Barry Clayton, the Voice Behind Iron Maiden’s ‘Number of the Beast’ Intro, Dies
Barry Clayton, the man behind the spoken word introduction to Iron Maiden‘s iconic song ‘The Number of the Beast,’ has died at the age of 80. Clayton was a quintessential part of Maiden lore, as his deep, booming voice is forever etched in the minds of headbangers, thanks to the way he spoke those famous, ominous words that start the song:
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.
The Islington Tribune reported Clayton’s death. He was a resident of the region, which is in Greater London, England, for 40 years.
Aside from uttering words in the intro of a song that is beloved by metal fans, Clayton was long considered a pioneer of black television and radio programming, launching the Black Londoner’s radio program on the BBC. Clayton produced the show from its 1974 debut until he left in 1988 to join Capital Radio.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
R.I.P. Mr. Clayton. Maiden fans will not forget you.