Killers: The Origins of Iron Maiden, 1975-1983 is a personal favorite read of mine this year. Author Neil Daniels did it right by focusing on the most exciting era of Iron Maiden, instead of the full length of the band’s history.

Daniels lays down an exhaustive amount of historical facts in Killers — at times giving the reader both the correct concert date and the long-rumored concert date. Point taken! In Maiden’s early club days, it was hard to trace each gig precisely. This may not seem plausible in today’s social media blitz but in the late ’70s it was a reality. Much of the details of a band’s early career were not documented. And Daniels’ amount of diligence on this matter needs to be praised. It can annoy the casual reader but Maiden die-hards will be delivered to the Holy Land.

Besides the concert dates, we also find out a lot of important matters in the day-to-day of Maiden musicians’ lives. Many members came and went before certain lineups stabilized. And bassist Steve Harris was a taskmaster with a heart of a lion. Harris’ ambition to make Iron Maiden a household name stopped at nothing. And if there is a soulful takeaway from Killers, it is that any aspiring musician can read it and find the motivational push from Harris’ golden attitude.

But, in truth, the book is a must for any Maiden fan.