The Number of the Beast: the balance between instrumental & vocal length (album and song info)


Ancient Mariner
For background and (eventual) comparisons between albums and songs, go here.
Sources: 1) all songs apart from Total Eclipse: CDP 7 46364 2 / UK-CD-FA 3178 (1987 CD); 2) Total Eclipse: 7243 4 96918 0 3 / UK: 496 9180 (1998 remaster CD)

Album info:
The Number of the Beast (without Total Eclipse)
Total album length (without silence): 40:02
Instrumental (%): 42,34
Vocal (%): 57,66
Instrumental (absolute length): 16:57
Vocal (absolute length): 23:05

The Number of the Beast (with Total Eclipse)
Total album length (without silence): 44:27
Instrumental (%): 42,48
Vocal (%): 57,52
Instrumental (absolute length): 18:53
Vocal (absolute length): 25:34

Song info:
Instrumental (%)
01 60,00 Hallowed Be Thy Name
02 51,39 22 Acacia Avenue
03 48,61 The Prisoner
04 43,77 Total Eclipse
05 39,80 Invaders
06 35,84 Gangland
07 30,45 The Number of the Beast
08 30,40 Children of the Damned
09 21,30 Run to the Hills

Instrumental (absolute length)
01 4:18 Hallowed Be Thy Name
02 3:23 22 Acacia Avenue
03 2:55 The Prisoner
04 1:56 Total Eclipse
05 1:28 The Number of the Beast
06 1:23 Children of the Damned
07 1:21 Gangland
08 1:20 Invaders
09 0:49 Run to the Hills

Vocal (%)
01 78,70 Run to the Hills
02 69,60 Children of the Damned
03 69,55 The Number of the Beast
04 64,16 Gangland
05 60,20 Invaders
06 56,23 Total Eclipse
07 51,39 The Prisoner
08 48,35 22 Acacia Avenue
09 40,00 Hallowed Be Thy Name

Vocal (absolute length)
01 3:21 The Number of the Beast
02 3:10 Children of the Damned
02 3:10 22 Acacia Avenue
04 3:05 The Prisoner
05 3:01 Run to the Hills
06 2:52 Hallowed Be Thy Name
07 2:29 Total Eclipse
08 2:25 Gangland
09 2:01 Invaders
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Ancient Mariner
Well, well (to you, oh earth and sea)... I expected this somewhat but now confirmed and it's even more the case than I could have guessed:

The Number of the Beast is much more a vocal album than an album with instrumental passages.
Run to the Hills has only 49 seconds of instrumental length. The title track contains almost 3 and a half minute of vocal passages!
The longest vocal section of the album is also on the title track: 2 and a half minute of vocal stuff in a row.

The difference in balance with the first two albums is pretty big.
I wonder if this album is also the least instrumental (and most vocal!) album in the entire catalogue, at least percentage wise. Probably, but we'll see ...
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Uniformly distributed hostility
Nice finding for the old suspicion.

I don't really like that album as much as I like the the sum of songs. Not about consistency but about diversity.
NPFTD will be close I think, with the instrumental/vocal ratio.


Ancient Mariner
Interesting. We'll see indeed! Could be a good second.
Some songs do have a bit of a build-up and/or returning instrumental sections on No Prayer, so I'd be surprised if it beats Beast.


Uniformly distributed hostility
Also worth nothing maybe is the change of format, LP to CD, after and including Fear of the Dark. Those extra minutes are mostly realized by longer songs which are in turn stuffed with longer instrumentals.

I mean imagine 57,52% of a 75 minute album, it's two minutes short of an entire LP filled with singing.


Ancient Mariner
Yes indeed (the vocal figure that is). Just as with The Prisoner.
I had some doubt at first, but I decided to count it as a vocal part, rather than instrumental part.
We hear a vocal, even if it's not a Maiden band member and/or a speech (not just instruments).
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Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
At the end of this there will be an interesting graph correlating albums with higher percentage of vocal sections to commercial success.


Uniformly distributed hostility
If you consider LP format only, then things could get messy because both the best selling and the worst selling album of LP format are probably #1 and #2 when it comes to vocal density. And then you have three runner ups to the best selling (83,84,88) which have a lot of instrumental in them.