It was recorded at the NEC in Birmingham, England on 27 and 28 November 1988, released on VHS in November 1989, followed by a limited VHS/CD edition in 1994. The CD in this package does not include two songs that are in the video ("Can I Play with Madness" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name"), due to space limitations. In 2013, the full concert footage, including encores which were not featured in the original VHS, was reissued on DVD, CD and LP under the new title, Maiden England '88.
After sitting in on the editing process of their music videos, and having been less involved in their previous concert video, Live After Death, the band's bassist, Steve Harris, decided that he would direct and edit their next film. According to Harris, the band decided to document the Birmingham concerts because he "wanted to film with 10 cameras so we needed to do it in a place where that amount of equipment wouldn't get in the way of the paying punters." This narrowed the band's options down to the NEC and Wembley Arena, but eventually chose the former as they were more "amenable about the idea". According to manager Rod Smallwood, Harris' briefing to the camera crew was to try and film "as the fans saw it", with Harris arguing that this would be a good way to capture the concert's atmosphere.
So that he could edit the video at his own pace, Harris bought all of the necessary equipment himself and installed it at his home in Essex, where he worked on the film for six months. Although they occasionally visited Harris to check on his progress, the rest of the band were largely uninvolved in the project, although, at his insistence, a piece of footage showing guitarist Dave Murray mouthing the lyrics to the opening song was removed.
A DVD re-issue of the concert film was first mentioned by Iron Maiden in September 2007, with a release date set for 2008, but was later delayed. In an interview with German magazine Rock Hard in August 2012, Harris confirmed that Maiden England will be re-released in 2013, with the concert footage expanded to comprise the show's encores which were not included in the original VHS. On 12 February 2013, Iron Maiden announced that Maiden England would be re-released on DVD, CD and picture disc on 25 March 2013 under the title Maiden England '88. Along with the aforementioned encores, the new video also includes the third part of the "History of Iron Maiden" documentary series (continuing from 2004's The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days and 2008's Live After Death re-issue) as well as promo videos and the 1987 documentary 12 Wasted Years.
From 2012 to 2014, Iron Maiden undertook the Maiden England World Tour, which is largely based around the original video in setlist and stage design.
AllMusic gave the original VHS 4 out of 5, deeming it "a strong effort", but also stating that it is "risky... because it doesn't rely on hits" and that it "doesn't have the seminal power of [their] own extraordinary Live After Death from four years earlier". They also gave four marks to the 2013 reissue, arguing that the additional songs "help to turn the live set into a more well-rounded listening experience", concluding that it is "a solid concert that shows one of the most influential bands in heavy metal getting down to business and bringing some epic metal to an enthralled crowd".
Classic Rock gave the 2013 DVD a score of 8 out of 10, remarking that the concert footage is "a succinct encapsulation of how great Maiden are when all the gears mesh together", concluding that "when it comes to creating a fan-pleasing effort, no one does it with quite the same degree of thought as Maiden."
^ abcdefJohnson, Howard (1989). "Steve Harris' Exercise Video". Kerrang! Metal Madness (16): 4–9.
^ abLawson, Dom (April 2013). "Infinite Dreams". Metal Hammer (242): 40–54.
^"Iron Maiden World Tour 08". Ironmaiden.com. Retrieved 28 September 2011. "To tie in with forthcoming 2008 releases on DVD of the classic Live After Death and Maiden England concert videos (more details coming soon) this tour..."
^Jaedike, Jan (1 September 2012). "Steve Harris: Es Geht Voran". Rock Hard (in German) 304: 16–21.