|1. Run To The Hills|
|2. The Number Of The Beast|
|3. The Prisoner (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|4. 22 Acacia Avenue (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|5. The Number Of The Beast (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|6. Run To The Hills (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|7. Gangland (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|8. Total Eclipse (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|9. Hallowed Be Thy Name (1998 Digital Remaster)|
In 1981, it finally happened. Due to increasing dependence on alcohol, the band was finally forced to expel vocalist Paul Di'Anno from the band. Many fans of the band were horrified by this turn of events and felt that no one would be able to fill Paul's shoes. However, Steve Harris had an ace up his sleeve. He had previously collaborated with another NWOBHM band, Samson. He was impressed by their lead vocalist, Bruce Bruce (better known to us fans as Bruce Dickinson.) Since Samson wasn't going anywhere, Steve welcomed Bruce to Maiden as their new lead vocalist. Many felt Bruce would never fill the shoes of Paul.
Boy, those people must feel stupid now!
Read on for my review of this album, as well as my comments on the remaster series.
Invaders - An awesome hard-rocking opener. An excellent way for the band to introduce fans to Bruce's vocal style.
Children of the Damned - A hard and gloomy track, this one has become a fan favorite, and with good reason.
The Prisoner - If the intro to this song doesn't give it away, this song is about the cult sixties television series of the same name. It's an excellent rocker in which Bruce's vocal delivery (especially in the chorus) is the high point.
Twenty-Two Acacia Avenue - The second song in the "Charlotte The Harlot" series. This is all-out hard rock with a darker sound to it. Not the best song here, but nothing short of excellent.
Number of the Beast - Oh, yeah. Though this song was the source of controversy in the States at its original time of release, it's since become a fan favorite. It's a song that must be heard to be appreciated.
Run to the Hills - The most famous song on this album, and one of the band's finest. The riff in the opening verse will show you why people love Dave Murray and Adrian Smith so much. Who would've thought someone could make a cool song about the slaughter of Native Americans?
Gangland - This is probably the weakest track here, but I don't see what everyone's problem with it is. It's a good solid rocker with the band playing in its prime. This would've been a better track if it had opened the album, or not come right after two of the band's biggest hits.
Hallowed Be Thy Name - The closer starts out dark and gloomy, but it becomes a fast and furious rocker in no time at all. How could you NOT love this song, people?
Total Eclipse - THIS SONG IS IN NO WAY RELATED TO "TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART" BY BONNIE TYLER. It's basically a typical rocker. One of the weaker tracks here, but still pretty damn good.
Now for my comments on the remasters series - as a die-hard Maiden fan, I AM SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED. Sure, the sound quality is improved over the original CD issues and there is some cool enhanced CD footage (all the remasters before the X Factor have this), but this reissue is lacking the most important thing a remaster needs: BONUS TRACKS. We get one bonus cut (Total Eclipse), but that just isn't enough. The total play time doesn't come too close to the eighty minutes that can fit on a CD. There were a plethora of rare tracks from this era that have never before been issued by the band (except for in the restrictively expensive box set. These rarities include B-Sides, interviews, BBC session tracks, and others.) To put it simply, if you already own the original issue of this album on CD, it's really not necessary to get the new remaster.
Are you just getting into Iron Maiden? THIS IS THE ALBUM YOU SHOULD START WITH! Don't bother with hits compilations, as not one of them to date has captured the true essence of the band. Buy this one first, and if you like it, get the other albums with Bruce (Don't get the ones with Paul Di'Anno and/or Blaze Bayley unless you're a DIE HARD FAN.) Number Of The Beast is a true metal classic. You've gotta hear it for yourself to believe it!