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Iron Maiden - Best of the B'Sides CD (album) cover

BEST OF THE B'SIDES

Iron Maiden

 

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3.29 | 22 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Iron Maiden - Best of the B'Sides (2002)

Releases like this one are often discarded as compilations for fans. This is a pity, because this double album has more to offer then just some b-material placed in a certain order. The material is presented chronological and covers the Paul Di'Anno era, the first Dickinson era and even some tracks from the Baily era.

The album has three kinds of songs. The 40% of the material consists of live versions of known Iron Maiden songs, another 40% consists of covers of 'famous' rock/metal bands like Sabbath, Jehtro Tull, Nektar, Golden Earring, Led Zeppelin, The Who and UFO. Finally there are some original Maiden tracks that were never released on studio albums.

I won't discuss the live versions of the original Maiden songs. They are good.

Some of the covers are highly enjoyable, and some are even very very good. Burning Ambition (this might also be an original Maiden song, I don't know) is a great feel-good track with perfect vocals of Di'Anno and nice chorus guitars. Invasion is a good rock'n roll track with great rhythms and again nice vocals by Di'Anno. I got the Fire rocks and is the first track with Dickinson on this compilation. The Crossed-Eye mary cover is really good with very extrovert vocals of mr. Dickinson (something I really missed when I heard the original Tull version for the first time). Rainbow's gold has a great guitar riff and rocks very hard. The King of Twilight cover of Nektar isn't one of the stronger ones, but I also don't know the original version. Reach Out has amazing vocals by Adrian Smith, what a surprise! The song itself isn't that great, but what a special track this is. That Girl (FM cover) clearly dates from the Somewhere in Time era and has that electric metal sound. Juanita is another track from this period with a rock sound. The Sheriff of Huddersfield is a hilarious song about Rod Smallwood's accent. Black Bart's Blues is another funny track with a helium-voice introduction, but the song itself is actually pretty good.

On cd two All in Your Mind is another worthwile Maiden track with an rockin' sound. Kill me Ce Soir (Golden Earring cover) is one of Maiden's best covers. Really amazing version of the song, way better then the original! . I'm a Mover (Free cover) is a bluesy rock track. Maiden's version of Communication Breakdown in nice, but I would have preferred a more serious approach. Nodding Donkey Blues is a country blues-rock style song wit a piano- solo. Space Station No. 5 (Montrose cover) is another riff-based rock song. I Can't See My Feelings (Budgie cover) is a daring experiment, I really like Budgie! The Iron Maiden version isn't as good as the original, but I can appreciate it as a an ode to the great Budgie! Roll over Vic Vella is a heavy rock'n roll song. Justice of the Peace was a track that was recorded in the X-factor period. The vocals of Baily are bad and I'm glad they removed it from the album. Judgement Day is another song from the Baily period, but this song is very very good. Should have been released on a studio album. My Generation is a nice cover of the famous The Who song with some nice bass parts and an energetic feel. Doctor Doctor is a good version of the UFO track. The style of the track fits in with the Maiden sound.

Conclusion. What does this 2cd offer? An amazing lot of fun and an insight view on this aspect of the band. Iron Maiden plays a lot of covers very well and the live versions of the original Iron Maiden tracks are great. This is by no means a good album to begin with, but it's quality is high enough to give it a three star rating en to recommend it to fans of the band. Iron Maiden rocks!

friso | 3/5 |

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