Fear of the Dark (song)

"Fear of the Dark (Live in 1992)"
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album A Real Live One
Released1 March 1993
GenreHeavy metal
Songwriter(s)Steve Harris
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Wasting Love"
"Fear of the Dark (Live in 1992)"
"Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live in 1993)"

"Fear of the Dark" is a song by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Written by Steve Harris, the band's bass player and primary songwriter, it serves as the title track to Iron Maiden's 1992 album Fear of the Dark.

The single "Fear of the Dark (live)" is the 26th single released by the band. This live version of the song (as well as the live versions of "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", "Be Quick or Be Dead", and "Tailgunner") are taken from the live album A Real Live One. The single reached number 8 in the UK charts. The live version of "Hooks in You" was recorded at the Wembley Arena, London, UK on 17 December 1990. The initial pressing of the 7" cut-to-shape vinyl picture disc listed "Hooks in You" as the B-side but actually played "Tailgunner". This mis-press was quickly corrected by EMI on future pressings.

The song has been covered by German a cappella metal band van Canto on their album Hero, as well as the Italian metal band Graveworm on their 2001 album Scourge of Malice, by the also Italian death metal band Infernal Poetry on their 2005 album Beholding the Unpure and by the Finnish band Sturm und Drang as the bonus track on their 2008 album Rock 'n Roll Children. The song was covered by Fightstar for Kerrang! magazine's Maiden Heaven tribute album.[1]

The Flight 666 version of the song was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series on 9 June 2009.

"Fear of the Dark" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994 in the "Best Metal Performance" category, but lost to "I Don't Want To Change The World" by Ozzy Osbourne.[2]

When the song is performed live, the audience always sings along to the instrumental melody during the softer sections, at times becoming louder than the band themselves. It has been featured on all the band's live albums since its release.

The single's cover art features Eddie playing Steve Harris' signature Fender Precision Bass.


The song's lyrics tell the story of a man who has always been intensely afraid of the dark. He recalls the many times he has walked alone, and recollections of the feeling of being followed while walking at night.

According to Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris wrote this song because he himself was really afraid of the dark.[3]