When I first read about this release from Dickinson, I thought it was stuff culled from his achieves. When I finally got this and read through the booklet, this was previously released material for the most part. Let’s break it down. The first concert on DVD I is “Dive Dive Live.” This was previously released on VHS back in 1990 when the concert was shot. Janick Gers from MAIDEN is on board here. Everyone else didn’t have name recognition. 99% of the material presented here is from the debut album “Tattooed Millionaire.” “Riding With The Angels” has some balls to the music, but it’s not that heavy or memorable. What disturbed me was that during “Lickin’ The Gun” Bruce had a tambourine along with his frilly black leather jacket and was shirtless. Not metal at all if you ask me. “Gypsy Road” is somewhat of a slow/ballad. Pretty boring if you ask me. After a batch of less than decent songs, we get to a drum solo which is always nice. You can’t fuck that up ever.
Bruce goes for a blues jam with “The Ballad Of Mutt” which isn’t all that bad. The gang tackles MOTT THE HOOPLE’s classic “All The Young Dudes” which was written by David Bowie in case you didn’t know. It’s a goodie, but it’s sped up a lot more than the first time around. Obviously, the air raid siren wasn’t going to do a show without at least one MAIDEN track. You are treated to “Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter.” The true upswing here for me was a cover of the classic DEEP PEURPLE track “Black Night.” This concert wasn’t bad and I understand that Bruce wanted to venture out into a different territory, but this isn’t all that great, it’s ok at best. The second concert on the first disc is from SKUNKWORKS. The album was a real mess according to fans and Bruce really wanted to experiment with something unique and while I didn’t think it was all that bad, it blew up in his face. This concert was another product for VHS, but it was for Japan only and it was an E.P. This is the full length we finally get after 10 years.
It’s a new look for Bruce as he chopped his hair short. The MTV rapid video editing seems to have been popular by this time because the edits are insane and enough to give someone an epileptic seizure. The film looks a bit grainy and I don’t know if it’s from the lighting or what. I am not digging this disc as much either so far. The material on SKUNKWORKS is more alternative sounding than anything else and is very hard to get into especially if you were a MAIDEN fan. We now enter disc two and what a huge improvement we have made. “Accident Of Birth” was the disc that finally saw Bruce get back to his Metal roots. What made it awesome was the fact that former partner in crime from MAIDEN Adrian Smith joins him from this point onward.
“Scream For Me Brazil” was only in CD format until now. The weird thing about this DVD is that this concert was never officially shot for this tour. It was never authorized. I don’t know why because this is the stuff that all the die hards would love more than anything else. Instead, we get a show shot by a fan or a bootleg version. The audio isn’t all that hot and the camera shooting is very shaky with tons of bad angle shots. There are some good shots of he band, but not nearly enough. The songs on here are mostly from what I would like to call the comeback album “Accident Of Birth.” The best disc by far on here. The last disc is what I call the goodie disc. Number 3 is the best. We start out with the promo videos. There are fourteen of them. Most of which I never knew existed. You have two options here. Just watch the videos alone will take 54 minutes, but if you include the intro which is cool because Bruce talks about all the videos tack on another hour. It’s very interesting to hear all the stories behind the making of vids. All Of Them. You will learn which ones he likes and hates and how he went from big budgets to next to nothing. It’s all in there and a must that you have the intro on. Trust me…it’s worth it. Another feature on here is the man talking about his video debut in SAMSON. Once again, Bruce talks about the making of the videos and the numerous problems they had with them.
Then, you get two clips which are absolutely hilarious. The boys all look really young. This was shot back in 1980 or 1981 at the latest. The vids are shot on the lowest of budgets and the sound quality is piss poor at best, but none the less an absolute joy to see and hear. The last feature on here is the EPK (electronic press kit) for those of you who aren’t scribes or in the media biz for the latest release “Tyranny Of Souls”. This gives you an in depth look at the writing process for the latest release. In the end, I may have seemed harsh on the three DVD’S, but there are plenty of good things on here and a chunk of tracks off of each live concert to enjoy, but it’s the videos with all the info needed for each track that makes it worth the price alone. Also, the SAMSON material is a gem as well. All IRON MAIDEN/DICKINSON fans should add this to their collection without question. (Online September 20, 2006)