The Two Album Covers of "No Prayer for the Dying"
With the release of Iron Maiden's eighth studio album No Prayer for the Dying, Artist Derek Riggs had drawn his final studio album cover for the band. Originally, the cover art for the album featured Eddie bursting from the grave yet again and throttling a man holding a lantern, presumably a groundskeeper/gravedigger (pictured above). The plaque on the lid of Eddie's coffin is blank, because Riggs wanted the band to be able to come up with their own inscription, though it seems they never bothered!
The story goes that band manager Rod Smallwood wasn't happy with the cover art (and the resemblance of the "victim" on the cover to himself) and when the album was re-released in 1998, he asked Riggs to remove the character from the cover, which resulted in the version pictured below:
With some vinyl reissues reverting to the original cover, there are many editions out there with or without the "Rod Smallwood"-esque character. This isn't the first time for a similar scenario to occur, where there are multiple versions of a Maiden cover. There's also the blue sky variant of The Number of the Beast and the "Red-Eyed Eddie" version of the debut Iron Maiden.This time, when the artwork was updated, and inscription was finally added to the plaque on Eddie's coffin lid, which reads "After the Daylight, The Night of Pain, That is not Dead, Which Can Rise Again." Which version is better? Does it matter? Let us know!
P.S. In addition to the front cover of the album, the "Tailgunner Eddie" (pictured below) is also associated with the album, and is featured on the picture disc.