I can recall the day vividly when I bought my gatefold sleeve double vinyl pressing for ‘’Live After Death’’ A friend came round to my house, cupped in his hand the double cassette version of this mighty album. With haste I presented myself at the local record shop (missed my dinner) and had in my early teenage mitts one of the great live Metal albums. The subsequent accompanying live VHS (video cassette to those under twenty-one) only added to the zeal and fervour I had for IRON MAIDEN and still have to this day. I played the shit out of that record.
Now some twenty plus years later and to coincide with yet another MAIDEN jaunt around the world ‘’Live After Death’’ has been given (at last I hear thousands cry!) a lavish visual and packaging make over very much in keeping with what you’d expect from MAIDEN.
And if that’s not enough the second DVD continues the fascinating MAIDEN history in ‘’The Early Days Part 2’’ a lengthy and again captivating ‘’Behind The Iron Curtain’’ sixty minutes documents MAIDEN as one of the first bands to tour the then Eastern Block to quite amazing reactions and a little often seen fifteen minute docu ‘’ ‘Ello Texas’’
Although if I am to be critical the picture quality still looks like a transfer from a VHS tape in many respects but the added digital tweaking of the sound elevates the entire concert to a new more encompassing level. For once it does feel as if LA’s Long Beach Arena has arrived on your door step. For the purest the track list contains the very finest bone china of MAIDEN. Each song is played with a fervour and charisma rarely equalled; it would take a very brave fan to insist that this wasn’t MAIDEN at their creative or commercial peak. The outlandish stage costumes raise an ironic eyebrow – Steve Harris what were you thinking – but that aside ‘’Live After Death’’ represents a zenith in the career of one of the UK’s premier bands.
The set list is culled mostly from the three albums, ‘’The Number Of The Beast’’ ‘’Piece Of Mind’’ and ‘’Powerslave’’ that rocketed MAIDEN to mega stardom and for those of us too young to be at a show on the mammoth 1984-85 World Slavery Tour ‘’Live After Death’’ on DVD resplendent with about the biggest Eddie imaginable is a timely testimony to the long lasting endurance of this legendary band.
(Online March 4, 2008)