STEVE HARRIS Says IRON MAIDEN Felt 'Fierce' Pressure During Making Of 'The Number Of The Beast' Album

February 13, 2020

During a brand new appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", recorded during this year's Monsters Of Rock cruise, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris reflected on the pressure he and his bandmates felt while writing and recording their third album, 1982's "The Number Of The Beast". He said: "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.'"

Last December, rumors spread that IRON MAIDEN had already completed work on a new studio album.

The British heavy metal legends haven't released any fresh music since 2015's "The Book Of Souls" LP, which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with longtime producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.

Harris has spent the last few months touring with his side project BRITISH LION, whose second album, "The Burning", is now available.

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