Iron Maiden, 'The Number of the Beast' (1982)
I had a hard time picking an Iron Maiden album, because I love the first three equally. I went with Number the Beast because that was Bruce's first record, and he just stomped all over everybody's guts on that record. Bruce just came out and destroyed everything he thought Iron Maiden was. And Iron Maiden was great before that. Like with my pick for Judas Priest, this album is a band finding the sound that's gonna take them through the decades.
I liked [original Maiden singer] Paul Di'Anno, and the music was more punk-infused then, which I like as well, but Bruce was the singer that made them metal royalty. They may have taken the punk element out a bit after he left, because Number of the Beast is more of a metal album, but I think Bruce is what changed for them. That was just heavy metal.
We used to cover all kinds of stuff off of that record. We'd do "22 Acacia Avenue." I'm sure we dabbled in "Hallowed Be Thy Name," but that's not something we would ever attempt to play live; that's just not our style. We also rehearsed "Number of the Beast" but never did it live.
And I liked "Invader." Somebody was telling me [bassist] Steve Harris hates that song. But I get it, because there's a handful of songs in our history that I'm like, "Goddamn, I hate that song," like I fucking despise "Desire" and I hate "Cleanse the Soul." But when "Invader" came up, I'm like, "Wow, I like 'Invader.'" And then I tried to start thinking about why he would hate it. It just sucks, I don't get it. But he's close to it, like I'm close to my songs, so there you go. You're more than welcome to your opinion, Steve. You wrote it.