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MAIDEN JAPAN

Iron Maiden

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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Could they have resisted long on this pun? It is a bit like Grateful Dead not issuing a Live Dead album!! Too hard to resist, right? On top of it this was a great wink at one of the best ever live album. So this EP will be the last thing Maiden issued with DiAnno as their frontman, and however short this EP is, it is a wild and fitting outro. DiAnno simply rips through Wrathchild so much better than the studio version and Running free is also a much better version. The great Remember Tomorrow is rather better in its original version, though. The last two tracks being roughly the same as their studio versions.

I never saw this EP stand on its own in digital format, but most likely, these tracks were released as bonus tracks on one of their early album's reissue. Crazyman Dianno was really a bit too much to handle: his behaviour was not just self-destructive but also affected the band's performance, so he was given his walking papers. Never got another real chance at it, but he was his own worst enemy. Bye Paul!!

Report this review (#93951)
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Heavy Metal Army

The all-time IRON MAIDEN's favourite band is DEEP PURPLE, as guys confessed once. They learned a lot about dynamics, tempo and arranging by them, but they also learned what happens when band goes too far.

Of course, it was unavoidable to include at least some reference about DEEP PURPLE somewhere in band's long career, and they mad a brilliant pun in the title. Made in Japan, geddit?

Needless to say, this live EP is hardly comparable to legendary Purple's live record, but that was not the intention anyway. We have here five very good live tracks ("Running Free" and "Remember Tomorrow" from the debut and "Wrathchild", "Killers" and "Innocent Exile" from the second album). All the songs are, as I said, very good, but they are nothing special in Maiden's catalogue - or your personal collection - whether you are IRON MAIDEN fan or not. In my opinion, it deserves two and a half stars, but I won't round them to three - this live document is above average, but not excellent, and it's way too brief. The reason for the publishing of this brief record was, I think, insisting of Japanese fans to see 1981's performances from Nagoya and Tokyo. The band was reluctant to do so, but Maiden Japan EP (aka "Heavy Metal Army") was released at last.

All the performances are of high quality, and Paul is singing much more furious than on studio albums. "Wrathchild" is much more energetic (it sounds somewhat monotonous and recited on studio version, at least to my ears) and "Innocent Exile" is also worth mentioning. When I heard Paul's "eee-yo-wee-yo-yo-yo" chanting I had a strange feeling that I've heard it somewhere before, and indeed, you can hear the same thing in THE POLICE's "Walking On The Moon". Hah! The mighty 1981!

Anyway, this live EP is the last document of Paul DiAnno's singing in the band, and after this one, the band will abandon their occasional punkish (?) attitude.

I'm just regretting a missed opportunity to see the so-called "Venezuela version" of this EP, where Eddie is holding Paul's head on the front cover (the same will be done with Bruce's head on their farewell concert before Blaze took place). Awesome.

Report this review (#107686)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is some kind of testament of Iron Maiden's first era. Although we all agree that the real treat would begin with their next album, Mainden's first two efforts are really good, 4 stars in a heavy metal perspective.

The original edition of maiden japan was an EP. It didn't leave enough space to appreciate the full power of the band with Dianno. Thanks God the japanese cry loud and a special edition with the full show was released there. These are the tracks of this edition:

1.Wrathchild / 2.Purgatory / 3.Sanctuary / 4.Remember Tomorrow / 5.Another Life (with Clive's drum solo) / 6.Gengis Khan / 7.Killers / 8.Innocent Exile / 9. Twilight Zone / 10.Strange World / 11.Murders in the Rue Morgue / 12.Phantom of the Opera 13.Iron Maiden / 14.Running Free / 15. Transylvania / 16.Drifter / 17.I've Got the Fire

As you can see this is an absolute killer set! I'm a fan of Di'anno's singing, and this is the proof that he did a wonderful job ith the band, no matter what his detractors say (of course, he never more put any material of this quality on the record). So I give 3 stars to the original edition, but a proud 4 stars to the japanese complete set.

BEWARE: this is neither prog nor prog related. Only with a lot of imagination you can see Maiden as a prog metal group, despite their production after "Fear of the dark". NWOBHM at their best is what you get here. Up the irons!

Report this review (#108655)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A live recording Maiden In Japan...

This EP was recorded in Nagoya in 1981. The band was apparently not very keen to release this but the marketing pressures decided differently. The whole recording of this concert is of course available but not as an official release (do grab that one instead of this short and very limited edtion).

Two songs from their debut album ("Running Free" and "Remember Tomorrow") balanced with three from their second one ("Wratchild", "Killers" and "Inocent Exile"). The whole being a pure explosion of course. But how could it be different?

"Maiden" was already super fast and exaggerately wild in the studio. No wonder that they were rather "bombing" while playing live, right? My fave is of of course "Killers". An absolute... killer as I have already mentioned in my review from the according album.

This reductive angle could hardly be a masterpiece but I would rate it with three stars for its historical aspects.

Report this review (#151626)
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team
4 stars A mere blip in the mighty IRON MAIDEN's discography, MAIDEN JAPAN is an under appreciated testament to the Paul Di'Anno years and this little EP whose title is a pun of the Deep Purple live album was in fact the very last recording with Di'Anno before he was booted out of the band. This is one of those nebulous releases that has many different versions but it is indeed an official release.

These tracks were all recorded at Kosei Nekin Hall in Nagoya, Japan on 23 May 1981. This was one of those ideas where the band didn't want to release it but the record company did. There are two album cover versions: the more famous one that was released throughout most of the world and the alternate but similar depiction of Eddie holding up a decapitated head for Venezuela.

This EP only has four tracks (the second version has the same tracks plus "Wrathchild") but what a short and sweet MAIDEN collection this is. Paul Di'Anno may have had one boot up his arse as he was being kicked out of the band, but on this performance you would be hard pressed to hear any band drama and trauma in the music. These are simply well performed tracks from the first two albums that kick serious butt and demonstrate how well this band could play their classic tracks in a live format. The band is tight, the energy level high and the mixing of the instruments is very well done as well. The production of this release may not be as perfect as "Live After Death" but for this stage of MAIDEN's history, it's good enough for me.

Perhaps my only complaint could be that the songs are so faithful to the album versions that only the audience sounds differentiates them for the most part but this was still a band in its humble beginnings. If you are into the Di'Anno years then this is an excellent testimony to their live shows of the day. I only wish this was a full album instead of just a sampler. Perhaps the strains in the band meant there wasn't enough material to warrant such and that this is the cream of what was available. I have been a big fan of this short but sweet EP for some time and can only hope there is some archival tracks out there ready to be added as bonus tracks so that this can have a much deserved re-release.

Report this review (#1470973)
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Review Permalink

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