Customer Reviews: The History Of Iron Maiden, Part 1: The Early Days (Two-Disc Edition)
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on June 28, 2006
During their early days from 1980 to 1983, Iron Maiden was most likely the greatest metal act on the planet. This double DVD catalogs that time in enthralling detail. Three shows, a 90-minute documentary, and a host of other goodies make this one of the most complete DVDs ever produced for a band. The DVD is a fantastic buy for its price, and the material is essential for any metal fan. Buy this now.

If you still need more convincing, think on this. Three shows are included on Disc 1 from each of the three years between 1981-83. Live at the Rainbow, the first show, is a half-hour sprint through Maiden's earliest, punkiest material featuring original frontman Paul Di'Anno. Di'Anno turns in a great show here, and makes you wish he was still with Maiden - until you see the 1982 Beast over Hammersmith show, with Bruce Dickinson. Maiden's classic singer is a bit younger, less assured during this show than he would be later on, but he does do well enough to make you forget all about Di'Anno. By the 1983 World Piece tour, which is catalogued in the third video, Maiden is at the peak of their powers, and the concert reflects that. All three shows are more than worthy, though the Hammersmith show is a bit low-res.

Disc 2 is where many Maiden fans will find themselves fixated. The centerpiece is the 90-minute History of Iron Maiden, Part 1 documentary, which sets a new gold standard for band trivia and minutiae. The documentarians take 8 years of Maiden and find many former members that even Maiden hardcores will never have heard of, now looking like respectable British citizens but proud of their time with one of the all-time great rock bands. The story is captivating, the anecdotes are often hilarious, and it will leave you calling your bandmates for practice (if you have any). Also included are a circa-1980 British TV documentary on the band, the long-lost Live at the Ruskin Arms concert, all the band's music videos from the period, and an extensive gallery of Steve Harris' scrapbook.

Maiden fans cannot miss with this DVD, and more general metal fans will find themselves enthralled as well. The only reason not to want this DVD is if you absolutely can't stand the music - but even if you don't like Maiden, you stand a chance of being won over. Strongly, strongly recommended.
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on February 20, 2005
I avoided buying this for a while. Anytime I see old footage and do NOT see 5.1 Digital Dolby, I suspect the worst. Still, with a holiday gift card in my hand and Iron Maiden love in my heart I made the leap.

Disc One: 3.5 stars

Right away I was amazed. I simply could NOT believe how good "Live at the Rainbow" sounded! I mean if this old show sounded like THIS I was in for a real treat. Not being a fan of the D'ianno era I was still interested from the aspect of history. Then the "Beast Over Hammersmith" started. I thought it sounded a bit over done but I dialed my sub woofer down a bit and was generally pleased with the results. I patiently sat through some duplicate songs... waiting for '83. I mean Live at Dortmund was a later show right? The sound was bound to be killer right? Well, it was terrible! Sour mono mixed with periods of the tape being eaten or stretched, you choose, but I was decidely diappointed, especially when I heard snippets from this very show on the interview portion with a very NICE pseudo "surround" (like the first two concerts!). I'm not sure what happened here, but it's quite obvious not enough care was put into this.

Disc Two: 4.5 stars

To say the interview left no stone unturned would be an understatement. I learned so much about how the band was formed and saw so many past members I came to the conclusion most of England at one time was a part of Maiden:) At any rate, my 4.5 stars are definately devoted to the interview which spans 90 minutes and 91 members. It's not without its faults though; they spend way too much time discussing what Steve Harris had for lunch and not enough about why key members left. Still, I love the effort. The rest here does little for me. Never fancied Maiden videos and the rest here is just filler.

Conclusion: If you are looking to rekindle your love for Maiden, look no further. If you too are afraid of the sound quality, rest assured there are better sounding bits out there but nothing captures the essence like hearing the guys that actually created it perform it at the time it was created. It's true, you can't go home again, and that sentiment could never be truer than with music. Cheers to Clive Burr, they should have spent more time with him, both now... and then.
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on January 3, 2007
Though I've been a huge Iron Maiden fan for over 20 years and have tons of videos including bootlegs, it took me a while to pick up this one...and after viewing it I must say I was very impressed as this is without question their best and definitive video to date...and this is only Part 1! To be honest I've been getting somewhat tired of the band as of late they've been releasing so much live material...a live double album/DVD after each studio album/tour plus that boxset which seems to have neverending endless live versions of "Sanctuary" and "Iron Maiden" but watching and listening to this DVD made me realize once again what a great ferocious band Iron Maiden is in the live setting. The concert footage and documentary material deal with the band's history from their very beginnings in 1975 till the Piece Of Mind era circa 1983.

Disc 1 is all concert footage. It starts off with Live at the Rainbow from 1980 which features Paul Di'Anno as well as Adrian Smith who had just joined the band, this was right before their 2nd album Killers was to be recorded and released. The video has been around for years though very hard to find and now looks and sounds better than ever. For those of you who've never witnessed or heard the Di'Anno era live this is a must-have, while only about a 1/2 hour in length, the sheer power of the band in their early days will floor's funny seeing when Dave Murray was young, he was moving and banging his head all over the place while when I saw them live not long ago he just stood and smiled for 2 hours, not that there's anything wrong with that, he must be pushing 50!

The next two concerts, both about 45 minutes each are from the next two tours with their then new singer Bruce Dickinson. Beast Over Hammersmith was initially supposed to be released officially as a concert video but some poor lighting caused the band to scrap those plans. I could be wrong but I do not believe all the songs from that original show are here but the most important ones are, plus the audio sound is out of this world. Live At Dortmund recorded during the Piece of Mind tour featuring their then new drummer Nicko McBrain has quite a few tracks missing that supposedly were lost or destroyed and while it is an important document of the band's history, the audio quality wasn't as good as the other two previous concerts but they still pulled off the energy the other two possessed.

Disc 2 is chock full of everything you'll ever want to know about Iron Maiden. Starting with a 90 minute documentary called The Early Days, there's tons of interviews with current and many past members as well as more live footage and rare photos nevermind lots of info on the band that many are not aware of such as the fact that Paul Di'Anno is actually the band's third vocalist plus they went through countless numbers of guitarists and even a keyboard player before recording their first album. Some advice for you might want to select subtitle mode on your DVD player for the interviews. Some of the old members are interviewed for the documentary, besides a couple who let themselves go they all look like accountants or something. Another documentary about 20 minutes in length recorded in Britain in 1980 just after the band got signed is also of interest, and good for laughs with the cheezy 80s intro, the host, and early 80s headbangers with cardboard guitars and bad teeth. There's yet another concert, some homemade videotaped show called Live at the Ruskin which is around the time the first album came out and has the seldom seen Dennis Stratton who actually sounds way better singing backup here than he did on the first album...interesting to note Steve Harris says somewhere in the video that he doesn't like the first album so much because of the production. There's also some music performences from British and German TV shows, kind of like what we used to have here in the States with Solid Gold. All the band's music videos from this point of time are also presented, as well as tons of photos, Steve Harris' diary during their beginnings, and even all the tour only complaint is especially with the tour programs you'll need a large screen TV to read the written segments on the pages. There's a few easter eggs, when you go to main menu on the different sections on disc 2, press the down arrow button and it'll go to an icon of what looks like two crossed axes. Though I haven't heard or read any info regarding future releases of The History of Iron Maiden, I suspect Part II will probably have the long sought after Live After Death and maybe Maiden England finally on DVD.
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on December 14, 2004
I picked up Iron Maiden's new DVD, The Early Days - Part I about a month ago. It's a relatively enjoyable affair consisting of a brand new documentary, and some old archived live footage.

The live footage is interesting. It gives a glimpse into the past of Iron Maiden, and really highlights their changing styles in the early 80's. The shows are intense, and Maiden delivers some great performances. Unfortunately, as you might expect with such old footage, the audio quality is rather lacking. The video quality looks great, considering the age, but the audio has a lot to be desired. The mixes are very poor and unbalanced, which can make trying to listen to the concerts a little difficult.

The documentary is great. Clocking in around an hour and half, it actually seems too short. The majority of the time is spent on the very early years, before Maiden had a stable line-up or a record deal. It was interesting to hear about this era in Maiden's history, because it is so well documented here. There was definitely a lot of time put into this project, and the documentary features comments from a lot of people that have been connected to Iron Maiden over the years. The only notable absence is artist Derek Riggs, who appears only in the form of some old archival footage. Some of the speakers on the documentary include old band mates, current band mates, their manager, record executives, journalists, roadies, and more.

Unfortunately, even though the documentary covers the very early years quite, well, there's just not enough time devoted to Bruce's arrival and the subsequent albums. The amount of time Piece of Mind was discussed vs. Killers is drastically out of proportion, which is too bad. I'm assuming The Number of the Beast - Maiden's greatest selling album - was not discussed all that long because there is a DVD devoted exclusively to it. Either way, the documentary could have easily included another 30 minutes on the post-Paul era up to Piece of Mind.

The bonuses are OK, but not spectacular. It's nice the DVDs include promo videos from the era - but it was only a year ago that Maiden released Visions of the Beast, which contained their complete promo video history on 2 DVD's. I would have rather seen the space devoted to more documentary, and not something that I already purchased.

Overall, for the price you just can't go wrong. Even if the concert footage lacks a little in the audio department, it still makes up for it by just being Iron Maiden - you still get a great performance every time, it's just that it's not that easy to hear. The documentary is excellent, but a bit too short. This DVD is essential for any fan of Iron Maiden.
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on November 19, 2004
Boy, i am exhausted!

Last night i decided to view all of the material and it was almost overkill! No, i'm kidding.Could anyone have too much of Early Iron Maiden? I don't think so.

The boys did an excellent job of trying to restore audio and images from their jurassic and ominous past.But certainly you only can do so much with the source material.In the Rainbow concert there is a constant hizz throughout the show.And in the show at Ruskin Arms (recorded like a bootleg, with only one camera)the audio even colapses for a few seconds and goes to "mute" during After Life song.

But this material will nonetheless be aprecciated by fans of Iron Maiden from all over the world.And the documentaries on disc two are full of surprises and gives fully context about what it was like back then (early 80's) to listen to something so imaginative and complex as Iron Maiden music was.

The highlight of the documentals is The Early Days, shot recently with a vast array of colorful characters.12 Wasted Years is masterful insight but this is just plain profound and detailed stuff.You have more time and dialog to understand the most inner feelings of pretty much everyone involved at certain point with Iron (although Derek Riggs is sadly not here giving his opinions and recollections of the past.It is here only for a few seconds from footage of 12 Wasted Years).The recollections are vivid, candid and not overly self indulgent.

Bottom line: a treasure.The fact that there is plenty of material to come that - hopefully - will be given the same detailed approach it makes me drool in anxiety!
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on November 24, 2004
I got this atg a very low price at a local music store and boy is it great.

Here's what you get:

Live at the Rainbow(w/ Paul, not Bruce-1980)-

1.Ideas of March



4.Remember Tommorow


6.Phantom of the Opera(AWESOME)

7.Iron Maiden

Beat Over Hammersmith performance(W/ Bruce-1982)-

1.Murders in the Rue Morgue

2.Run to the Hills

3.Children of the Damned

4.Number of the Beast

5.22 Acacia Avenue

6.Total Eclipse

7.The Prisoner

8.Hallowed be thy Name

9.Iron Maiden

Live at Dortmund(w/Bruce-1983)-


2.The Trooper


4.Flight of Icarus

5.22 Acacia Avenue

6.Number of the Beast

7.Run to the Hills

Early Days-90 minute documentary on how Maiden started, very good and interesting.

TV Appearances:

2 performances of Running Free and a performance of WOMEN IN UNIFORM.

Live at the Ruskin(w/ Paul, 1980)-




4.Remember Tomorrow

5.Running Free


7.Another Life

8.Phantom of the Opera

9.Charlotte the Harlot

Video Promos-

1.Women in Uniform

2.Run to the Hills

3.Number of the Beast

4.Flight of Icarus

5.The Trooper

Sll in All, it's a great A DVD, and it's a must have for any fan of this amazing band.
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on December 12, 2005
Just to clear something up, people are saying you can get it cheaper... Sure but this is not the US version if you read the details close it says:

# Format: Import, Ntsc

# Studio: EMI Int'l

# DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004

The format is NTSC which will work in the US but ut is an Import. I am sure there is a little extra footage people are not able to get on the US version.

Hope this clears up the reason for the 45.00 price.
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on September 22, 2005
Whats here to type, ill be a liar, Maiden is the Greatest Heavy Metal Band ever after 25 yeras, i just wanna see how they did it, now i understand true power from beyond.

Up The Irons, where ever you are, here in Guatemala, we have a fan club of 65,000 members, how about that.
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on March 19, 2015
This is a great collection of Maidens early live concerts that were only previously available on VHS. Great to see them perform in the early 80's performing there early works. This DVD just brings me back Somewhere In Time!!!
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on May 14, 2005
When I heard this was out I was absolutely thrilled! I bought it last week and watched the whole thing (over 5 hours worth). The 90 minute documentary section is absolutely great, speaking with former Maiden members Paul Dianno, Clive Burr, Dennis Stratton, and a BUNCH of other guys you probably never knew were in the band before that! Other interviews are with guys like Martin Birch, who produced Maiden's best albums, Neal Kay, a DJ from London's East End who broke Maiden into the scene playing their records, and a ton of roadies, managers, fans & friends.

Along with all this great stuff is early concert footage from 1980 at The Ruskin Arms to the last show of the World Piece Tour at Dortmund. My favorite footage is Live At The Rainbow, Beast Over Hammersmith, and the Dortmund show.

If you're a Maiden fan this is a treasure trove of goodies! A note to those who maybe aren't a big fan of Maiden, you probably won't dig this like us Maiden freaks, but for us, the chosen few, it's great, great stuff!
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