Sometimes bands do some of their best work right before major internal shakeups hit. Case in point: Judas Priest’s Painkiller or Anthrax’s Persistence of Time. But when Iron Maiden released their eighth album No Prayer for the Dying on Oct. 1, 1990 their health was on the wane and it showed in the album, which most consider far from their worst album, but an unremarkable effort nonetheless.
During the songwriting sessions for the album, guitarist Adrian Smith didn’t like the less progressive direction the band seemed to be taking with its songs and after co-writing the shimmery, poppy “Hooks in You,” he quit Iron Maiden following a decade of service to the band. Determined to forge ahead, vocalist Bruce Dickinson suggested the band work with guitarist Janick Gers, who had played on the singer’s 1990 solo album Tattooed Millionaire and had also played with White Spirit and Ian Gillan.