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Iron Maiden: Live After Death (Two-Disc Set)

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★★★★★
(98 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This video essentially captures a very refined selection of their first (commonly thought) heavier albums. The album is produced by the legendary producer Martin Birch who a.o. engineered Deep Purple’s Made in Japan.I personally think that Somewhere/Seventh Son was the first peak of their career, Brave New World being the 2nd, for most Maiden fans, LaD has all the old beloved songs, performed almost perfectly, and in one of my favorite Maiden themes: ancient Egypt. The list of musicianship awards that this album received would be longer than the Chinese Wall I guess.I had the chance of owning the original 2-LP version of the album back in the days but there are many versions of it: 1cd, 2cd, 1cd+bonus, vhs, etc. The video is one of the better versions of the album. Alas, as in most Maiden videos, we don’t get to see Nicko’s “the world’s fastest right foot”.Here is the corrected setlist:1 Churchill’s Speech2 Aces High3 2 Minutes to Midnight4 The Trooper5 Revelations6 Flight of Icarus7 Rime of the Ancient Mariner8 Powerslave9 The Number of the Beast10 Hallowed Be Thy Name11 Iron Maiden12 Band Introduction13 Run to the Hills 14 Running Free15 SanctuaryThis album deserves the title of being _THE_ live album, having withstood the test of time, without any single doubt. Though I know many fine concerts (Fates Warning – Still Life, Ozric Tentacles – Live Underslunky, Rush – Exit Stage Left/Show of Hands, etc.) this video wins hands down. And after all, put everything aside, it’s not easy to play in front of a few hundreds of thousands of people, is it?

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Manager Rod Smallwood explained “The original video of Live After Death has not been readily available for a long time so its good that we finally got around to this. lt was one of the first full concerts to be filmed after the advent of video and of course the live album, recorded on a different night to the video, has long been considered to be one of the seminal Metal live albums and has sold millions since. Fans have been begging us to do this DVD for some time now but we wanted to wait until we were able to recreate that whole tour to go with it and also to make it part of a series of DVDs that we are putting together around the band’s history. And of course we are making sure that now we have got to it we will be giving the fans everything we can find from that period!!”

    FULL LIST OF CONTENTS

    Disc 1 — LIVE AFTER DEATH
    Live After Death concert with Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio (90 minutes)

    Set list –
    Churchill Speech/Aces High
    2 Minutes to Midnight
    The Trooper
    Revelations
    Flight of Icarus
    Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    Powerslave
    Number of the Beast
    Hallowed Be Thy Name
    Iron Maiden
    Run to The Hills
    Running Free
    Sanctuary

    Disc 2 — DOCUMENTARY / BONUS CONCERT FOOTAGE

    1.The History of Iron Maiden — Part 2 (60 mins) — Documentary.
    Band members, crew, friends and associates talk about the period in the band’s career which saw the writing, recording and release of the Powerslave album, and later Live After Death, and the subsequent massive touring. And not just the serious side!!

    2. Behind the Iron Curtain ( 57 mins approx) Documentary and Live — shot during Maiden’s historic tour of Poland and other parts to the Eastern Bloc in 1984 featuring interviews, live and offstage footage capturing the atmosphere of this remarkable journey behind the Wall at the height of the Cold War.

    3. Live Footage – Rock in Rio ‘85 (50 mins approx)
    Highlights from the Maiden set supporting Queen on the first day of the first Rock in Rio in front of 300,000. A bloody and stirring performance!!

    4. Ello Texas — 15 minutes — Interview and live. Caught by a film crew in 1983 at the Alamo and sound checking their show in San Antonio.

    5. Artwork Gallery, Tour Programme, Tour dates and photo gallery

    6. Promotional clips for Aces High and 2 Minutes to Midnight

    Subtitles for All documentary footage –
    PAL version — English HOH / Dutch / French / German / Italian / Swedish / Portuguese / Spanish
    NTSC Version — English HOH / Brazilian Portguese / Latin Spanish

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • … it could have been better.

    I won’t spend much time talking about all of the fantastic things about this video, because everyone already knows how great this classic concert film is. 2 things I will point out that I really like about the DVD release are:

    - The 5.1 sound is great. Generally I prefer the stereo track on DVD concert videos, but this is an exception. The 5.1 mix is much better than the stereo mix on this release

    - All of the bonus material on Disc 2 is great, and a lot of fun to watch for the first time.

    Now on to why I’m giving it 4 stars instead of 5:

    - I was really hoping they would clean up the video quality for the DVD release. It looks like it was ported over from a slightly faded, grainy VHS tape. With that being said, I am watching this on a big 52″ TV and that may be revealing more of the video limitations than a smaller TV will.

    Also, just as a note, the preview video at Amazon clearly shows the LAD concert footage in a widescreen format. The LAD concert is actually in 4:3 format, and not 16:9 as shown in the preview. This is probably a good thing, though, as converting it to 16:9 would have resulted in the cropping of the original aspect ratio.

    Even though I think that they could have done a much better job cleaning up the original picture quality, this is still a must have DVD for your concert DVD collection. After all these years, it’s still at the top of the list as one of the best heavy metal concerts ever captured on tape.

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Is this recording really 23 years old? Can it be? Has time slipped away that quickly. Some would certainly argue the opposite. In fact, all of us waiting to finally get a picture clean-up and an audio enhancement would probably say that it seems as though the wait has been forever or long overdue at best.

    But here it finally is…Live After Death on two DVD disks. Disk one is the classic performance wrap-up of Iron Maiden’s 1984/1985 World Slavery show in Long Beach, CA. This just has got to go into any Maiden fan’s collection. The cleaned-up, full screen picture is better than the VHS, but it still makes you appreciate how much better the technology is today. The audio has been converted to 5:1 and sounds terrific. The Live After Death set list goes:

    “Intro: Churchill’s Speech”
    “Aces High”
    “2 Minutes to Midnight”
    “The Trooper”
    “Revelations”
    “Flight of Icarus”
    “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
    “Powerslave”
    “The Number of the Beast”
    “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
    “Iron Maiden”
    “Run to the Hills”
    “Running Free”
    “Sanctuary”

    The show runs for about 90 minutes and captures a great performance and all of the energy that a Maiden show was back in the early days.

    Disk two includes a lot more time than the DVD jacket suggests. The DVD jacket says that Disk Two runs for 150 minutes, but rest assured that, if you include the photo gallery tour, you get 231 minutes of Maiden stuff that includes:

    1) “The History of Iron Maiden Part Two” – This is getting billed as the follow up to the 2004 release of The History Of Iron Maiden – Pt. 1: The Early Days, but don’t expect the same kind of multi-year documentary here with Part 2. To be sure, Part Two is a 60 minute documentary of only the Powerslave, or should I say World Slavery, tour. So if you’re expecting (as I was) that this is another multi-year documentary of Maiden that perhaps takes us into the Janick Gers/Blaze Bayley years, you’d be mistaken.

    2) “Behind the Iron Curtain” – Apx an hour in total length, this chapter features some behind the scenes stuff as Maiden made their way through Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Hungary (in 1984 I think). You also get complete live performances of:

    “Aces High”
    “The Trooper”
    “22 Acacia Avenue”
    “The Number of the Beast”
    “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
    “2 Minutes to Midnight”
    “Run to the Hills”

    3) As if the above weren’t enough, you get another 50 minutes of live footage from Maiden’s 1985 appearance at the Rock in Rio festival. “Scream for me, Brazil!” The picture quality was beyond repair (by today’s standards) for this, but the sound is pretty good.

    “Aces High”
    “2 Minutes to Midnight”
    “The Trooper”
    “Revelations”
    “Powerslave”
    “Iron Maiden”
    “Run to the Hills”
    “Running Free”

    The good news is that if you wan’t a high quality A/V Rock in Rio performance by Maiden, you’ve got it with 2002’s outstanding Rock In Rio DVD.

    4) Finally, you get another 49 minutes of stuff with:

    - “‘Ello Texas!” – Same songs (3 altogether), different time period. From 1983’s World Piece Tour…’22 Acacia Ave’, ‘Flight of Icaris’ and ‘Iron Maiden’.
    - Videos for “Aces High” and “2 Minutes to Midnight”.
    - A 20 minute photo gallery tour.

    How could any Iron Maiden fan pass on this. Simple…a true Iron Maiden fan CANNOT pass on this. I predict that in conjunction with the 2008 Iron Maiden “Somewhere Back in Time” World tour, the boys will record a show and release it on DVD next year with History Part Three. Let’s hope on the next DVD that they switch out some of those classics that we’re so used to hearing for some great tunes like Murders in the Rue Morgue, Where Eagles Dare, Killers, Die With Your Boots On, and so on and so on.

    Posted on March 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • After a ten year wait Iron Maiden’s classic home video release Live After Death has finally been released on DVD.

    This isn’t just a straight, barebones issuing of the concert on DVD, however. This is a SPECIAL edition 2 disc DVD set, which will also include bonus live footage and the History of Iron Maiden Part 2 documentary, picking up where The Early Years left off.

    The official details:

    Disc one contains the recording of this full 90 minute concert. Originally filmed on 35mm, the footage comes alive on DVD resulting in a visually stunning film. The disc also carries two sound options – the original concert audio specially mixed into 5.1 Surround Sound by Kevin Shirley, Maiden’s producer since 1999, plus the original stereo sound track by Martin Birch, the band’s producer from 1981 to 1993.

    Disc two has Part 2 of the ‘History of Iron Maiden’, continuing on the Maiden story from “The Early Days” DVD, along with rare and unseen bonus footage in the form of BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, ROCK IN RIO ‘85, and ‘ELLO TEXAS, all in all giving a total running time of well over three hours.

    The multiple audio mixes and new video transfer from the original 35mm elements should make this a fantastic DVD. While this has been a long, long wait for the official DVD release, it looks like it will be well worth it.

    Ths Live After Death show itself was fantastic. The band plays with an amazing amount of energy, but also with great musical ability as well. The songs are all classics, and the stage set is one of the best from that era.

    (Update: The video quality of the Live After Death concert looks better than either the VHS or LaserDisc versions that I have, and the sound quality is really, really good. The remastered stereo mix is incredibly, “In your face,” and is just a wall of sound. The 5.1 remix? Meh. Kevin Shirley has the guitars too low in the mix. It’s punchy and INCREDIBLY clean, but it lacks the power of the original stereo mix. The extras are really nice. The History Part II documentary has a lot of great info, and is a great continuation of the first part from The Early Days. The 1985 Rock in Rio, however, is a disappointment. Not because of the performance, but because the audio/video quality is so poor. The audio is a bit muddy – originally mastered on video tape it has aged poorly – but the video is the real shame. Herky jerky, jittery and jumpy, the original master tape was not stored properly and now has serious tracking issues. It’s almost like watching Cloverfield. That’s too bad, because the band gives another great performance. The other extras like ‘Ello Texas and the extended version of Behind the Iron Curtain are a nice bonus, and make the set an even greater value than it already is. Overall, I’m very pleased with the set, but it is not without a couple flaws. It’s clearly still a, “Must Have,” DVD.)

    Posted on March 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now