Just as identifiable as the harmonized guitar leads and operatic vocals, Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, is a vital component to the band's persona.
Designed by British artist Derek Riggs for Iron Maiden's self-titled debut, Eddie was based on the zombie-like figure that appears on the sleeve of the group's first single, "Running Free."
Riggs also created the artwork for the band's second album, Killers, based on an original piece, before he started creating custom album art from The Number of the Beast onward.
Eddie's image has evolved and regressed throughout the years, largely due to the contributions of artists other than Riggs. Beginning with 1992's Fear of the Dark, Eddie has taken on occasionally more demonic portrayals, but his most popular imagery remains the cartoon zombie. Variations on this theme have seen Eddie as a pharaoh, a futuristic cyborg and a giant astronaut-consuming alien.
As well as being ubiquitously featured on Iron Maiden's album covers, Eddie is also a fixture of the group's stage show. He often can be seen battling with band members during performances, often ending with his demise. And let's not forget that he stars—big time—in the band's latest music video, "Speed of Light."
This makes Eddie one of rock music's most dualistic characters, beloved and abhorred at the same time.
Check out Eddie the Head's many incarnations in the photo gallery below!
The band's new album, Book of Souls, will be released September 4.