The Number of the Beast: Album Discussion

This thread is for the album "The Number of the Beast".

Of the first three albums, this one is without question the best album. I liked Paul Di'Anno but there's nothing better than Bruce Dickinson's classic howl that you hear right out of the gates in "Invaders".
There is not a single bad song on this album. Even the "filler" songs that some refer to, Invaders, The Prisoner, Gangland are better than most prior albums filler songs. I also like Gangland. Why is that such a disliked song?
22 Acacia Avenue and Hallowed Be Thy Name are the two best songs on the album for me. I can thank 22 Acacia Avenue for reinvigorating this love for all things IM. That guitar solo hooked me in.

I may have a bias because this was my first IM album. We will see how others compare. I can only hope there are better albums out there. I've heard some songs from PS, SiT and SSoaSS and I'm eagerly anticipating getting to those.
 

Gerald Wiley

Lady don't fall backwards
Hugely important album in the world of metal, of course. Chiefly because it contains the greatest song ever written.
Hallowed Be Thy Name :rocker:
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
It's funny, this is best known Maiden album and the one most likely to show on all-time lists, but on this forum its just as likely to be ranked in people's middle third as in their top third.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
I may have a bias because this was my first IM album.

Same here (for studio album, as Live After Death was first overall for me).

Gangland is weak but serves a purpose. It at least provides a little more variety to the sound, whereas Total Eclipse (though better) is a more standard Maiden sound. Of course that's with a lot of hindsight, as they were just really establishing the "Maiden sound" here.

Remember, if you like the lyrics to Hallowed, consider this obscure 1974 song:
Some of those lyrics (for example at 1:06) sound very familiar. When you get to the Brave New World album, you can compare the second half of that song to The Nomad.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
It's funny, this is best known Maiden album and the one most likely to show on all-time lists, but on this forum its just as likely to be ranked in people's middle third as in their top third.
Not by me. It's great. Even the so-called "filler" like Invaders and Gangland are fun -- I rarely skip them when I listen to the album. And The Prisoner is hardly filler, it's one of Maiden's all-time great tracks. My tastes change, but right now, of the "classic" 80s-era albums, only Powerslave and Somewhere in Time rival it.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
The Prisoner always struck me as a song that Megadeth would make. Something about the riffs would lend itself quite well to the band's style of playing.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
My average rating for NOTB, not taking into account Total Eclipse: 7.88
Taking into account Total Eclipse: 8.11

And just for fun, taking into account Total Eclipse but not Gangland: 8.63

Album rankings so far:
1: A Matter of Life and Death - 8.7
2: Killers - 8.45
3: The Number of the Beast - 8.11
4: Iron Maiden - 6.78
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Hallowed Be Thy Name 10
The Number Of The Beast 10
22 Acacia Avenue 10
The Prisoner 9
Children Of The Damned 8
Gangland 8
Invaders 8
Run To The Hills 7

Average: 8,75

(Total Eclipse is out of my rankings. I gave it a 10).
 

terrell39

Ancient Mariner
TNOTB was their 1st lp to print the lyrics on the inner sleeve of the vinyl. Anyone ever hear a statement by the band about why the 2 Paul lps (IM & Killers) did not print the lyrics? As big a fan of Yes, Genesis, & Rush as Steve is, bands who printed the lyrics on most of their 70's lps, that is why it surprises me IM did not do the same on their 1st 2 lps.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Probably because a number of lines were written by past members of the 1970s lineups.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Live + One has a lyric sheet with it, in english and japanese.

They are not the correct lyrics though. Someone just tried to guess what the lyrics are, e.g. "you're standing in the wings there" in Phantom became "you stand here every wedensday"
 

terrell39

Ancient Mariner
They could have just done what many Warner Bros releases back in the 70's did: a separate lyric sheet for the first pressings only. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and some Deep Purple lps like Burn did that. HSAS did that as well. Also Rigor Mortis' 1st lp on Capitol Records in the late 80's did that on the vinyl only (cassette and CD had no lyrics). Every release I just mentioned had no lyric sheet with later pressings.
 

Magnus

Pica Serdica
Live + One has a lyric sheet with it, in english and japanese.

They are not the correct lyrics though. Someone just tried to guess what the lyrics are, e.g. "you're standing in the wings there" in Phantom became "you stand here every wedensday"
If I remember correctly, the Japanese LP edition of the first album had "Just sixteen, stayed of trouble" for Running Free; Prowler and Charlotte were heavily censored as well. "See the ladies flashing all their lights and flashes", "It's a routine girl", "To make your ends as the bloody poor", etc.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Invaders 8
Children of the Damned 10
The Prisoner 10
22 Acacia Avenue 9
The Number Of The Beast 10
Run to the Hills 10
Gangland 8
Hallowed be Thy Name 10

My favourite Maiden album of all time (closely followed by Seventh Son of Seventh Son, Piece of Mind and Powerslave) and the one that changed my life after listening to it.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
TNOTB was their 1st lp to print the lyrics on the inner sleeve of the vinyl. Anyone ever hear a statement by the band about why the 2 Paul lps (IM & Killers) did not print the lyrics? As big a fan of Yes, Genesis, & Rush as Steve is, bands who printed the lyrics on most of their 70's lps, that is why it surprises me IM did not do the same on their 1st 2 lps.

It probably was cheaper not to have the lyrics on the inner sleeve.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Invaders and Gangland an 8? I mean, it's great you like the album, but that's overly generous.
:nonono:

I too would give both songs an 8, Invaders possibly higher. Invaders is a great opener, fits the album, and is an overall fun song, if the lyrical content is darker than the music. It still works. Gangland is overhated, plain and simple. Just because it's the weakest song on the album doesn't mean it's a bad song. It's got some great music, the guitars and of course Clive's drumming really stand out.

An 8 is spot on the money. Two great tracks.
 
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