Friday, June 06, 2008

Number of the Beast (1982)


And here we have one of the cornerstones of any respectable rock record collection. Once Paul Di'Anno took his leave of the band at the end of their 1981 Killers tour, fans were understandably nervous. But once Bruce Dickinson took his place, the "10" efforts of the first two platters were cranked up to "11" in every way. Where Di'Anno came off as snottier and punkier, Dickinson was operatic and electrifying, a more appropriate vocalist for a band that had continued to not only improve songwriting- and performance-wise, but who were also gaining new fans by the truckload. And the songs on Number of the Beast were perfect for the big rooms full of hungry new metal fans. Naturally, after tons of touring and studio time under their studded belts, the Burr/Harris/Smith/Murray configuration had become a crack team of heavy metal riff masters, slashing and burning and laying waste to any lesser riff to come within spitting distance. Combine that with Dickinson's soaring vocals and a flawless list of triumphant anthems that make you want to throw up your horns and yell "Fuck yea!" in your own living room, and you've got an album that earns every single accolade it's received in the past 26 years. A legendary release for the time capsule.
Now we're getting there, and I must also applaud B'Wayne-o for having this album be the album of the day on 6-6-08. I always check the papers to see if "HE" was born at 6 am, but I guess either, he wasn't been, or they aren't going to publish that shit. Imagine if you're that kid that was born on 6-6 and you aren't evil? Sad. I smell a sitcom brewing!... Anywho-
I agree with everything B'Wayne-o just said....
This is the first of the Bruce albums, but still not the first album that I got by these masterful motherfuckers. I was still afraid of this album when I was a kid, plus it was , what, 82? I was probably listening to Journey's Escape. Not that I'm bothered by this since I still love that album too. I just hadn't embraced my "Dark" side yet. I still have a couple of tracks on here that I would maybe skip, but over all this album is what you NEED in a metal album from the 80's. The riffs on this are just transcendent."Hallowed be thy name?" Come ON. I dare you not to worship that song. DARE YOU. That album cover is also quite mighty. The little devil always kind of made me shiver, not that the Eddie isn't much better. Imagine if you saw THOSE two coming atcha that night. I'd be freaked out. And also riffing, I might add.
I think "the Prisoner" is such a strong song as well. I love how they just choose a topic and run with it. And how even something as silly as a TV show can be a song. Well done boys....

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