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Iron Maiden - Best of the Beast CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden

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3 stars My review is based on the limited 2 CD version, which contains these tracks:

Disc one Virus/Sign of the Cross/Man on the Edge/Afraid to Shoot Strangers (Live)/Be Quick or Be Dead/Fear of the Dark (Live)/Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter/Holy Smoke/The Clairvoyant/Can I Play with Madness/The Evil that Men Do/Heaven Can Wait/Wasted Years

Disc two

Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Live)/Running Free (Live)/2 Minutes to Midnight/Aces High/Where Eagles Dare/The Trooper/The Number of the Beast/Run to the Hills/Hallowed Be Thy Name/Wrathchild/Phantom of the Opera/Sanctuary/Strange World/Iron Maiden

A rather good compilation album where the band and the record company actually had spent money and brainpower to give the fans something extra. The booklet is excellent. The collection of tracks commendable. They even included and opened the compilation with the unreleased track Virus. The track is not their greatest moment, but neither is it a disgrace. But the band deserve credit for it. The rest of the tracks are good too. They have even included the Live After Death version of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. WOW !!!

Unfortunate; the compilation opens with some Blaze Bailey tracks and some street metal era tracks from the Dickinson era. The first disc is therefore of little interest to me, with the exception of the Seventh Son tracks. The second disc is very good. It even includes Where Eagles Dare. WOW !! Hallowed Be Thy Name is also included and so is most of the best epic metal era songs. They have even included Strange World. Good !

The end result is a good compilation album. The problem is that it was released before the rebirth of Iron Maiden with the Brave New World album. I also believe the live albums is far better compilations than the compilation albums Iron Maiden has released. I would rather recommend them to newbies than this album. I would also advice them to buy the 30 Years Of The Beast bio by Paul Stenning in addition. The problem with Best Of The Beast is that it is dated. That is why I cannot give it more than 3 stars. Btw, I would only give the single CD version of this compilation 2 stars.

3 stars.

Report this review (#189202)
Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars It was the first album that I buy from this magnificent British band, and I did it in order to know the best tracks from each album that they have done. I was really impressed with this band, in this compilation you can hear the best songs of the band, such as Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, Fear of the Dark, 2 minutes to midnight, the trooper, the evil man that men do, and others. Included the song with the vocal called blade, after Bruce lefts the band, the album the x factor, iron maiden starts without Bruce, Man On The Edge, is actually one that I like, this compilation is excellent to begin with the maidens, a band representative of the best heavy metal in the world.and then start to know all his albums, although there are songs that do not come here, are worth to listen.great compilation.

3 stars.

Report this review (#267637)
Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Get the 2CD edition if you can

First best of compilation of the NWOBHM kings, "Best of the Beast" was declined in three versions. The most common one is the 1CD edition, good but not without flaws. The 2CD limited edition is well worth the buy if you can grab it. Finally, the 4-Disc vinyl edition was intended for collectors only and is hardly impossible to find nowadays.

Let's talk about the 1CD edition first. The only novelty here is "Virus", released as a single in 1996. A pretty cool song, whose darker atmosphere inherits from "The X Factor", MAIDEN's previous album. Nice! The track-list is overall good, but there are 2 small problems though. The first one is the inclusion of irritating hit singles, such as "Run To The Hills", "Can I Play With Madness", "Bring Your Daughter...", which are the black sheeps of their respective albums. It's a pity, as there are less epic compositions on the disc, nor tracks representing the explosive "Killers".

That's why the limited 2CD edition is much more interesting. Composed of 27 tracks, it contains 3 more emblematic epics from various eras: "Phantom Of The Opera", "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and "Sign of the Cross". Furthermore, it offers a more faithful overview of the band, as each album is represented by 1 or 2 titles, as well as 2 more previously unreleased tracks. The first one is a live version of "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" with Blaze Bailey. His low tone fits the song's haunting ambiance well. The second one is the 1979 demo of "Strange World" from "The Soundhouse Tapes".

Finally, the 4-disc vinyl edition consists in 34 tracks, each album being represented by 2 or 3 titles. It features an unreleased live version of "Revelations" with Bruce Dickinson. However, the main interest of this edition for collectors is the inclusion of the complete 1979 demos recording "The Soundhouse Tapes".

Better than "Edward the Great", "Best of the Beast" mixes studio and live songs with a few rarities. The booklet is richly illustrated with many photos and informations. The most interesting IRON MAIDEN best of compilation, as well as a good way to discover the group for newcomers.

Report this review (#1674792)
Posted Sunday, January 1, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Iron Maiden's first major compilation album, released in 1996, may seem dated today, but it contains some of the bands strongest and most memorable material up until that point, and seeing as this was released after Bruce Dickinson initially left the band (he'd rejoin them in 2000), this perfectly summarizes what many consider to be the groups "golden era".

As is always the case with compilations, there's the argument for which songs should have been included and excluded, and in this regard 'The Best of the Beast' pretty much covers all the essentials. There's maybe one or two things I'd have preferred, perhaps at least one Paul Di'Anno-era song to be featured (there is one, but it's a live version sang by Dickinson), but that isn't too much of a detriment to the overall product.

Featuring all the classics such as 'Aces High', 'Run to the Hills', 'Can I Play With Madness', 'Be Quick or Be Dead', 'Fear of the Dark', 'The Number of the Beast' and 'The Trooper', this is a great starting point for newcomers to the band (and I say this from experience, as this was my first Maiden album).

There's some fantastic artwork used for the covers and inlays, with plenty of photos, lyrics and liner notes in the booklet, and seeing as it featured most of Maiden's early hits, this makes for a nice overall package for fans of the band. However dated it may seem today, it's still a worthy addition to the collections of die-hard fans.

Report this review (#1801696)
Posted Sunday, October 8, 2017 | Review Permalink

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