Iron Maiden: The Number Of The Beast (2001)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 1/26/02
Cast: Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Clive Burr, Martin Birch, Rod Smallwood, Nicko McBrain

Fascinating and inspirational! Iron Maiden's 1982 album, "The Number Of The Beast" was a defining moment in my life - one of those brief moments of clarity when everything comes together and your life has both a focus and a purpose. During a turbulent and confusing adolescence, it was Iron Maiden - and particularly that album - that gave me a purpose and still inspires me today. And now, twenty years later, this retrospective documentary delves into the history and creation of the album that would launch Maiden into international stardom. Even as a die-hard fan, there was new and fascinating material that I hadn't seen or heard before, including a host of wonderful stories from that time period. It was particularly fascinating hearing what producer Martin Birch had to say about the band and the album, and we even get to hear the some of the original music tracks. It was also very exciting to see drummer Clive Burr again after so many years, and it was sad to learn of his battle with Multiple Sclerosis. He was probably the drummer that inspired my playing the most. Adrian Smith also plays a couple of tracks on the DVD, which is VERY cool.

So, I suppose the bottom line is that this is a must-see video for Iron Maiden fans, and particularly fans of their older material. Non-Maiden fans may still find some interesting stuff in it, and it's a competently directed and edited production. Of course, my biggest frustration was seeing even MORE unreleased footage from the Hammersmith Odeon "Beast On The Road Tour," which was FANTASTIC! God, if only I could have seen that tour... When are they going to release all of that footage as an actual concert video?!?

And for Clive: "Up the Irons!" Peace be with you.