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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Iron Maiden - 1982 Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden - 1982 Number Of The Beast

ARTIST: Iron Maiden
ALBUM: Number Of The Beast
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1998, EMI, 7243 4 96918 0 3 * numerous others..


LINEUP: Bruce Dickinson - vocals * Dave Murray - guitars * Adrian Smith - guitars * Steve Harris - bass * Clive Burr - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Invaders * 02 Children Of The Damned * 03 The Prisoner * 04 22 Acacia Avenue * 05 The Number Of The Beast * 06 Run To The Hills * 07 Gangland * 08 Hallowed Be Thy Name


The decision to replace Paul Dianno with Bruce Dickinson was certainly not without many detractors, 'it's not the same band' many were quoted at the time having said. Indeed for those who preferred the faster, more untamed Maiden of the first two albums 'Number Of The Beast' might have been an unsavory experience, as the melodic content was more streamlined and noticeable.The sound remained naturally very heavy, as the alleged 'punk' dynamics of Dianno gave way to the classic high pitch of Dickinson which well and truly ensconced Maiden as purveyors of true metal. Dianno reportedly was removed for various excesses, enjoying a drink or ten, and Dickinson formerly of Samson realistically was heading nowhere in an otherwise fine band. With the desired vocalist Maiden hit their straps as planned with their first British number one record which broke the US market wide open for them. Both amazing feats and a milestone of the NWOBHM, delivering for many the definitive Maiden disc. Many, but not all..

The Songs
Those honours would have to go to 'Piece Of Mind' for myself, but this is the way metal was supposed to be played and handled, then and now. Shoving aside with ease the remainder of the British metal movement (minus Saxon) 'Invaders' is a traditionally strong opener, the surging pace and riffs set to a backdrop of Nordic mayhem showing little had been lost in transition. This is the kind of three minute metal Maiden have abandoned in their recent years, but one you can't help but wish they'd revisit one more time. Mini epic 'Children Of the Damned' sets the tone for all future endeavours, the slow buildup followed by rampaging instrumental excursions. Harris' 'The Prisoner' is of course based on the cult TV show, perhaps to that point Maiden's most melodic chorus. '22 Acacia Avenue' is closest to the spirit of Dianno era, especially the debuts rough charm, see 'Phantom Of the Opera'. The title track and 'Run To The Hills' need little description, both anthems ruined by constant airplay and live airings over the decades to the point both can safely be tucked away forever. 'Gangland' is the most unappreciated track, despised by Harris supposedly, but easily the rawest and fastest moment with a brutal guitar solo that begs for more attention. The seven minute 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' is another epic, well sculpted and reaching a furious crescendo in the final frantic minutes.

In Summary
Already on the verge of stardom, the mammoth success of 'NOTB' made Maiden the biggest metal band of the decade without one inch of doubt. One of the more curious aspects surrounding 'NOTB' down the years was the decision not to include B side 'Total Eclipse' as part of the actual album, as it's a clear classic and amends were made by including as part of the tracklisting on remastered copies of the album. Maiden of course went from strength to strength with Dickinson and his well planned appointment paid dividends that are still being reaped, witness the acclaim given to their fourteenth studio venture 'A Matter Of Life And Death'. A long way removed from 'Number..', which holds up easily as a masterpiece, forever destined to be one of the most famous metal recordings of all time.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 13 2007 22:00:06
I recently had the pleasure (or displeasure) of listening to Dream Theater's live performance of 'Dream Of The Beast', which was a complete rendition of the 'Number Of The Beast' album. I think it was a bootleg from 2005. Fascinating, but hardly memorable. helpless
#2 | sabace on April 03 2008 19:23:29
I loved the first couple of LP's with Di'Anno, and to this day still think this was the best version of the band.
#3 | george_the_jack on June 19 2008 15:11:40
Totally disagree with you Sabace.Sorry
#4 | rostoned on June 19 2008 17:40:14
I gather many people favour the Di Anno years vs the Dickinson stuff, greek friend....don't be surprised! Personally I can't tell since, believe it or not, I don't have single Maiden (or Metallica) LP in my house. But I feel I will get their classics somewhere, sometime
#5 | george_the_jack on June 23 2008 14:43:20
Rostoned, It's not something I've never heard before in the past but I always found it questionable or even unacceptable. When we talk about the Di Anno years, we speak about a completely different band IMO. Maiden created their legend and produced their quality stuff throughout the Dickinson years. If Maiden had not released their 1982-1992 albums, the history of rock/metal would have been much different todays.This is as plain and simple as it gets.Metallica on the other hand,never meant something special throughout my rock history and I've always believed that they were highly overrated and overhyped as a band but that's me anyway...No-one can put in arguement that they are one of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal music.
#6 | gdazegod on March 21 2013 12:26:26
YouTube Video:
#7 | englandashes on April 11 2013 12:05:53
Yesterday marked the anniversary of this hitting the number 1 album in the UK, 1982.
#8 | gdazegod on April 11 2013 13:14:44
I still remember the day I bought it..
#9 | reyno-roxx on April 11 2013 20:11:51
I can't remember the day I bought this, but I do remember the day I first heard Iron Maiden. It was in a German record store on the first 'Metal For Muthas' album after a two and a half hour cycle ride! My mate Chris bought the album and I bought a Kiss poster....

I still prefer the first two Maiden albums overall, but Bruce brought a different dimension to the band and it was the right decision in bringing him in when they did.
#10 | englandashes on April 11 2013 20:50:38
I brought the picture disc single of Run to the Hills, then the blood red vinyl single of the title track, before I could invest in the album, I was only on pocket money at the time!, not even a paper round!, so really after all these years my financial position hasn't change much!
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