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It's really all it's cracked up to be. - 92%

mankvill, February 21st, 2008

There are many different opinions about this album, ranging from Maiden's best to an overrated piece of garbage. If one steps back and takes a good listen to this album for what it is: Bruce Dickinson's first album in a time with little to no heavy metal, you can start to see this album for how great it really is.

Almost every song on here is unforgettable. There are the undeniable classics of The Number Of The Beast and Run To The Hills, fan favorites 22 Acacia Avenue and Children of the Damned, but then there are also gems in here in the form of The Prisoner and Hallowed Be Thy Name (quite possibly the best ending song to any album ever.) The only miss on this album comes in the form of Gangland. While not terrible, it's wholly forgettable. But even that can't slow down the dominance of every other song on this album.

Dickinson can really wail. His presence on this album is unmatched by any of Di'anno's works on their two previous albums. Dickinson's voice really made Iron Maiden unique at the time and was just something Di'anno could not pull off. Steve Harris on bass, of course, gives a fantastic performance all around, from the galloping of the title track or the emotional playing on Hallowed Be Thy Name, Harris shows just what he can do. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith pull off smoking solos in multiple songs and are only accentuated by Clive Burr's excellent drumming skills song in and song out.

Love it or hate it, no one can deny how influential this album was when it was first released and how it still influences bands over twenty years later. The Number Of The Beast is a great starting point for beginning Iron Maiden fans, and is definitely one of their best releases.