Very few things in the world surprise or excite a jaded old metalhead like myself. Iron Maiden releasing their best album in at least 23 years is an obvious exception. There, I said it right in the opening! There is no point beating around the bush on this one: The Book of Souls, in addition to being Maiden’s first-ever double studio album is easily their best effort since 1992’s Fear of the Dark. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of great tracks among the band’s six studio albums that were released during that 23-year period, but not a single one of those records maintained the quality throughout that is so richly on display with The Book of Souls.
It’s been a long 5 year wait for Iron Maiden fans. The band’s last studio album, The Final Frontier, was released in 2010. In the interim, the band has been very busy with a litany of projects. They toured the globe on a massive world tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their landmark album Seventh Son of A Seventh Son, launched their own Trooper brand of beer, bassist and principal songwriter Steve Harris recorded and toured for a solo record, and singer Bruce Dickinson started an airline!
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early 80’s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, the radio station of Miami University of Ohio, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio. It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metalheads.
Clive Burr, who was the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has passed away at the age of 56 from complications from Multiple Sclerosis. His former band members report that the drummer died peacefully in his sleep at home on March 12, 2013.
Burr joined the legendary group in 1979. Iron Maiden was and remains to this day one of the more high profile bands of the New Wave of British Metal during the late 1970s. Burr had lent his drum talents to the first three Iron Maiden albums, which are still regarded by Maiden fans around the world as some of the band’s best musical achievements: the self-titled Iron Maiden debut album, Killers, and The Number of the Beast. Those first two albums also sported the original singer Paul Di’Anno, who was later replaced by the soaring high-pitched vocalist Bruce Dickinson. By the time of The Number of the Beast, the band was on the crest of achieving worldwide success and legendary status as a Heavy Metal unit.
Classic Albums – Iron Maiden: Number Of The Beast Netflix Streaming DVD
Directed by Tim Kirby
Starring EDDIE, Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Steve Harris, Clive Burr, Martin Birch, Rod Smallwood, Nicko McBrain, Ross Halfin
Isis Productions/Eagle Vision
Originally Released: December 4, 2001
When Netflix added nearly all of the Classic Albums series to their streaming collection last week, it was inevitable that I would draw attention to the series in this review. The big question for me was: which Classic Albums episode do I review? Being a music geek, and especially (first and foremost) a Metal Head, the choice was incredibly tough. With bands such as Metallica, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, MotÃ¶rhead, Rush, and many more among the features now online, it took me a while before I settled on a title.
Favorably rated as one of the most memorable and cornerstone albums in Metal history, Iron Maiden: The Number Of The Beast now seems, in retrospect, the appropriate selection for this review. The band is frequently cited as one of the fundamental acts that bolstered the genre of metal, having blasted onto the scene among the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal – and they continue onwards to this day, renewing their legacy with new releases that strengthen their music identity.