Artist : Iron Maiden
Album : Live After Death
Released : October 15, 1985
M.M Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Two Or Three Greatest Live Metal Records Ever Made ! )
331 days. 187 Concerts. Millions of people. If any of you were lucky enough to attend one of the shows on the legendary 1984/1985 World Slavery Tour by the British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden, chances are you went home never thinking of concerts the same way again. Not only was the show visually amazing with an ancient Egyptian theme, and a mummified “Eddie” to boot, but you were witnessing one of the greatest bands of all time in ANY genre in their absolute prime. A band that also was riding a creative wave only equaled by the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin. Just think of what it was like to be Bruce Dickinson. Ever since he joined Maiden just a few years earlier all he knew was success. He had recorded three albums with the band, (now three of the greatest Metal records ever made) with each either matching or being better than the last.
The most ironic thing of all is one of the greatest metal live records easily could’ve been shelved. The band had decided to film two of their four shows in Long Beach, California from March 14-17, 1985 for their personal archives. The plan was to take a short break, then begin recording what would become known as the follow up to Powerslave, known now as Somewhere In Time. It was no evident though after over five years of constant touring, and recording that they were absolutely exhausted. That combined with the fact that Steve Harris was having a harder time than usual to come up with quality songs for the follow up, they all decided they needed a break. The live album was then released to buy them more time to finish their next studio album.
At a time in the mid-1980s when most live records were more processed than cheese this record would become a huge wake up call to the industry. This was a true live album. No overdubs, no going into the studio to re-record guitar, or vocal parts. The most brilliant move of all though was to put Winston Churchill’s famous Speech when taking his Country into World War II, the famous “We Shall Fight” speech as the intro into Aces High no matter how many times you’ve heard it. A perfect warm up for their crowds before they came on stage. One of the greatest moments of any live album.
From the killer artwork, to the amazing setlist, to a band in their absolute prime this is an album that defines what a live album should be. No matter how many times you hear it you feel like you were there on those magical nights in Long Beach in 1985. As the bootlegs of the tour also prove, basically any night, in any town, of any show could’ve been used on the record. A band in their absolute prime, at a time most bands cared more about what was going on behind the stage, or after the show Maiden proved they truly were all about the music. We should all feel fortunate they got it onto tape not only for us, but for future generations to come. It’s still pretty amazing to think about what Maiden accomplished in the 1980s. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame needs a heavy dose of this album, then can try to come up with an excuse why one of the greatest bands of ANY genre isn’t inducted with many lesser bands are. If they truly listen, they won’t have an excuse. A brilliant live record, from an absolutely brilliant band.
All tracks written by Steve Harris, except where noted.
1.”Intro: Churchill’s Speech” Winston Churchill
2.”Aces High” (from Powerslave, 1984)
3.”2 Minutes to Midnight” (from Powerslave, 1984)
Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson
4.”The Trooper” (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
5.”Revelations” (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
6.”Flight of Icarus” (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
1.”Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (from Powerslave, 1984)
2.”Powerslave” (from Powerslave, 1984)
3.”The Number of the Beast” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
1.”Hallowed Be Thy Name” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
2.”Iron Maiden” (from Iron Maiden, 1980)
3.”Run to the Hills” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
4.”Running Free” (from Iron Maiden, 1980)
Harris, Paul Di’Anno
1.”Wrathchild” (from Killers, 1981)
2.”22 Acacia Avenue” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
“Children of the Damned” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
4.”Die with Your Boots On” (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
Smith, Dickinson, Harris
5.”Phantom of the Opera” (from Iron Maiden, 1980)