Adrian Smith (born Adrian Frederik Smith, 27 February 1957, Hackney, East London, England) is an English guitarist and one of three guitarists/songwriters in the British band Iron Maiden. He also performs backing vocals on some songs, along with Steve Harris.
While at school, Adrian befriended Dave Murray and formed his first band Urchin as lead singer and lead guitarist. Adrian had bought his first guitar from Murray, a Woolworths' Top 20, for five quid (later he painted it silver and sold it again for 12 quid, as he states in the Early Days DVD). Murray left Urchin to join Iron Maiden, the new band of another local musician, Steve Harris. Smith continued to front Urchin, with limited success, until joining Maiden in early 1980 for the Killers album (released in 1981), replacing Dennis Stratton. Smith first wrote songs for Maiden on the 1982 album The Number of the Beast, and was the band's secondary songwriter from then on (often in co-operation with Bruce Dickinson). Smith and Dave Murray combined playing dual lead guitars helping to forge the trademark sound of Iron Maiden. Some notable lead duets are "The Duellists", "2 Minutes to Midnight", "The Trooper", "Alexander the Great" and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". Notable solos include "Wasted Years", "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "The Wicker Man".
Adrian's solos are usually composed rather than improvised. His legato playing is very smooth and fast and typically even his very fast passages have a musical function and relationship to the chord structure behind the solo, drawing from modes and arpeggios which are more often from blues licks.