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666 - The Number One Beast

Deadline Records

666 THE NUMBER ONE BEAST

29th June 1999

 

1. Can I Play With Madness [Steve Overland]
2. 2 Minutes To Midnight [Steve Grimmett]
3. Wrathchild [Paul Di'Anno]
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name [Doogie White]
5. Running Free [Paul Di'Anno]
6. The Evil That Men Do [Doogie White]
7. Phantom Of The Opera [Paul Di'Anno]
8. The Number Of The Beast [Steve Grimmett]
9. Iron Maiden [Paul Di'Anno]
10. Run To The Hills [Steve Overland]
11. The Trooper [Gary Barden]


Can you imagine what it would sound like if Whitesnake or Cinderella had covered Iron Maiden? Well, listen to this album and all the non-Di'Anno tracks will give you a clearer idea. Those track are mainstream-sounding and would have been perfect in the heyday of "Hair Metal". This isn't a negative criticism, as most tracks are actually quite nice to listen to, but this simply isn't Maiden. The power and rawness are absent and these covers sound a bit bland.

Among the musicians who contributed, it is interesting to note that a couple of friends of Adrian Smith's are present, namely Andy Barnet and Dave Colwell, who contributed to a few songs recorded by Maiden in the late 80s and that ended up as B-sides on a few singles. The musical performance is excellent and the whole album is quite good.

It is also noteworthy to point out that Doogie White was one of the most serious contenders – along with Blaze Bayley and Damian Wilson – to the replacement of Bruce Dickinson when he left in 1993. Judgeing from the covers on this album, he would also have been a good choice, although Blaze gave Maiden a different dimension that White couldn't have provided. He probably would just have had less problems singing the Dickinson-era material.

The only thing to deplore is that Paul Di'Anno only sings on tracks he used to do with Maiden. Some Bruce Dickinson tracks would have made an interesting comparison, although the songs with Di'Anno on this album are excellent, with even more rage and aggression than on Maiden's first two album. All in all, this is a very good tribute album.

Musicians:

Lea Hart – Lead Guitar
Paul Quinn – Guitar
Bernie Torme – Guitar
Andy Barnet – Guitar
Rob Page – Guitar
Steve Parry – Guitar
Dave Colwell – Guitar
Steve Bennett – Drums
Dean Moraity – Bass
Jem Davis – Keyboards

Other Pressings:

The Maiden Years – Japanese Pressing (1999)
Japan (1999)

The Maiden Years – Swiss Pressing (2000)
Switzerland (2000)

The Maiden Years – Malaysian Pressing (2000)
Malaysia (2000)


 

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  STEVE OVERLAND – Can I Play With Madness (Smith, Dickinson, Harris) Can I Play With Madness – Commentary Can I Play With Madness – Lyrics

The voice may come as a bit of a shock to the die-hard Maiden fans. Gone is the aggression of Bruce Dickinson's vocals, to be replaced by a more mainstream and "FM"-type hard rock voice. This is an example of a song that would have had quite a lot airplay if Steve Overland had been Iron Maiden's singer at the time.

Steve Overland – Official Website

 


 

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  STEVE GRIMMETT – 2 Minutes to Midnight (Smith, Dickinson) 2 Minutes to Midnight – Commentary 2 Minutes to Midnight – Lyrics

Close to the original, this version of "2 Minutes To Midnight" is very nicely done. Grimmet emulates Dickinson really well and the instrumental part is also cleverly performed.

Steve Grimmett – Official Website

 


Video from nekromoogle.

 


 

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  PAUL DI'ANNO – Wrathchild (Harris) Wrathchild – Commentary Wrathchild – Lyrics

With Di'Anno on vocals, this cover doesn't really sound much like a cover. That was to be expected!

Paul Di'Anno – Official Website

 


 

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  DOOGIE WHITE – Hallowed Be Thy Name (Harris) Hallowed Be Thy Name – Commentary Hallowed Be Thy Name – Lyrics

This somehow cheesy version of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is however not bad and fairly close to the original, despite the lack of aggression of the vocals.

Doogie White – Official Website

 


Video from nekromoogle.

 


 

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  PAUL DI'ANNO – Running Free (Harris, Di'Anno) Running Free – Commentary Running Free – Lyrics

Only Di'Anno can sing "Running Free" the way it should be sung, and he proves it once again with this pretty good cover.

Paul Di'Anno – Official Website

 


 

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  DOOGIE WHITE – The Evil That Men Do (Smith, Dickinson, Harris) The Evil That Men Do – Commentary The Evil That Men Do – Lyrics

Unlike on "Hallowed Be Thy Name", Doogie White offers us a really good performance of "The Evil That Men Do", almost Dickinson-like. Very close to the original – maybe a bit too much to be a proper cover version!

Doogie White – Official Website

 


 

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  PAUL DI'ANNO – Phantom Of The Opera (Harris) Phantom Of The Opera – Commentary Phantom Of The Opera – Lyrics

Brilliant rendition of a brilliant song. Not much else to add.

Paul Di'Anno – Official Website

 


 

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  STEVE GRIMMETT – The Number Of The Beast (Harris) The Number Of The Beast – Commentary The Number Of The Beast – Lyrics

There again, the voice may be a bit too "Hair-Metal"-sounding to make this cover really efficient. It's still pretty good though.

Steve Grimmett – Official Website

 


Video from nekromoogle.

 


 

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  PAUL DI'ANNO – Iron Maiden (Harris) Iron Maiden – Commentary Iron Maiden – Lyrics

Perfect rendition. Di'Anno's voice is really the only one suited to sing Di'Anno-era material.

Paul Di'Anno – Official Website

 


 

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  STEVE OVERLAND – Run To The Hills (Harris) Run To The Hills – Commentary Run To The Hills – Lyrics

The voice, this time, makes this cover interesting. Without being like Dickinson's, it is pretty good.

Steve Overland – Official Website

 


 

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  GARY BARDEN – The Trooper (Harris) The Trooper – Commentary The Trooper – Lyrics

Despite the unusual vocals – like on most of the album! – this is a quite good version of "The Trooper".

Statetrooper – Official Website

 


Video from nekromoogle.

 


 

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TRIBUTE ALBUMS
Made In Tribute (1997)
A Call To Irons (1998)
A Call To Irons 2 (1999)
Maiden America (1999)
666 – The Number One Beast (1999)
Children Of The Damned (1999)
Anton Maiden (1999)
Transilvania 666 (1999)
Slave To The Power (2000)
666 – The Number One Beast – Volume 2 (2000)
Made In Scandinavia (2000)
A Call To Irons – Volumes I & II (2001)
A Tribute To The Beast (2002)
Somewhere In Hungary (2002)
A Tribute To The Beast – Volume 2 (2003)
The String Quartet Tribute To Iron Maiden (2003)
Piece Of Madness (2003)
Powerslaves – An Electro Tribute To Iron Maiden (2003)
Powerslaves – An Electro Tribute To Iron Maiden (2004)
The Iron Maidens (2005)
Food For Thought (2005)
The Piano Tribute To Iron Maiden  (2005)
Numbers From The Beast (2005)
Our Soundhouse Tapes (2005)
Thingfishy's World Of Maiden (2006)
The Orchestral Tribute To Iron Maiden (2006)
A Strange Illusion (2006)
Hip Hop Tribute To Iron Maiden (2007)
The Golden Beast (2008)
Maiden Heaven (2008)