Sound — 8
This is a compilation album, and generally features the best Maiden songs you can ask for. Nothing on here is bad Maiden by any means! This compilation features heavily from 1982-1984, although completely airbrushes out Paul Di'Anno's contributions, replacing the essentials with lives sung by Bruce, which is interesting. The album cover is pretty cool, featuring lots of Eddies. The problem with Iron Maiden is that they have so many good songs, you have to work out which songs to include on 'best of' albums. Inevitably, the singles such as "Run To The Hills" and the "Trooper" are favoured over album tracks such as "Deja Vu" and "Children Of The Damned" which is unfortunate. Maybe the album should have been called 'Greatest Hits' or similar? Saying this, the songs included are not bad ones. Bear in mind this was released in 1996, guys, and everything from "Virtual XI" and the new Bruce albums weren't around then. "Virus" is the new song on this CD. It's a number taking the metal ballad structure of quiet going on loud. It isn't bad. It isn't fantastic. Let's be honest, "Man On The Edge" from "The X Factor" could have been left out, but retrospectives have to be fair to all eras of the band (of course, let's forget about Paul Di'Anno). To be fair, Bruce Dickinson will always be THE Iron Maiden vocalist and many of their best albums come from him, even after 1996. You know what their stuff sounds like. The epic "Hallowed Be Thy Name", anthemic "Aces High" and downright evil "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter" - all here. Could have included a few others but overall not a bad selection for first timers (this was my first Maiden album). 10/10 for the quality of the songs, 7/10 for the song choice.
Lyrics — 10
One of the good things about Iron Maiden is their lyrics for sure. I mean, you get history lessons through listening to some of their songs, for god's sake! Maiden consistently write high quality lyrics about a range of topics. "The Number Of The Beast" is about Satan (obviously) and how Steve 'Arris saw him in a dream. Once. "Running Free" is about being sixteen and leaving your crappy city on a newly acquired vehicle, fueled by dreams and hope for the future. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a man's last thoughts before death. Iron Maiden write lyrics, and you're going to enjoy them. Okay?
Overall Impression — 8
Iron Maiden are a NWOBHM band that pioneered the combination of metal and punk. Thrash metal bands like Metallica upped the punk for their speed, but by then, hardcore was taking shape. Iron Maiden aren't as breakneck or heavy as these bands, but their importance and influence is written all over all the bands that followed in their wake. Give any young metaller this CD and he'll love it. I wouldn't bother buying it again due to the fact that I went out and got all the other Maiden albums, so I don't need it as much anymore, unless I want to be completist. A good introduction to Iron Maiden. If you like it, get their discography. Marked down for missing out a few classics.