The album does not include new songs but instead re-recordings of songs from Bruce's first two solo-albums with his new band line-up. This line-up would record the next album, Skunkworks. The first CD was recorded live at Metropolis Studios, London, while the second CD is composed of live-recordings at the Marquee Club – of songs from the Tattooed Millionaire and Balls to Picasso albums – with his new band.
The idea was for a low-key release of these double albums, and, according to the booklet in the 2005 re-release, Bruce Dickinson was less than pleased when the record company tried to pass them off as new material. Alive In Studio A was originally meant as a live session to be played on a US radio station; however, this never took place.