Released March 25th, 2002
This album was recorded live at Rock In Rio festival on 19th January 2001 and
Michael Kenney - keyboard
Run To The Hills
|Was also released as a double-gatefold triple picture disc LP set (limited
Tracks 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 are from "Brave New World"
Track 5 is from "Killers"
Track 6 is from "Powerslave"
Track 8 is from "X Factor"
Track 10 is from "Piece Of Mind"
Track 1 is from "Brave New World"
Track 2 is from "Virtual XI"
Track 3 is from "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son"
Track 4 is from "Fear Of The Dark"
Track 5 and 8 are from "Iron Maiden"
Tracks 6, 7 and 9 are from "The Number Of The Beast"
Rock in Rio is the long-awaited live album that caused some controversy among the fans. This is the first massive live recording of Iron Maiden since the somptuous Live After Death and the excellentВ Live At Donington. But many of the older fans would have preferred to hear more of the "old stuff" from the Golden Age of Maiden, whereas newer fans are delighted by the first official live recording of the most recent songs of the Brave New World album. This is Maiden's fifth official live release (if you consider A Real Live One and A Real Dead One to be one single live album), and most of the songs of their repertoire have now been officially covered live, highlighting their energy on stage and the fact that Maiden is essentially a concert band that mainly releases studio albums to whet the fans' appetite before each tour.
Iron Maiden embarked on the Brave New World Tour and showed the fans that, although they have reached their mid-forties, they haven't lost an ounce of the energy that has characterised the band along its 25-year career. They decided to record their very last concert of the tour, played in Rio de Janeiro on 19th January 2001 in front of some 150,000 frenzied fans, during the prestigious Rock In Rio festival the maximum capacity of the venue was in fact 250,000, but the organisers decided to limit the number of people in the audience for "safety reasons". This album is mainly intended for the most die-hard fans of Maiden, as well as for the newest fans who discovered the band with the Brave New World album. It has the advantage of containing not only the most recent material, but also of having disregarded jewels of the Blaze Bayley era sung by Dickinson. Many will say that the so-called "Blaze mistake" which, in my opinion, was no mistake at all has finally been fixed with 'The Clansman' and 'Sign Of The Cross' having finally Bruce's vocal range applied to them. This is in fact pretty untrue. Blaze's voice was more suited to these dark songs and Bruce's does not add any new, least of all better, dimension to these tracks. The vocals are just different on those songs and many will agree in saying that their respective studio versions are actually more suited to their brooding mood.
The intro of the show is taken from the original sound track of the 1995 film First Knight, with Richard Gere and Sean Connery (a famous Scotsman who had recently been knighted, as Bruce pointed out as an introduction to 'The Clansman' during the concerts). This particular piece is called 'Arthur's Farewell' and was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. If the music is excellent, the film itself is more than mediocre and it is a wonder why Maiden chose this theme as an intro to their concerts, as it doesn't seem to be related to any of the songs of the show, unlike the theme music of Where Eagles Dare (the film) during the World Piece Tour or Churchill's Speech during the World Slavery Tour.
It is a blessing that Bruce's rants in-between songs were edited out for the release of the album. His rudeness, along with his aggressive and arrogant demeanour towards the audience spoiled much of the fun of the show, and many non-English speaking audiences, who did not always understand what he was saying, only responded to the word "fuck" (which was certainly used more than necessary). Whatever happened to Bruce? His speeches of the 1980s were intelligent and clearly done, introducing the songs in the most enjoyable and often entertaining manner, with the occasional swearword to spice up the lot. Nowadays, he acts more like a bully and swears at the crowd at every opportunity, which is really not a good attitude for a frontman. He will certainly not be pleased if he ever reads this, but it would be nice to have the old Bruce back!
What is left on the album is the classic Bruce giving a brief introduction to the songs, like the memorable "Something old, something new... something from our Jurassic period. 'Wrathchild'!" or the quote of Tennyson's poem "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred... cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, volley'd and thunder'd... 'The Trooper'!" The other musicians are performing like they always do, with an intense energy and professionalism, except maybe Janick Gers whose sloppy solos sometimes offend the older fans like his butchering of Adrian's solo on 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', for instance (he should stop showboating with his guitar and concentrate a bit more on what he's doing!). On a more technical note, Murray's guitar is in the left speaker, Gers' is in the right one, and Smith is in the middle. In any case, Rock In Rio is a brilliant live album that, although not being quite as good, has its place next to Live After Death in the hall of fame of live recordings