Iron Maiden are a British heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band’s discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, eleven live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.
Pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal, Iron Maiden achieved initial success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of UK and US platinum and gold albums, including 1982’s The Number of the Beast, 1983’s Piece of Mind, 1984’s Powerslave, 1985’s live release Live After Death, 1986’s Somewhere in Time and 1988’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Since the return of lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith in 1999, the band have undergone a resurgence in popularity, with their 2010 studio offering, The Final Frontier, peaking at No. 1 in 28 countries and receiving widespread critical acclaim. Their sixteenth studio album, The Book of Souls, was released on 4 September 2015.
Despite little radio or television support, Iron Maiden are considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, with The Observer reporting in 2015 that the band have sold over 90 million copies of their albums worldwide. The band won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002. As of October 2013, the band have played over 2000 live shows throughout their career. For the past 35 years, the band have been supported by their famous mascot, “Eddie“, who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as in their live shows.
The Number of the Beast is the third studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released in March 1982. It was their first release to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson and their last with the late drummer Clive Burr.
The Number of the Beast met with considerable critical and commercial success and was a landmark release for the band—becoming their first album to reach No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart, and be certified platinum in the US. The album also produced the singles “Run to the Hills” and “The Number of the Beast“, the former of which was the band’s first top-ten UK single. The album was also controversial, particularly in the US, due to the religious references in its artwork and the title track’s lyrics.
Invaders—-As a long time Maiden fan…..having seen them 13 times and collected all I can get my hands on, I can tell you….there is nothing like the opening notes of a maiden song. You know who you are listening to and what to expect. This album…one of the best in the history of the band…opens with the classic galloping bass of Harris and then Dickinson begins to sing….transporting you to places you have never been. This was a much harder edge to Metal at the time…but a legion of fans fell in line to become members. Dickinson delivers a vocal that is stellar…hitting incredible notes and delivering an energy that is unforgettable.
Children Of The Damned—-Cementing the ability of the band to tell huge tales through music…vocal and mood, this was a precursor for every great epic song that came after. Dickinson…while not screaming…still defines the footprint for many Metal singers that came after. The moods that the song moves through are extra-ordinary. This is epic Metal…and could only be delivered by the Dickinson/Harris partnership.
The Prisoner—-With that classic narrative from the Television show, the band set a precedent for spoken word intros!!! When that huge drum smacks you in the face…followed by the incredible guitar chords, you know this is something special indeed. The band takes their time…allowing you o fall into the groove of the song before the Harris bass line takes to song to an even bigger song. Dickinson only adds to the song and makes it incredible. The melody line that flows through the track gives Bruce something to really sink his teeth into…this is a triumph. i never tire of this track……ever.
22 Acacia Avenue—-Aggressive right from the onset, Dickinson enters with a menacing sounding vocal that turns into a soar with the notes he manages to hit. The band…..sounding so full and powerful never overpowers his voice…falling away as he begins to tell his tale even more. This is a well-tuned machine…even this early in the ‘relationship’. Dickinson could always sing this powerfully…check out his earlier band Samson……but this is fantastic…the chord changes the mood changes….all coming together in perfect harmony.
The Number Of The Beast—-Perhaps the song of the year, I never get tired of hearing this track. The backlash that came from the song was un called for…the track is harmless…if you grew up with the band as I did. The powerful instrumentation, the overblown theatrical vocals all make the lyric seem acceptable in today standards. This is a classic Heavy Metal track that plays as well today as it did in 1982…especially live!!!! All Hail Eddie!!!
Run To The Hills—-Incredibly epic in just a few short minutes, Dickinson gives a huge overblown theatrical performance…..in voice alone. You feel like you are literally watching a movie as the song progresses. The galloping Harris bass that became a trademark of the band never sounded better or more important than it is here. This is a classic track that will never grow old…sound old….or become old in the tale it tells.
Gangland—-The drums usher in a great track that is often overlooked and underplayed in the Maiden catalog. This song…filled with energy and vocal venom is fantastic. Bruce sounds so driven with his voice…singing in that comfortable range yet still managing to give you goose bump material in his delivery. The band is so strong behind him….a literal wall of sound is created on this track. The scream Bruce gives mid song is epic…..Classic!
Total Eclipse—-Perhaps the weakest track on this release….and that is saying if anything is weak on this album, this song falls a bit short for me. The vocal seems pushed away from the microphone for the first time in a recording on here. The band even plays at a bit of a muted pace….the sound just does not seem as clear as other things on the release….still a really great effort.
Hallowed Be Thy Name—-Still played live today…and still generating the excitement I feel right now. When Dickinson delivers that first drawn out note that allows for the song to explode into perfection still sounds as epic as it did the first time I heard it. The trademark Maiden sound just overtakes the song and it becomes literally HUGE…..this is a masterpiece of a song….ebbs and flows throughout the song….but you never lose the excitement or the power of the band. Exquisite!!!
***** out of 5 !!!!!