|Live album, EMI Records
October 14th, 1985
1. Intro: Churchill's Speech (Churchill)
2. Aces High (Harris)
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight (Smith, Dickinson)
4. The Trooper (Harris)
5. Revelations (Dickinson)
6. Flight Of Icarus (Smith, Dickinson)
7. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (Harris)
8. Powerslave (Dickinson)
9. The Number Of The Beast (Harris)
10. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Harris)
11. Iron Maiden (Harris)
12. Run To The Hills (Harris)
13. Running Free (Harris, Di'Anno)
|Shown below is the 1998 2CD remaster. The Original 12-track CD pressing doesn't feature the second CD, and contains an edited version of Running Free. The original LP and cassette versions had all 17 tracks evenly divided between albums.
All tracks from CD 1 were recorded live at Long Beach Arena in 1985. All tracks from CD 2 were recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon in 1984. All live tracks mixed by Martin Birch.
The 1995 reissue comes with a bonus cd with the following track list:
01. Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) (live)
This 1998 remaster version contains a special enhanced CD-ROM multimedia section with videos, exclusive photo galleries, biographies, internet links plus a deluxe 24 page colour booklet with Eddie art and photos.Bruce Dickinson - Vocals
Steve Harris - Bass
Dave Murray - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Adrian Smith - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Nicko McBrain - Drums
Live After Death
Live After Death is Iron Maiden's first live album since the 1981 Maiden Japan EP. Most critics agree that Live After Death is one of the best live metal albums of all time. Maiden has always been a "live" band whose power and energy seemed to come really alive on stage, and this power and energy virtually explodes out of the album. The mixing is absolutely superb. Murray's guitar is on the left and Smith's on the right, and each can be clearly and distinctly heard but at the same time they both seem to blend together and complement each other. This album must definitely be experienced with good headphones!
The concert intro, with the sounds of aircraft engines and the voice of Churchill, fits perfectly well to the first song of the set. 'Aces High' is a song about the battle of Britain and Churchill's speech was pronounced on 4th June 1940, at the beginning of the conflict, encourageing British resistance in the face of a potential Nazi invasion after the rout experienced by the British and French troops at the Battle of Dunkirk (26 May 3 June, 1940).
Live After Death was released as a double-LP, which was too long to fit on a single CD. Consequently, the last five tracks ('Wrathchild', 'Children Of The Damned', '22 Acacia Avenue', 'Die With Your Boots On', and 'Phantom Of The Opera') were not included on the original CD release. This was a major complaint. Those live versions are rare and brilliant, and should have been included, even if it meant a double-CD. At the very least, the extra tracks should have been released as a bonus disc.
The mistake was eventually corrected. Live After Death was re-released in September 1998 as a double-CD, and the second CD contained the five missing tracks from the Hammersmith show. Also, the gaps between some of the songs that previously existed have been smoothed out with crowd noise, improving the album's sense of continuity. And finally, the 'Churchill's Speech' intro is a separate track on this re-release.
A little piece of trivia: many Maiden fans are a bit too young to know this or are not familiar with British culture but when Bruce, just before 'Revelations', says, "Nice to see you, to see you is nice", he's actually quoting another Bruce Bruce Forsyth, a British TV entertainer famous for his catchphrases. Forsyth was hosting The Generation Game in the 1970s and was known for saying this particular sentence at the beginning of the show. Why does Bruce Dickinson say this to an American audience is not clear, but it certainly makes him laugh.
Mick Wall's comments on LIVE AFTER DEATH
Live After Death, the double live album Iron Maiden released in November 1985, was the culmination of everything the band had set out to do since signing to EMI records in 1979. While their first five studio albums had successfully captured the essence of the band's cacophonous live sound, Live After Death was that all too rare and marvellous thing a live album strong enough to be counted as a genuinely new album and a must-have addition to any serious collection of Maiden's work.
Aside from the fact that 10 from the original 17 tracks had originally been recorded with different line-ups of the band (with no less than five dating back to original singer, Paul Di'Anno-era Maiden), even more recent inclusions from the now stable Harris-Murray-Dickinson-Smith-McBrain line-up sounded fresh and new, too, actually out-stripping the original studio recordings by some considerable distance. No mean feat for a band that prided itself on being able to deliver the goods whatever the setting.
As Steve said: "Live albums can either be absolutely brilliant or absolutely crap. There doesn't seem to be any middle-ground. Either you love them or you hate them. In the case of Live After Death, we wanted to try and make it like Made In Japan by Deep Purple, or Live And Dangerous by Thin Lizzy one of those live albums that actually said something new about the original songs, so they were worth having, but at the same time put you right there on stage with the band, so that it was really exciting, too!"
There had been occasional live Maiden recordings released before, as the B-sides of various singles. And there had also been the hastily pieced together, limited edition live four-track EP, Maiden Japan, with the Harris-Di'Anno-Murray-Stratton-Burr line-up in 1980 (originally a Japanese-only release). But never before had Maiden set down for posterity the whole of their live show. Lavishly packaged, well thought out, Live After Death was not only a tremendously entertaining rock album, it was a living, breathing piece of history that you could hold right in your hands.
Recorded at two different stages of the band's momentous World Slavery Tour which ensued in the wake of the 1984 Powerslave album, the first 12 tracks, originally spread over the first three sides of vinyl, were all recorded over two nights out of the four they actually headlined on that tour, at the 13,000-seater Long Beach Arena, in California, in March 1985. While the final five tracks, which originally took over the fourth side of vinyl, are all from the band's three-night stint at London 's Hammersmith Odeon Maiden's "home from home," as Dave Murray calls it in November 1984.
The tapes were mixed by long-time producer Martin Birch while the band was still actually out on the road in America . "He would send us tapes of it one track at a time and we would listen to it and send it back to him with 'yeah' or 'no' written on the box," Steve recalls. "So there were no overdubs done, nothing added in the studio afterwards to make it sound better like you get with so many so-called 'live' albums these days. It was exactly as we did it on stage, warts and all, which is why it sounds so exciting, I think. It was the real McCoy." Beginning with the taped intro of British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill's famous speech, 'we will fight them on the beaches... We will NEVER SURRENDER!', before roaring into their 1984 hit single, 'Aces High', and ending with the unbeatable bish-bash-bosh of the hammer-blow three-song encore, 'Iron Maiden', 'Run To The Hills' and 'Running Free', the first 12 tracks capture the band on tour in America at the very height of their power. Although two nights at Long Beach had actually been recorded "in case of mistakes" in the end, all of the 12 tracks actually came from the same show.
Number Of The Beast had been Maiden's first album to go Gold in America (for over 500,000 sales), in 1982. Piece Of Mind, the follow-up in '83, had been their real breakthrough album in the US , going Platinum (for over a million sales) and allowing the band to tour there as headliners for the first time that year. But it was Powerslave, their second straight Platinum hit, that put Maiden into the US Top 10 for the first time, turning them into the most talked about rock band in America in 1985. Understandably then, with the exception of the encores, most of Maiden's US shows were built around material from those three albums.
And what a set list! From riff-laden monster crowd-pleasers like '2 Minutes To Midnight', 'The Trooper', 'Revelations' and 'Powerslave', to some of the most epic moments of their career, like 'Flight Of Icarus', 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner', '666 The Number Of The Beast', and 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', with hindsight it is easy to see why Maiden took off so massively in the States when they did. Where else in America could you hear stuff as raw and yet sophisticated as this in the early Eighties? Answer: nowhere.
As Bruce says now: "Back then on American radio, it was either REO Speedwagon and Journey or nothing, you know? Consequently, Maiden never got played much on US radio, but it didn't seem to matter. The fact that you had to dig a little bit to find us almost added to our appeal, I think. Even though we were selling millions of albums, we were still like this great underground band. It was a fantastic position to be in." With the exception of 'Die With Your Boots On', which originally appeared on Piece Of Mind, the last five tracks on the album, all of which had been recorded back in Britain before the American leg of the World Slavery Tour had begun, deliberately date back to the time before Maiden had become huge US stars.
"It was something we included for the faithful back home," Dave told me at the time. "The Maiden fans who have been into the band since the very beginning. Most of the fans in America probably wouldn't know half those songs." The jokey, sing-along '22 Acacia Avenue', and the far more gloomy and grandiose 'Children Of The Damned' were two of the lesser-known but much-loved tracks on The Number Of The Beast. But the splendidly hectic 'Wrathchild', which opens the final set of five, dates back to Maiden's second album, Killers, while the frantically over the top 'Phantom Of The Opera', which closes the set in truly anthemic Maiden style, is a classic nugget dug up from their very first album in 1980, Iron Maiden.
Listening to it all as one 17-track opus, it is little wonder that so many fans in 1985 began to look on Live After Death as one of the best Iron Maiden albums ever. Not a duff moment in sight, Live After Death is a superb compendium of all the major highlights of the early career of one of the world's greatest heavy rock bands. Released in November 1985, replete with the flame-licked corpse of a mad-eyed Eddie rising defiantly from his grave on the sleeve, Live After Death went straight to No. 1 in the UK and became the band's third straight million-seller in the States.
To accompany its release, Maiden also put out the classic Jim Yukich-directed video, Live After Death, which captures the band on stage at those history-making Long Beach shows in 1985. Filmed over two of the band's four-night stint there in March that year, and using no less than nine different cameras, the Live After Death video was instantly heralded as a state-of-the-art masterpiece. Making the most of lightning-fast edition techniques, not only do we get the best seat in the house for the show we also get to experience it from literally hundreds of different angles throughout, from being on stage with the band one moment to jumping around with the fans right at the back the next, to meeting a mummified Eddie halfway as he tumbles towards the stage like a bad dream.
As you can see from the Ancient Egypt motif of the stage set based around the stunning Powerslave sleeve, which depicted Eddie as a space-age mutant sphinx the World Slavery Tour stage show was one of the most exciting and innovative the band would ever conjure up. And of course, there's no more exciting moment than when Eddie himself appears, arriving bang on cue halfway through 'Iron Maiden'. (You don't need the video to spot his arrival on the record either, you just have to listen to the roar of delight from the crowd!) "It was one of the best shows we ever put on, that's for sure," says Steve. "It was the perfect balance of over-the-top stage effects and really strong material, and the album caught us just as we were really going for it on that tour."
The original plan, after the World Slavery Tour finally came to an end in September 1985, had been for Maiden to go back out on tour to support Live After Death. But after more than a year on the road already, the band wisely decided against it. "We felt burnt out," says Adrian "and we needed some time off." Fortunately, the success of both the Live After Death album and video had the knock-on effect of buying the band some much-needed time to recuperate. After six years and as many albums together, it would be their first real break.
"The idea," says Steve, "was to take some time off, then come back fresh for the next album. We knew it would be another big step to take like how do you follow that! And we wanted to make sure we were ready for it."
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