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Iron Maiden - Live After Death CD (album) cover

LIVE AFTER DEATH

Iron Maiden

 

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4.15 | 228 ratings

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UMUR
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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.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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