The Number of the Beast

( 14 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Routinely ranked among the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, The Number of the Beast is the birth of Iron Maiden as we know it, a relentless metal machine lifted to soaring new heights by the arrival of erstwhile Samson frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson's operatic performance here made him an instant metal icon, challenging even Rob Halford for bragging rights, and helped launch the band into the stratosphere. The Number of the Beast topped the charts in the U.K., but even more crucially -- with Judas Priest having moved into more commercial territory -- it also made Iron Maiden the band of choice for purists who wanted their metal uncompromised. Maiden took the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Routinely ranked among the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, The Number of the Beast is the birth of Iron Maiden as we know it, a relentless metal machine lifted to soaring new heights by the arrival of erstwhile Samson frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson's operatic performance here made him an instant metal icon, challenging even Rob Halford for bragging rights, and helped launch the band into the stratosphere. The Number of the Beast topped the charts in the U.K., but even more crucially -- with Judas Priest having moved into more commercial territory -- it also made Iron Maiden the band of choice for purists who wanted their metal uncompromised. Maiden took the basic blueprint Priest had created in the late '70s -- aggressive tempos, twin-guitar interplay, wide-ranging power vocals -- and cranked everything up faster and louder. The album's intensity never lets up, the musical technique is peerless for its time, and there isn't a truly unmemorable song in the bunch. Blessed with a singer who could drive home a melody in grandiose fashion, Steve Harris' writing gets more ambitious, largely abandoning the street violence of old in favor of fittingly epic themes drawn from history, science fiction, and horror. The exceptions are "22 Acacia Avenue," a sequel to "Charlotte the Harlot" that sounds written for Di'Anno's range, and the street-crime tale "Gangland," which Harris didn't write; though the punk influences largely left with Di'Anno, these two definitely recall the Maiden of old. As for the new, two of the band's and, for that matter, heavy metal's all-time signature songs are here. The anthemic "Run to the Hills" dramatized the conquest of the Native Americans and became the band's first Top Ten U.K. single. It features Maiden's trademark galloping rhythm, which in this case serves to underscore the images of warriors on horseback. Meanwhile, the title track's odd-meter time signature keeps the listener just slightly off balance and unsettled, leading into the most blood-curdling Dickinson scream on record; the lyrics, based on nothing more than Harris' nightmare after watching a horror movie, naturally provoked hysterical accusations of Satan worship which, in turn, naturally provoked sales. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is perhaps the most celebrated of the band's extended epics; it's the tale of a prisoner about to be hanged, featuring some of Harris' most philosophical lyrics. It opens with a superbly doomy atmosphere before giving way to a succession of memorable instrumental lines and an impassioned performance by Dickinson; despite all the tempo changes, the transitions never feel jarring. Elsewhere, "The Prisoner" is a catchy retelling of the hit British TV series, and "Children of the Damned" is a slower, heavier number patterned after the downtempo moments of Dio-era Black Sabbath. CD remasters integrate "Total Eclipse," first released as the B-side of "Run to the Hills," into the running order. Though some moments on The Number of the Beast are clearly stronger than others, the album as a whole represented a high-water mark for heavy metal, striking a balance between accessible melodicism and challenging technique and intensity. Everything fell into place for Iron Maiden here at exactly the right time, and the result certainly ranks among the top five most essential heavy metal albums ever recorded. A cornerstone of the genre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/29/1998
  • Label: RAW POWER
  • UPC: 602923012926
  • Catalog Number: 129

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Iron Maiden Primary Artist
Bruce Dickinson Vocals
Adrian Smith Guitar, Vocals
Clive Burr Drums
Steve Harris Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Nicko McBrain Drums
David Murray Guitar
Dave Murray Guitar
Technical Credits
Iron Maiden Producer
Paul Di'Anno Composer
Martin Birch Producer, Engineer
Clive Burr Composer
Nigel Green Engineer
Doug Hall Producer
Steve Harris Composer
Simon Heyworth Remastering
Rod Smallwood Concept
Derek Riggs Cover Illustration, Sleeve Illustration
Martin "Farmer" Birch Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome.........

    If you ask a TRUE old school metal fan to name the top 5 metal bands of all time, 4 would be British. Iron Maiden created speed metal. They created the sound that Metallica copied, no arguments, I will fight you. If you take Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, and Iron Maiden, you have ALL of the roots of Metal. PERIOD. The invention of "EDDIE" added to the mystique that you don't have with today's bands. Maiden, like Sabbath and Priest, has character. Fabulous live band.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    worthy of the crown

    some say this is the best of the bunch,but i disagree.it can get boring at times.but other than that it's still a great album.key tracks-invaders,children of the damned,the number of the beast,hallowed be thy name

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Born

    My mom used to play this album for me to go to sleep when I was a baby. I've loved it literally since birth. Iron Maiden is the greatest band alive, I love them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Total Eclipse?

    ...well,no. This is not so bad, but when Paul Di'Anno left, something changed. Bruce sings differently. This is not so believable than the two first ones. The guitars and drums are better than ever. Lyrics are good but too simple. All about hell! The best track is "Children of the Damned" because...while you're listening this you feel like the vocalist would really be in trouble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    maiden's greatest album!!!

    on this album maiden combined all the great elements of previous hard rock and heavy metal music,thin lizzy dual guitars,the dark athmosphere found in priest and sabbaths music and the songwriting capabilities of all these,resulting in what is a masterpiece of metal.in the pantheon of metal albums stands ride the lightning,master of puppets,reign in blood to name but a few.this album stands alongside them.amazing!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BEST MAIDEN ALBUM!!!!!

    GET THIS ALBUM IT ROCKS AND SHOWS WHO MAIDEN REALLY IS.FAVORITES SONGS ARE INVADERS,CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED,PRISONER.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted October 5, 2010

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    Posted November 18, 2008

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    Posted January 8, 2009

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    Posted November 16, 2008

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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    Posted March 30, 2009

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    Posted April 27, 2009

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