Maiden England '88
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Now available for the very first time on DVD, this live show was filmed across two sold-out nights at Birmingham N.E.C Arena, UK in November 1988 during the band s 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son World Tour.' Disc one contains the concert which has been specially upgraded and extended from the existing 1989 VHS release and now includes three previously unreleased encores: 'Running Free,' 'Run To The Hills' and 'Sanctuary' thereby completing the full concert with a total running time of 110 minutes.
Maiden s own Film Producer and Director Andy Matthews went back to the 1988 edit and painstakingly remastered each shot digitally; color correcting and grading to give the image the best possible look from that time. As well as the stereo sound track by Martin Birch, the band s producer between 1981 and 1993, the DVD also includes a brand new 5.1 audio surround mix by Maiden s current producer Kevin Shirley.
The concert was meticulously directed and edited by bass player and founder member Steve Harris, so as to capture the performance from a fans-eye view of the stage, focusing fully on the music, the elaborate stage production and the lighting. Add into the mix an electrifying set list and of course Eddie, and Maiden England now offers a snapshot of a bygone era in which the band, as they continue to do today, devote their all in delivering the ultimate live experience for their fans.
Disc two is an extensive bonus disc featuring an exclusive documentary charting Part 3 in the History of Iron Maiden. This 40-minute film comprises recent interviews with the five band members and manager, Rod Smallwood. Picking up the story in the aftermath of the 84/85 World Slavery tour, this interesting and insightful documentary sees the band speak candidly about their memories of an exciting and occasionally turbulent period from which would emerge the albums Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son.
Other special extras on the bonus disc include Twelve Wasted Years. First released on VHS in 1987 and available for the first time on DVD, this documentary runs for 90 minutes and includes archive interviews and dynamic live footage from the band s beginnings in the now legendary Ruskin Arms pub, via London s Marquee club and three World Tours. Five promo videos for the singles from the aforementioned albums are also featured and have been carefully restored and improved upon from the original films using the very latest software with the audio remastered in digital stereo.
DISC ONE MAIDEN ENGLAND 88
The Evil That Men Do
Die With Your Boots On
Can I Play With Madness
Heaven Can Wait
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
The Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run To The Hills(previously unreleased)Running Free(previously unreleased)
DISC TWO THE HISTORY OF IRON MAIDEN PART 3
The History Of Iron Maiden - Part 3
12 Wasted Years
Wasted Years promo video
Stranger In A Strange Land promo video
Can I Play With Madness promo video
The Evil That Men Do promo video
The Clairvoyant promo video
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As for the 2nd disc, I must say I'm a bit disappointed, but before I explain why, I wanna stress that it's still good, and DEFINITELY worth having. Now, onto the whining:
1 - The documentary, part 3 of the "History" series, is only 40 minutes long despite covering 2 excellent studio albums and their corresponding tours. This is a popular, yet also rarely discussed era of the band, and while you get interesting anecdotes and details from the guys, the whole story seems a whole lot more rushed than in the previous 2 parts, which I think is a shame. Speaking of "rushed", good LORD, the editing and putting it all together seems rushed. It's clearly a different person behind this one, and he/she seems to be on a mission to make your eyes explode. The whole "let's surround the main object with a messy collage of old photos and live footage" approached may have worked well for the video for "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg", but for a 40 minute documentary it drives you crazy. There's a TON of things going on at once. Also, between these shots, there are other photos, often shown at rapid speeds, with distracting backgrounds and fancy effects put on for NO obvious reason. Plus, they only interview the 5 bandmembers who were involved, as well as manager Rod Smallwood. The earlier installments have featured input from other people involved with the band at the time, so that you get to see more sides of the story. In short, I definitely feel this installment is inferior to the other 2 in both quality and content, but like I mentioned above, it's still worth having, there's no doubt about that.
2 - Is it just me or are the promo videos featured on here of lower quality than at least those on the "Live After Death" bonus disc?
3 - Okay, so they do a brand new 40 minute documentary, but still include the 90 minute 1987 documentary "12 Wasted Years", a retrospective that mostly overlaps the "History" releases? Now, to be fair, you do get to see a few things that are left out of the "History" installments, namely a few rare live clips and Paul Di'Anno with a mullet. But I'd gladly replace this outdated documentary with a longer, more complete "History" documentary and.. well, see point 4.
4 - Since they included the awesome - albeit very rough - footage of the Ruskin Arms show on the first "History"-dvd... Why not include WHATEVER decently shot material available from the "Somewhere in Time" tours, which many fans are dying to see, even though it may not be of the best quality? In the documentary, Rod Smallwood says they've "got bits of" the show, and they agree it was a good show! I mean, the 1987 Philadelphia concert was filmed by multiple cameras, and some of the songs are of decent quality, maybe that could've been used?
To sum up, the first disc alone makes this purchase worth the money, because it's brilliant, and the 2nd disc is allright, I just feel it could be better. It looks like it's been put together rather quickly, to be honest. But others may disagree, and in any case, my humble subjective opinions still won't prevent me from recommending this purchase to fans and Maiden rookies. Don't hesitate to buy it!
The second disc is full of some pretty cool extras. I have enjoyed the "History of Iron Maiden" segments, but this one added a lot of distracting and quite frankly annoying visual effects that were completely unnecessary for a documentary and took away from the content of the interviews. Then they leave you hanging with Adrian Smith beginning to explain why he had decided to leave the band after the tour. As I mentioned earlier, it sucks to know that they could have made a "Somewhere in Time" concert video and the manager ruled against it; I think that would have been a true classic. I agree with other reviewers that they should have included what they did shoot on the disc.
I enjoyed watching "12 Wasted Years" again. I bought that on VHS when it first came out and watched and enjoyed it many times back in the day. Although a lot of the concert footage has been included in the "Early Days" DVD, that was all fans had to go on back in the day. The documentary looked like I was watching a VHS tape on an HD TV, but it was still cool to see again. I still want to know who Bruce is yelling at when they show the footage from Dortmund while playing "Iron Maiden". I'm glad Maiden included this classic on this release.
Overall, highly recommended for the true fan. For the price you pay, there is a lot of stuff included and they even turned the insert into a poster.
Maybe I'm biased because Somewhere In Time is one of my all-time favorite records, but it just feels like this set got particularly short changed. I hope this trend doesn't continue when we get into the 90's stuff, because I'm sure that's where a LOT of the juiciest stuff will be.