IRON MAIDEN‘s classic 1982 LP “The Number Of The Beast” was named best British album of the past 60 years in an HMV poll to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
IRON MAIDEN‘s third full-length effort, which saw the recording debut of vocalist Bruce Dickinson, and the final appearance of drummer Clive Burr in the band, took a whopping 9.2% share of the 30,000 votes cast — being selected 2,754 times.
This landmark recording, which, to date, has sold over 14 million copies worldwide and features the anthemic U.K. Top-10 single “Run To The Hills”, gave the band their first U.K. No. 1 album. Dickinson comments: “We’re astonished and delighted to hear ‘The Number Of The Beast’ has been named No.1 in HMV‘s Diamond Jubilee survey for the greatest British album category. Some of the most influential and classic albums from the past 60 years were in the running so it’s a testament to our incredibly loyal and ever-supportive fans who voted for us. IRON MAIDEN is a proudly British band, so to win this category as voted for by the British public, in Jubilee year, is very special. Thank you to all our wonderful fans!”
The month-long poll met with a remarkable response from music and film fans alike, with 54,545 votes cast in total across albums and film categories (split approx 30,000 for albums and 24,000 for films) and more than 330,000 Facebook mentions and likes generated in the process. In arguably one of the largest ever surveys of its kind — driven primarily by social media, people were able to select their favorites by using a simple but innovative voting app on the retailer’s Facebook page that could also be accessed via www.hmv.com/jubilee.
HMV‘s Gennaro Castaldo, comments: “You often tend to see the same artists and albums dominate album polls, but with social media increasingly giving the most ardent and passionate fans a powerful voice, I think that’s all going to change, and so it’s no surprise that IRON MAIDEN have come out on top as their fans are renowned for being the most loyal and dedicated around. Congratulations to IRON MAIDEN — we now know the number of the beast is, I fact, ….1.
“The beginning of Elizabeth II‘s reign, and the bright new future it represented, didn’t just coincide with a flowering of British popular culture, it helped to provide the very spark that lit the touch-paper for an explosion in music and film talent. Since then, the Queen has presided over the richest period of cultural achievement in our nation’s history, so it’s only right that her Diamond Jubilee, which ironically also encapsulates sixty years of the official charts, should be a period when we reflect on the greatest British albums and films of the past six decades.”
Compared to some critics’ polls, which are often dominated by the same titles, the HMV survey for the Diamond Jubilee has been entirely determined by a public vote, and so arguably throws up one or two surprises. In doing so, however, it demonstrates the compelling and growing power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with fans and give them an interactive platform to express their passion for their favourite artists and recordings.
Equally impressive in second spot and with 6.3% of the votes (1,892 votes) are electronic music legends DEPECHE MODE, with, for many people, their career-defining album “Violator”. The most popular artists overall, however, are THE BEATLES, who, with “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” at No. 3 (5.69%), have four albums in the top 10 and five in the top 20 — accounting for just over 20% or approximately 6,000 of the 30,000 votes cast in the albums category.
Top 10 British albums of the past 60 years
01. IRON MAIDEN – The Number Of The Beast (9.18%)
02. DEPECHE MODE – Violator (6.30%)
03. THE BEATLES – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (5.69)
04. THE BEATLES – Abbey Road (5.67%)
05. PINK FLOYD – The Dark Side Of The Moon (5.23%)
06. THE BEATLES – Revolver (4.01%)
07. QUEEN – A Night At The Opera (3.98%)
08. OASIS – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (3.91%)
09. ADELE – 21 (3.07%)
10. THE BEATLES – White Album (2.60%)