The founder of the long-running heavy metal outfit Iron Maiden , bassist/songwriter Steve Harris was born in London on March 12, 1957. A highly touted soccer player in his youth, he gave up his sporting career to pursue his musical aspirations, forming Iron Maiden in 1976. Though the group’s 1979 debut EP The Soundhouse Tapes reflected their punk inspirations, their self-titled 1980 full-length fully embraced metal, earning a Top Five hit at home. Harris composed much of Maiden ’s material, drawing upon mythology and the occult to write hard rock epics like “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and “The Number of the Beast.” The 1981 addition of vocalist Bruce Dickinson further solidified the band’s position at the forefront of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and throughout the 1980s, Iron Maiden enjoyed a huge following at home and abroad despite almost no mainstream media attention. Although Dickinson ’s 1991 departure proved a severe blow to the band’s popularity, they soldiered on with new vocalist Blaze Bayley until Dickinson returned to the lineup in 1999, in time to celebrate Iron Maiden ’s 20th anniversary. Although kept busy by Iron Maiden , who continued to make records and tour with Dickinson back at the helm in the years that followed, Harris was able to gradually record his first solo album. Arriving in 2012, British Lion was the result of Steve Harris working with musicians from a band of the same name that he had managed and written with during the 1990s. With vocals provided by Richard Taylor, alongside guitarists Graham Leslie and David Hawkins, the record was heavily influenced by 70s rock artists such as the Who and UFO .