20 Day Music Challenge – Day 2

Right.. if you’re interested in music and records, read on.. if not (mentalist), jog on…

I’ve been asked by Wavey Dave Howarth to participate in a 20 day music challenge about LPs that influenced my musical tastes enduringly.

One album per day for 20 flippin’ days (I’ll try not to miss any) – plus I’ll nominate someone to share their own gems – Pete Munt – if you can be bothered, go for it. If not – you’ve failed me for the very last time AGAIN, can’t wait for the next one.

Day 2 – Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast

I don’t think this is their best album – after decades of listening I will go with Killers and Powerslave as slightly better – but their best albums are all so high in quality that there isn’t much between them.

This record was pivotal to me, though, because it marked the rapid slide into the belly of the Heavy Metal beast for me. I was firmly a music obsessive by this point anyway – I was glued to Countdown every Sunday night, would tape my favourite songs off the radio, had even started buying records myself – Adam Ant, Kings of the Wild Frontier was my first, going halves with my brother. I loved The Beatles, The Stones… I’d raided my then-uncle’s record collection and discovered Led Zeppeliln, Black Sabbath, Budgie, Deep Purple and more.

Then I heard Run To The Hills on Countdown and it was like a flash of lightning. This was NOW. This was March 1982 and coincided with me changing schools – I was still a fish out of water, I hadn’t found a clique yet. I loved this new music. I bought the single, then the Number of The Beast single, then the album, and I found friends. Sitting next to Metal Billy in English class I learnt that Maiden had two previous albums with a different singer!

When I finally got to see them live – Donington Monsters Of Rock ten years later, in 1992, with Pete – it was a revelation, a fulfilment of sorts. I’m not as thrilled by their albums nowadays – too ‘prog rock’ for me overall, though I always listen and enjoy this song or that (preferably when they don’t go on and on for twelve or so minutes without doing anything new after the first four). But nothing can compare with the thrill of finding an artist at a pivotal time in both their career and your young life, and the power and glory of them soundtracking important formative moments.


Shane Pinnegar
Shane Pinnegar is an author, chef and music/pop culture writer who lives in Western Australia. He has a lovely wife, two rambunctious dogs with no respect for personal space, especially on the sofa or bed, twenty-something koi, a flock of itinerate galahs who visit regularly, and a never-comprehensive-enough rock n' roll record collection.

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