Review Summary: Iron maiden's breakthrough album possesses quality unmatched by nearly every other piece of work by Iron Maiden.
After the release of the first two albums, Iron Maiden was gaining popularity at a rate faster than any other metal band at the time. However, some fans wre alienated by the band's firing of their popular lead singer Paul Di'Anno.
Questions were asked. "What will they sound lke now? Who will sing for them? Are they going to lose their edge?" The answers? Well, Paul Di'Anno was out, and in was a man named Bruce Dickinson. If you have to ask who that is then you probably shouldn't be reading this review, as you are not an Iron Maiden fan. As Dickinson arrived, so too did a completely different sound for Maiden. His voice had a power that Paul's didn't and therefore the songs became more powerful as well. The result of this was one of the greatest metal albums ever spawned, and with it Iron Maiden emerged as a true force in the music industry.
Fan after fan comes and claims this album is overrated and that they like albums such as Piece of Mind, Powerslave and Seventh Son more. Yet these same fans all love Hallowed Be Thy Name, Children of the Damned and 22 Acacia Avenue. It always comes to the same two songs; the title track and Run to the Hills. Hardcore fans claim to dislike these songs because of factors like radio overplay and hype. Back when this album came out, though, these songs were adored. That's because they're metal classics any way you slice it. I don't find anything overrated about this album. In fact so many claim it is that I would now classify it as underrated.
There's a lot to love about this album, whether it be that the songs that retain a bit of the Di'Anno sound, or the new energy Dickinson infuses, as shown in songs like The Prisoner and 22 Acacia Avenue. The weak point of the album is likely Total Eclipse, which wasn't even released on the original and still is not enough to throw off the album's sound. Not only that, but it comes right before Hallowed Be Thy Name, a song so great that it not only makes up for Total Eclipse, but it makes up for every lesser song Maiden has ever made. It's a great decision to close this album full of near perfect songs with a completely perfect song. It's everything Iron Maiden is about.
All in all this album is a classic and a must listen for every metal fan in the enitre world. Who knows why so many have some to find it overrated? Sure, the title song and Run to the Hills are they're most famous, but that does not make them any worse. Perhaps it's easier for some to dismiss it as overrated than explain why it's so great. Whichever way you slice it this will always be one of the best metal albums of all time.
Children of the Damned-4.5/5
22 Acacia Avenue-4.5/5
The Number of the Beast-4.5/5
Run to the Hills-4.5/5
Hallowed Be Thy Name-5/5