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Adrian Smith

Today it's guitarist Adrian Smith's turn. Let us tell you a little about him and his work:

(Photo: Spencer Kaufman)


1. He was born on 27 February 1957, in London England, as Adrian Frederick "H" Smith.


2. The first record he ever purchased was "Machine Head" by "Deep Purple". he was then 15 years old.


3. He grew up just a few blocks from guitarist Dave Murray, his childhood friend. At the age of 16, he formed the trio "Stone Free" with him. Smith served only as a singer.


4. After Smith saw the attention Dave Murray was getting from the girls, he decided to learn to play the guitar. He started with a classical guitar that belonged to his brother and later purchased Dave Murray's old guitar for 5 £.


5. The first influences on him were actually from the field of Blues Rock and especially Johnny Winter and Pat Travers. He noted that they influenced his playing, which is characterized by a very melodic style and relatively slow solos with an emphasis on each note, as opposed to a fast shredding melody.


6. In 1972 he co-founded the band "Evil Ways", with Dave Murray. Shortly after the band changed its name to "Urchin".


7. By this time he had already started writing music, including the song "22 Acacia Avenue" which would later be recorded by "Iron Maiden", as part of the 1982 album "The Number Of The Beast".


8. After Dave Murray left the band and joined "Iron Maiden", Smith and "Urchin" released the single "Black Leather Fantasy", in 1977.


9. In 1979 Smith received an offer to join "Iron Maiden", but Urchin had just signed a recording contract with EMI and Smith rejected the offer, a decision he later regretted after "Urchin" disbanded in 1980.


10. In November 1980, after "Urchin" disbanded, Smith met Dave Murray and Steve Harris. They offered him to join "Iron Maiden" again. This time, after a successful audition he was accepted into the band.


11. His first appearance with the band was made for the German TV show "Pop And Rock TV Show" and the first song he played was "Running Free".


12. As you can see from the video above, already in Adrian's first appearance with "Maiden", he took on the role of background vocals, along with Steve Harris.


13. The only song of "Iron Maiden" in which Smith sings solo is "Reach Out", which came out as a b-side to the song "Wasted Years", from 1986. In the same song, Bruce Dickinson sang background vocals.


14. The combination of the guitar duet between Smith and Murray, during the golden age of "Iron Maiden" in the 1980s, is among the most amazing in Metal. The two just phenomenally complemented each other.


15. The first album Smith recorded with "Iron Maiden" was "Killers", but he did not co-write any of the songs there.


16. The first songs he wrote for "Maiden", were for the album "The Number Of The Beast". As mentioned he brought the song "22 Acacia Avenue", which he had written years earlier, and also co-wrote "Gangland" and "The Prisoner".


17. Smith will also take part in the next four albums that are considered part of the band's Golden Age - "Piece of Mind", "Powerslave", Somewhere in Time" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" and the excellent live album "Live After Death".


18. In 1985, Smith participated in the "Hear 'n Aid" fundraising project for Africa and was one of 14 guitarists playing alongside his friend Dave Murray.


19. While "Maiden" took time off in 1989, Adrian was busy with his solo project "ASAP", which is an acronym for "Adrian Smith And Project". That same year they already released the album "Silver and Gold", which can be listened to here:


20. Smith left "Iron Maiden" in 1990, in light of disagreements over the musical direction the band decided to go. He thought he could not contribute to the band in the new direction chosen.


21. Smith's departure was during the production stage of the album "No Prayer for the Dying" and he managed to write one of its, songs - "Hooks" in You.


22. After leaving "Maiden" he took some time for himself and meanwhile married to the choice of his heart, the Canadian Nathalie Dufresne.


23. Adrian stopped playing the guitar after leaving "Maiden" and until 1992, when he was a guest on stage at "Iron Maiden's" performance in Donington, on the song "Running Free".

(Photo: Gonzales Photo)


24. After hearing the music of "King's X", he decided he was interested in setting up a band that would make similar music. He founded the "Untouchables", which later changed their name to "Psycho Motel".


25. The band released two albums "State of Mind" in 1996 and "Welcome to the World" in 1997.


26. It is interesting to note that Smith and "Psycho Motel" warmed up "Iron Maiden" during the tour of the album "The X Factor", in England.


27. In 1996, Smith participated in the album "Instant Clarity", Michael Kiske's first solo album, known among others from the band "Helloween".


28. In 1997, Smith joined his friend Bruce Dickinson and took part in playing and writing his solo album "Accident of Birth".


29. Later, Smith will become a regular member of Bruce Dickinson's band, touring with him and even taking part in his next album "The Chemical Wedding" from 1998.


30. In 1999, Dickinson and Smith returned to "Iron Maiden", reuniting the band's classic 80s Golden Age lineup, with the addition of guitarist Janick Gers, making the band a three-guitar lineup.


31. Smith is the only one of the three Iron Maiden guitarists, who does not use the Fender guitar regularly.


32. In 2000, the band released their reunion album with Dickinson and Smith - "Brave New World". Smith will take part in writing some of the songs for the album, including the excellent opening song "The Wicker Man".


33. Smith has continued to be part of "Maiden" to this day, and since the reunion with the classic lineup he has released five more albums: "Dance of Death", "A Matter of Life and Death", "The Final Frontier", "The Book of Souls" and "Senjutsu".


34. In 2012 Smith will release the album "Awoken Broken" under the band "Primal Rock Rebellion". Smith will play guitar, and bass and sing background vocals.


35. During his career Smith has been a part of 12 studio albums of "Iron Maiden" in addition to another 8 albums as part of the various lineups.


36. Smith wrote or took part in writing some of "Maiden's" great songs including: "Wasted Years", "2 Minutes To Midnight", "The Evil That Men Do," "Stranger In A Stranger Land", "Can I Play With Madness?", "Moonchild", "Flight of Icarus" and more and more ...


37. In December 2020, Smith released the first single from his new project - "Smith/Kotzen", in which he collaborates with guitarist Richie Kotzen, known for his work with "Poison", "Mr. Big" and "The Winery Dogs". The duo's album called "Smith/Kotzen" was released on March 26, 2021.


38. Smith is ranked as one of the ten best guitarists of all time in Metal, on the Gibson guitar list, and in 11th place on "Guitar World" magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists in Heavy Metal.


39. Adrian is a fishing enthusiast. He discovered the hobby through his dad. It was their way of spending time together when he was a child.


40. In 2020 he released the book “Monsters of River & Rock”, which describes, among other things, his love for fishing.


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