Posts Tagged “Number Of The Beast”

Iron Maiden: legends

Some total legend has uploaded Iron Maiden‘s entire Maiden England Rock In Rio 2013 show, all in beautiful pro-shot.

Have a look below:

Maiden played three triumphant UK dates this year as part of their immense, multi-year, multi-continent Maiden England tour, with work on a new Maiden album rumoured to begin some time next year.

In the mean time, don’t forget to check out our awesome Monster Rock Charity Auction featuring some exclusive, original and signed Maiden Artwork. Rare doesn’t cover it.

Iron Maiden Rock In Rio 2013 Set List

Moonchild
Can I Play with Madness
The Prisoner
2 Minutes to Midnight
Afraid to Shoot Strangers
The Trooper
The Number of the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Run to the Hills
Wasted Years
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The Clairvoyant
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden
Encore:
Churchill’s Speech
Aces High
The Evil That Men Do
Running Free
(with Drum Solo)

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Professionally filmed video footage of IRON MAIDEN‘s entire September 22 performance at the Rock In Rio fesitval at Cidade do Rock in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil can be seen below.

The band’s setlist was as follows:

01. Moonchild
02. Can I Play With Madness
03. The Prisoner
04. 2 Minutes To Midnight
05. Afraid To Shoot Strangers
06. The Trooper
07. The Number Of The Beast
08. Phantom Of The Opera
09. Run To The Hills
10. Wasted Years
11. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
12. The Clairvoyant
13. Fear Of The Dark
14. Iron Maiden

Encore:

15. Aces High
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Running Free

In a recent interview with the Turkish web site Hafifmuzik.org, MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson revealed that there will be no new studio album from the band in 2014. He did, however, assure fans that MAIDEN has plans to release a new CD, although most likely not before 2015.

IRON MAIDEN last month landed at position No. 1 on Billboard.com‘s “Hot Tours” list of top-grossing tours with $8.5 million in ticket sales from six performances on their summer tour of Europe. The shows were attended by a total of 121,280 fans, including a two-night, sold-out stand on August 3-4 at the O2 Arena in Lonon, England, where the band played to 27,000 fans. With totals added from this summer’s Europe dates, overall ticket sales from the tour top $42 million from 45 reported concerts.

MAIDEN‘s 15th studio CD, 2010’s “The Final Frontier”, featured 10 tracks that had an average running time of seven minutes and 40 seconds, with the shortest song, “The Alchemist”, clocking in at four minutes and 29 seconds, and the longest, “When The Wild Wind Blows”, lasting ten minutes and 59 seconds.

“The Final Frontier” sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.

IRON MAIDEN‘s previous album, 2006’s “A Matter Of Life And Death”, opened with 56,000 units to land at No. 9. This was a notable increase from the 40,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, 2003’s “Dance of Death” (which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 chart), and that of “Brave New World”, which moved 38,000 copies in June 2000 to land at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart.

“The Final Frontier” was IRON MAIDEN‘s fourth U.K. No. 1 album. The band previously topped the chart in 1982 with “The Number of the Beast”, in 1988 with “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and in 1992 with “Fear of the Dark”.

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“Metalhead” (a.k.a. “Málmhaus”), the new movie from acclaimed Icelandic filmmaker Ragnar Bragason, best known for his films “Börn” (“Children”) and “Foreldrar” (“Parents”), had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in the month. This darkly comic drama about a grief-stricken young woman who adopts the persona — and decibel-blasting predilections — of her deceased brother Málmhaus, includes songs by JUDAS PRIEST, RIOT, LIZZY BORDEN, SAVATAGE, SOLSTAFIR, MEGADETH and more.

The official trailer for “Metalhead” — with English subtitles — can be seen below.

In a recent interview with Spindle magazine, Ragnar stated about his love of metal: “I bought my first metal album when I was like 10, turning 11, it was IRON MAIDEN‘s ‘The Number Of The Beast’. And the reason is I saw one song on a TV show in Iceland and I’d never heard anything like it. Then I went with my mother past the record store and saw the album cover in the window and I kind of pestered her into buying the album for me. So that’s kind of where it started. I spent most of my teenage years collecting heavy metal albums and listening to lots of metal and buying all the metal magazines I could find, and doing that postal thing, going to the post office and writing a cheque and sending it off to London and getting an album back a few weeks or months later. So that was kind of, and still is kind of my hobby; I mean I spent like $400 on records today you know, found a lot of cool obscure metal from the ’80s, so I’m still collecting.”

Asked what his favorite metal bands are, Ragnar said: “Well, like I said, my first one was IRON MAIDEN, so probably IRON MAIDEN, but I like a lot of bands, especially bands from the ’70s and ’80s, like JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, all the originators, MOTÖRHEAD… And then, of course, the big ’80s bands like SLAYER, METALLICA, stuff like that, MEGADETH. Yeah, a lot of cool metal bands.”

metalheadicelandic

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Charlie Steffens of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

KNAC.COM: On this tour you’re playing the quintessential IRON MAIDEN songs, right?

McBrain: Yeah, we dusted off the cobwebs off of a few that haven’t had a showing for a while. Well, it’s been twenty five years since we’ve played “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, so you could say there’s that one song and that’s it. We pulled out “Trooper”. The last airing of that, I think, was eight, nine years ago. “Phantom Of The Opera”. Classic. We did “Can I Play with Madness” not so long ago. Yeah, those classics right there. We’ve got “Afraid To Shoot Strangers”, that’s always a great crowd pleaser. “The Prisoner”. I love that track. It’s just a wild song to play. It’s got a great groove to it. It’s the third song in the set. It’s so lovely to be revisiting some of the older stuff as well as that mid-’80s period. People think, “Yeah, you’re doing the ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’ tour,” if you like. But it’s a retrospective look at MAIDEN. You still get the classics: “Number Of The Beast” and “Iron Maiden” always closes the show. We’ve left out “Hallowed Be Thy Name” just because we’ve always played “Hallowed” every tour, although, it’s one of my favorite songs, ever, to play with MAIDEN. So we’re doing a fair chunk of “Seventh Son”, but we’ve got before and after. “Fear Of The Dark”, for instance. “Afraid To Shoot Strangers”. Yeah, we’re really having a good time, mate. It went well for last year in Europe. It most definitely was received so very well in Raleigh the other night. People loved it, and we all came offstage with a smile on our face. You can’t not come off with a smile when you see how many people enjoyed themselves, you know.

KNAC.COM: Are you cruising around in the jet for this tour?

McBrain: No. In a way it would have been nice, but because this leg is just a couple months, or, actually, it’s only four weeks really — it was too cost-prohibitive to a 757 just to do a month out on the tour. That’s kind of the world jet, when we do around the world in a couple of months. You’re self-contained on it. You’ve got all the gear. You’ve got 12 tons of gear and all the crew. Mind you, we got a lot of beer now. [laughs]

KNAC.COM: Well, let’s talk about the most important thing. Beer. Trooper.

McBrain: Exactly. It’s funny, you know. When we were in rehearsals last week, we got to “The Trooper” in the set and before I kicked it off I started out, “All right lads, I think it’s time for a beer.” And they all looked at me and went, “What?” And I said, “It’s Trooper time, isn’t it?” We don’t drink while we play and we don’t drink before. At the very end of a night, we’ve been known to take a pint of Guinness, if we’re in Ireland, and toast the audience with it. But that’s at the end of the night. But yes, this Trooper beer, my lord, it’s so, so delicious. It’s wonderful. For any ale drinkers out there that love to drink a drop of beer. It’s not a lager. It’s like a bitter, extra special bitter, like an ESB. It was designed with Robinsons Brewery and Bruce [Dickinson] actually had a big hand in the design of the beer. When I first joined MAIDEN in 1982, I went out on tour with the band before Bruce. I was supporting the band when I was in TRUST, I went out on the “Killers” tour. All of us then drank ale across the British tour and we all loved our real ale beer in England. So Bruce knew what we wanted to taste in a beer, basically. So with that in the back of his mind, he went in and designed this beer. If you took IRON MAIDEN‘s logo and Eddie off the bottle and had a blindfold test — if you like beer — it’s really, really good. It’s not just IRON MAIDEN selling this beer with our names on it, although a lot of our fans are going to want to buy it because it’s a fantastic bottle. It’s a good souvenir, isn’t it? But it’s a great drop of beer, mate. My preference, by the way, Charlie, is I like it warm. When I say warm, I mean room temperature, not Florida room temperature because that would be 90-odd degrees. [laughs] But it’s funny, because Bruce and Steve [Harris, bass] — out of the bottle — they like it cold. But when you have it out of the cask, you know, the way it’s really brewed to be drank, it should be at room temperature or cellar temperature, which can be anywhere from 57 to 62, 65 degrees. When it’s warmer it has a more firmer taste. It really opens up. There’s a plus and a minus. Some people say, “I prefer it cold and not warm,” and vice versa… I’ve got to be honest with you — I live in Florida — I like ice cold Corona beers, you know. When you go from the hot — outdoors hot — you say, “Oh, I could murder a cold beer.” You do. You’ll have some and you’ll kind of chug it. Trooper beer — you can’t really chug it, even when it’s cold. But the thing is, if you sit down and you kind of take a minute, and you go, “I really want a really tasty beer. I don’t want something to quench me thirst. I’ll take it warm.” And I love my customers in me restaurant in Florida. I actually introduced it there two weeks ago. I was fortunate to actually open the first commercial bottle of beer in America on the Monday. I forget the date of it now. I figure it was the 10th or 12th, oh, anyway. On the next day we had this big launch for the beer and all these folks who came in were having it cold, first of all. Then I passed bottles around and gave them tastes of the room temperature or warm beer. And a lot of the folks said to me, “You know what? We’re American. We don’t like warm beer.” I said, “Just try this. Just for me. Try it and let me know what you think.” Ninety-six percent of the people turned around and said, “The next bottle of beer I’m going to buy in this place is going to be the one that is room temperature. It’s got much more of a fuller taste and I never would have thought I would have liked a warm beer.” So you know, horses for courses, Charlie, end of the day, mate.

Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.

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Fan-filmed video footage of IRON MAIDEN ‘s entire September 10 perfomance at Austin 360 Amphitheater in Austin, Texas can be seen below.

The band’s setlist was as follows:

01. Moonchild
02. Can I Play With Madness
03. The Prisoner
04. 2 Minutes To Midnight
05. Afraid To Shoot Strangers
06. The Trooper
07. The Number Of The Beast
08. Phantom Of The Opera
09. Run To The Hills
10. Wasted Years
11. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
12. The Clairvoyant
13. Fear Of The Dark
14. Iron Maiden

Encore:

15. Aces High
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Running Free

IRON MAIDEN last month landed at position No. 1 on Billboard.com‘s “Hot Tours” list of top-grossing tours with $8.5 million in ticket sales from six performances on their summer tour of Europe. The shows were attended by a total of 121,280 fans, including a two-night, sold-out stand on August 3-4 at the O2 Arena in Lonon, England, where the band played to 27,000 fans. With totals added from this summer’s Europe dates, overall ticket sales from the tour top $42 million from 45 reported concerts.

MAIDEN‘s 15th studio CD, 2010’s “The Final Frontier”, featured 10 tracks that had an average running time of seven minutes and 40 seconds, with the shortest song, “The Alchemist”, clocking in at four minutes and 29 seconds, and the longest, “When The Wild Wind Blows”, lasting ten minutes and 59 seconds.

“The Final Frontier” sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.

IRON MAIDEN‘s previous album, 2006’s “A Matter Of Life And Death”, opened with 56,000 units to land at No. 9. This was a notable increase from the 40,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, 2003’s “Dance of Death” (which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 chart), and that of “Brave New World”, which moved 38,000 copies in June 2000 to land at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart.

“The Final Frontier” was IRON MAIDEN‘s fourth U.K. No. 1 album. The band previously topped the chart in 1982 with “The Number of the Beast”, in 1988 with “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and in 1992 with “Fear of the Dark”.

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British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN this week landed at position No. 1 on Billboard.com ‘s “Hot Tours” list of top-grossing tours with $8.5 million in ticket sales from six performances on their summer tour of Europe. The shows were attended by a total of 121,280 fans, including a two-night, sold-out stand on August 3-4 at the O2 Arena in Lonon, England, where the band played to 27,000 fans. With totals added from this summer’s Europe dates, overall ticket sales from the tour top $42 million from 45 reported concerts.

MAIDEN‘s 15th studio CD, 2010’s “The Final Frontier”, featured 10 tracks that had an average running time of seven minutes and 40 seconds, with the shortest song, “The Alchemist”, clocking in at four minutes and 29 seconds, and the longest, “When The Wild Wind Blows”, lasting ten minutes and 59 seconds.

“The Final Frontier” sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.

IRON MAIDEN‘s previous album, 2006’s “A Matter Of Life And Death”, opened with 56,000 units to land at No. 9. This was a notable increase from the 40,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, 2003’s “Dance of Death” (which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 chart), and that of “Brave New World”, which moved 38,000 copies in June 2000 to land at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart.

“The Final Frontier” was IRON MAIDEN‘s fourth U.K. No. 1 album. The band previously topped the chart in 1982 with “The Number of the Beast”, in 1988 with “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and in 1992 with “Fear of the Dark”.

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Maiden with Clive Burr (far left)

We’re absolutely gutted to report that former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr has passed away. Clive passed away peacefully in his home last night after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.

“This is terribly sad news,” comments Maiden bassist Steve Harris. “Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time.”

Bruce Dickinson adds, “I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family”

Clive joined Maiden in 1979, drumming on the band’s first three, classic albums, 1980′s Iron Maiden, ’81 follow-up Killers and landmark album, 1982′s The Number Of The Beast. Clive was also a member of Bruce Dickinson’s pre-Maiden band, Samson.

It goes without saying that everyone here at Hammer would like to extend our deepest condolences to Clive’s family, friends and his former bandmates at this time. RIP, sir.

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I’d been christened into heavy metal courtesy of a cousin I no longer see anymore, which is a shame, since it was he who’d sat me down at a shaky time of my life in late 1982 and exposed me to Iron Maiden’s Killers and Number of the Beast then Dio’s Holy Diver and Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman.  That same day, his brother passed me a spare turntable and an extra copy of AC/DC’s Back in Black and thus my indoctrination was complete.  Music held an entirely new meaning for me.

At the same time, MTV was getting its footing and quickly becoming the mass-marketed junk cereal for the eyes of my generation.  Nothing else seemed to matter when MTV launched, which is how I suppose the term “vidiots” came into being.  It was during this crucial period of my lifelong obsession with music where I saw, amongst Greg Kihn Band’s “Jeopardy,” Rush’s “Limelight,” Duran Duran’s “Hungry Life the Wolf” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” the jaw-dropping promotional video for “Flight of Icarus” by Iron Maiden.

At first I didn’t recognize them since I’d been in the kitchen trolling for some Dr. Pepper and bacon flavored Cheetos.  Insane as it may sound, I mistook Maiden for, of all groups, Three Dog Night.  My father was a big TDN fan and we’d spent many Saturday nights at his bachelor pad spinning Cyan and Hard Labor, sure as we were sittin’ there.  Hey, I was 12 and my ears weren’t as keen and tested as they are now.  I remember bolting for the living room the first time I was exposed to “Flight of Icarus” since I thought Three Dog Night had inexplicably amped up to that loud vibe which had thrilled me in my cousin’s bedroom only months prior.

I remember dropping my bacon Cheetos bag on the way back when I saw a long-haired young king shrieking his guts out into a dangling microphone inside what I assume now was Compass Point studio in Nassau.  It was the near acapella gang choruses of Iron Maiden chanting “Fly…on your way…like an eagle…fly as high as the sun…” that had fooled me into thinking them to be Three Dog Night.  Obviously that’s about all the two bands have in common, but as the “Flight of Icarus” video rolled on and those impressionable orange-hued scenes of an ocean (seemingly wading over Hell instead of the other place) and the mad monk who served all of us astonished kids a freaking brain at the end of the clip…  If you’ve been around metal long enough, you can understand how much of an impact “Flight of Icarus” left upon me.

I won’t get into the neighborhood and the middle school I was a part of during this transitory period of my life.  I was a miserable kid, forced to fight after getting beat up for no reason other than I had no self esteem.  Eventually, “Flight of Icarus,” along with Devo’s “Whip It” kicked me in the seat of my pants to the point I was able to stand up for myself and the manifest repercussions weren’t pretty.  I’m afraid to confront that version of me again, honestly, just as I’m sure those five little pricks who tasted my fists would be as well.  I seldom had any serious trouble amongst my peers thereafter, even when my folks moved us out of that drug zone and into the country.

By the time we moved, I knew all year long what I wanted for Christmas:  Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind album.  My folks are the coolest a kid (and adult man, for that matter) could ever hope to land in this life, but Piece of Mind did not show up under the Christmas tree in ’83.  I was raised right, so I didn’t pitch a fit since my parents are the generous type anyway.  It so happened they’d stapled a twenty spot to an old Baltimore Colts pennant (yeah, Baltimore Colts, people) with the insinuation I could buy Piece of Mind myself.  They even said they’d drive me to the record store in the mall so I could get it.  Like I said, my parents are the coolest.  They’d ingrained my passion for record shops and I don’t think I took pride in buying an album on my own more so than Piece of Mind.

To that point, I’d only seen the videos for “Icarus” and “The Trooper,” but I knew I’d be in for something unique.  Just the cover of Iron Eddie shackled in an asylum was enough to bait me if I already hadn’t been seduced by the album’s two mega singles.  Verily, I sat on my bedroom floor with Piece of Mind disassembled before me, chuckling at the picture of producer Martin Birch and cover artist Derek Riggs encased in armor–obviously too big for the latter.  Being young and daft, I thought it was Bruce Dickinson in Riggs’ spot and laughed even harder.  Then there’s that ridiculous photo of the band in the castle seated before a platter of cerebellum ala carte.  Adrian Smith and Steve Harris carry those “to hell with that expressions upon their facades while Bruce looks you square in the pus and dares you to comment.  Knights and spectres are omnipresent at Maiden’s backs, ready to eviscerate the band if they refuse to chow down on that brain under glass.  Riot.

I can still see myself marveling at the intricacy of “Where Eagles Dare,” “Revelations,” “Still Life” and of course, the magnificent closing epic, “To Tame a Land,” all songs I still look forward to with the same rabid anticipation as when they all greeted me the first time.  I couldn’t help but crank “The Trooper” and of course “Flight of Icarus,” which was tolerated by my folks for a minute or so before their singular warning knock on the door came.  All part of the game, as we joked amongst ourselves later after I’d grown up and gotten married.

I often wonder how my mom held herself in check hearing the repeated near-mantra of the word “die” spread across “Die With Your Boots On.”  When you’re young and already addicted to horror films and now suddenly music so freaking heavy it feels like a bestowment of power through the stereo speakers, “Die With Your Boots On” comes off like an ordainment.  Not an ordainment to slaughter your peers, mind you, albeit every teenager known throughout history has that on their immature minds.  Unfortunately, today’s youth has been cursed by a score of hedonists who cannot seem to separate fantasy from reality.  No, “Die With Your Boots On,” like many metal songs in history, did the slaying for you and you felt instant alleviation, moreover, the riddance of any violent urges.  Whereas I’d found my nerve in middle school in part because of Maiden, they helped cool my jets in the next phase of my teen years.  Thank you for that, lads.

My parents trusted me to process Piece of Mind and all the future heavy metal slabs that came marching through the door from that point forward with intelligence and respect for myself and others.  Did I hate my peers?  Yes, many of them.  It’s all so stinking silly to think about now since I’ve seen many of them at impromptu class reunions in bars or we’ve befriended one another at Facebook or in the real world.  High school is a proving ground, though I’d been forced into proving myself as far back as fourth grade into sixth, although fifth grade I had reprieve.  Thank God Iron Maiden was there to bolster my anger.  My proverbial flight of Icarus soared instead of crashed.  In the name of God, my father, I flew!

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You might assume I have Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Killers, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere in Time or Seventh Son of a Seventh Son humming along while I write this, all iconic slabs of heavy metal, much less the representative best of the beast, depending on how you view them.  Nope, call me a sinner or traitor if you wish, but it’s Iron Maiden’s The X-Factor that accompanies my spraying fingertips this morning, albeit A Matter of Life and Death and The Final Frontier are on deck, so keep your stones relegated to the ground where they belong.  Like most anyone else, I don’t rank The X-Factor towards the upper echelon of Iron Maiden’s reknowned catalog, yet it is what I consider the dark horse Maiden album you either keep an open mind about or you don’t.  Steve Harris considers it one his band’s finest moments and history is finally softening its hardline condemnation of Blaze Bayley, who had the fortune (or misfortune, if you will) of helming that album and its ill-received successor, Virtual XI.  If anything, Bayley is slowly becoming embraced by the metal community for his solo work and his Wolfsbane years, if not for having the sheer balls to stand in there and suffer the wrath, the trash and the spit of Bruce Dickinson loyalists.

I consider The X-Factor an appropriate choice for this review of British author Neil Daniels’ latest compendium, Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast.  Why, you might ask?  Because what you’re getting here isn’t going to wholly satiate you if you’re coming to this book looking for a comprehensive biography.  One day we’re sure to have the principals themselves issue their memoirs.  You can feel them coming anytime now.  Bruce Dickinson is the likeliest figurehead to pen his story since amongst his other diverse roles, he’s a published author (i..e. The Adventures of Lord Iffy Boatrace and The Missionary Position) and we’ll all be there to buy it.  Steve Harris could probably offer us the most insight since Maiden is, as everyone knows, his baby.  Personally, I’d love to read Nicko McBrain’s reflections since I’ve interviewed the man and he is total hoot on top of a gentleman.  Cheers, forevermore, mate.

We’re here to discuss Neil Daniels, though, and in some ways, Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast might be considered The X-Factor of Maiden books, if not No Prayer For the Dying.  This isn’t to be misinterpreted as a rip on Daniels, an accomplished rock and metal journalist and author of numerous books.  The point is that Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast is a pretty sweet package, in particular its 3-D hardcover binding courtesy of longtime Maiden artist Derek Riggs.  You’re welcomed by a reverberating profile of Iron Eddie and the band atop his cranium upon the first crack and the inclusion of Riggs off-the-bat will bring an instant homefelt feeling.  The only real caveat to this project, however, is its overall sense of bare bones.  

There are more than 400 images including vintage and seldom-seen live photos plus Maiden memorabilia such as tour posters, promotional cut-outs, seven and twelve inch cover artwork, ticket stubs, t-shirts and press passes designed to generate a front-and-center access to the band for the reader.  Daniels invites a gaggle of esteemed heavy metal authorities such as Martin Popoff, Ian Christe, Mick Wall, Daniel Bukszpan, John Tucker, Garry Bushell and Gavin Bradley to contribute their critiques of Iron Maiden’s recorded body.  Daniels includes city-by-city itineraries for every known Maiden tour and their respective set lists.  You can safely bet “Running Free” and “Sanctuary” dominated the curtain calls for many of them.  The latter features are charming and intriguing from a diehard’s point-of-view.

Daniels assembles a cut-and-dry retrospective of Iron Maiden’s career using an assemblage of external journalistic sources in addition to his straightforward narration.  Appropriately his research is deeper fetched into the formative years of the band, while the remainder of his sojourn down Maiden’s sea of madness is more-or-less a primer to the later years.  In-between his documentation is no-holds-barred record analysis from guest scribes and they’re sure to piss off the devout at times with their articluate derisions that offset their toasts of Somewhere in Time, Dance of Death and even a few quibbling tolchocks against the mighty Powerslave.  It’ll be no surprise how they evaluate No Prayer for the Dying, Fear of the Dark and the short-lived Blaze Bayley era.

Therein, Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast comes off like a well-constructed fan book since the objectivity is countered by opinionted critique you can value for the superb writing or you can ho and hum your way past them while chanting “to each their own” like a mantra. 

Daniels’ book does carry a warm vibe to it, as if it should be nestled in your lap with Live After Death, Flight 666 or Visions of the Beast whirling simultaneously on the tube.  Many of the photos Daniels gained permission to release are out of the old Hit Parader, Kerrang and Circus days.  One of the most nostalgic is Richard E. Aaron’s amusing shot of Bruce Dickinson pointing a fencing sword towards a markered and taped sign for a demonstration he was giving in California during the World Piece Tour.  Another is one that will make headbangers of old laugh with gleeful remembrance, as in Dickinson and Dave Murray mugging it up at Capitol Records, as if the giant gauntlet of commercialism is plunging in for them.   That gem, also from Richard E. Aaron, subliminally cues to mind the more cryptic artwork for Queen’s News of the World.  At least Maiden have remained true to themselves in the major leagues, scoffing at that proverbial gauntlet with smarmy farts cast in its general direction.  Then there’s Virginia Turbett’s hilarious capture of bell-bottomed headbangers of 1980.  These are your forefathers, young ‘uns, respect!

As Daniels constructs Iron Maiden’s legacy and the ascension of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, we’re treated to classic photos of the Paul DiAnno years and the back story of Iron Maiden’s first breakout success with the inclusion of “Sanctuary” and “Wrathchild” on the halcycon Metal For Muthas comp from 1980.  What really comes off as fascinating is seeing who Iron Maiden shared the stage with at the glorious Marquee forum, noted to be “the spiritual home of the NWOBHM” by Tygers of Pan Tang vocalist Jess Cox, much less Rock City in Nottingham:  everyone from punkers UK Subs and The Adverts to new wavers XTC and Human League to alt gurus Echo and the Bunnymen.  Even the freaking Kinks, who, sadly, were pale shades of their bombastic selves at that point.

Frequently offering the literature behind such hallmarks as “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,” “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” and more recently, “The Longest Day,” Daniels astutely imbibes the spirit of connection between written and audile media which illustrates Iron Maiden to be one of the most learned bunch of their ilk. 

By doing so, Daniels gives Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast a sense of art surpassing its initial air of mere worship.  The vast portfolio of Derek Riggs alone is enough to have this book on your headbanger’s coffeetable, but the spirited live photos and touring flotsam are an added attraction.  Where it pales from a lack of totality and too much arbitrary analysis, Daniels does give his audience a swift and often eye-popping trip down Iron Maiden’s not-yet-final frontiers.  Consider the irons upped formidably in that respect.

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