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

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  • 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