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Iron Maiden - Maiden Japan CD (album) cover

MAIDEN JAPAN

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.29 | 49 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
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.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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