Virus (6:12)

Cover of Best of the Beast

From Best of the Beast and 3 other releases

“Virus” is a single from Iron Maiden, released in 1996. It is the first single since 1980’s “Women in Uniform” ‘that does not appear on any official Iron Maiden studio album. It was, however, featured as a brand new track on the band’s first ever career retrospective — 1996’s double-disc The Best of the Beast. It is the only Iron Maiden song to be credited to both of the band’s guitarists. It has yet to be performed in Iron Maiden concerts featuring Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Along with “Sign of the Cross” from The X Factor, and “The Clansman” from Virtual XI, Virus is widely considered one of the best Iron Maiden songs with Blaze Bayley as the frontman.

In order to celebrate the band’s 21 years, the single was released in three different formats. The first format features the same B-sides as the Lord of the Flies single from 1996, which included covers from The Who and UFO. The second features songs from the 1979 compilation album Metal for Muthas, which marks the only studio recordings to feature former guitarist Tony Parsons. The third features two songs from Maiden’s legendary 1978 demo recordings, The Soundhouse Tapes.

On the EP Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada by Post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the track “Blaise Bailey Finnegan III” features the eponymous vox pop performer reciting a poem made from the lyrics from “Virus”, written by Blaze Bailey (no relation).


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There's an evil virus that's threatening mankind
Not state of the art, a serious state of the mind
The muggers, the back stabbers, the two faced elite
A menace to society, a social disease

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • Twiggy3

    Blaze > Bruce

    12 May 1:36pm Reply
  • skalberg242

    I had forgotten about this track. I remember it was included on my Best of the Beast CD which I lost years ago. One of the best Blaze era songs.

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • ColinCoitus

    Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s Blaise Bailey Finnegan III led me here. Have been a big Maiden fan for years but had no idea that GYBE! used this song.

    14 Jun 2014 Reply
  • marcio_goku

    Second best blaze song. The first is Sign of the cross

    28 Feb 2014 Reply
  • MetalRock1989

    Masterpiece. Blaze rocks!

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • PedroRattlehead


    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • ivor138

    oh I haven´t heard this song for years...this is pure awesomeness.I love this song. [2]

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • WiJoCo

    I like how they decided to challenge the listener with this one. See how many have the patience/open mind (call it what you will) to get through the first half before it kicks into gear. That's part of why I dislike the radio edit version.

    4 Jul 2012 Reply
  • patrikkkll Live version by BLAZE is amazing.

    25 Jun 2012 Reply
  • deathraiser_666

    Best sonfg of the Blaze Era

    28 Apr 2012 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    "best track on the worst maiden album!" This song isn't on any studio album FYI

    14 Mar 2012 Reply
  • michciu4

    best Blaze song

    9 Mar 2012 Reply

    One of Blazes best works

    16 Jan 2012 Reply
  • venomenon

    Pure awesomeness begins at 4:10, the calm parts are great too. The rest suffers from acute blazeism.

    10 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Romulus_Odinson

    Great song! In Brazil, this virus are called "Políticos".

    31 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Hetaf_


    6 Aug 2011 Reply
  • krame

    This song is criminally under-rated. That said, "The rats in the cellar, you know who you are/The rats in the cellar, you know who you are/The rats in the cellar, you know who you are/The rats in the cellar, you know who you are/Or do you?/Or do you?/Or do you?/Or do you?" is probably the nadir of Maiden's lyrics...

    19 Jun 2011 Reply
  • ConspiracyOf_1

    best track on the worst maiden album!

    18 May 2011 Reply
  • DennisRicley

    foda demais

    4 May 2011 Reply
  • OneThrashMind

    I think this song is really the bridge between The X Factor and Virtual XI. It has X`s dark lyrics, and XI`s chunkier sound. Anyway, I love it. [3]

    31 Mar 2011 Reply
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