Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest Classic Albums

These three DVD releases are part of the "classic albums" series, designed to give an in-depth view into the creation, impact, and artists' insights behind these albums. Whether you agree that Number of The Beast, Metallica and British Steel are "classic" albums (since Metallica was the beginning of the end for them), the "classic album" series is like VH1's Behind The Music, without the compelling drama and self-destruction. Each DVD follows a similar format: recent interviews with various band members (the ones still talking to each other, in the case of Judas Priest and Metallica), where they discuss six tracks from each album, with various "bonus" interviews and performance footage. While comments on only half of each of these albums seems ludicrous, it can be marginally entertaining for die-hards. Finding out the Metallic drummer Lars Ulrich's tracks took up to 50 takes and were then cut and pasted together, or that Iron Maiden spent four hours getting the unmistakable intro to "Number of The Beast" or that Judas Priest recorded British Steel at the house where John Lennon recorded "Imagine," are some choice nuggets. Still, listening to members of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Judas Priest pontificate on the "greatness" of their own work is rather sanctimonious, and true insights into the creative process are few and far between. While the idea behind the "classic" series is sound, the half-assed nature of these doesn't do any of these three "classic" albums justice.