Best Of The Beast four LP vinyl box set by Iron Maiden on EMI label, 1996, value £100

A FEW weeks ago Record Store Day celebrated its 11th year, with more than 240 shops taking part. This High Street event has soared in popularity as demand for traditional vinyl continues to grow, not just new releases but classic albums going back 40 and 50 years by legendary artistes being released on vinyl again. This trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

When box sets first appeared it was usually a collection of the band's early material repackaged, including paraphernalia of booklets, photos and notes to make it more collectable. This is Iron Maiden's longest record release, featuring 34 tracks all hand picked on four vinyl discs running for over three hours. Most of the tracks are made up of their greatest hits, including well known songs from their 1980-85 albums.

Iron Maiden were formed on Christmas Day 1975 by bass player Steve Harris. The line up changed over the past 40 years. However, Steve and colleague guitarist Dave Murray remain the band's longest standing members and have performed on all their recordings.

It was the release of Number Of The Beast which became crucial to the development of the band, selling 14 million copies. Without it Iron Maiden might never have gone on to be such a force in the heavy metal arena. The band was a spectacular success all over the world. It also featured the debut of vocalist Bruce Dickinson but unfortunately it led to Christian activists and conservative politicians, especially in America, claiming the band were Satanic (which the band denied). Steve Harris has stated that the song The Number Of The Beast was inspired by a nightmare he had after watching the film Damien: Omen II. Despite this, it did lead to many misguided people buying copies and burning them on bonfires. They are one of the most successful heavy metal bands from the UK. They have achieved global recognition, releasing 38 albums, including 16 studio, 12 live, and seven compilations, amassing sales between 90-100 million worldwide.

This box set is now out of print, making it highly desirable, not just as a collection but also as an investment as the value will continue to increase. Iron Maiden are on the road again this year opening their Legacy of the Beast tour at Tallinn, Estonia on May 26 with UK dates in July and August.