Advertisement

Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast Turns 40: Bruce Dickinson Reflects

"Maiden was a different animal -- we were so fierce and snarling and snapping at everybody"

Bruce Dickinson (photo by Kevin RC Wilson) and The Number of the Beast (inset)
Advertisement
Advertisement

    Certain years have seen the release of an overabundance of classic metal albums. And 1982 was undoubtedly one of them. Case in point, the arrival of Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance, Venom’s Black Metal, Scorpions’ Blackout, Kiss’ Creatures of the Night, and Accept’s Restless and Wild all within that particular calendar year. However, most metalheads would probably agree that the top metal release of ‘82 was Iron Maiden’s tour de force The Number of the Beast — which celebrates its 40-year anniversary on March 22nd, 2022.

    Lead singer switches in already established rock bands seem to not work out far more times than they do. But Maiden were one of fortunate ones — when Paul Di’Anno (who provided vocals for Maiden’s first two albums, 1980’s self-titled debut and 1981’s Killers) was replaced by former Samson singer Bruce Dickinson in late 1981.

    With their new vocalist singing in a more operatic style than his predecessor, Maiden — whose lineup at that point consisted of Dickinson, guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, bassist Steve Harris, and drummer Clive Burr — began working up new material shortly after their new bandmate’s arrival.

    Advertisement

    “We had most of the songs and we were rehearsing them,” Dickinson told Heavy Consequence while discussing the 40th anniversary of The Number of the Beast (watch above). “So, we thought we had a fairly good idea of what they should sound like. [Producer] Martin Birch showed up for a couple of days of rehearsals, nodded his head, and went, ‘Yep, yep. OK. Fine.’ And then we started recording it.”

Personalized Stories

Around The Web

Advertisement