“Woe to you, oh earth and sea. For the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast- for it is a human number. It’s number is six hundred and sixty six.”
Iron Maiden released what is often times deemed as their best record, The Number of the Beast on this day (March 22) in 1982. This was the first Iron Maiden record to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson and the last to feature late drummer Cilve Burr. Aside from being the first album to have Dickinsons prodigious vocals, it was also the bands first album to reach #1 on the UK Album Charts, as well as the first to be certified platinum in the United States.
Although the album was very successful, receiving numerous amounts of critical acclaim- it still received some controversy surrounding its artwork and the nature of its lyrics. The notorious cover art that is so easily identifiable was created by Derek Riggs, originally meant for the single release of “Purgatory” off of The Number of the Beast’s predecessor Killers.
The album has earned spots on lists such as “50 Heaviest Albums of All Time”, “100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time” and the “100 Greatest British Albums”- to name a few.
The original track listing is as follows, and it wasn’t until 1998 that “Total Eclpise” got a spot between “Gangland” and one of the greatest album closers ever “Hallowed Be Thy Name”:
- “Children of the Damned”
- “The Prisoner”
- “22 Acacia Avenue”
- “The Number of the Beast”
- “Run To The Hills”
- “Hallowed Be Thy Name”