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DVD – Iron Maiden – the early days

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Iron Maiden will release on Tuesday 11/23 a 2 DVD volume called ‘The Early Days’ which chronicles the band all the way back to original singer Paul Di’Anno (a name probably only hardcore Maiden fans might recognize). It follows the band all the way through their world tour in 1983 supporting the epically influential metal record ‘Piece of Mind’. The first thing I can say about this collection is how massive and all encompassing it is. There is almost 6 hours of concert footage, exclusive documentaries, photos, discography, artwork etc. To me, this is the most complete and comprehensive multi-media offering of any band in rock and roll ever, and we are only half way through the band.

I regard the end period of this collection as the absolute great peak years of the band. I became a fan during the Powerslave years and regard 1982 to 1986 as the golden years. In fact, I first saw them when I was about 15 on the ‘Somewhere in Time’tour. It was amazing. I then saw the band a second time just last year, and they were even better then I remember as a teenager. I should qualify that statement and note I tore my ACL during that show and required $30,000 worth of surgery to fix it. Though my mind and heard were truly 16 again that night, my body remained an unfit 32! Regardless, the show was amazing and I have no regrets. I am looking forward to seeing them summer 2005.

One thing that struck me about the footage here is getting to watch the band evolve almost in real time. There is footage from Hammersmith Odeon in March of 1982 where Bruce Dickinson looks (and sounds) like a 19-year-old kid new to the metal bandwagon. However, just a year later in the Dortmund footage, you see the master of the genre. This footage shows Dickinson in top form. There is only one rocker who evokes more frontman-ness, that would be Robert Plant (or perhaps David Lee Roth in his heyday…eww).

To understand the history of Iron Maiden, you must respect bassist Steve Harris. Steve Harris is Iron Maiden. He is the chief songwriter and architect of the band and their sound. In fact, Harris is also the only original member. The 90 minute documentary is a fascinating roll call through the history of Maiden which features interviews with no less than 8 or 10 folks who have been in the band over the years, including some great interview with original singer Di’Anno.

That guy up top? That’s Eddie, he is the band mascot. If you already knew that, you should pick this DVD set up. If you didn’t already know that, they you are possibly a little freaked out right now – the band would say ‘mission accomplished!’

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  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    I’m glad to see some props for Paul Di’Anno – he doesn’t get enough respect. His work in the band helped bridge the gap between punk and metal. Killers and the self-titled album are absolute classics in my mind. I’m thrilled that this DVD set is coming out so I can finally see him in action with the band. And I can’t wait for Volume 2, which is supposed to be Live After Death (it’s about freakin’ time that showed up on DVD!) and other stuff. Some could accuse Iron Maiden of milking the fans for all they’ve got with these archival releases (like “Eddie’s Archive” a couple years ago) but when it’s as high quality as what they turn up is, how can you really complain?

  • Keith Sikora

    I don’t suppose they’ll include the European concert in which Eddie met his fabled demise in the supplementary materials section?

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    i been lookin at this DVD in the shops. I haven’t listened to them in years, and don’t listen to any “classic” metal much nowadays, save for those megadeth reissues a while back, but i gotta say, i’ll always have a soft spot for maiden. Sitting in primary school (which is chool for kids between 4-11, non UK types) with a maiden t-shirt was just the epitome of motherfucking cool, is what. i too always liked the D’Ianno stuff. i’m not a big fan of the falsetto metal voice thing, so D’Ianno’s punky ranting pleases my ears a bit more. This would make a more than fitting replacement for the 10 Wasted Years video i had stolen off me in high school. Sons a bitches…

    Great review

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    I just bought this DVD, as well as Visions of the Beast, but I haven’t watched them yet.

    I would love to see them relese “Iron Maiden – Behind The Iron Curtain.” Does anyone recall seeing this early 80s video of Maiden’s trek through Eastern Europe?

    Needless to say, I’ve been a fan for a long time, beginning with The Number of The Beast. I met and interviewed them during the Seventh Son tour and they are really fun people.

    I have so many of my own recent purchases to review but I will get to them eventually and post them here.

  • Andy

    I just bought this dvd and was blown away by it! There is so much material here, it almost boggles the mind, and the quality of the audio and video is breathtaking. If u already had most of the concert material on here (like me), and were thinking of passing this up, DON’T! You will not believe how awesome the quality of the video and audio is. Most of if looks like it was shot yesterday. Now all I need is a Live after Death in pristine quality, and I can die happy. I give this set an A++++++++++++++ UP THE IRONS!

  • http://www.photoblog.be/donovan Helder Nascimento

    What can i say? They’re the best and that’s it. I’ve became a fan of Iron Maiden since Brade New World album. I’m a 19 years old kid and i’m really sad that i couldn’t be present in those golden years, when maiden was Maiden. Even so, even old, they are still the best, I dont see any other band like them. They are espectacular, they’re amazing. Up The Irons.

    Helder from Portugal

  • JR

    I don’t suppose they’ll include the European concert in which Eddie met his fabled demise in the supplementary materials section?

    Most of the concert is there, but not the part where they hack up Eddie – apparently German TV found that too violent to broadcast. It seems the master tapes were lost and what they have was taken from what was actually broadcast. There was a brief clip of the, er, “murder scene” in the documentary.

  • Bruno Botelho

    I just bought “Iron Maiden: The Early Days” DVD and I was amazed, blown away! This DVD is absolutely BRILLIANT! A must-have! A real classic already! Lots of fun, lots of extras, rare videos, classic gigs, detailed biography with lots of interviews with almost all the “Maiden Family”. Congratulations and a big “Thank You!!!” to the production team that made this masterpiece possible. Everything is there. I think it’s impossible to do better than this. If you’re a Maiden fan, you’ll love this DVD. If you’re not a Maiden fan, you will love this DVD the same way! Masterpiece, Perfection, Brilliant… What are you waiting for? Go buy it right now! Bruno, from Portugal!

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    As has been said a million times, I think we are all building up to the band releasing a high quality DVD transfer of ‘Live After Death’.

  • Juanjo

    Thanks all of you for this glorious product. I’m from Cuba and I have been a fan from the beginning of Maiden. I’m living in Costa Rica since 3 years ago and I bought the DVD in June 2005. I consider it like a MASTERPIECE. It locks up the real history of Harris and his baby Iron Maiden. I’m waiting the other parts and I really dream with a concert with the Irons. Rock in Rio is perfect. Just the Art meets the perfection… Iron Maiden is perfection. UP THE IRONS!