21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2004
I used to think the best live album ever was Thin Lizzy's 'Live and Dangerous', but then I heard this one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a mosher by any stretch of the imagination. I love music from all walks of life, but this one just totally rocks dude!
Even if you're not a fan of Maiden you can't help but admire the energy and excitement of this album. The crowd clearly loves them, the riffs are fast, furious and fired at you from all angles. Bruce Dickinsons vocals are loud and powerful, and he knows how to please. The tracks show a great deal of variety, inspiration and musical virtuosity.
I've owned several versions of this album over the last few years, on tape, vinyl, CD and (just bought) enhanced CD. It's stayed with me throughout my life, one I keep coming back and back to, and always enjoying. If there's any album that's ever been in my collection the longest, in all formats , played the most (to the point of destruction!) and still sounds fresh and alive, this is it.
I can't recommend it enough.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2000
Maiden were at their peak around this time - and the peak of Maiden's peak is the peak of British Metal! Furthermore, the peak of British metal is the peak of live albums. This is simply outstanding. I bought first the tape, then the CD, then the Video! The Smith/Murray partnership is never stronger, and I can safely say I have never seen (or heard) a band play better live than in the studio moreso than Maiden in this album. I own many live albums from many bands - yet this is the only one that makes an appearance for more than nostalgic purposes. Please buy it - if for no reason other than to support the best band to come out of Britain ever!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2002
OK it may be an early best of (most live albums are), but what an amazing CD. This was recorded in 1985 but thanks to the remasters the sound quality remains good. However, this album is only really beneficial if you're a newcomer to the band. If you are, then be prepared to listen to one of the finest CDs money can buy. Loads of reviews on Amazon are too generous, but this is well worth the five stars. The "epic" songs (eg Hallowed Be Thy Name, Children of the Damned) are the obvious standout tracks. But there are other gems on here - for example,"Revelations", from 1983's "Piece Of Mind" - a welcome breather from the thrashy sonic assault. Fantastic song. "22 Acacia Avenue" is class too.
The best Maiden album is a matter of opinion. Most say that it is "Number of the Beast" from 1982 - this is probably because it contains their two best songs, similar to Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" - the latter has some of their best songs on it but the other albums often get overlooked. And this is the case with Maiden's albums from the early 1980s (unquestionably their best period) - "Piece Of Mind" material is fairly well represented here (I think this is their best album) but "Iron Maiden", their 1980 debut, is criminally underrepresented. "Killers" only has "Wrathchild" here - understandably; "Killers" is poor by Maiden's standards. "Powerslave" material is in abundance here - obviously; this was the tour in support of that album.
So to Maiden newies? Start with "Best of the Beast", then "Live After Death", then work backwards from "Powerslave" to "Iron Maiden".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Maiden's first live album was recorded during the World Slavery Tour, released at their 80s peak, and cemented both their metal credibility and their ability to perform live just as well as they can in the studio. There is no trickery here, all we have is pure, raw talent and an ability to blow the audience apart gained only by years on the road. Riggsy gives us another classic album cover packed with detail and in-jokes. With it's brewing introduction, frenetic playing, and audience interaction this is rightly regarded as one of the best live releases ever.
`Intro'. The famous Churchill speech is probably Maiden's most well known live opener and one which rouses and inspires the crowd into a palpable frenzy.
`Aces High' merges perfectly with Churchill's Speech and takes off like a rabbit up your trouser leg. Long Beach California erupts as they get a massive slice of British metal and beckon it to tear their bronzed faces off. Bruce and the boys oblige (although some of the vocals miss the mark here quite comically)and give a storming first track.
`2 Minutes To Midnight' opens with some Bruce banter, stirring the crowd to further madness.
`The Trooper' keeps the crowd bouncing and we get some interesting harmonies in the `chorus' and ends with some fun from a different Bruce which the American crowd most definitely did not `get'.
`Revelations' is introduced as a song about religion, the crowd is asked to put their flippers in the air, and Bruce improvises throughout. Here they sound like they are in their prime and having great fun.
`Flight Of Icarus' continues the Piece Of Mind section and the light atmosphere with lots of backing vocals and Bruce changing parts, throwing in extra tics and blips.
`Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' is every bit the epic as the album version, one of those songs I never expect to work live but here it does. An amusing intro precedes things and we get plenty of laughter and weirdness after the quiet middle section.
`Powerslave' has a similarly epic feel and segues well with the previous track. Bruce gives this one a bit more venom than on the album track and it all seems faster than what we know.
`The Number Of The Beast' is now a bona fide classic of the genre, back then it was still huge but not the respected anthem which it is now perceived as. The crowd is clearly excited to hear it, but it is not the roar you would get for it nowadays. It is played with relish but seems on this recording like there is something lacking. That's probably just me though.
`Hallowed Be Thy Name' however is a flawless version packed with atmosphere, skilful playing (naturally) and yelping vocals.
`Iron Maiden' opens with the usual `Scream for me' and blasts off at top speed. Bruce coaxes the crowd throughout, encouraging their chants in the chorus.
`Run To The Hills' here is a particularly virulent version, sped up, angry, and improvised. Once again we get lots of backing vocals.
`Running Free' starts immediately after and is given a short intro by Bruce who sings with relish. As always we get an extended middle section with Bruce chatting to the crowd and doing the usual `sing louder than every other crowd' spiel. Good fun is had by all.
`Wrathchild' is played at a slower pace but has some excellent solo work. There is a more lazy, blues feel to the track.
'22 Acacia Avenue' opens with Bruce shrieking 22 at the Hammersmith crowd (these final tracks have moved back to local shores) and races through with venom.
`Children Of The Damned' is a fairly faithful rendition, given the full operatic treatment. There is wonderful solo work again showing the lads can perform as well in front of a lively crowd as in a quiet studio.
`Die With Your Boots On' is rarely played these days so this is a good chance to hear this lightning fast classic.
`Phantom Of The Opera' closes the alum- not a typical choice to end a show but one which works regardless. Dickinson raps his way through the complicated verse lyrics, the music is performed flawlessly, and the crowd waves goodbye.
This is a highly recommended starting point for newcomers to the band and one which hardcore fans always brag about. It features most of the classics from the first half of their career so for a fuller take you may want to indulge in Rock In Rio or Edward The Great for more a wider mix. This shows the band at their most vibrant- playing to big crowds and loving every second of it. Few bands nowadays can put on such a show as well as playing so many hits with such skill. It's a trip down memory lane for most and thankfully it wasn't the last live release they made.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2003
When Kurt Cobain et al came visiting these UK shores in circa 1991 I put away my Maiden posters and wristbands thinking it was all over. But some 12 years later Maiden still hold a special place in my heart.
OK sure I've got all bald and grown up but I still realise that they wrote some kick-ass toons. With the various 'nu-metal' bands promoting this fact to the great unwashed teen generation that followed, it brings a tear to a craggy chap's eye seeing them still being invited onto UK's Top of Pops show (fer flips sake) something they first did in 1980!
You have to buy this if you want to see what all the fuss is about. And having met the guys several times I can honestly say that their world-beating album sales haven't inflated their egos one iota.. <cough Metallica>.
Up the Irons, as I believe we used to say...
Apologies - in my reverie I didn't say very much about the album. Judging by the tons of 4 and 5 star reviews I'm not sure I can add anything else. But I will anyway...
Well the album serves as an excellent intro to Maiden at the height of their powers. The later versions of the CD now include the long version of Running Free (with Bruce's masterful crowd 'call and response' bit). Also the band play most of the songs at a faster rate than their respective studio versions. This makes songs like Revelations sound far more punchy and powerful than they did on the albums (IMHO) - "Rime..." is simply blistering. But despite the increased tempo the playing is tight as a duck's chuff. I'd expect nothing less.
Top Tip - I recommend you also get hold of the live version of Sanctuary as well (which is shown on the accompanying live DVD) as it's a perfect end to the gig.
Martin Birch's production is pitch-perfect - the sleeve notes he wrote give you an idea just how much work went into to replicating the live feel for the album. And boy does it pay off.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2002
This album has most definately got to be the best Heavy Metal album from the 80's. The atmosphere of the live performance is incredable, especially on 'Running Free', where the audience paticipate. Every single song on the album is played perfectly and the band play skillfully through the whole set, enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. The superb end track 'Phantom of the Opera', is my personal favourite taken from Maiden's exellent debut album. The record has tracks from all the Maiden albums up until 'Powerslave' which is also a great album. And that is only the 'CD player' side of things because you are given a special multimedia section which includes live videos of the performance. It is a very good idea to provide multimedea sections on the CD because it is good to see the live footage. Overall I think this album deserves it's 5 stars without a doubt and if you were only to buy one Maiden album, what could I say?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2004
The absolute undisputed very best of British metal! This is one of those rare live albums that will forever go down in the history of its genre as a defining classic album. There is not- NOT one filler track here. The tracks are played faster than on the original albums so the pace is super high energy all the way through & the atmosphere conveys brilliantly.
The selection of songs all early 80s is Maiden at there best. The perfect set kicks of with Churchills speech as the intro to aces high, opening the show @ long beach arena 1985, and is blistering!- disc one ends with the classic Running Free with Steve Harrises furious bass work keeping the crowd bouncing, while Bruce jeers up a spot of crowd interaction like a total pro- commanding the stage and including his fans is funny as!!.. "when i go back to England...i wanna go back to the hearing doctor..(well, dont wanna spoil it for you).
Above all what this album is is FUN! Maiden were all about having a good time, no heavy or trite dark gothic subject matter here. Thght spandex, sweatbands, Brucies answer to metals Pavarotti, are absolutely & totally unique! Uniquely British. A glance @ the liner notes/ tour dates from 84-85- from Poland to Australia shows you how hard they toured!! Mind blowing schedule! So the musicianship is naturally outstanding. Honestly, how many times have you heard live music only to resign yourself to admitting the band never sounds as good as their recorded album?! Not here.. ohhh no!! As times change, fashions go in & out, but Maiden albums sell solidly, unlike huge selling singles now that wont be rememberd let alone be selling in years to come, 'nu metal/ psuedo punk rap' bands from America take note!
I havnt heard the other Rock in Rio, i can only tell all you metal or non metal fans that this is a MUST, ignore any comments about the production, its absolutely fine, and with tunes like these and executed like they are you wont be complaining. Quite frankly there are plenty of overproduced and slick albums out there that are rubbish.. so you make up your mind. Ive never seen maiden live but this album makes me really wish i had.. or at least been at long beach arena on this night- the solos are killers!!
In this era of novelty acts like 'The Darkness' and the Strokes cashing in on the ' its cool to be retro and like things 80s and 70s', this album is a refreshing reminder that without following any trends or hype, outstanding music can be produced - the only other contenders for the crown of British Metal being of course.. the epic Sabbath! So.. UP THE IRONS!! BUY THIS ALBUM & HAVE LOADS OF FUN.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2007
I had the double vinyl album a long time ago and stupidly I sold it amongst the rest of my collection as I was leaving my parents house. I bought a CD version a long time ago but it was a total rip off as it only had one CD and only 12 tracks which sucked majorly......now I have got back into Maiden recently and am busy filling up my MP3 player with their albums and was very excited to find the full original album available here!
I give it five stars for the reasons everyone else gave but mostly for nostalga as this is where I fell in love with Rock (actually it was Iron Maiden at Donnington 1992 on Radio 1 but this was my first live album!)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2001
Having for along time been a fan of bands such as metallica, megadeth and slayer i had never heard any of iron maidens material. On the spur of the moment i bought 'Best of the Beast' and it totally blew me away. The next day i bought this cd and was even more impressed by maidens live performance. Songs such as "Number of the beast" , "Rime of the ancient mariner" and "Run to the hills" (all included on this cd) just go to affirm iron maiden's status of being one of the best ever metal bands. A nice bonus is the fact that this band are english. Go buy it now if you call yourself a true heavy metal fan
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2007
get this if you don't have it!
if you dont know iron maiden, get this, if you know iron maiden and dont have this...get it, if you are a die hard fan and have all their albums...get this again to keep as a clean copy because it is soooooo good!
i really like this album you know...it is bloody good...2 discs of goodness...i wish i saw them on this tour, if i was alive, but i can get some of it...the music!!! it is without a doubt their best live album (rock in rio is also a beauty...2nd best though) and this i reckon could be their best album, ALL their classic tracks...LIVE, when they are always best...and it is class