Iron Maiden - Live After Death
© 2008 Iron Maiden Holdings
Released: February 5, 2008
'Live After Death' finally sees the light of day on the DVD format after being largely unavailable for over 2 decades now. This particular package actually includes 2 discs. The first is the 'Live After Death' presentation in its entirety. Disc 2 includes Bonus material including 'The History of Iron Maiden pt. 2' documentary as well as some old concert footage, etc.
Disc 1 Specifications
'Live After Death' - 4:3 video format - PCM Stereo - Dolby Surround 5.1 - Approximate Running Time: 90 Minutes
Disc 2 Specifications
'History of Iron Maiden pt. 2 - Live after Death - 16:9 Video Format - Approximate Running Time: 60 Minutes
'Behind the Iron Curtain' - Documentary - 4:3 Video Format - Approximate Running Time: 57 Minutes
'Rock in Rio '85' - Live Footage - 4:3 video format - Stereo - Approximate Running Time: 50 Minutes
'Ello Texas' - Running Time: 15 Minutes
Gallery - Photos, Videos, etc. - Approximate Running Time: 49 Minutes
This is the real meat and potatoes of this package. For most Maiden fans, this is the definitive live concert show that was packaged by the band back in 1985 from the 1984-1985 World Slavery Tour. For me, that tour was my first ever for seeing Iron Maiden. It definitely made a very large impression on me and about the time the original VHS version streeted of 'Live After Death', I absolutely had to have it. I remember watching it for the first time. The adrenalin of the show I saw all came back to me. I was not actually at the Long Beach shows, but caught the band in Las Vegas instead. Some of my favorite tracks were on this live recording. You have to remember, Maiden didn't have this huge catalog at this time. They were starting to build one, but compared to today you didn't have near as many.
As far as picture quality and sound, it's decent. Keep in mind we are dealing with source material that was shot back in the day on 35mm It is definitely better then what the VHS counterpart offered back in 1985 or so. It is still presented in a 4:3 film ratio. I had seen some concern over this as the preview videos that were found around the internet seemed to show a widescreen version which we know did not exist obviously. This would have meant that it would have been altered. Not the case. Their is a bit of film grain noticeable due to the age of the print, but overall, it looks quite decent. The sound is available in two formats, the original PCM Stereo version that was originally mastered by Martin Birch, and the new Surround 5.1 version that was remastered by Kevin Shirley. I did check out both and found both to be very good. The original Stereo version still packed some thump to it with. The only thing lacking slightly was Dickinson's vocals. They seemed a bit more quiet in this version of the audio. Really not bad overall for the purists who prefer it this way. The surround brought us some nice effect and separation. Vocals definitely stood out more on this particular track in my opinion.
This really is what you Maiden fans have been waiting for. I have been wanting this since early in the format, but hey, great things take time. It felt like going back to my more rebellious days. Had a very good time watching it again after all of these years.
For die-hard fans such as myself, we always appreciate all of the goodies we can get our hands on. Disc 2 does not disappoint. There is some very interesting and fun stuff to be had here. We'll break this down by each feature and give you the goods.
The History of Iron Maiden pt. 2
After the first part of the bands history came out in November of 2004, you know there had to be much more coming as the band have quite a history. The second part picks up after the end of the 'Piece of Mind' world tour and the start of the writing and recording process of 'Powerslave'. This portion of disc 2 is quite informative and quite fun. I had a blast listening to the interviews with the band members as well as seeing the support team that has been there for a very long time, such as Ross Halfin, Martin Birch, and quite a few other very familiar names around the Maiden camp. The World Slavery tour really is the bulk of this presentation with the actual live album on VHS and audio formats being mentioned much closer to the end. The funniest thing was the mention of 'Mission from 'Arry' on the interviews. Fans that have stayed close with the band will remember what that was all about, but it was fun to hear them talk about it again. This is about the only section from video standpoint that is in widescreen. Looks very good and is probably the best supplement of disc 2.
Behind the Iron Curtain
A combination documentary and concert that takes a look at the bands tour behind the Iron Curtain. This footage is some of the best on the second disc in terms of quality. It looks very good and sound isn't too far behind. It's hard to believe that it has been this long now since the band journeyed to these country's. I liked the sight seeing segments along with the various non concert footage that the blends in this program. The track lineup is fairly typical of what the band did on the 'World Slavery Tour' but is limited to seven songs. Very fun to watch.
Rock in Rio '85
This segment covers the bands first Rock in Rio performance. Fans are as far as the eye can see. This was one of the bands largest shows ever and it is nice to have it documented in this package. The quality of this presentation is okay. There are a few visual issues such as flutters and also the audio isn't the greatest, but this once again goes back to the source material. The band do well with what they have and I feel that due to the nature of this concert, it was necessary to include it in the package. It was interesting to see Bruce with the cut on his eye after having a collision with I believe to be Dave. Still very fun to watch and brings out why the band always loves to play Rio.
The shortest of the concert segments on the disc. This one clocks in around 15 minutes and showcases the band in San Antonio with some footage of the band at The Alamo. Another segment that I am glad the band included that does showcase a couple of songs live mixed with the other sight seeing type footage that has appeared in some of the other segments.
Gallery and Promotional Clips
This section was done quite well. You get 2 promotional videos with '2 Minutes to Midnight' and 'Aces High'. Although maybe not entire necessary due to other DVD's containing these already. it's still a nice touch. The galleries are pretty damn thorough. You get the Tour Programme gallery which takes an in depth look at the Programme. You actually can read quite a bit of this with the way the camera was used. The studio gallery shows the bands studio photos from the days of recording 'Powerslave'. I had seen some before. The artwork gallery was very cool. This is where you find all of the bands artwork from this era. The artwork was always important to me as a fan so I was happy to see this included. The Nuts and Bolts section gives the viewer a rundown of the bands equipment at the time. The last section was the On the Road gallery. Basic touring and show photos as one might expect.
With the length in time that it took this to come to retail, it was a very good idea to pack it with lots of extra goodies. This is exactly what the band did. This really makes this package more than worth the wait. I felt the program was very thorough and the more recent interview footage of the band looking back was fun to watch. Iron Maiden always seems to get it right on stuff like this. They know how sacred 'Live After Death' is to their fans and didn't want to have any short comings with this set. I really enjoyed watching it again after all of these years. I also enjoyed watching the bonus concert stuff that I had never seen before. Made me feel like it was over 2 decades earlier all over again. For those who have waited with anticipation, the wait is over and you're going to be plenty happy.