During a brand new appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris reflected on the pressure he and his bandmates felt while writing and recording their third album, 1982’s “The Number Of The Beast”.
“It was the fact that we’d used up the material, pretty much, from the times before that. Before the first album [1980’s ‘Iron Maiden’], it was a four-and-a-half-year period before we got signed and all that. And so we had a lot of material that we were doing that was already there, playing in the live set, so we recorded all that. And the second album [1981’s ‘Killers’] was only, I think, three new songs that were on that album, ’cause the rest of it was stuff we’d been playing [live] as well.
So when you get to the third album, it’s, like, ‘What are we gonna do now?’ But that pressure was pretty fierce pressure, and we didn’t have a lot of time either. Back in those days, it was just album-tour, album-tour and whatever, and it just worked. So we thought, ‘You know what? That worked really well. We’ll do the same thing again.’ … It has to be done. And if you’ve got a tour coming after it, that’s it — it has to be done.”