The Number of the Beast: Album Discussion

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
From the original Japanese lyric sheet (Bob Barton version):

I'm wading in my coal sell
When Labelle begins to shine
Reflecting on my past wife
And when does it have much dime?

Cause it's five or talk they take me to Galapagos
The sands of time for me are runny, lo!
Runny lo oh oh Yeah!

When the breeze come to feed me the last rice
Take a look tuna bars there - the last sites
Of a whirl that has gone Verizon for me

Canopy? Is there some sore to ear hair?
Had to sop the Sir Mountie tear or
Isn't relay the end? Knock some crasidrene.

Some bunny pleads let me drown, I'm dreaming
It's naughty, see, to stop some scheming
The worms escape me as I try to sleep

Deers call, but why? Am I trying?
As far a lime nod alfredo dying
Doh! I be leaf, then they're never - is an N?

Asgard mocks me out on the court yarn
Some bunny grimes on my sell, cod be witch, you
Is there a cod? Then I'm going to get me sole

Azhai mock my wife dips before me
Going in the sneer I've got sore knee
Catch my sole, its swimming to fry away

Mock my worms, be leaf my sole limps on
Done worry now that I'm half gone
Icon beyond to sing the tooth

Where Juno is a time that closed the hand
Mainly then Yul begins to join the band
Lies down here is just so strange, can use them
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
The Number of the Beast (1982)
  • The reasons this album is so good are twofold: 1) Everyone is bringing 110% to the table. So much fire. 2) Bruce fucking Dickinson lays waste to all of his competitors. Who's the greatest metal singer ever? Bruce is. And with his first Maiden album he gets that straight once and for all, that's for fucking clear.
  • I do have a huge negative though. God bless Martin Birch but the vocals on TNOTB are buried behind the wall of guitar, bass, and drums. A shame, but luckily the material makes up for that glaring flaw.
  • Even the weaker songs on here are pretty great. "Gangland" and "Invaders" get a bad rap, and I get it, they're simple and Maiden don't push themselves all that much on them. But "Gangland" still has a lot of action within it, and "Invaders" is fun as hell. "Total Eclipse" is a really fun rocker with some jaw-dropping atmospherics and performances.
  • "22 Acacia Avenue" is a terrific slab of heavy metal, but also has a couple points that drag it down. The lyrics are too preachy for my taste, even in spite of the twist at the end, and the instrumental section is just "Phantom" but weaker. Otherwise it's another great song.
  • The rest of the tracklist cooks. "Children of the Damned" is a brutal, haunting ballad; "The Prisoner" is a catchy rocker with a wonderful Hallelujah chorus. "The Number of the Beast" is one of the all-time great metal singles (that scream, that energy, that fire, that passion!), and so is "Run to the Hills" (truly one of the great, iconic choruses in metal).
  • And of course, TNOTB's trump card - "Hallowed Be Thy Name". It's the "Stairway to Heaven" of heavy metal (and I guess that makes "Master of Puppets" the "Free Bird"?). I still don't think it's the greatest Maiden song, but I've never not loved it. It's more the experience of it than the song itself. I think what makes it so iconic is just the fact that it was the right song at the right time. Metal bands weren't really writing these mini-epics back in 1982, and if they were, they certainly weren't doing it with the blazing dual-axes of Smith & Murray, the soaring powerhouse vocals of P. B. Dickinson, and the stubborn determination of Steve "'Arry" Harris. Regardless of whether it ripped off Beckett or not, "Hallowed" threw down the gauntlet to everyone else in the scene, commanding them to top it. And few did. One of the few that did was Steve Harris himself, cuz the madman also went and wrote a full-scale epic, which deserves the "best metal song" title more than "Hallowed" and "Master" do. But we'll get to it later. Suffice it to say that Maiden are awesome.
As a whole it's just a really fiery comeback from the mixed bag that is Killers, and Bruce's addition to the group was one of the greatest movements in metal history. It just kicks so much ass.

  1. Invaders - 9/10
  2. Children of the Damned - 10/10
  3. The Prisoner - 10/10
  4. 22 Acacia Avenue - 9/10
  5. The Number of the Beast - 10/10
  6. Run to the Hills - 10/10
  7. Gangland - 8/10
  8. Total Eclipse - 9/10
  9. Hallowed Be Thy Name - 10/10
Total: 94%
 
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