Tuesday, March 04, 2008

513. Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast (1982)

Track Listing

1. Invaders
2. Children Of The Damned
3. Prisoner
4. 22 Acacia Avenue
5. The Number Of The Beast
6. Run To The Hills
7. Gangland
8. Total Eclipse
9. Hallowed Be Thy Name


Ah, another Metal album, but if you are to compare it to Venom, for example, this is a sublime work of art. If you are to compare it to most other good music, it isn't. But we really need to compare like with like, and my general dislike for Metal does give me a bias here.

This is a pretty fun album, but it is also a supremely kitsch one, and much of the fun you derive from the album is completely unintentional, Dickinson's theatrical voice style for example is not meant to sound ridiculous, and it does. But that does not affect the album adversely, it adds to its kitschiness.

That is no to say there aren't great tracks here, and a definite highlight is Run to the Hills, a great metal anthem. Generally the album is too self-important to be taken that seriously, there is almost always an element of masturbation to metal music, with the possible exception being Motorhead, but Iron Maiden do it in the best possible way. It still is the best possible way of doing something bad, however.

Track Highlights

1. Run to the Hills
2. Number Of The Beast
3.The Prisoner
4. 22 Acacia Avenue

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Even though Iron Maiden were on the brink of worldwide superstardom after their breakthrough second album, Killers, vocalist Paul Di'Anno left the band at the conclusion of its 1981 world tour. The Number of the Beast is thus vocalist Bruce Dickinson's debut album with the band.

The album made UK Number 1, with the single "Run to the Hills" reaching number 7 and the title track reaching number 18.

On the Billboard Music Charts, "Hallowed Be Thy Name" hit number 50 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album peaked at number 33 and number 150 on the Pop Albums and Billboard Top 200, respectively and went Gold in the U.S. in 1983 and Platinum a few years later.

The album was also the centre of much controversy, particularly in America, due to the lyrics of the title track and the cover art. It was widely panned by mainstream media upon its release, including Rolling Stone, who claimed that it "blusters along aimlessly, proving again that bad music is hell."

Since this album (and its tour Beast on the Road), "The Beast" has become something of a nickname for the band and possibly Eddie, as suggested by albums such as Best of the Beast (which featured a 'best of Eddie' mural on the cover), Beast over Hammersmith, and the DVD Visions of the Beast.

This album is the only one to feature song writing by drummer Clive Burr. This is one of several reasons why the album was so different from previous ones other than the obvious change in lead singer. It was the first album with writing by Adrian Smith (see below track listing for details), and the first to feature writing by the 'new' Steve Harris (his older style had been written for different musicians, and in a different time) - the entire writing system was different. However, it is one of the few albums not to feature a Dave Murray song.

Run To The Hills:


Anonymous said...

If there ever was a guitly pleasure, it's this.

Francisco Silva said...


And, by the way, 22 Acacia Avenue is a sequel to Charlotte the Harlot.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I know all too well the other songs in the Charlotte the Harlot saga. I think she dies in "From Here to Eternity" on Fear of the Dark.

Thank God high school is behind me.

Anonymous said...

The newest Radiohead single sounds suspiciously like "The Number of the Beast" in a couple places... HMMMM.

Anonymous said...

You can tell this list is American in origin; there's far too much metal here.

I can understand a bit, but how many Metallica albums (for example) really deserve to be on here? It's the one really big problem with this list.