IRON MAIDEN — BBC Archives (review)

IRON MAIDEN — BBC Archives album cover Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2002 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Pekka
Review originally posted 1507 days ago as part of the novella that is my Eddie's Archive review.

The journey into the Iron Maiden BBC Archives begins in November 1979 with Iron Maiden's first radio session, long before their first album was released. Two fifths of the album recording line-up is still missing, with a short time member Tony Parsons handling the other guitar and Doug Sampson playing some of his last beats for Maiden before being replaced by Clive Burr. The tracks were pretty much in their finished form and the band sounds a lot tighter than on the Soundhouse Tapes sessions a year previously. The oldest Iron Maiden recordings officially released on cd, definitely worth hearing if you're a fan [actually I was wrong, as a couple of the Soundhouse tapes recordings were in fact released on CD on the limited edition Best of the Beast. -2014 edit]. The other sample of the Paul Di'Anno era comes from Reading Festival in the fall of 1980, the debut album had been released five months previously and the British metal audience is clearly embracing the band. The band plays well and even brings out an early version of Killers, with different lyrics, that they almost mess up in the beginning with someone missing their cue.

The Bruce era starts on the same festival two years later with a fine performance from the Number of the Beast tour, but that's a subject we'll return to under Beast Over Hammersmith. The real treat of this double cd is an eight song excerpt from the 1988 Donington Monsters of Rock, Iron Maiden at the very top of their game after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Two people had been trampled to death earlier that day during the Guns n' Roses show, but the band had yet to learn about it and they're firing on all cylinders. After the intro to Moonchild, the opening blast of the band kicking in is... I don't know what to say, devastating? With pure energy and burning drive the band rips through the set containing such rare pieces as Infinite Dreams and the Seventh Son title track, the only flaw being Bruce's road worn voice, which sounds very strained in places. I'm still waiting for the Maiden England re-release [Hell yeah. -2014 edit], but as this is now the only official live recording from this era that's available to me, I'm enjoying it wholeheartedly.
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