Best of the Beast

Last updated

Best of the Beast
Best of the Beast.png
Compilation album by
Released23 September 1996
Recorded1978–1996
Genre Heavy metal
Length77:53(single disc CD) [1]
149:40 (2-disc CD)
189:17 (4-disc LP)
Label EMI
Producer
Iron Maiden compilations chronology
Best of the Beast
(1996)
Ed Hunter
(1999)
Singles from Best of the Beast
  1. "Virus"
    Released: 2 September 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10 [3]

Best of the Beast was Iron Maiden's first "best of" album, [4] released in 1996 in three formats: a 34 track (four disc) vinyl, a 27 track (two disc) CD, a 16 track (single disc) CD and MiniDisc. The vinyl edition is, to date, the band's longest record release, running for over three hours.

Contents

Background

The track listing differs slightly between the various editions of the compilation album, but consists mainly of the band's singles and most well-known songs from their 1980–1995 albums. Also included are a new single, entitled "Virus", [4] as well as previously unreleased live versions of "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" and "Revelations" (the latter exclusive to the vinyl edition). Both "Virus" and "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" had promotional music videos created, the latter of which was filmed during The X Factour with new lead vocalist Blaze Bayley replacing Bruce Dickinson, who sang the original studio recording.

The two-CD edition contains two songs from the band's 1979 demo tape/EP The Soundhouse Tapes ("Iron Maiden" and "Strange World," of which the latter was previously unreleased). [4] The 4-disc vinyl pressing, meanwhile, contains the entire Soundhouse Tapes EP on its final side, again with the addition of "Strange World" from the same sessions. The vinyl edition has become quite rare and has increased in value steadily over the years in music stores and on online auction sites. The standard edition's value has not changed much although the Japanese pressings continue to rise in value.

Best of the Beast has long since been out of print and has been "replaced" by Edward the Great in most countries as a greatest hits package for the band. [5]

The cover art was designed by Derek Riggs, known for having created most of Iron Maiden's early album covers. It is an amalgamation of his most famous works with the band, featuring Eddies from the Piece of Mind , Powerslave , Somewhere in Time and No Prayer for the Dying eras, as well as those from "The Trooper", Live After Death and a redesign of the Killers album cover. [6]

Track listing

Standard edition CD and MD

No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."The Number of the Beast" Steve Harris 1982 ~ The Number of the Beast 4:49
2."Can I Play With Madness" Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son 3:31
3."Fear of the Dark" (Live in Helsinki, Finland 1992)Harris1993 ~ A Real Live One (1992 ~ Fear of the Dark )7:21
4."Run to the Hills"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast3:50
5."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"Dickinson1990 ~ No Prayer for the Dying 4:44
6."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:35
7."Aces High"Harris1984 ~ Powerslave 4:31
8."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Janick Gers 1992 ~ Fear of the Dark3:21
9."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, Dickinson1984 ~ Powerslave6:04
10."Man on the Edge" Blaze Bayley, Gers1995 ~ The X Factor 4:18
11."Virus"Harris, Gers, Dave Murray, BayleyNew recording6:30
12."Running Free" (Live in Long Beach, USA 1985)Harris, Paul Di'Anno 1985 ~ Live After Death (1980 ~ Iron Maiden )3:25
13."Wasted Years"Smith1986 ~ Somewhere in Time 5:06
14."The Clairvoyant"Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:27
15."The Trooper"Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind 4:11
16."Hallowed Be Thy Name"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast7:10
Total length:77:53

Limited edition CD

Disc One
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Virus"Harris, Gers, Murray, BayleyNew recording6:30
2."Sign of the Cross"Harris1995 ~ The X Factor11:17
3."Man on the Edge"Bayley, Gers1995 ~ The X Factor4:18
4."Afraid to Shoot Strangers" (Live in Gothenburg, Sweden 1995)HarrisPreviously unreleased (1992 ~ Fear of the Dark)6:48
5."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers1992 ~ Fear of the Dark3:21
6."Fear of the Dark" (Live at Helsinki, Finland 1992)Harris1993 ~ A Real Live One7:21
7."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"Dickinson1990 ~ No Prayer for the Dying4:44
8."Holy Smoke"Harris, Dickinson1990 ~ No Prayer for the Dying3:49
9."The Clairvoyant"Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:27
10."Can I Play With Madness"Smith, Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son3:31
11."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:35
12."Heaven Can Wait"Harris1986 ~ Somewhere in Time7:24
13."Wasted Years"Smith1986 ~ Somewhere in Time5:06
Disc Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Live in Long Beach, USA 1985)Harris1985 ~ Live After Death(1984 ~ Powerslave)13:10
2."Running Free" (Live in Long Beach, USA 1985; single edit)Harris, Di'Anno1985 ~ Live After Death(1980 ~ Iron Maiden)3:25
3."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, Dickinson1984 ~ Powerslave6:04
4."Aces High"Harris1984 ~ Powerslave4:31
5."Where Eagles Dare"Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind6:10
6."The Trooper"Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind4:11
7."The Number of the Beast"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast4:49
8."Run to the Hills"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast3:50
9."Hallowed Be Thy Name"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast7:10
10."Wrathchild"Harris1981 ~ Killers 2:54
11."Phantom of the Opera"Harris1980 ~ Iron Maiden7:20
12."Sanctuary"Harris, Murray, Di'Anno1980 ~ Iron Maiden3:13
13."Strange World" (Unreleased recording for The Soundhouse Tapes )HarrisPreviously unreleased (1980 ~ Iron Maiden)5:45
14."Iron Maiden"Harris1979 ~ The Soundhouse Tapes(1980 ~ Iron Maiden)3:57
Total length:149:40

Limited edition vinyl

[7]

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Virus"Harris, Gers, Murray, BayleyNew recording6:30
2."Sign of the Cross"Harris1995 ~ The X Factor11:17
3."Afraid to Shoot Strangers" (Live in Gothenburg, Sweden 1995)HarrisPreviously unreleased (1992 ~ Fear of the Dark)6:40
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
4."Man on the Edge"Bayley, Gers1995 ~ The X Factor4:18
5."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers1992 ~ Fear of the Dark3:21
6."Fear of the Dark" (Live in Helsinki, Finland 1992)Harris1993 ~ A Real Live One(1992 ~ Fear of the Dark)7:21
7."Holy Smoke"Harris, Dickinson1990 ~ No Prayer for the Dying3:49
8."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"Dickinson1990 ~ No Prayer for the Dying4:44
Side C
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son9:54
2."Can I Play With Madness"Dickinson, Harris, Smith1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son3:31
3."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:35
4."The Clairvoyant"Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:27
Side D
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
5."Heaven Can Wait"Harris1986 ~ Somewhere in Time7:24
6."Wasted Years"Smith1986 ~ Somewhere in Time5:06
7."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, Dickinson1984 ~ Powerslave6:04
8."Running Free" (Live in Long Beach, USA 1985; single edit)Harris, Di'Anno1985 ~ Live After Death(1980 ~ Iron Maiden)3:25
Side E
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Live in Long Beach, USA 1985)Harris1985 ~ Live After Death(1984 ~ Powerslave)13:10
2."Aces High"Harris1984 ~ Powerslave4:31
3."Where Eagles Dare"Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind6:10
4."The Trooper"Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind4:11
Side F
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
5."The Number of the Beast"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast4:49
6."Revelations" (Live in Westfalenhallen, Germany 1983)DickinsonPreviously unreleased (1983 ~ Piece of Mind)6:11
7."The Prisoner"Smith, Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast6:00
8."Run to the Hills"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast3:50
9."Hallowed Be Thy Name"Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast7:10
Side G
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Wrathchild"Harris1981 ~ Killers2:54
2."Killers"Di'Anno, Harris1981 ~ Killers5:01
3."Remember Tomorrow"Di'Anno, Harris1980 ~ Iron Maiden5:27
4."Phantom of the Opera"Harris1980 ~ Iron Maiden7:20
5."Sanctuary"Iron Maiden1980 ~ Iron Maiden3:13
Side H
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
6."Prowler"Harris1979 ~ The Soundhouse Tapes(1980 ~ Iron Maiden)4:17
7."Invasion"Harris1979 ~ The Soundhouse Tapes(1980 ~ Women in Uniform )2:55
8."Strange World" (Unreleased recording for The Soundhouse Tapes)HarrisPreviously unreleased (1980 ~ Iron Maiden)5:45
9."Iron Maiden"Harris1979 ~ The Soundhouse Tapes(1980 ~ Iron Maiden)3:57
Total length:189:17

Chart performance

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF) [23] Platinum60,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil) [24] Gold100,000*
Finland (Musiikkituottajat) [25] Gold22,261 [25]
Sweden (GLF) [26] Platinum100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [27] Gold100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Soundhouse Tapes</i> 1979 EP by Iron Maiden

The Soundhouse Tapes is the debut EP by Iron Maiden, and features the first recordings by the band. Released on 9 November 1979, it features three songs taken from the demo tape recorded at Spaceward Studios on 30 and 31 December 1978. The three tracks appear in a rougher form than they would on the band's eponymous debut studio album and subsequent singles, as they were all recorded in one session.

<i>Powerslave</i> 1984 studio album by Iron Maiden

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<i>Seventh Son of a Seventh Son</i> 1988 album by Iron Maiden

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References

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