After 16 years of eligibility, Iron Maiden are finally on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whether you think that’s a huge honor or not, it’s an accomplishment for one of the biggest heavy metal bands in the world. Now, whether Iron Maiden gets inducted or not, is up to voters. That’s a share of fan votes and the people who have an official vote. When a band gets elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, most, if not all of their members are inducted. In certain situations, members are left off, maybe because they’re not on official albums or they’re from before the band’s first recording.

In Iron Maiden’s case, Blaze Bayley is being left off being inducted with the band. Guitarist, Dennis Stratton, who played on their first, self-titled album, would be inducted with the band. Paul Di’Anno, who sung on Iron Maiden and Killers is also on the list of inductees, should the band be inducted. Finally, the late Clive Burr, in addition to the current six members, would go in, if Iron Maiden was inducted. Then why the diss to Blaze Bayley? The two albums that he performed on, The X-Factor and Virtual XI are not among the most revered in the band’s catalog. But they are far from the worst albums that they’ve recorded.

I know some of you might not care about Blaze Bayley or his music. But to simply erase him from the history of the band is not the correct way to go.

An Analog To Judas Priest

Judas Priest got snubbed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for many years. In their case, they had a singer in the mid to late 90’s that also wasn’t as popular as the one before him. Tim “Ripper” Owens would likely go in with Judas Priest as a former lead singer. Judas Priest fans malign the two Ripper albums almost as much as Blaze’s albums. So what’s the difference here? I’m of the belief, that without Blaze Bayley, there would be a very different Iron Maiden today. His two albums shaped the sound of the band and guided it toward the more prog metal sound we have today.

This isn’t an article designed to slander, Clive Burr, Dennis Stratton, or Paul Di’Anno. Not at all. Some bands have loads of members included in their induction parties. It’s not Blaze Bayley’s fault that he had to follow-up one of the greatest heavy metal singers ever. He took the job and did the absolute best he could with it. So, honestly, if you don’t think Blaze belongs as part of Iron Maiden history, you don’t deserve to be an Iron Maiden fan. You don’t have to like his place in the history of the band, but you should recognize it.

Seeing how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t normally care about heavy metal or hard rock acts anyway, Iron Maiden isn’t likely to get in. Bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple took forever to get in. Judas Priest got snubbed last year. It’s a joke of an institution. The Metal Hall of Fame might be a smaller institution that isn’t as old or venerated, but it at least respects the artist they induct.

Blaze Deserves The Respect Of The Rock Hall

No matter what you might think, Blaze Bayley’s name will always be on Iron Maiden albums. He wrote or co-wrote 11 songs on Iron Maiden albums. That’s more than Paul Di’Anno or Dennis Stratton. The band plays songs from his era to this day. With two songs from The X-Factor and Virtual XI making it to their Legacy of the Beast tour. So if you think the albums are crap, the band certainly doesn’t. At the end of the day, this isn’t about you, I, or any other Maiden fans. This is about the disrespect of a major member of the band. Someone who guided the band through the roughest time in Heavy Metal’s history. The mid to late 90’s were a time where the genre almost died.

The albums that Blaze worked on, both hold high spots in my heart, and they should be recognized by the Rock Hall.

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