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Iron Maiden - The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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4.44 | 57 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Some of you may always be a little surprise to see me review metal music, but hey, I was once a kid and I happened to like Maiden (I supposed this was in reaction to the iron bitch Thatcher), but I must say that they were the only group of the NWOBHMB I actually liked or cared for, not counting Priest and Sabs who came from previous generations. And even then, my interest for IM didn't last all that long either, because by their fourth album, I wasn't paying much attention. What happened??? Another singer came in to replace that crazed- out Paul DiAnno. Although I must recognize that Dickinson has one of the better voices in the steel business (along with Dio), he will never fill DiAnno's shoes, even if the group went on to superstardom with Dickinson at the helm (well Smith was the boss). So in the mid of the 00's, EMI thought about going back and illustrate the band's lengthy career, and this first instalment was released to my great curiosity, while knowing this would be the only one to get my attention.

The first disc is made from three concerts, of which the Rainbow concert has the most interest showing the band's original power before being Birch-ized, with PDA's forceful, near-punk vocal delivery. Obviously concentrating on the first two albums, a bit short for my liking, the band visits most of the debut album's best moments and a few highlights of the second. This is where the bands really let it loose and made the instrumental difference compared to the rest of the NWOBHMB. The second concert (Hammersmith in 82) is reconstructed, and if you're attentive enough it shows, by cuts and clothing. And despite having Dickinson's good voice sometimes even doing a DiAnno track, one can't help but get quickly tired of the constant decibel aggression thrown at you song after song. While the group is probably tighter than before, much less space is given to the instruments' space in the music. In this case, Steve Smith's bass work makes the difference compared to other bands of the time, but it's clear that most of the band's early innocence has evaporated in favour of dev1il and Eddie appearances. In that regard, the Dortmund concert (a monstrous metal festival) of 83 (the Piece Of Mind tour) is not really any different despite a muddier sound, which eases the ears a bit. The repetition of sung tracks sonically much alike, where only the tempo makes a difference is quickly tiring

The second disc is a run through the history of the band from bassist Smith's earliest group incarnation back in 75 until well into the 80's. Pretty standard stuff, but the bonus stuff like some Marquee appearance, then-interviews, some Top-Of-The-Top features, plus a hand-held camera of the Ruskin Arms gig that took place on the release day of their debut album, (bad pictures, approximate sound - nothing shocking, though), which might turn out the pleasant surprise of this package.

As a fan of the very first hour of IM (the DiAnno years), I personally came satisfied with the content, the band's history being happily stopped around the change of drummer (Burr replaced by McBrain). No doubt this 2 DVD set will please any IM fans,, but unlike the huge majority, I will stop at this one.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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