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LIVE AFTER DEATH

Iron Maiden

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4.20 | 186 ratings | 15 reviews | 55% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
1. Intro: Churchill's Speech (0:49)
2. Aces High (4:39)
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight (6:03)
4. The Trooper (4:31)
5. Revelations (6:11)
6. Flight of Icarus (3:28)
7. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (13:18)
8. Powerslave (7:13)
9. The Number of the Beast (4:53)
10. Hallowed Be Thy Name (7:21)
11. Iron Maiden (4:20)
12. Run to the Hills (3:54)
13. Running Free (8:43)

Disc 2
1. Wrathchild (3:05)
2. 22 Acacia Avenue (6:18)
3. Children of the Damned (4:36)
4. Die With Your Boots On (5:12)
5. Phantom of the Opera (7:21)

Total Time: 104:55

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bruce Dickinson / vocals
- Steve Harris / bass guitar
- Adrian Smith / lead and rhythm guitars
- Dave Murray / lead and rhythm guitars
- Nicko McBrian / drums

Releases information

2 LP - EMI E24 0426/7

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IRON MAIDEN Live After Death ratings distribution


4.20
(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(55%)
55%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

IRON MAIDEN Live After Death reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "SCREAM FOR ME LONG BEACH!!!"

Iron Maiden always were a band that put on a show, and nothing proves this better than Live After Death. Recorded on the Powerslave Tour, this double album captures the band in all their live ferocity. Steve Harris' bass propels the band as always, and the twin attack of Dave Murray and adrian Smith is even tighter than on the studio albums. Bruce sounds weaker than on the studio albums but he makes up for it with power to substitute for his diminshed range. Anyone who doubts Maiden's musicianship needs to give a few spins to the live renditions of The Trooper and the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Bruce's stage presence can be felt even in the audio, a rare feat for even the most skilled frontman. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Aces High," "Powerslave" and "Phantom of the Opera" are the highlights of this set, but every song gets thoroughly re-energized and enhanced.

This is one of the top five metal live albums of all time, and it's a wonderful place to start for Maiden newcomers, as all the early hits are here except for the glaring omissions of "Killers" and "Where Eagles Dare". Bruce's diminshed range prevents this from a full five stars, but I can assure you he's no slouch live. Up the irons!

Grade: B+

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Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Last Wednesday, while working at my client's office, out of the blue I was very keen to play "Flight of Icarus" by Iron Maiden. The song is very special to me because the first time I heard this song from M97 FM Classic Rock Station in Jakarta sometime in 2000 (I think) was my first introduction to the band. I phoned the radio station number asked what song they were playing and what title. Once I knew it as a song from "Piece of Mind" album by Iron Maiden, I searched the CD right away. Since then I purchased all albums of Iron Maiden because the music fits my taste. Well, during 80s I practically only listened to Marillion and any other neo prog bands, and no drive at all to collect hard rock music like Iron Maiden.

Right after I played "Flight of Icarus" MP3 sent by my friends in i-Rock! mailing list (because I did not have it at my laptop), I suddenly wanted to listen to the live version. I only got a chance to spin the CD of "Live After Death" this morning and I enjoyed it very much. The root of Iron Maiden, in my humblest opinion, is Black Sabbath. The only difference is on the use of power chords which are not demonstrated clearly here at Iron Maiden. However, bass lines delivered by Steve Harris is so obvious and rarely happened in Black Sabbath's music - so, I think, the two are different even though I can say that there are many similarities of Iron Maiden's music with Black Sabbath. Even though I'm not a big fan of Iron Maiden, but I like most of their albums especially "Brave New World" album.

This live CD is excellent for me, knowing the fact that the producer is Martin "Live Animals" Birch who also produced the legendary Deep Purple "Made in Japan" back in 1972. The Birch factor does contribute a lot to position this album into my mind because I do like how he treated this record how he tells the whole story of "the making of" this live record from Iron Maiden's 1984/1985 tour.

Let me tell you why this live album is excellent .

Excellent Package. Well, the CD is not packaged in deluxe edition or pecial edition whatsoever but .. I do love comprehensive information presented by the package. It contains sleeve notes opened beautifully by Martin Birch on what, how and why the concerts were all about. He talks everything in his areas of competence even on the state of the art mobile studio he was using during the recording session. It's so exciting when I read his opening write up. He even talks about something that I do not understand but I like they way he writes it. For example, when he talks about API Custom Board . oh, what is this? I have no single idea at all about this stuff. But he writes it so compelling as I understand it.

The sleeve also contains full concert photographs. The pictures of the show sound familiar to me because I have the laser disc version of "Live After Death". What is really interesting is when there is information about tour statistics: "The first concert was in Warsaw, Poland, on August 9th 1984, and continued through 24 countries for 322 days. During this period, we traveled nearly 100,000 miles, used 7,778 hotel rooms, 6,392 guitar strings, 3,760 drum sticks, 3,008 guitar picks, and consumed about 50,000 cans of beer, 30,000 soft drinks, 6,000 pints of milk, 2,500 pints of orange juice and literally tons of food." Were the figures right? I don't really care but I like they put such detailed statistics.

Excellent Songs, Excellent Performance!. The selection of songs is truly good where all the band's masterpieces being performed at their best, I think. The album starts with Churchill's Speech followed brilliantly with "Aces High" with full blast of music in relatively fast tempo. Bruce Dickinson voice is very clear and transparent. It runs through seamlessly to "2 Minutes to Midnight" and then the song with powerful riffs which has become favorite of metalheads ."The Trooper". My favorite "Flight of Icarus" is also performed with good live vibes. And of course. the chorus line is so memorable ."Fly on your way, like an eagle. Fly as high as the sun, on your way, like an eagle. Fly and touch the sun.". Wow! What a great music segment this one is!

Disc 2 also contains excellent tracks plus video (enhanced CD). There are five excellent songs presented at disc 2 and all of them are performed excellently.

Overall, this is an excellent rock live album that I have known so far. The selection of songs is top notch. The performance and sonic quality are excellent as well.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A trainspotter's paradise

When it comes to releasing live material, Iron Maiden could never be accused of holding back. This however was the first such album by them, originally appearing in 1985 as a double LP. With each LP having a running time of around 50 minutes, the album offers great value in terms of length, but given the nature of the music, i.e. loud, there in an inevitable compromise in terms of sound quality in vinyl format.

While tracks from all of the band's albums released up until the time of the gig are included, it is understandably the latest albums which dominate the set list. With four tracks from the then current album "Powerslave" plus a further four from "Piece of mind" and five from "Number of the beast", songs from the bands first two albums are experiencing increasing difficulty in retaining their places in the set.

The majority of the recordings are from gigs in Long Beach, Los Angeles (USA) in March 1985, with a handful coming from London (UK) in October of the previous year. Both gigs were part of the band's incredibly long "World slavery tour".

The album is produced by Martin Birch, who was also responsible for Deep Purple's landmark live album "Made in Japan". Birch gives details on the inner sleeve of how he went about the process. The detailed information he provides may be of interest to the technically indulgent, but it might be advisable for others to keep any conversation with him at a party to small talk! The resulting recording quality is excellent, the proven benefits of the Rolling Stone mobile studio being fully exploited.

The actual performances are competent and surprisingly melodic. I say surprisingly since there can be a tendency for bands who turn the volume up to 11 for much of their performance to compromise quality for excitement. In an audio only environment, the album does not perhaps capture the atmosphere of the gig as well as it might, the sound quality perversely making this sound more like a studio album than a live one.

Highlights are hard to pinpoint with a band who re so consistent in what they do. You either enjoy the lot or there is going to be virtually nothing here which will appeal. Put on the spot though, the progressive excellence of "Rime of the ancient mariner" is for me head and shoulders above the rest.

In all, a fine first live album which first and foremost serves to demonstrate that whatever else they were/are, Iron Maiden are a highly competent outfit who give their fans exactly what they want.

The LP packaging is lavish and impressive, with full colour inner sleeves which include full lyrics and many photos. Also included is an 8 page LP sized booklet listing every one of the two hundred or so dates on the tour, together with a train-spotting level of detailed information about the equipment and many other aspects of the tour.

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Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Maiden second generation. Live.

If you except the short "Maiden In Japan" (in its official version), this is the first Maiden live album. "Powerslave" is the supported album of this tour and the main concern of this representation (which is normal). Four songs of which three of the longest ones of this album are featured.

After a totally uninspired intro featuring Winston Churchill and his famous speech about the resistance of the British people to the nazi invaders already featured by "Supertramp" in the brilliant "Fool's Overture (1977), the opener "Ace High" fully plays its role as "Highway Star" or "Burn" did for "Purple" (according the Mark).

This live album is probably THE reference as far as live Maiden albums are concerned. A solid dose of energy my friends. More concentrated on the Dickinson years of course, but not only. He doesn't have the same reject as Gillan for numbers he wasn't involved in. And that's great.

My favourite moments of this live album are "Children Of The Dammed" and "Phantom Of The Opera". Two great anthems. But IMO this live set is closer to what I would call hard-rock-metal. A bomb of energy, an explosion of strong riffs and good vocals. Far from lots of fully "prog" metal live albums (including Dream Theater).

This album is a real good digest of the Maiden catalogue if you would except "Killers" which is only represented by "Wratchild". Not the best song from this very good album IMO.

The ones who would like to get some older songs, should get hold of the extended version of "Maiden Japan" (half unofficial or half official whatever you like).

This is a strong live album. Needless to say that if you are looking for five prog seconds, you won't get in here. This is a full, hard metal rock album.

Four stars.

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Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Live After Death was the first official live album from british heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The album consists of eighteen songs taken from all five previous studio albums with the emphasis on the three were Bruce Dickinson is the frontman. Live After Death was released on the 14th of October 1985. IMO this is the absolute peak of Iron Maidenīs career ( even though my favorite studio album from Iron Maiden is Somewhere in Time which hadnīt been released yet).

The songs on the first three sides of the original LP was recorded at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on March 14-17 1985, while the songs on the fourth side of the original LP was recorded earlier on the same tour, at the Hammersmith Odeon (now known as the Hammersmith Apollo) in London on October 8, 9, 10 and 12, 1984.

The cover art was done by Derek Riggs, and pictures the band's mascot, Eddie rising from a grave. Itīs among my favorite Iron Maiden covers and I used to have a big poster of this one in my room when I lived at my parents house ( along with about 10 or 15 other Iron Maiden posters).

It is noteworthy that the 1995 CD re-release is a single CD version where side 4 of the original LP is cut because of the limited playing time on a single CD. This is of course a crime and you should get the 1998 CD re-release instead which is a 2 CD release where all songs are present. The intro before Aces High is a part of the We shall fight on the beaches speech made by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on June 4, 1940. (Churchill re-recorded the speech - the original speech in the House of Commons was not recorded.):

Here is what is said:

... We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender ...

And then the music starts with a bang. Right into the fastest ( even faster than the studio version) and most fiercely played version of Aces High I have heard yet. This one easily overshadows the studio version. Aces High is an alltime favorite Iron Maiden song for me. Especially in this version.

2 Minutes to Midnight continues the show and if Aces High overshadows itīs studio counterpart, this one does it even more. What a wonderful uptempo version. This is so intense it gives me goosebumps. What a start to the album.

The Trooper follows and again the tempo is much higher than on the original version which means that this already powerful song is lifted to an even higher state. Listen to those beautiful melodic guitar riffs and Bruce Dickinsonīs powerful vocal parts.

Revelations is like The Trooper a song from the Piece of Mind album and like with The Trooper the higher pace really makes this song a great experience compared to the slow studio version. I cannot listen to the studio version anymore without wishing that they would play it in a faster pace.

Flight of Icarus is one of the more epic songs Iron Maiden has done. Itīs not very long with itīs 3:28 minutes but itīs quite majestic. Needless to say that this live version is much better than the original studio version. So powerful.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner from the Powerslave album is the ultimate epic Iron Maiden has ever done and possibly one of the reasons why Iron Maiden is on PA. The original is very strong but again this live version is much stronger.

Powerslave follows and itīs such a heavy song but still quite epic. Great version here.

The Number of the Beast is the ultimate crowd pleaser and a great energetic song. Strong vocal performance from Bruce.

Hallowed Be Thy Name is a song that builds from the acoustic beginning to a great epic end. Lots of soloing and twin leads on this one.

Iron Maiden takes us back to the debut album with the Iron Maiden track. This one is pretty interesting as itīs the first live version with Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Energetic NWOBHM.

Run to the Hills is my least favoured track from The Number of the Beast so itīs needles to say that I donīt enjoy this song much. This version is far better than the lame original one.

Running Free is also from the debut album and another great NWOBHM song. Here itīs audience participation time with a sing along part. Great for the atmosphere, but personally Iīm not that fond of those kind of things unless youīre actually there in person.

Wrathchild represents the second album Killers. I would have prefered to hear the title track from that album but Wrathchild is also a great NWOBHM song.

22 Acacia Avenue is a great dynamic song with both acoustic and more powerful distorted parts. Great vocals from Bruce on this one.

Children of the Damned is next and itīs a similar song to 22 Acacia Avenue. Both great acoustic and distorted parts.

Die With Your Boots On is so much better here than on Piece of Mind where it is my least favoured track. Powerful and energetic.

Phantom of the Opera is a classic Iron Maiden song, and it has many great mainly instrumental parts. Great version.

The musicianship is excellent. Iron Maiden is one of the most tight and well playing live bands ever. Much better live than in the studio.

The production is one of the best live sounds I have ever heard. I doubt if there hasnīt been meddled a bit with this material afterwards to correct a few errors here and there. But on the other hand I wish to live in the illusion that this is perfect.

Despite a few songs that I would have liked to change for others this is one of the most perfect live albums I have ever heard. Itīs so powerful and totally overshadows the studio versions of the songs. Generally Iīm not that fond of live albums but there are a few exception like this one and Thin Lizzyīs Live and Dangerous. Live After Death fully deserves 5 stars in my book. People will probably continue to discuss if Iron Maiden belong on PA, but when it comes down to it this is just great music that everyone should at least give one chance. If youīre new to Iron Maiden! Start here.

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Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars.This was recorded during the concerts in Long Beach, California during the "Powerslave" tour. Martin Birch was the man responsible for doing the recording, this is the same guy who recorded the "Made In Japan" live album for DEEP PURPLE back in the seventies. Of the 17 tracks the five come from their break through album "The Number Of The Beast", with "Powerslave" and "Piece Of Mind" close behind with four each. I really enjoyed the 4 tracks taken from the first two albums when Paul Di'Anno was the vocalist. In fact it seems like Bruce alters his voice when he sings those tunes. Dickinson who is a very funny guy does a lot of bantering with the crowd on this release. I think the only negative thing about this record is where he gets the crowd to compete against each other during the "Running Free" tune. That would be cool to be part of, but to listen to it is fun maybe once. Oh well, a minor complaint.

The album starts off with that famour Churchill speach before we get "Aces High" which is followed as usual by "2 Minutes To Midnight" which I like better. From here on out it's hit after hit. I think the most impressive song is the over 13 minute "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner". They even play the sample of the ship creaking in the water and the man speaking. The biggest surprise for me was the final track "Phantom Of The Opera" with the absolutely amazing guitar on it. Possibly the best track on here for me. "Wrathchild" from "Killers" is also outstanding, but then I could really say that about every track being the fanboy that I am.

A must for IRON MAIDEN fans.

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Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Live After Death was my introduction to Maiden and even though I loved this to death when I was 14, it's never become a personal favourite.

First of all I've never been much enthused about live albums. Unless a band manage to change, improve or extend the original material, live albums have as much appeal to me as 'best off' compilations with worse sound would have. And so fares LAD, the playing is superb, the tracklist is relevant and the sound good, be it inferior to the studio albums. Fans of live album may obviously enjoy the live ambience and crowd cheering. But it doesn't add much for me. Not one songs brings a new perspective to Iron Maiden and the Bruce Dickinson takes on the old Di'Anno songs is even annoying.

This is album is hard to rate. For me, owning all their classic albums, it doesn't add much and merely serves as a good addition, for Maiden fans it will obviously essential and for casual fans this might serve as an excellent compilation. Pick your choice.

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Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Iron Maiden - Live After Death (1985)

THE Iron Maiden live album.

As one of the most important metal bands of history this moment had to come: the perfect live album. I've already written a review about the dvd, which I think is a masterpiece. This double lp is also a great addition to your record collection.

Iron Maiden's sound can be described as melodic, intense heavy metal. Their music is often song- or epic-based and there is little use of riffs. The double guitar melody with a steady bass-guitar is used way more often. Lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson is one of the most famous metal singers and for a good reason. His live-performance is intense, though I must admit I don't like all the vocals on this live album as much. The energy of the band is however enormous and I've never heard a more intense en well-recorded live album. The guitar-solo's sound amazing live!

The package of the vinyl record is very good. A fold-out cover with lots of photos, phoses on the protection papers around the disc and an extra booklet with more photo's, information and a an equipment list (which is interesting for musicians).

The track-listing of this Live album is very good. A lot of Maiden's best songs are played and in the second halve some songs from the first two albums still sound great. Most of the songs are played in a higher pace then on the original studio versions. This gives the songs an extra boost. Only Revelations seems to suffer a little from it's high tempo, the song used to have this peaceful mood I liked. Still a great song though.

Conclusion. This is an important metal live album. It's essential for fans of the band and it's highly recommended to fans of the metal genres. There are enough progressive influences in the songs and the musicianship is very professional and sophisticated. I will give it four stars, but I gave the dvd version five stars. Seeing the performance is even more interesting!

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Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
5 stars Universally cited as one of the absolute best live albums of all time, LIVE AFTER DEATH is the first live album / video release of IRON MAIDEN's classic early Bruce Dickinson years and was recorded during their "World Slavery Tour." Despite lasting a whopping 331 days, this double LP album only took two venues as their source for representing their electric live performances. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, USA and the remaining five tracks were taken from a night at Hammersmith Odeon in London. While LIVE AFTER DEATH was released both as audio LP and video VHS in 1985, the two aren't exactly identical in content. The audio LP originally contained 18 tracks (one of which is "Intro: Churchill's Speech") but the VHS visual experience only had 14 tracks. Unfortunately when LIVE AFTER DEATH was originally released on CD it was too long for a single disc and instead of simply issuing a double disc, EMI unwisely decided to cut the last five tracks which included the Odeon performance, therefore it is highly advisable to obtain the Sanctuary remastered version which was released as a double disc and retains the entire run of one classic song after another.

LIVE AFTER DEATH is the absolute perfect live album. I very rarely put live albums high on my list of favorites because more often than not something or many things prevent them from capturing my attention and worthiness as essential. If it's not the weak production values then it is the inability of the band to capture the magic that is manufactured in the studio. That is not the case here. IRON MAIDEN was at the pinnacle of their creative prowess at this point and after several outstanding and classic albums to mine for material, they perfectly execute these live performances and offer every little ounce of excitement heard on the studio releases. Bruce Dickinson nails the vocals and the thundering trio of Steve Harris' bass and the guitar synergy of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accompanied by Nikko McBrain's stellar drumming style doesn't get any better. While most of the tracks are performed rather faithfully to their studio versions, there is plenty of live improvisation taking places as well. Standout moments include Bruce's attempt to get audience participation on "Running Free" and another great difference can be heard on "Revelations" where the tempo is upped and Bruce changes the vocal phrasing to make the track sound different and refreshed.

The video release offers all the theatrical visuals of the tour. The "Powerslave" album was based on ancient Egypt and likewise the stage was Egyptified to the max with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs and a mummified Eddie embellished with ridiculous amounts of pyrotechnics. The tour was a smashing success and this release whether it be audio or video is the perfect testimony to the genius that went into every single detail. The sound and mixing is perfect as well as Martin Birch found the perfect balance of every cast member and delivered one of the most satisfying production jobs for a live release that i have ever heard. In the visual department Jim Yukich perfectly captured two nights in Long Beach showing a great band doing great things at the peak of their game. Another piece of perfection with this one is the brilliant cover art of Derek Riggs surpassing previous album themes of Eddie as the mascot by incorporating those themes of previous albums covers and then putting it all on steroids. The spread of the album is breathtaking in content and color with the boldness of the yellows and blues. Every aspect of talent on board with this release guarantees to wake the dead. I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. It is true that Bruce doesn't hit every note exactly as on the studio version every single time but when he doesn't he offers interesting new ways of interpreting the classics. This is simply one of the most perfect live releases i have ever encountered and even MAIDEN themselves haven't even come close to achieving similar results. Masterpiece.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars I counted up no less than nine different IRON MAIDEN live albums in the PA database. Nine live albums ! That's what we call an overkill. It is therefore time to remind you about the best IRON MAIDEN live album of all times. This one. I have previously reviewed the DVD version of Live After D ... (read more)

Report this review (#218764) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The rating of this live sets depends highly on the question whether you got the preceeding studio albums or not. If you own them, you don't need Live after Death, because the live versions are well nigh identical to the studio performances (except for Running Free which is prolonged due to audie ... (read more)

Report this review (#162783) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This live album is essential Maiden. It contains 12 of the most famous Maiden songs of their first five albums, most of them being classic heavy metal hits. I'm not gonna review all the songs, since they are basically the same as on the studio albums. Note however the slightly different interpr ... (read more)

Report this review (#98284) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best live album of the 80's !!! My first encounter with Maiden was with the song "Number Of the Beast" and years later with the album "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". The year was 1990 and I became a big fan of the "Seventh Son..." album, so for my next step i've decide to buy the tape of "Li ... (read more)

Report this review (#94039) | Posted by Fido73 | Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Quite simply put , this is the best live album ever recorded. This would be the one I would bring with me if was put on an island and told I was only allowed one album with me. The musianship is excellent and the vocal talent of Bruce Dickenson is stunning . Songs taken from their five previous s ... (read more)

Report this review (#93398) | Posted by cyberiancygnus | Wednesday, October 04, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The essencial Iron Maiden album, a must for anyone who likes heavy metal even a little bit. Why is this live setlist so important? When we`re talking about Iron Maiden at its best, it`s always playing live and this album represents one of the most important compositions from 1980-1985. Every co ... (read more)

Report this review (#93390) | Posted by Wobbler | Wednesday, October 04, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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