Live After Death

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Live After Death
Live album & video by Iron Maiden
Released 14 October 1985 (audio)
23 October 1985 (VHS/Betamax)
4 February 2008 (DVD)
Recorded 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984, and 14–17 March 1985
Genre Heavy metal
Length 1:42:01 (LP), 1:11:57 (CD)
Label EMI
Iron Maiden live albums chronology
Live After Death
(1985)
A Real Live One
(1993)
Iron Maiden video chronology
Behind the Iron Curtain
(1984)
Live After Death
(1985)
12 Wasted Years
(1986)

Death on the Road
(2006)

Live After Death
(2008)

Iron Maiden: Flight 666
(2009)
Singles from Live After Death
  1. "Running Free (live)"
    Released: 13 September 1985
  2. "Run to the Hills (live)"
    Released: 2 December 1985
Alternative cover
2008 DVD reissue cover

Live After Death is a live album and video by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, originally released in October 1985 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the US (it was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 2002 on CD and by by Universal Music Group/Sony BMG Music Entertainment on DVD). It was recorded at Long Beach Arena, California and Hammersmith Odeon, London during the band's World Slavery Tour.

The video version of the concert only contains footage from the Long Beach shows and was reissued on DVD on 4 February 2008, which coincided with the start of the band's Somewhere Back In Time World Tour.[1] In addition to the complete concert, the DVD features Part 2 of "The History of Iron Maiden" DVD series, which began with 2004's The Early Days and continued with 2013's Maiden England '88, documenting the recording of the Powerslave album and the following World Slavery Tour.

Background[edit]

Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour began in Warsaw, Poland on 9 August 1984[2] and lasted 331 days,[3] during which 187 concerts were performed[4] To tie in with their 1984 album, Powerslave,[5] the tour's stage show adhered to an ancient Egyptian theme, which was decorated with sarcophagi and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and mummified representations of the band's mascot, Eddie, in addition to numerous pyrotechnic effects.[6] The theatricality of the stage show meant that it would become one of the band's most acclaimed tours, making it the perfect backdrop to their first live double album and concert video.[7]

For the Live After Death video, the band hired director Jim Yukich to film two shows of their four night run at Long Beach Arena, California from 14 to 17 March 1985.[7][8] The double LP release was also recorded at Long Beach, although side four contains additional tracks, recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, London on 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984.[9] According to bassist Steve Harris, while the video used footage from two nights at Long Beach, the audio version is only made up of one performance.[10] Harris also says that, even if they had had the time, they would not have added any studio overdubbing to the soundtrack, stating that "we were really anti all that, anyway. We were very much, like, 'This has got to be totally live,' you know?"[10]

Since its release, the album has received consistent critical praise, with reviewers remarking that it is one of the genre's best live albums.[11][12] For the band, the record's release was extremely advantageous as it meant they could delay the recording of their follow up studio album, 1986's Somewhere in Time. This time off following the World Slavery Tour was extremely beneficial for the band, who desperately needed to recuperate following the tour's heavy schedule.[8]

Cover art[edit]

The cover art was done by Derek Riggs, and pictures the band's mascot, Eddie, rising from a grave. Engraved on his tombstone is a quote from fantasy and horror fiction author H. P. Lovecraft's The Nameless City:[13]

"That is not dead which can eternal lie
Yet with strange aeons even death may die."

Also engraved onto the headstone is what appears to be Eddie's full name, "Edward T H--", the remainder of which (his supposed surname, "Head") is obscured by a clump of sod.

The cover's depiction of Eddie follows the continuity from previous artworks; he sports the metal screw cartouche from his Piece of Mind lobotomy, which is being struck by lightning,[13] and is also bound by metal cuffs connected by an electrical surge, as seen in Powerslave tour promotional artwork.[14]

The back cover depicts the rest of the graveyard and a city being destroyed by lightning, which Riggs states was inspired by John Martin's painting, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.[13] Death appears in the clouds above the destroyed city; the character is a regular feature of Riggs' covers (such as "Twilight Zone", "The Trooper", Powerslave and Somewhere in Time).[15] Near Eddie's grave is a black cat with a halo, which also features in the Somewhere in Time and "Twilight Zone" artworks, which Riggs states was "not about anything really" and was added "to get people's attention".[13] To the cat's left, there is a tombstone engraved with "Here lies Derek Riggs".[13] Riggs also included gravestones which state "Live With Pride", added at the band's request to show opposition to lip-synched performances, "Here Lies Faust In Body Only", the German legend who sold his soul to the Devil (hense "in body only"), and a stone which simply reads "Thank You", representing the Grateful Dead.[13]

Intro[edit]

The intro before "Aces High" is a part of the We shall fight on the beaches speech made by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on 4 June 1940.[16] (Churchill re-recorded the speech – the original speech in the House of Commons was not recorded.):

"... We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender ..."

It was later used for their Ed Hunter Tour,[17] Somewhere Back in Time World Tour,[18] and Maiden England World Tour.[19]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com (DVD) 4.5/5 stars[20]
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[11]
AllMusic (VHS) 4.5/5 stars[21]
Kerrang! 5/5[22]
Kerrang! (DVD) 5/5[23]
PopMatters favourable[24]
PopMatters (DVD) 9/10[25]
Sputnikmusic 5.0/5[12]

Live After Death has been highly rated by critics since its release; Kerrang! and Sputnikmusic both agree that it as "possibly the greatest live album of all time",[23][12] while AllMusic describes it as "easily one of heavy metal's best live albums".[11]

Sputnikmusic argue it as the band's best live album, concluding that "Iron Maiden's 1985 release has everything you could ask for. With, exciting renditions of classic songs, and brilliant performances, Live After Death is quite a fun listen."[12] PopMatters describes it as "a searing, 102-minute collection of Maiden at [their] peak... an absolute treasure for fans [which] went on to be universally regarded as an instant classic in the genre".[24]

The album's video counterpart received similar critical acclaim, with AllMusic stating that "Live After Death is a visual pleasure as much as a sonic one. The elaborate staging and lighting effects are excellent. The editing is superb as well [with] very few rapid-fire, seizure-inducing camera cuts".[21] The bonus features included in the 2008 DVD reissue were also praised by Popmatters, Kerrang! and About.com.[20][23][25]

Track listing[edit]

The first 13 tracks (12 songs and the intro) of the audio release were recorded at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on 14–17 March 1985. The last 5 songs were recorded earlier on the same tour, at the Hammersmith Odeon (now known as the Hammersmith Apollo) in London on 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984. On the original double LP version, the songs from Long Beach are on the first three sides, whereas the songs recorded in London ("Wrathchild", "Children of the Damned", "22 Acacia Avenue", "Die With Your Boots On" and "Phantom of the Opera") were on side four.

The initial CD version (released in December 1985) featured the first three sides of the LP version; the fourth side wasn't included due to capacity problems. Also, "Running Free" is shortened from 8:43 on vinyl to 3:16 on the CD by eliminating the crowd interaction and the intro and first song, "Aces High," are included in the same track. The 1998 remastered re-release has the unedited version as well as a second CD with the missing tracks from the fourth side of the original LP. The 1995 re-release (which wasn't remastered) also has an extra CD, but which instead contained the b-sides from the Live After Death singles releases.

The Live After Death video was also recorded at Long Beach Arena, but on different nights.[26] It contains the entire gig, complete with intro and encore, and closes with "Sanctuary", which is absent from the original LP, CD and remastered CD.

CD/LP track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted. 

Sides 1–3/CD 1 – Recorded at Long Beach Arena, Los Angeles: 14–17 March 1985
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Intro: Churchill's Speech"   Winston Churchill 0:49
2. "Aces High" (from Powerslave, 1984)   4:39
3. "2 Minutes to Midnight" (from Powerslave, 1984) Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson 6:03
4. "The Trooper" (from Piece of Mind, 1983)   4:31
5. "Revelations" (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Dickinson 6:11
6. "Flight of Icarus" (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson 3:27
7. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (from Powerslave, 1984)   13:18
8. "Powerslave" (from Powerslave, 1984) Dickinson 7:13
9. "The Number of the Beast" (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)   4:53
10. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)   7:21
11. "Iron Maiden" (from Iron Maiden, 1980)   4:20
12. "Run to the Hills" (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)   3:54
13. "Running Free" (from Iron Maiden, 1980) Harris, Paul Di'Anno 8:43
Side 4/CD 2 (1998) – Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, London: 8–12 October 1984
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wrathchild" (from Killers, 1981)   3:07
2. "22 Acacia Avenue" (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) Harris, Smith 6:19
3. "Children of the Damned" (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)   4:37
4. "Die with Your Boots On" (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson, Harris 5:13
5. "Phantom of the Opera" (from Iron Maiden, 1980)   7:23
Bonus CD (1995 release) [I]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)" (from Powerslave, 1984, recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, October 1984)   4:14
2. "Sanctuary" (from Iron Maiden, 1980, recorded at Long Beach Arena, 17 March 1985) Harris, Dave Murray, Di'Anno 4:40
3. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (from Killers, 1981, recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, 12 October 1984)   4:32

^ I Iron Maiden's entire discography from their self-titled debut album to 1992's Fear of the Dark was re-released as limited editions with a bonus CD in 1995.

VHS track listing[edit]

  1. "Intro: Churchill Speech"
  2. "Aces High" (Harris)
  3. "2 Minutes to Midnight" (Smith, Dickinson)
  4. "The Trooper" (Harris)
  5. "Revelations" (Dickinson)
  6. "Flight of Icarus" (Smith, Dickinson)
  7. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Harris)
  8. "Powerslave" (Dickinson)
  9. "The Number of the Beast" (Harris)
  10. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Harris)
  11. "Iron Maiden" (Harris)
  12. "Run to the Hills" (Harris)
  13. "Running Free" (Harris, Di'Anno)
  14. "Sanctuary" (Iron Maiden)

DVD track listing[edit]

  1. "Churchill Speech"/"Aces High" (Harris)
  2. "2 Minutes to Midnight" (Smith, Dickinson)
  3. "The Trooper" (Harris)
  4. "Revelations" (Dickinson)
  5. "Flight of Icarus" (Smith, Dickinson)
  6. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Harris)
  7. "Powerslave" (Dickinson)
  8. "The Number of the Beast" (Harris)
  9. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Harris)
  10. "Iron Maiden" (Harris)
  11. "Run to the Hills" (Harris)
  12. "Running Free" (Harris, Di'Anno)
  13. "Sanctuary" (Harris, Murray, Di'Anno)

DVD disc 2[edit]

  1. "History of Iron Maiden – Part 2 – Live After Death" (60 mins)
  2. Behind the Iron Curtain (57 mins approx)
    • Shot during Maiden's historic tour of Poland and other parts to the Eastern Bloc in 1984 featuring interviews, live and offstage footage capturing the atmosphere of this remarkable journey behind the Wall at the height of the Cold War.
  3. Rock in Rio '85 (50 mins approx)
    • Highlights from the band's set supporting Queen on the first day of the first Rock in Rio in front of 350,000 people.
  4. 'Ello Texas (15 minutes)
    • Interview and live performance. Caught by a film crew in 1983 at the Alamo and sound checking their show in San Antonio.
  5. Artwork Gallery, Tour Programme, Tour dates and photo gallery
  6. Promotional clips for "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight."

Personnel[edit]

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album,[27][28] VHS and DVD liner notes.[29][30]

Iron Maiden
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Singles[edit]

Single Chart (1985) Peak
position
"Running Free (Live)" Irish Singles Chart 12[57]
UK Singles Chart 19[58]
"Run to the Hills (Live)" Irish Singles Chart 18[57]
UK Singles Chart 26[59]
Single Chart (1990) Peak
position
"Running Free (Live) / Run to the Hills (Live)" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 9[60]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Re-release of both singles as part of "The First Ten Years" box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.

Certifications[edit]

Audio
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[61] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[62] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[63] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[65] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

1985 VHS
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[66] 2× Platinum 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[67] Platinum 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

2008 DVD
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[68] Platinum 8,000x
Australia (ARIA)[69] Gold 17,500^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[70] Gold 6,831[70]
Germany (BVMI)[71] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[72] Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[67] Platinum 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lane, Daniel (7 September 2007). "Iron Maiden Tour Plans". Metal Hammer. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 128. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  3. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 253. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  4. ^ "The History of Iron Maiden part 3". Maiden England '88 (DVD). EMI. 25 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 129. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  6. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 254. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  7. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 255. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  8. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 256. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  9. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 130. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  10. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 257. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
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  70. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
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