Perhaps one of the reasons that Iron Maiden
have had such a long and successful career (25 years and counting) is because they know how to take care of their fans. The Early Days
--the first in a series of planned DVD archives of the band's history--is ample proof of this. This two-disc set is packed with Maiden goodies, charting their early rise at the forefront of the movement that became known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Disc One has not one but three live concerts: "Live at the Rainbow", originally released on VHS back in 1980 and featuring their original vocalist Paul Di'Anno; 1982's "Beast Over Hammersmith", with Bruce Dickinson fronting the band; and 1983's "Live at Dortmund", which features the band at the top of the bill and the top of their form, headlining a massive metal festival in Germany. All feature such classic Iron Maiden tracks as "Killers", "Number of the Beast" and "Run to the Hills".
Disc Two complements these live sets with a mix of archival material (including home video footage of one of their first gigs, back in 1979 at East London's Ruskin Arms) and exclusive new material. The centrepiece is a 90-minute documentary where band members past and present give candid and entertaining interviews, charting the birth and subsequent rise of these metal titans. Non-fans will probably find much of the material here a bit silly (the spandex and leather look hasn't aged well), but this DVD isn't for them anyway. But people who love Iron Maiden will find evidence here that the band loves them, too. --Robert Burrow
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