Here’s Every Track on Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast, Ranked by MetalSucks’ Readers
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Iron Maiden‘s monumental The Number of the Beast being released. Besides the first four Black Sabbath albums and the biggest albums by thrash’s Big 4, you would be hard-pressed to find a heavy metal album more iconic, beloved, and influential than this one. So in celebration, we asked you, our readers, to rank the album’s eight tracks according to their greatness — and now the polls are in!
Overall, our poll received 3,522 votes, but the favorite was clear, as were the losers. So here, according to our readership, are the album’s eight tracks, in order of popularity:
8. “Gangland” – 21 votes
Wow, really? Man, I fucking LOVE “Gangland!” None the less, this was without a doubt the lowest-voted track on the record. Guess our readers prefer thrash to proto-thrash.
7. “Invaders” – 44 votes
The album’s opener came in second-to-last with only 44 votes. This, we can understand — the song is cool, but it’s kind of wonky, and doesn’t have a truly awesome chorus. The whole spoken “PILLAGING” is a little weird, too. Ah, well, moving on…
6. “Children of the Damned” – 220 votes
Does anyone else notice how much Metallica were inspired by the opening of this track for “The Unforgiven?” In any event, we also understand this one ranking low — it’s slow and ballad-esque. That said, when you see them play this song live, the crowd goes NUTS.
5. “The Prisoner” – 223 votes
Barely beating “Children of the Damned” is “The Prisoner,” which we also understand being a little lower on the list. I mean, it’s an upbeat song about an obscure sci-fi TV show. That said, it’s got a fun chorus, and feels more relatable than some of the songs below it, so it makes sense that it ranked a little higher.
4. “Run to the Hills” – 350 votes
Whoa, what the fuck — how did “22 Acacia Avenue” beat “Run to the Hills?” This is arguably Maiden’s biggest anthem, with a chorus that conquers all! We’re chalking this one up to you guys hating whatever’s popular and wanting to show your inside knowledge of the band. In any event, this is still the best metal song about the genocide of the Native Americans that isn’t by Testament.
3. “22 Acacia Avenue” – 375 votes
Again, no idea how this beat “Run to the Hills!” This two-part song about the band’s character Charlotte The Harlot is fine, we guess, but it’s very uneven — part one is a classic metal song, and part two is a weirdly-worded breakdown about saving Charlotte’s dignity. Definitely has a weird milady vibe to it, too, and probably inspired countless dudes to think they could ‘save’ the chicks they lusted after.
2. “The Number of the Beast” – 411 votes
Now this, we get. The album’s title track was a massive MTV staple, and has a great big yell-along chorus. It’s also the song that earned Maiden the label of ‘satanic,’ even though the whole track is about escaping the clutches of a satanic cult. This track was without a doubt a huge one for the band, and has a chorus we all know and love. The one for you and me!
1. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” – 1,878 votes
Damn, tell us how you really feel! Of course, we’re not surprised by this being the #1 song among our readership, and we agree with them. From start to finish, “Hallowed Be Thy Name” gives fans everything they want — killer guitar harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and the best crescendo in metal history. A timeless, perfect gem.