Best of the Beast

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Best of the Beast
Best of the Beast.png
Compilation album by Iron Maiden
Released 23 September 1996
Recorded 1978–1996
Genre Heavy metal
Length 77:53 (single disc CD)[1]
149:40 (2-disc CD)
189:17 (4-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
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[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.

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",[4] 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).[4] 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. 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.[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[edit]

Standard edition CD and MD[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."The Number of the Beast"Steve HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)4:49
2."Can I Play with Madness"Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)3:31
3."Fear of the Dark (Live)"HarrisA Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992)7:21
4."Run to the Hills"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)3:50
5."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"DickinsonNo Prayer for the Dying (1990)4:44
6."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:35
7."Aces High"HarrisPowerslave (1984)4:31
8."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Janick GersFear of the Dark (1992)3:21
9."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, DickinsonPowerslave (1984)6:04
10."Man on the Edge"Blaze Bayley, GersThe X Factor (1995)4:18
11."Virus"Harris, Gers, Dave Murray, BayleyNew track6:30
12."Running Free (Live)"Harris, Paul Di'AnnoLive After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980)3:25
13."Wasted Years"SmithSomewhere in Time (1986)5:06
14."The Clairvoyant"HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:27
15."The Trooper"HarrisPiece of Mind (1983)4:11
16."Hallowed Be Thy Name"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)7:10
Total length:77:53

Limited edition CD[edit]

Disc One
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Virus"Harris, Gers, Murray, BayleyNew track6:30
2."Sign of the Cross"HarrisThe X Factor (1995)11:17
3."Man on the Edge"Bayley, GersThe X Factor (1995)4:18
4."Afraid to Shoot Strangers (Live)"HarrisNew version, originally from Fear of the Dark (1992)6:48
5."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, GersFear of the Dark (1992)3:21
6."Fear of the Dark (Live)"HarrisA Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992)7:21
7."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"DickinsonNo Prayer for the Dying (1990)4:44
8."Holy Smoke"Harris, DickinsonNo Prayer for the Dying (1990)3:49
9."The Clairvoyant"HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:27
10."Can I Play With Madness"Smith, Dickinson, HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)3:31
11."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:35
12."Heaven Can Wait"HarrisSomewhere in Time (1986)7:24
13."Wasted Years"SmithSomewhere in Time (1986)5:06
Disc Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Live)"HarrisLive After Death (1985), originally from Powerslave (1984)13:10
2."Running Free (Live)"Harris, Di'AnnoLive After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980)3:25
3."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, DickinsonPowerslave (1984)6:04
4."Aces High"HarrisPowerslave (1984)4:31
5."Where Eagles Dare"HarrisPiece of Mind (1983)6:10
6."The Trooper"HarrisPiece of Mind (1983)4:11
7."The Number of the Beast"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)4:49
8."Run to the Hills"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)3:50
9."Hallowed Be Thy Name"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)7:10
10."Wrathchild"HarrisKillers (1981)2:54
11."Phantom of the Opera"HarrisIron Maiden (1980)7:20
12."Sanctuary"Iron MaidenIron Maiden (1980)3:13
13."Strange World"HarrisPreviously unreleased outtake from The Soundhouse Tapes (1979)5:45
14."Iron Maiden"HarrisThe Soundhouse Tapes (1979)3:57
Total length:149:40

Limited edition vinyl[7][edit]

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Virus"Harris, Gers, Murray, BayleyNew track6:30
2."Sign of the Cross"HarrisThe X Factor (1995)11:17
3."Afraid to Shoot Strangers (Live)"HarrisNew version, originally from Fear of the Dark (1992)6:40
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
4."Man on the Edge"Bayley, GersThe X Factor (1995)4:18
5."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, GersFear of the Dark (1992)3:21
6."Fear of the Dark (Live)"HarrisA Real Live One (1993), originally from Fear of the Dark (1992)7:21
7."Holy Smoke"Harris, DickinsonNo Prayer for the Dying (1990)3:49
8."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"DickinsonNo Prayer for the Dying (1990)4:44
Side C
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)9:54
2."Can I Play With Madness"Dickinson, Harris, SmithSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)3:31
3."The Evil That Men Do"Smith, Dickinson, HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:35
4."The Clairvoyant"HarrisSeventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)4:27
Side D
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
5."Heaven Can Wait"HarrisSomewhere in Time (1986)7:24
6."Wasted Years"SmithSomewhere in Time (1986)5:06
7."2 Minutes to Midnight"Smith, DickinsonPowerslave (1984)6:04
8."Running Free (Live)"Harris, Di'AnnoLive After Death (1985), originally from Iron Maiden (1980)3:25
Side E
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Live)"HarrisLive After Death (1985), originally from Powerslave (1984)13:10
2."Aces High"HarrisPowerslave (1984)4:31
3."Where Eagles Dare"HarrisPiece of Mind (1983)6:10
4."The Trooper"HarrisPiece of Mind (1983)4:11
Side F
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
5."The Number of the Beast"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)4:49
6."Revelations (Live)"DickinsonPreviously unreleased live recording, originally from Piece of Mind (1983)6:11
7."The Prisoner"Smith, HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)6:00
8."Run to the Hills"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)3:50
9."Hallowed Be Thy Name"HarrisThe Number of the Beast (1982)7:10
Side G
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
1."Wrathchild"HarrisKillers (1981)2:54
2."Killers"Di'Anno, HarrisKillers (1981)5:01
3."Remember Tomorrow"Di'Anno, HarrisIron Maiden (1980)5:27
4."Phantom of the Opera"HarrisIron Maiden (1980)7:20
5."Sanctuary"Iron MaidenIron Maiden (1980)3:13
Side H
No.TitleWriter(s)Original albumLength
6."Prowler"HarrisThe Soundhouse Tapes (1979)4:17
7."Invasion"HarrisThe Soundhouse Tapes (1979)2:55
8."Strange World"HarrisPreviously unreleased outtake from The Soundhouse Tapes (1979)5:45
9."Iron Maiden"HarrisThe Soundhouse Tapes (1979)3:57
Total length:189:17

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[22] Platinum 60,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[23] Gold 100,000*
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[24] Gold 22,261[24]
Sweden (GLF)[25] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] 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. ^ Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 365. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  6. ^ "Best of the Beast". Derek Riggs. Archived from the original on 17 May 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Iron Maiden - Best of the Beast (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". The Official Finnish Charts. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Iron Maiden- Longplay-Chartverfolgung". Media Control Charts (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  13. ^ アイアン・メイデン – ベスト・オブ・ビースト (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast (album)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Official UK Albums Archive 5 October 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (nummer)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (song)". Finland's Official List. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'Virus' (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "Official UK Singles Archive 21 September 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Iron Maiden" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2001" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 April 2013.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Best of the Beast in the search field and then press Enter.