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Best Of The Beast – Commentary
 
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Best Of The Beast

23rd September 1996

CD 1
1. Virus (Harris, Gers, Murray, Bayley)
2. Sign Of The Cross (Harris)
3. Man On The Edge (Bayley, Gers)
4. Afraid To Shoot Strangers (live) (Harris)
5. Be Quick Or Be Dead (Dickinson, Gers)
6. Fear Of The Dark (live) (Harris)
7. Bring Your Daughter... ...To The Slaughter (Dickinson)
8. Holy Smoke (Harris, Dickinson)
9. The Clairvoyant (Harris)
10. Can I Play With Madness (Smith, Dickinson, Harris)
11. The Evil That Men Do (Smith, Dickinson, Harris)
12. Heaven Can Wait (Harris)
13. Wasted Years (Smith)
 
CD 2
1. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (live) (Harris)
2. Running Free (live) (Harris, Di'Anno)
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight (Smith, Dickinson)
4. Aces High (Harris)
5. Where Eagles Dare (Harris)
6. The Trooper (Harris)
7. The Number Of The Beast (Harris)
8. Run To The Hills (Harris)
9. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Harris)
10. Wrathchild (Harris)
11. Phantom Of The Opera (Harris)
12. Sanctuary (Harris, Di'Anno, Murray)
13. Strange World (Harris)
14. Iron Maiden (Harris)

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Best Of The Beast is the first major Iron Maiden compilation. It contains a sampling of songs from Maiden's entire career, from the earliest Soundhouse recordings up through The X Factor. Also included is a fairly long booklet containing album and single cover pictures, diary entries, song lyrics, discography, and tour information. In fact, the booklet for the vinyl version contains a listing of the place and date of every concert on every major tour that Maiden has ever done.

There are two major highlights of Best Of The Beast, the new single Virus and two songs from the original SoundhouseTapes, 'Strange World' and 'Iron Maiden', which were previously unavailable on CD. (The LP version contains the other Soundhouse tracks 'Prowler' and 'Invasion'.) These tracks make Best Of The Beast well worth purchasing.

Overall, the track selection is excellent, with most of Maiden's best material included. There are however a few glaring omissions, such as 'Revelations', 'Flight Of Icarus' and 'Stranger In A Strange Land'. Probably every Maiden fan will find some favourite songs missing, and in order to get every classic song it would be necessary to add a third and possibly fourth disc. In fact, just release all of the Maiden albums in a box set!

In summary, Best Of The Beast is probably the ideal collection for a new Iron Maiden fan, giving a sample of some of Maiden's best material. And for the hard core Maiden fan, 'Virus' and the tracks from SoundhouseTapes make this collection necessary as well.

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