This is, without a doubt, Iron Maiden at their peak. The recording is great and the song selection is excellent, too, although the setlist is heavy with tracks from Maiden’s three albums prior to this one (Number of the Beast, Piece Of Mind, and Powerslave) and pretty light on the ones before that (only 3 songs from the debut album and one from Killers). Still, the performances are awesome, and its cool to hear songs that they probably haven’t performed live in years, like Revelations, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Powerslave. Anyone who has the original Capital Records version of this disc and is still a fan of it is best replacing that version with this, since that version contains only the first disc of this 2 disc set, so you’re missing out on more great tunes like Phantom of the Opera and Wrathchild (which were on the original vinyl and cassette versions of Live After Death; I can’t imagine why Capital left them off the CD). Iron Maiden was never better than this. The next couple of releases that followed were pretty good, but the band started to slide once guitarist Adrian Smith left, and they really fell off once vocalist Bruce Dickinson departed. The line up changes, combined with changing tastes and styles in the metal community really left the band hurting. Still, you can’t disregard the quality of this album. A must for any Maiden fan and any fan of early eighties metal before thrash and glam took over and split up the scene.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
It doesn’t get much better than this. LIVE AFTER DEATH is without a doubt, the best Iron Maiden live album. It comes to us from the POWERSLAVE tour, and is comprised of a nice selection of tracks from the first five Maiden records. My only complaint is they only have one track from KILLERS – ‘Wrathchild’ – I would have at least like to have seen the song, ‘Killers’ as well.
The more popular songs don’t need much explanation here, except to note there is a great sing-along section in the middle of ‘Running Free’ where Bruce tells the crowd that he wants the crowd to sing so loud he wants to be able to go back to the hearing doctor in London and say, “Doctor, Long Beach f***ed up my hearing for good.” Hilarious.
The best parts of this release are the songs we don’t hear on any other live Maiden albums. Those would be ‘Powerslave,’ ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner,’ ‘Wrathchild,’ ‘Aces High,’ ‘Revelations,’ ‘Flight of Icarus,’ ‘22 Acacia Avenue,’ ‘Children of the Damned,’ ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ and ‘Die With Your Boots On.’ You can actually see them perform some of those songs on the MAIDEN ENGLAND home video, but they never appeared on any of the other four live maiden albums.
This is also a great introduction for anyone new to this band. It’s a great live performance of Maiden songs from 1980-1984, plus you get to hear Paul DiAnno songs with Bruce on vocals.
There might be metal albums that equal this one’s greatness, but there are none better. This is the most infamous live ’80s metal album I can think of, and for good reason. It’s Maiden live in their prime backing some of the best albums in history, period. The production is flawless, and with the newer re-releases of this CD, you can even get the five tracks that were not included in the original CD release. All killer, no filler, that’s the best way I can think of to describe this masterpiece.Being born in 1982, this band is special to me. When I listen to ’80s Maiden, I remember how we used to go over to my cousins house and they would listen to Maiden, AC/DC, Sabbath, etc. and my Mom wouldn’t let me listen to it with them. I thought it was cool back then, and I think it’s even cooler now. Iron Maiden will ALWAYS be a classic metal band, and no release by any band could ever think of topping the stuff they put out in the ’80s. Now if I were you, I would start collecting as much of this stuff as I could, especially with all this bland, faceless, uninspired, not to mention poser, “nu-metal” corrupting the airwaves today.
“Live After Death,” for any lover of heavy metal, is a necessity, along with live recordings such as Ozzy’s “Tribute” and Zeppelin’s BBC recordings. This is where the spandex 80s metal reached its high-point for British rock/metal. The album is wonderfully mixed and recorded. The remastered version is a step up from the original as well, and the songs are even spliced in different places for the remaster (the older cut did not include Bruce Dickinson’s chatter before each song but rather at the back end of the previous song; also, on the older version, Churchill’s speech was lumped in with “Aces High” but now it’s a separate track). On the older versions, one only received the tracks up until “Running Free,” but the double-CD remaster is faithful to the old vinyl and cassette versions of the album which include the final 5 tracks or so. Some reviewers are upset about Dickinson’s ability to sing the older Di’Anno songs, but I wound up hearing this album before the old Di’Anno albums and frankly I like Bruce’s vocals a bit more. Di’Anno sounds almost like a punk rock singer than he does a metal singer.
All in all, this set is necessary for any lover of metal. Maiden fans all across the board rave this album with little to no variation. Enjoy!
THE BAND: Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Steve Harris (bass), Dave Murray (guitar), Adrian Smith (guitar), Nicko McBrain (drums).
THE DISC: (1985) Originally 12 tracks (approximately 71 minutes) on one disc when first released on Capital. This digitally remastered edition (2002) gives you two discs containing all 17 tracks that came on the original vinyl album (an additional 25+ minutes). Disc-2 also features 4 multimedia tracks for your PC. Included with the discs is a 26-page booklet containing many band pictures, song titles/credits, song lyrics, tour dates and cities along the ‘The World Slavery Tour 84/85′, music equipment used on the tour, the band’s catalogue of albums, band history, a 1-page intro to the live recording itself from producer Martin Birch, and thank you’s. Recorded at Long Beach Arena over 4 nights (March 14-17, 1984). Cover art by the one and only Derek Riggs. Label (2002 edition) – Sanctuary Maiden.
COMMENTS: Trade in your original “Live After Death” disc for the remastered 2-disc set. It’s criminal that Capital was able to release this on disc back in the late 80’s with only 12 of the 17 songs that were on the original vinyl record. I mean, can you imagine Casablanca releasing Kiss’ “Alive!” minus the last 5 songs because they wanted to fit it all on one disc? Thankfully, Sanctuary Maiden gave this legendary recording the (digitally) remastered touch and full length treatment it deserves. Looking back over the decades, there’s a handful of ‘live’ rock recordings that can rightfully sit at the top – Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan”, UFO’s “Strangers In The Night”, Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive”, Kiss’ “Alive!”, Rush’s “All The World’s A Stage”… and Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death”. Iron Maiden’s gem here easily stands out as one of the best metal ‘live’ recordings of the 80’s (all the ‘live’ albums mentioned here happen to be from the 70’s with the exception of Iron Maiden’s). I also think it’s Maiden’s best ‘live’ album (out of several to choose from – “A Real Live One”, “A Real Dead One”, “Live At Donnington”, “Death On The Road”, and “Rock In Rio”)… and easily from their best tour. The classic songs are all here… “Aces High”, “2 Minutes To Midnight”, “The Trooper”, “The Number Of The Beast”, “Powerslave”, “Revelations”, “22 Acacia Ave”, “Run To The Hills”, and the lengthy “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”. Bruce Dickinson puts his own signature touch on the old Paul Di’anno songs (“Wrathchild”, “Running Free”, Phantom Of The Opera” and “Iron Maiden”)… while these are all good, Di’anno songs are still best sung by Di’Anno. This is a classic metal album by a British metal band in top form on their best tour (5 stars).