Thursday, April 07, 2016

Retro Video of the Week: "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden

Last night, I saw Iron Maiden at the United Center.  Those guys are still amazing. The stage show and backdrops (and Eddie) are  Musically, they have not lost a step.  All three guitarists still kill it.  Nicko McBrain effortlessly plays about 150 drums.  Steve Harris is still the best bassist in the world, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't aged in 35 years.  Bruce Dickinson can still hit every note he did thirty years ago.  I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone else 57 years old (or older, or probably younger) who has a more powerful voice.  And he flies a 747!  

In honor of Maiden, I'm going with the title track to their 1982 album, The Number of the Beast.  The song "The Number of the Beast" is a classic metal anthem, with Dickinson giving us one of the best wails in music history at the end of the introductory verse.  In true Maiden fashion, combining influences from pop culture and classic literature, the song was inspired by both the movie Damien: Omen II and a poem by Robert Burns.  And, of course, the song -- with its references to Satan and 666 -- was a target for religious groups, who accused the band of being Satanists (and, in doing so, helped drive record sales higher).

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