My perfect world would consist of going to watch Iron Maiden live every week. As that is financially and realistically impossible, I have to suffice with live videos.
Finally one of my favourite of the bands live concerts has finally been given a long overdue (25 years to be exact) DVD release. Until now, ‘Maiden England’, filmed over two nights in Birmingham during the Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour back in 1988 was only available on VHS. No more stretching out your video tape rewinding back to replay your favourite bits. The original VHS, released in 1989 never included the 3 encores and is now also in 5.1 surround sound. Why should your neighbours miss out on hearing one of the greatest live bands ever?
Sure, Maiden fans will argue that ‘Live After Death’ is the greatest live Maiden release but that didn’t have one of my all time favourite Maiden tracks, ‘Still Life’.
This is classic era Maiden in the days when they wore ridiculously tight spandex, had bad fringes and basked in full stage shows, something the band never really returned to in this capacity until the ‘Somewhere Back In Time’ tours in 2008. It was everything that made ‘80s metal concerts so glorious. This was also Steve Harris’s first time directing and editing of Maiden footage and he made the smart move of capturing the entire performance from the audience’s perspective.
Besides reliving one of the greatest Maiden live set lists ever, the DVD’s second disk includes the 3rd instalment of the History of Iron Maiden and the documentary ’12 Wasted Years’ which until now has been out of print for well over a decade. Rounding it off is 5 obligatory video promo’s.
My only real criticism is the blatant omission of the iconic Derek Riggs original cover which diehard fans of the original release will be up in arms over and rightly so.
Needless to say the popularity of this time in Maiden’s career is evident in the band returning to this history for their current world tour and I can only hope that I get to see the majesty in real life but for now I will have to make do with the easy navigation of modern technology of DVD formats.
Maiden England ’88 DVD out now through EMI, also available for the first time as double audio cd, limited edition double picture disk vinyl and digital format.