The Number of The Beast
The Number of The Beast is the first of Iron Maiden's 4 consecutive classic releases, and an absolutely essential piece in any metal fan's collection. For those not familiar with the metal genre, this is an excellent place to start, especially if they are familiar with the heavier bands of 70s rock, such as Led Zeppelin, Rush, and the Who. This album marks long-time singer Bruce Dickinson's debut with the band, and he makes his mark quickly as Maiden pulls away from the punk influence of former vocalist Paul Di'Anno (who was kicked out of the band for his descent into alcoholism), and adopts the style that will make them pioneers in the genre. Steve Harris really steps into his own as a songwriter on this album, as both the lyrics and music become increasingly complex and showcase the instrumental talent of the band on a level that Maiden's two previous albums, while strong in their own right, just never reached.