Best of the Beast

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Best of the Beast
Greatest hits album by Iron Maiden
Released 23 September 1996
Recorded 1979–1996
Genre Heavy metal
Length 77:53 (single disc CD)[1]
149:40 (2-disc CD)
189:17 (2-disc LP)
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch, Nigel Green, Steve Harris, Iron Maiden, Will Malone
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
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

Best of the Beast was Iron Maiden's first "best of" album,[3] 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.

Background[edit]

The track listings are mainly made up of the band's greatest hits (singles) and most well-known songs from their 1980–1995 albums, but they also include a new single, entitled "Virus",[3] and an unreleased live version of "Afraid to Shoot Strangers". Both songs had promotional music videos, the latter of which was filmed during The X Factour and originally featured the band's previous lead vocalist, Bruce Dickinson.

The two-CD version contains two songs from the band's 1979 demo tape The Soundhouse Tapes ("Iron Maiden" and "Strange World," of which the latter was previously unreleased).[3] The 4-disc vinyl pressing is 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. The Best of the Beast has long since been out of print and has been "replaced" by Edward the Great in most countries as a 'best of' for the band.[4]

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.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition CD and MD[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "The Number of the Beast"   Steve Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 4:49
2. "Can I Play with Madness"   Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 3:31
3. "Fear of the Dark (Live)"   Harris A Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992) 7:21
4. "Run to the Hills"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 3:50
5. "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"   Dickinson No Prayer for the Dying (1990) 4:44
6. "The Evil That Men Do"   Smith, Dickinson, Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:35
7. "Aces High"   Harris Powerslave (1984) 4:31
8. "Be Quick or Be Dead"   Dickinson, Janick Gers Fear of the Dark (1992) 3:21
9. "2 Minutes to Midnight"   Smith, Dickinson Powerslave (1984) 6:04
10. "Man on the Edge"   Blaze Bayley, Gers The X Factor (1995) 4:18
11. "Virus"   Harris, Gers, Dave Murray, Bayley 6:30
12. "Running Free (Live)"   Harris, Paul Di'Anno Live After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980) 3:25
13. "Wasted Years"   Smith Somewhere in Time (1986) 5:06
14. "The Clairvoyant"   Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:27
15. "The Trooper"   Harris Piece of Mind (1983) 4:11
16. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 7:10
Total length:
77:53

Limited edition CD[edit]

Disc One
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Virus"   Harris, Gers, Murray, Bayley New track 6:30
2. "Sign of the Cross"   Harris The X Factor (1995) 11:17
3. "Man on the Edge"   Bayley, Gers The X Factor (1995) 4:18
4. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers (Live)"   Harris New version, originally from Fear of the Dark (1992) 6:48
5. "Be Quick or Be Dead"   Dickinson, Gers Fear of the Dark (1992) 3:21
6. "Fear of the Dark (Live)"   Harris A Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992) 7:21
7. "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"   Dickinson No Prayer for the Dying (1990) 4:44
8. "Holy Smoke"   Harris, Dickinson No Prayer for the Dying (1990) 3:49
9. "The Clairvoyant"   Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:27
10. "Can I Play With Madness"   Smith, Dickinson, Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 3:31
11. "The Evil That Men Do"   Smith, Dickinson, Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:35
12. "Heaven Can Wait"   Harris Somewhere in Time (1986) 7:24
13. "Wasted Years"   Smith Somewhere in Time (1986) 5:06
Disc Two
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Live)"   Harris Live After Death (1985), originally from Powerslave (1984) 13:10
2. "Running Free (Live)"   Harris, Di'Anno Live After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980) 3:25
3. "2 Minutes to Midnight"   Smith, Dickinson Powerslave (1984) 6:04
4. "Aces High"   Harris Powerslave (1984) 4:31
5. "Where Eagles Dare"   Harris Piece of Mind (1983) 6:10
6. "The Trooper"   Harris Piece of Mind (1983) 4:11
7. "The Number of the Beast"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 4:49
8. "Run to the Hills"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 3:50
9. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 7:10
10. "Wrathchild"   Harris Killers (1981) 2:54
11. "Phantom of the Opera"   Harris Iron Maiden (1980) 7:20
12. "Sanctuary"   Iron Maiden Iron Maiden (1980) 3:13
13. "Strange World"   Harris Previously unreleased outtake from The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 5:45
14. "Iron Maiden"   Harris The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 3:57
Total length:
149:40

Limited edition vinyl[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Virus"   Harris, Gers, Murray, Bayley New track 6:30
2. "Sign of the Cross"   Harris The X Factor (1995) 11:17
3. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers (live)"   Harris New version, originally from Fear of the Dark (1992) 6:40
4. "Man on the Edge"   Bayley, Gers The X Factor (1995) 4:18
5. "Be Quick or Be Dead"   Dickinson, Gers Fear of the Dark (1992) 3:21
6. "Fear of the Dark (Live)"   Harris A Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992) 7:21
7. "Holy Smoke"   Harris, Dickinson No Prayer for the Dying (1990) 3:49
8. "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"   Dickinson No Prayer for the Dying (1990) 4:44
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"   Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 9:54
2. "Can I Play With Madness"   Dickinson, Harris, Smith Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 3:31
3. "The Evil That Men Do"   Smith, Dickinson, Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:35
4. "The Clairvoyant"   Harris Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) 4:27
5. "Heaven Can Wait"   Harris Somewhere in Time (1986) 7:24
6. "Wasted Years"   Smith Somewhere in Time (1986) 5:06
7. "2 Minutes to Midnight"   Smith, Dickinson Powerslave (1984) 6:04
8. "Running Free (Live)"   Harris, Di'Anno Live After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980) 3:25
Side Three
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner (live)"   Harris Live After Death (1985), originally from Powerslave (1984) 13:10
2. "Aces High"   Harris Powerslave (1984) 4:31
3. "Where Eagles Dare"   Harris Piece of Mind (1983) 6:10
4. "The Trooper"   Harris Piece of Mind (1983) 4:11
5. "The Number of the Beast"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 4:49
6. "Revelations"   Dickinson Previously unreleased live recording, originally from Piece of Mind (1983) 6:11
7. "The Prisoner"   Smith, Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 6:00
8. "Run to the Hills"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 3:50
9. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"   Harris The Number of the Beast (1982) 7:10
Side Four
No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Wrathchild"   Harris Killers (1981) 2:54
2. "Killers"   Di'Anno, Harris Killers (1981) 5:01
3. "Remember Tomorrow"   Di'Anno, Harris Iron Maiden (1980) 5:27
4. "Phantom of the Opera"   Harris Iron Maiden (1980) 7:20
5. "Sanctuary"   Iron Maiden Iron Maiden (1980) 3:13
6. "Prowler"   Harris The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 4:17
7. "Invasion"   Harris The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 2:55
8. "Strange World"   Harris Previously unreleased outtake from The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 5:45
9. "Iron Maiden"   Harris The Soundhouse Tapes (1979) 3:57
Total length:
189:17

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[20] Platinum 60,000x
Brazil (ABPD)[21] Gold 100,000*
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[22] Gold 22,261[22]
Sweden (GLF)[23] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Best of the Beast (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 23 September 1996. 
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. Iron Maiden-Best of the Beast at AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 316. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  4. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 365. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  5. ^ "Best of the Beast". Derek Riggs. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". The Official Finnish Charts. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Iron Maiden- Longplay-Chartverfolgung". Media Control Charts (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  11. ^ アイアン・メイデン – ベスト・オブ・ビースト (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Official UK Albums Archive 5 October 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (nummer)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (song)". Finland's Official List. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Official UK Singles Archive 21 September 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  22. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
  23. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2001" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 April 2013.  Enter Best of the Beast in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search