BMG has announced the release of a commemorative triple black vinyl album in honor of the 40th anniversary of IRON MAIDEN's seminal third album, "The Number Of The Beast", which was to become the record which catapulted the band to international stardom. Included in the new vinyl package is "Beast Over Hammersmith" — available now officially for the very first time on vinyl — featuring the live concert from March 1982's now-legendary Hammersmith Odeon London show from the "Beast On The Road" world tour. Recorded only days before the release of "The Number Of The Beast" album, it's remarkable to think these now-classic songs at that time were still brand new, unfamiliar and being heard live by fans for the very first time. A real piece of history in the making.
The track listing is:
Disc 1 - The Number Of The Beast
02. Children Of The Damned
03. The Prisoner
04. 22 Acacia Avenue
01. The Number Of The Beast
02. Run To The Hills
03. Total Eclipse*
04. Hallowed Be Thy Name
*alternative track listing to original "The Number Of The Beast" vinyl release. "Total Eclipse" replaces "Gangland"
Disc 2 - Beast Over Hammersmith
01. Murders In The Rue Morgue
03. Run To The Hills
04. Children of The Damned
05. The Number Of The Beast
01. Another Life
03. 22 Acacia Avenue
04. Total Eclipse
Disc 3 - Beast Over Hammersmith
01. The Prisoner
02. Hallowed Be Thy Name
03. Phantom Of The Opera
04. Iron Maiden
03. Running Free
The package features exclusive liner notes written by MAIDEN founder and bassist Steve Harris as well as restored and expanded artwork taken from the CD format of "Beast Over Hammersmith", previously only available in the limited-edition "Eddie's Archive" boxset originally released in 2002.
Harris comments: "On this vinyl release we get the chance to put 'Total Eclipse' in its rightful spot on the album for the first time. The reason it didn't make it in the first place was that it was all a mad rush when we were finishing the record and we had to get the 'Run To The Hills' single out before the tour and we basically had to pick a B-side and it was between 'Gangland' and 'Total Eclipse' and we just picked the wrong one, really! I think 'Total Eclipse' is a stronger song and the album would have been stronger if it had been on there."
To pre-order the album, click here.
Two years ago, Harris reflected on the pressure he and his bandmates felt while writing and recording "The Number Of The Beast". He said during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk": "It was the fact that we'd used up the material, pretty much, from the times before that. Before the first album [1980's 'Iron Maiden'], it was a four-and-a-half-year period before we got signed and all that. And so we had a lot of material that we were doing that was already there, playing in the live set, so we recorded all that. And the second album [1981's 'Killers'] was only, I think, three new songs that were on that album, 'cause the rest of it was stuff we'd been playing [live] as well. So when you get to the third album, it's, like, 'What are we gonna do now?' But that pressure was pretty fierce pressure, and we didn't have a lot of time either. Back in those days, it was just album-tour, album-tour and whatever, and it just worked. So we thought, 'You know what? That worked really well. We'll do the same thing again.' … It has to be done. And if you've got a tour coming after it, that's it — it has to be done."
Released in March 1982, "The Number Of The Beast" was IRON MAIDEN's first LP to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson and the songwriting contributions of guitarist Adrian Smith, who had joined the band two years earlier.
"Obviously, all those elements all thrown into one, it was a pretty scary time in a way, but it was also therapeutic in the sense that we actually went in and just had to come up with the goods," Steve said. "It's, like, 'That's it. It's crunch time. You've gotta do it.'"