Some bands thought recording B-sides for singles in the ‘70s and ‘80s was just extra work to grumble about. But Iron Maiden always seemed to relish the opportunity to pay tribute to their heroes or find a home for material that didn't fit on an album.

They celebrated their influences, recording songs by some of their favorite artists, including Montrose, Jethro Tull and Thin Lizzy.

The band's sense of humor also came through: They slipped a modified Blues Brothers reference (“We’re on a mission from Rod”) into “Sheriff of Huddersfield,” a song about their longtime manager, Rod Smallwood. And an encounter with a female fan provides the substance for “Black Bart Blues.”

Other tracks reveal the depth of their songwriting and how there were some really good songs left off the albums and often relegated to B-sides.

Considering the creative overspill that's built up across Iron Maiden's career, which spans more than four decades and almost 20 studio albums, there’s a lot to listen to. We’ve selected more than 20 of our under-the-radar favorites in a playlist outlined in the below video. If the band ever decides to do a “deep cuts” tour, we’d love to see some of these songs in the set list.

At the very least, there's evidence that Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has been thinking about some of the more obscure tracks in their catalog. He mentioned The Number of the Beast-era B-side "Total Eclipse" during a spoken-word performance and admitted in a 2021 interview that he'd love to return album tracks like "The Prisoner" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" to the set list.

Iron Maiden Albums Ranked

When ranking Iron Maiden albums, perhaps the most striking thing is that they succeeded despite changing lead singers on three separate occasions.