Great Metal Albums of 1982: Iron Maiden- The Number of the Beast
Honestly, I didn’t intend to make the post of Iron Maiden’s killer 1982 album “The Number of the Beast” coincide with the release of their latest album “Book of Souls.” I was just simply going down my list of albums for 1982 and it was next. However, the gods of rock operate in mysterious ways and so it must have been their will that the post would be made in light of the new album. Especially since “The Number of the Beast” was the first album to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead singer. It has already been established that the new album is a personal triumph for Bruce after his battle with cancer so maybe it’s fitting that appropriate tribute is paid to his first album with Iron Maiden.
Unlike several other bands who were around in 1982, Iron Maiden was not one of those who escaped my attention. Quite the opposite, it was this year when I discovered them while on liberty in Toulon, France. Somebody played an Iron Maiden song that was on a juke box in a bar there and the rest was history. I can’t even remember which Maiden song it was, too much alcohol, but I know I liked it. It probably wasn’t even from this album.
What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? For me, it has all the wonderful tracks that led me to love Iron Maiden. This album features such classics as “Run to the Hills,” The Number of the Beast,” “22 Acacia Avenue” “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “The Prisoner.” See, I heard each of these songs other places such as live albums and videos before I ever heard this album and they were stand out songs on those. Hearing all of them together on one album was simply a mega bonus. Even the track least known to me, “Gangland,” is a very cool track that has every bit of the grit that Iron Maiden puts into all of their songs. I have already declared that “The Number of the Beast” is my favourite Iron Maiden studio album.
There are many things that make this album so good. Obviously all of the classic kick ass tracks that are on the album. However, I agree with many thousands and thousands of others who said that the vocals of Dickinson was what took it up to the summit of great albums. His voice is fresh and ferocious, a combination that many singers don’t have together in abundance. Still, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band. The guitars of Smith and Murray are just superb with the rhythm section of Harris and Burr keeping things all together. With all of these things, it is no wonder the songs are so good.
- Children of the Damned
- The Prisoner
- 22 Acacia Avenue
- The Number of the Beast
- Run to the Hills
- Hallowed Be Thy Name
Along with all the great music associated with “The Number of the Beast” from Iron Maiden, it is also had it’s share of controversy. Without even bothering to listen to the album, the religious right in America branded the band ‘Satan worshipers’ due to the title of the album. This led to record burnings and protests at their concerts and why when I finally got to see them two tours later, they felt the need to tell every audience they played to in America they weren’t Satan worshipers. I highlight this point in “Rock And Roll Children.” One listen to the album will provide plenty of evidence they aren’t. “The Prisoner” was inspired by the popular British television show. “22 Acacia Avenue” is about a house of ill repute, and I am pretty sure it was inspired by the trial of Madam Cyn in London who was acquitted of running a house for prostitution. The more famous “Run to the Hills” is about the plight of the Native Americans. I could go on here but the point is that the songs aren’t Satanic. In fact, the subjects of many of the songs of Iron Maiden is another reason why I like them so much.
Next post: Ted Nugent- Nugent
To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London
This entry was posted on September 6, 2015 at 6:43 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Book of Souls, British, Bruce Dickinson, Classic Rock, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Iron Maiden, Rock And Roll Children, The 1980s, The Number of the Beast. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.