IRON MAIDEN — Best Of The Beast (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Best Of The Beast album cover Boxset / Compilation · 1996 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
Did Iron Maiden really need to release a double "Best of..." album? The critics would say no. They labelled Maiden dinosaurs, irrelevant, and saw 'Best Of The Beast' as Iron Maiden exploiting their fans.

Iron Maiden has never been a band to listen to critics. If they were, they would have given up after the self-titled debut. No, this release is a big middle finger salute to the self-appointed metal intelligentsia the world over. Like everything Maiden has ever released, this sold truckloads.

The reason why it sold well may puzzle many. If you examine this release closely, a loyal fan would already have everything here, except perhaps "Sanctuary" (it was not originally included on 'Iron Maiden'). The first disc covers 1986 to 1996, which many fans think of as Maiden being past their peak. The second disc is basically a studio version of 'Live After Death' with a couple of extra tracks thrown in. So, what is the value in 2 1/2 hours of music you already have?

Well, it's Maiden.

Iron Maiden has consistently produced metal of the finest quality alloy since the 1970s. Iron Maiden has produced so many brilliant albums over the years, with fans all having their personal favourites from each album. If you want to listen to those favourites however, it can mean an avalanche of vinyl strewn across the room. Let's say you want to listen to "Iron Maiden", "Wrathchild", "The Number Of The Beast", "Aces High", "Wasted Years", "The Clairvoyant", "Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter" and "Be Quick Or Be Dead". That can mean up to eight albums to sort through. Why not stick 'em all on two discs and package them with a little hardback book mapping out Iron Maiden's history up to that time?

Those who aren't Maiden fans will not understand why followers of the band would actually buy this. Fans of the band though, will understand. After all, you can't argue with seven incarnations of Eddie on a single cover.
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Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Also the double CD has one track from Soundhouse Tapes, and one outtake from those sessions. The 4 LP version has the entire session on it, full EP and the outtake, which is very cool as the original EP is extremely rare.
Vim Fuego wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I didn't realise "Virus" wasn't on any of the studio albums until just recently, otherwise I would have mentioned it too.
IndianaJones wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It also has "Virus" in it, a pleasingly good song for a best-of only bonus. Also, for me, the one cd version of this was the first touch to the band. At the time Best of the Beast was Maiden's first and only best of, the following ones are more obsolete, packing most of the same songs plus a couple of new ones.

But this is a cool compilation, and I would buy the 2 cd version the minute I saw one for a decent price.


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