Heavy metal pioneers Iron Maiden have received an accolade for Best British Albums of the Last 60 Years from music retailer HMV. The Number of the Beast, recorded in the group’s home city of London in 1982, featured such hits as ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and title track ‘The Number of the Beast’, and is widely regarded as the band’s most recognisable and influential work. It topped the poll, conducted in commemoration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, ahead of such influential and high-selling artists as The Beatles, Queen and Oasis.
The Number of the Beast was Iron Maiden’s third full-length album, following Iron Maiden and Killers, and their first to top the UK Albums Chart and receive platinum status in the US. It spawned the lead single ‘Run to the Hills’, which was the group’s first single to reach the UK top ten, reaching a peak position of #7. Many of the songs on the album have remained mainstays in the band’s live repertoire, appearing on Iron Maiden’s many live releases over the years.
Elsewhere in the poll, The Beatles were recognised four times in the top ten — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was third, followed by Abbey Road, Revolver came sixth, and The Beatles (the ‘White Album’) was tenth — and Depeche Mode took second place with their seminal work Violator. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon made fifth place, Queen came seventh with A Night at the Opera, record-breaking (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis was ranked eighth, and Adele came ninth with her epic-selling second album 21.
As well as the music poll, HMV also conducted a poll to find the Best British Films of the Last 60 Years, with the Danny Boyle-directed 1996 cult hit Trainspotting topping the list. Elsewhere in the top ten were two Monty Python films (The Holy Grail at #2 and Life of Brian at #4), two Harry Potter films (The Deathly Hallows: Part Two at #3 and The Prisoner of Azkaban at #7), A Clockwork Orange at #5, 2001: A Space Odyssey at #6, The Italian Job at #8, Shaun of the Dead at #9, and The King’s Speech at #10. Trainspotting obtained 6% of the total votes.