By Bob Nalbandian

IRON MAIDEN - Number Of The Beast
JUDAS PRIEST - British Steel
METALLICA - Metallica
Eagle Eye/Pioneer

These three documentary video/DVDs are a part of the Classic Rock series courtesy of Eagle Eye media (this series also includes non-metal artists such as Elton John and Lou Reed.) This is a brilliant idea as well as incredibly informative and entertaining for the true music fan. Each title takes the viewer back to the setting of where that classic album was created, from the writing to the recording process, featuring interviews of the artists, the producer of the album, as well as other guests in the music industry.

This series is 100 times better than the spin-off VH1 created called (VH-1 and MTV pride themselves on steeling great ideas and turning them into shit!). Although, I've only actually seen the Ultimate Albums feature on Def Leppard's, I can attest that it is all too similar to VH-1's other hyped up series "Behind The Music," in which each episode is based on the "drama" that surrounded the recording of that album, rather than the technical and creative aspects of the studio recording. The VH-1 series also focuses on interviews from outside artists who give their opinions and views about the album, more or less kissing the artists ass, while the Eagle Eye series of "Classic Albums" portrays a much more honest approach, taking the viewer directly into the studio with band and producer with a step by step making of the record, making this series much more informative and interesting for the true fan.

The Number Of The Beast Classic Album DVD features interviews with each band member involved with the recording of that album, including original drummer Clive Burr and long-time producer Martin Birch. Martin and Steve Harris take the viewer through the recording process and Bruce and the others add some insight along the way with cool little stories about those sessions. Dave Mustaine and journalist Mick Wall also add some insight on the enormous impact Number Of The Beast made on the metal community. Some very interesting facts are included here, including Dickinson discussing his lyrical inspiration on many of the songs as well as the controversy that surrounded the album title. The DVD features cuts from the title track, "Children Of The Damned," "Run to the Hills," and "The Prisoner," as well as live footage of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" recorded from Rio in 2000. Although this one is not quite as entertaining as some of the other Classic Album videos, it is still a must for any true Maiden fan.