into these 142 pages. Given that, and the static chapter format, it does tend to become a bit tedious in a lengthy reading session. After the initial read through, if you’re so inclined, it then makes for a great reference book on your shelf! Nevertheless, the facts, rumors, and historical information that Steve puts into each section makes this one a “must-have” for any hardcore Iron Maiden fan as well as newcomers to the band’s music!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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