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?