Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast

What is more Halloweeny (yes, I just made up that word) than some good old-fashioned metal?  How about some metal with horror clips and a demonic-sounding title?

Iron Maiden's 1982 album, The Number of the Beast, is on a short list of the greatest heavy metals albums ever.  Dark, loud and surprisingly melodic, it is the prototypical Iron Maiden record, and the first one with lead singer Bruce "Air Raid Siren" Dickinson.  The album also proved to be a tremendous commercial success, and has sold some 14 million units worldwide.  It reached #33 on the US charts, but hit #1 in the UK, where both "The Number of the Beast" and "Run to the Hills" broke the top 20 on the singles chart!

While religious conservatives were concerned with the "satanic message," the title song from the album was actually inspired by bass player Steve Harris' nightmare after watching Damien: Omen II.  To be fair, though, the band did play up the supernatural angle in interviews, which (of course) seemed to help sales.

Cool trivia fact:  the band originally wanted Vincent Price to read the intro (foreshadowing "Thriller") but he proved to be too expensive for their budget.  As a result, an actor named Barry Clayton was hired to do it.

Iron Maiden's underrated 1983 song, "Flight of Icarus" was posted on ERV in March, 2015.

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