The voice of Iron Maiden’s beast dies…

Barry Clayton, the man responsible for the spoken-word introduction to Iron Maiden’s 1982 album “The Number Of The Beast”, has died at the age of 80.

Apparently during the recording sessions for “The Number Of The Beast”, Iron Maiden initially asked horror actor Vincent Price to read the intro text to the title song.
However, according to Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, Price refused to do it for anything less than £25,000. Not surprisingly Maiden refused, before the being told about Clayton. Clayton who had previously read ghost stories at London’s Capital Radio was asked him to do it instead. Clayton had no interest in Maiden, but obliged when he was asked to put on a Vincent Price kind of voice.

According to the Islington Tribune, who reported his death; Clayton had lived in the borough for 40 years. He was a pioneer of black television and radio programming; he was responsible for producing “Black Londoners” a radio program commissioned by the BBC ”” the first black daily radio program ”” from its first broadcast in 1974 until 1988 when he left to join the rival Capital Radio.

Clayton’s deep, booming voice is forever etched into the minds of Maiden fans, thanks to the distinct way he spoke those opening words;

“Woe to You Oh Earth and Sea
For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
Because he knows the time is short
Let him who have understanding
Reckon the number of the beast
For it is a human number
Its number is six hundred and sixty six.”

Clayton was also responsible for the voice of childrens TV cartoon character Count Duckula.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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