The Number of the Beast review by Iron Maiden

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jan 3, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.5 (219 votes)
Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast
14

Sound — 10
This, as some may not know, is Iron Maiden's first album with Bruce Dickinson on Vocals. It is arguably Maiden's best album, although not my personal favourite, but I still love it. It was here in late 1981-1982 that Iron Maiden found their "classic sound", after Killers, it does sound quite different. Although a lot remains the same, especially Steve Harris' galloping bass lines (where would maiden be without it). For sound, I am trying to focus on a negative, but I just can't find anything. The music just rocks, that's all I can really say, whether or not you like maiden, at least one song will make you admire them (most likely Hallowed Be Thy Name or Children of the Damned).

Lyrics — 10
When compared to the previous album Killers, the lyrics have come a long way, which is true. Steve Harris and co. have touched upon deeper concepts (e.g. White Man vs. Cherokee, condemned thoughts) and some songs inspired by TV (The Prisoner).

01. Invaders - a remake of Invasion, which was one of Harris' earliets compositions (from the soundhouse tapes 1979), the lyrics are about viking raids on Britain. Sung very well by Dickinson. This song is all about the bass guitar!
02. Children Of The Damned - based on the films "Village Of The Damned" and "Children Of The Damned", which were in turn, adapted from the novel, "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham. Interesting lyrics, I suppose you have to watch the films to fully understand it. A very nice guitar solo by Adrian Smith. Very powerful vocals by Bruce Dickinson in the faster part of the song.
03. The Prisoner - inspired by the british TV show of the same name. It talks about a prisoner escaping, the vocals are dazzling and the guitar amazing.
04. 22 Acacia Avenue - the first sequel to Charlotte the Harlot (a Dave Murray composition from the first album "Iron Maiden"), and easily one of the best songs on the album. There are only two songs on the album that Dickinson sings better, and I'll tell you when we get there. The lyrics are about a prostitute named Charlotte, and about a man (maybe one of the maiden guys) wishing to take her to a better life.
05. The Number Of The Beast - one of the singles. This is Dickinson's 2nd best vocal performance on this album. It was written by Steve Harris about a bad dream he had after watching the movie "Damien: Omen II". It opens with a spoken introduction drawn heavily from the King James Version of Revelations 13:18 (bible reference). It is about witnessing devil worshippers.
06. Run To The Hills - considered by some to be the best maiden song, I disagree. This is my 2nd least favourite song on the album, but that's not to say I don't like it, I do. Lyrically, it is one of the best lyrics on the album, about when white man first came to North America and killed Indians. Very anthemic chorus, very powerfully sung.
07. Gangland - my personal least favourite, but you may disagree. The lyrics are about a discipline impoverished society, (although I may be wrong, but that's how I depict it). it is one of the only two songs co - written by drummer Clive Burr (Maiden nineteen, seventy something, 1982).
08. Total Eclipse - this song is only on the remastered edition and is the other song by Clive Burr (Harris/Murray/Burr). It is one of the best songs on the album and should have replaced Gangland on the original. The lyrics are abut a new ice age caused by humans (I think). Wait, this is Bruce Dickinson's 2nd best vocal performance (move the others down one), if you don't have this song on your original, then get it, it's worth it.
09. Hallowed Be Thy Name - this is Iron Maiden's best song. The lyrics are about a condemned man waiting to go to the gallows and the final thoughts going through his head (it's so good, I did my Year 10 English Poetry Assessment on this song). No metal fan hates this song. It is easily Bruce Dickinson's best vocal performance ever, holding a note for some 15 seconds! the song is complete with Steve Harris' gallopping bass line and the dual guitar lead by Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. If I could, I'd give this song 12/10, but I can't so I'll give it 10/10, again and again and again.

Overall Impression — 10
If this album were stolen, I would as soon as possible get in my car and get a new one. I love everything about it, and can't really think of anything to hate, I hope I have convinced you to buy this album, and if you have it, I hope you agree with me.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ironmaidenrulez
    Sceptile_Master : Yeah got the album today. It kicks ass. One thing though. Drums on the album weren't by nicko and adrian and dave both share lead and rhythm duties I think. Yanick isn't on the album. So only 2 guitarists. yes of course. yanick come in maiden when the fear of the dark album was realased. and also the drums where by clive burr who left after this album because of MS (multiple slurosis) which is infection of the nevus system so he alwys is twiching and can't control his muscles proplerly. shame but he still plays but no with maiden.
    Big Tommy P
    ironmaidenrulez wrote: Sceptile_Master : Yeah got the album today. It kicks ass. One thing though. Drums on the album weren't by nicko and adrian and dave both share lead and rhythm duties I think. Yanick isn't on the album. So only 2 guitarists. yes of course. yanick come in maiden when the fear of the dark album was realased. and also the drums where by clive burr who left after this album because of MS (multiple slurosis) which is infection of the nevus system so he alwys is twiching and can't control his muscles proplerly. shame but he still plays but no with maiden.
    just so you know, it's Janick, not Yanick, and he came along in time for No Prayer For The Dying. and Clive Burr didn't really leave for MS reasons, he left because he felt there was more to life than just music, (well probably both actually, but i don't think he was diagnosed then). And Adrian does as much lead guitar work as Dave, i hope this has been enlightening
    Big Tommy P
    boyan89 wrote: why didnt anyone do a review earlier on this album!!!i was the 1st 1
    you know, i saw no review for this so i did it about the same time as you, yours is shorter so you probably finished quicker ,but we did it on the same day