Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album from Iron Maiden. It is the last album made by Iron Maiden with Bruce Dickinson, until he and Adrian Smith returned in 1999. It was also the first album to be produced by bassist and band founder Steve Harris, and the last to feature the work of producer Martin Birch (who retired after its release).
According to the band's biographer, Mick Wall, the Fear of the Dark album cover depicts their mascot, Eddie, "as some sort of Nosferatu tree figure leering at the moon". It was the group's first not to be designed by artist Derek Riggs, whose contributions were rejected in favour of Melvyn Grant's. According to Iron Maiden's manager, Rod Smallwood, the band began accepting contributions from other artists as "We wanted to upgrade Eddie for the 90s. We wanted to take him from the sort of comic-book horror creature and turn him into something a bit more straightforward so that he became even more threatening." Following Fear of the Dark, Grant has produced several more covers for Iron Maiden, making him the band's second most-frequent artist after Riggs.