Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985)

Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985, EMI)

  1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech
  2. Aces High
  3. 2 Minutes To Midnight
  4. The Trooper
  5. Revelations
  6. Flight Of Icarus
  7. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
  8. Powerslave
  9. The Number Of The Beast
  10. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  11. Iron Maiden
  12. Run To The Hills
  13. Running Free
  14. Wrathchild
  15. 22 Acacia Avenue
  16. Children Of The Damned
  17. Die With Your Boots On
  18. Phantom Of The Opera

Total Time = 1:42:03

Iron Maiden official website

Iron Maiden has been one of my favorite bands since the early ’80s. I got seriously into Iron Maiden around the release of NUMBER OF THE BEAST in 1982 but I had known about the band from all the magazines and fanzines I used to buy. I used to hear a little Maiden over some of the local record stores’ stereo systems when I would scour the racks for hours. I came of age with the Bruce Dickinson era of the band but I went back and bought both Paul Di’anno records (IRON MAIDEN & KILLERS) before Maiden released POWERSLAVE in ’84. Going into that blockbuster album, I had everything on cassette that the band had released including the MAIDEN JAPAN E.P. (1981) and my personal favorite PIECE OF MIND (1983). After KISS and Judas Priest, there was Iron Maiden!

I followed the band’s exploits on the World Slavery Tour through magazines like Circus, Hit Parader, and Metal Forces and definitely watching MTV. Iron Maiden was everywhere, you couldn’t escape seeing the band’s logo or their mascot Eddie on denim jackets or on the walls of your friend’s bedrooms. When I read in Circus that the band was putting together a double live album to chronicle the World Slavery Tour, I knew I had to have it. Of course money became an issue because the album, LIVE AFTER DEATH, was released with a price tag that went between $12 and $15 depending on the shop and the sale prices. With Metal exploding all over the radio and MTV, there were so many bands to buy albums from in ’85 so I had to spend my allowance and lunch money wisely. I remember being in my local Good Vibrations record store the weekend after LIVE AFTER DEATH came out trying to justify buying a single cassette for close to $15 when I could buy two other albums on tape by different bands. I could have even bought two more KISS albums to complete my collection! I ended up passing on it…..

I was in 7th grade at the time and one of best friends brought his older brother’s cassette into school so we could all have a listen at the end of the day. I remember a whole bunch of us in the schoolyard after school huddled around my friend’s boombox listening to Side 1 in the middle of October. It was cold but well worth it because I knew what my purchase was going to be at the record store on the coming weekend. I ended up walking over to my friend’s house so we could listen to Side 2 and get homework done, that’s where my friend’s older brother was waiting and kicked my friend’s ass for “borrowing” his new tape without asking. After my friend took a beating, we ended up listening to the whole album because his brother also bought the vinyl and we listened to it on the big stereo he had. I still remember marvelling over the artwork and how cool it looked as a record. That weekend I bought my LIVE AFTER DEATH tape and put the LP on my Xmas wish list (I never got the vinyl for Xmas!).

This is Iron Maiden at what many consider their peak with five solid albums and a record breaking worldwide tour to their credit, making LIVE AFTER DEATH one of the best, if not THE best, live album ever. To this day, 23 years later, I still can’t find a weak song on the album. Every single track is powerful and grandly performed. I was huge into PIECE OF MIND and POWERSLAVE when this live album was released so my favorite tracks were ‘Aces High’, ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’, ‘Powerslave’, ‘Flight Of Icarus’, ‘Revelations’ and ‘The Trooper’. These were the popular singles so I liked them all immeadiately. Playing the album over and over, I really started to enjoy the live version of ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ better than the studio version and the Di’anno era songs like ‘Iron Maiden’, ‘Wrathchild’ and ‘Running Free’ just came off more energetic and powerful with Bruce at the mic. After a couple of decades, I find myself enjoying the last 5 songs of the album (Side 4 of the vinyl) the most, especially ’22 Acacia Avenue’ and ‘Die With Your Boots On’.

I have had a few versions of this album over the years: the original cassette, the first CD issue that didn’t include the Side 4 songs, the Castle Records reissue from 1995 with the bonus disc, and finally the Raw Power reissue from 1998 that ended up including the missing Side 4 songs. The Castle reissue from ’95 was the most disappointing because I figured the bonus disc would contain the missing Side 4 songs but it ended up being only three tracks that were all B-sides from the singles: ‘Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra)’ live at Hammersmith Odeon, ‘Sanctuary’ live at Long Beach Arena and ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’ live at Hammersmith Odeon. Today I own the three CD versions and the DVD that came out earlier this year, I sold my cassette a long time ago.

9 comments on “Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985)

  1. I have it on vinyl. I remember going to the record store at the mall the weekend after it was released to buy it. There were posters for it all over te store and like a six or seven foot tall Eddie stand-up. Still my favorite live album of all time.

  2. I remember clearly the excitement I had for this release, with constant checks down at my local record shop about release the release date. I was a huge Maiden fan back in the 80’s – culminating with seeing Maiden several times that decade – first in support of Judas Priest on the Number of the Beast tour (unsure of the exact date), then on January 14th, 1985 at the Hartford Civic Center (this date I do remember well) on the World Slavery Tour. I was 16 years old and this was probably my 4th or 5th concert and what a concert it was -Twisted Sister opened the show, I think their next to last show as the opener – Queensryche took over after that (wish they had opened the Hartford show – that would have just cinched the deal as the best concert ever :) ) Like most – I had read that Maiden was going to be making a live recording from this tour and having seen it I was waiting on baited breath for it;s release date. I was buying albums like candy, having gotten my first job the summer of 1984 and making money that was almost all spent acquiring vinyl. Live After Death is still in my vinyl collection, I also have an original VHS copy of the video bought shortly after it’s release date. Fond memories of a very good time in my life.

  3. One of the first albums i bought on double vinyl. Increible the photos and the songs of course. One of my fave live albums ever.

  4. Being a late comer to Iron Maiden, I don’t really get into the early pre-Dickinson stuff. It has to be said that “Live After Death” is the best live album I have heard..period. Maiden sound better live than many do in studio and they are truly the masters of epic, majestic metal. I agree that there is not a single weak song on this entire album, “Rime” remains my favourite.

  5. It was definitely ’80, when they opened for KISS on the European leg of their “Unmasked” tour. They also played on the same bill at Castle Donington in 1988.

  6. here is some great trivia for my fellow Irons: i saw them in Honolulu, HI in 1985. they ended their US tour here and during the show, Bruce announced that Dave Murray was getting married the next day. They played impeccably, just like on the VHS and DVD, same costumes, big mummy, everything. Best concert i ever saw Up the Irons!

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