Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
Album Comparisons: The Number of the Beast
The Number of the Beast represented a major shift in direction for Iron Maiden, as the band shed all vestiges of its former gritty, underground street urchin musical stylings for a much more slickly refined, operatic sound with the recruitment of new lead singer Bruce Dickinson. This album was a major game changer for Iron Maiden and for metal in general, representing the real tipping point as far as the band's influence and popularity in the metal genre. It's also the only one of the three Maiden studio albums that I own (not counting The Soundhouse Tapes and three compilation discs, Maiden Japan and the 2-CD BBC Archives, all with material predating this album) to feature Dickinson on vocals. As I've stated elsewhere, I'm more a fan of the Paul DiAnno era material than I am of anything with Bruce Dickinson or Blaze Bayley. That being said, The Number of the Beast is a solid release, showing enormous growth in musical themes and songwriting, top-notch production, and showcasing Dickson's amazing vocal talents to truly astonishing effect. In 2002, this seminal album was given a facelift as part of a series of deluxe Maiden reissues featuring vastly improved liner notes and photos, but also featuring "digitally remastered" sound. How does the remaster compare to the original release?

Invaders

1987 Capitol CD release

Invaders

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

Invaders

Children of the Damned

1987 Capitol CD release

Children of the Damned

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

Children of the Damned

The Prisoner

1987 Capitol CD release

The Prisoner

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

The Prisoner

22 Acacia Avenue

1987 Capitol CD release

22 Acacia Avenue

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

22 Acacia Avenue

The Number of the Beast

1987 Capitol CD release

The Number of the Beast

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

The Number of the Beast

Run to the Hills

1987 Capitol CD release

Run to the Hills

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

Run to the Hills

Gangland

1987 Capitol CD release

Gangland

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

Gangland

Hallowed Be Thy Name

1987 Capitol CD release

Hallowed Be Thy Name

2002 Sanctuary CD remaster

Hallowed Be Thy Name
And the winner is: 1987 Capitol release. This one is pretty obvious. The waveforms tell the whole story. There is absolutely no justifiable reason for this type of compression, the effects of which can be seen most clearly with "Run to the Hills." The original release still sounds good today, while the remaster just sounds louder. Stick with the original.