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Encyclopedia > The Number of the Beast (song)
"The Number of the Beast"
"The Number of the Beast" cover
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album The Number of the Beast
Released April 26 1982
Format vinyl record (7") (12")
Recorded 1982
Genre Heavy metal
Length 4:49
Label EMI
Writer(s) Steve Harris
Peak chart positions
  • 18 (UK charts)
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Run to the Hills"
(1982)
"The Number of the Beast"
(1982)
"Flight of Icarus"
(1983)



"Rainmaker"
(2003)
"The Number of the Beast" (live)
(2005)
"The Trooper" (live)
(2006)

"The Number of the Beast" is Iron Maiden's seventh single and the second single from Iron Maiden's 1982 album of the same name. The song is inspired by a nightmare bandleader and bassist Steve Harris had after watching the movie Damien: Omen II. "The Number of The Beast" is one of Iron Maiden's greatest hits, and is almost always performed during concert. It reached 18 in the UK charts. The track is known for a fairly high-pitched scream by Bruce Dickinson at the end of the intro. In the documentary on the album of the same name, as part of the Classic Albums series by the BBC, Dickinson said this was due to producer Martin Birch forcing Bruce to sing the first four lines for several hours, over and over again. The frustration of this culminated in this scream, the pitch of which Dickinson has not managed to re-create live since the early days. This is the only title track to be named a single as of 2007. Image File history File links Notb. ... A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from east London. ... The Number of the Beast is a heavy metal album released in 1982 (see 1982 in music) by Iron Maiden on EMI in the UK and originally Harvest Records/Capitol Records in the U.S. (now on Sanctuary Records/Columbia Records), and is widely considered to be one of the... A gramophone record, (also phonograph record - often simply record) is an analog sound recording medium: a flat disc rotating at a constant angular velocity, with inscribed spiral grooves in which a stylus or needle rides. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Heavy metal (sometimes referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The EMI Group (LSE: EMI) is a British music company comprising of the major record company EMI Music which operates several labels, based in Brook Green in London, England, and EMI Music Publishing, based on Charing Cross Road, London. ... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A record chart, also known as a music chart, is a method of ranking music according to popularity during a given period of time. ... Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from east London. ... Run to the Hills is Iron Maidens sixth single and first single from Iron Maidens 1982 album The Number of the Beast. ... Flight of Icarus is a 1983 song by Iron Maiden. ... Dance of Death is Iron Maidens 13th studio album, released on September 8, 2003. ... The Trooper is a song written by bass player Steve Harris. ... Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from east London. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


The song is about a man who dreams that he was wandering alone and happens upon a portion of Hell on Earth, with people performing Satanic rituals and sacrifices. At first, he is disgusted and decides he must report this goings on to the law, but eventually becomes entranced by the whole ordeal and decides that he will return.


The single's cover is the last of three singles to feature Riggs' depiction of Satan, which debuted on the cover of the Purgatory single. The cover of The Number of the Beast is the aftermath to the cover of the Run to the Hills single where Eddie and Satan are depicted in battle.


The band had asked the famous horror films actor Vincent Price to read the intro text. However, according to Bruce, Price refused to do it for anything less than £25,000. They had heard of someone who reads ghost stories at the Capitol radio station and got him to do it. The man was a theatre actor who had no interest in Maiden, but they asked him to put on a Vincent Price kind of voice. Vincent Leonard Price Jr. ...


The original B-side "Remember Tomorrow (Live)" was repeatedly claimed by the band to have been recorded back in 1981 in Milan, Italy during Bruce's warm-up gigs. However, this was found to be untrue when fans discovered it to be the same recording from "Remember Tomorrow" as recorded live by the band with Paul Di'Anno for the live EP, Maiden Japan, with Bruce Dickinson's vocals overdubbed onto the track. Paul DiAnno Paul Andrews (born 17 May 1958, in Chingford, Essex), better known as Paul DiAnno, was the first prominent vocalist in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden from 1978 to 1981. ... Maiden Japan, also known as Heavy Metal Army, is a live EP by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. ...


The song made it in at #7 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs[1].


The Number of the Beast was ranked #6 in Martin Popoff's book "The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time". Popoff put together this book by requesting thousands of metal fans, musicians, and journalists to send in their favourite heavy metal songs. Almost 18,000 individual votes were tallied and entered into a database from which the final rankings were derived. [2]. The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time is a book by Martin Popoff who is the Editor In Chief and Writer of the Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles Magazine as well as the Senior Editor of bravewords. ...


In January 2005, a new and updated version was released. It features live video renditions of "Number of the Beast" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" that have never been officially released before.


It has since been covered by Iced Earth, Saints in Hell, Powderfinger and Zwan, whose version was used for the soundtrack of the cult film Spun. Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band that combines influences from thrash metal, power metal, progressive metal and NWOBHM. In 1999 their leader and songwriter Jon Schaffer teamed up with Blind Guardian vocalist Hansi Kürsch to form a side project called Demons & Wizards. ... Powderfinger is an Australian rock band. ... Zwan was a short-lived indie supergroup that was formed by The Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan in 2001. ... For the Florida rock band, see SPÜN. Spun is a 2002 independent movie directed by Jonas Åkerlund and written by Creighton Vero and Will de los Santos. ...


This song was featured on the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4, often called THPS4, is the fourth game released in the Tony Hawks Series. ...

Contents

Controversy

The song, being the title number for the 1982 album was a prominent target of critics during a time when Maiden were accused of being a Satanic group. Much of the controversy is believed to have originated due to the prominence of the number 666 in the song's repeating chorus as well as mere misinterpretation of the lyrics which actually object satanic practices. The Number of the Beast is a concept from the Book of Revelation of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ...


Maiden took a swing at their critics in the follow-up album Piece of Mind which features a backmasked message in the beginning of the song Still Life which, when played backwards translates as Nicko McBrain uttering nonsense while intoxicated, followed by a belch. Piece of Mind is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. ... Backmasking (also known incorrectly as backward masking[1]) is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards. ... The process of burping, also known as a belching or eructation, is an often audible release through the mouth of gas that has accumulated in the stomach or esophagus. ...


Track listing

  1. "The Number of the Beast"
  2. "Remember Tomorrow ('Live' Vocal Overdub)"

2005 track listing

  1. "The Number of the Beast" (original 1982 studio version) (Steve Harris)
  2. "The Number of the Beast" (live 2002) (Steve Harris)
  3. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (live 2002) (Steve Harris)
  4. "Children of the Damned" (live 2002) (Steve Harris)
  5. VIDEO - "The Number of the Beast" (original 1982 studio version) (Steve Harris)
  6. VIDEO - "The Number of the Beast" (live 2002) (Steve Harris)

1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...

Credits

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A singer is a musician who uses his or her voice to produce music. ... David Michael Murray (born December 23, 1956 in Edmonton, London) is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as one of the original members of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Adrian Frederik H Smith (born February 27, 1957 in Hackney, East London, England) is a songwriter and one of three guitarists/songwriters in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. ... A backing vocalist or backing singer (or, especially in the U.S., backup singer or sometimes background singer) is a singer who sings in harmony with the lead vocalist, other backing vocalists, or alone but not singing the lead. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The electric bass guitar (or electric bass) is an electrically-amplified string instrument played with the fingers by plucking, slapping, or using a pick. ... Clive Burr (b. ... A drum kit (or drum set or trap set) is a collection of drums, cymbals and sometimes other percussion instruments arranged for convenient playing by a single drummer. ...

Notes

  1. ^ "VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", 1-4 May 2006, VH1 Channel, reported by VH1.com; last accessed 2006-09-10.
  2. ^ "The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time"[1].

  Results from FactBites:
 
Number of the Beast: Information from Answers.com (1233 words)
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Irenaeus suggested that the number indicates that the beast is the sum of all apostasy committed over the course of six thousand years.
The number 666 retains a peculiar significance in the culture and psychology of Western societies, where some perceive it as “the Devil’s number”, even in contexts usually remote from superstition.
Number of the Beast: Information from Answers.com (4740 words)
In Robert A. Heinlein's book Number of the Beast, "666" is actually six to the sixth to the sixth power, which in the novel is the number of possible dimensions/universes that may be reached in one step using the main inventor's device.
Now with the speculation that the number 616 is the real number of the beast, it has come to light that 616 used to be the country number and area code of Canberra, the Capital of Australia, and home to the nation's Government.
The numbers 2 and 5 have special significance to the Illuminati, a group that is pivotal to the novel's plot.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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