Live After Death

Last updated

Live After Death
Iron Maiden - Live After Death.jpg
Live album and video by
Released
  • 14 October 1985 (1985-10-14) (audio)
  • 23 October 1985 (video)
Recorded
  • 14–17 March 1985 (1985-03-14 1985-03-17) (sides 1–3)
  • 8–12 October 1984 (side 4)
Venue
Genre Heavy metal
Length
  • 102:03 (audio)
  • 90:00 (video, approx.)
Label EMI
Director Jim Yukich
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden live albums chronology
Live After Death
(1985)
A Real Live One
(1993)
Iron Maidenvideo 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)
Alternative cover
Iron Maiden - Live After Death DVD.jpg
2008 DVD reissue cover
Singles from Live After Death
  1. "Running Free"
    Released: 13 September 1985
  2. "Run to the Hills"
    Released: 2 December 1985

Live After Death is a live album by English 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 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.

Contents

The video version of the concert only contains footage from the Long Beach shows. It was initially released though Sony as a “Video LP” on VHS hi-fi stereo and Beta hi-fi stereo with 14 songs and no special features 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 documentary 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

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] Bassist Steve Harris has stated 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]

Recorded dates

According to Harris, while the video used footage from two nights at Long Beach, the audio version is only made up of one performance, although no exact dates are specified. [10] However, during "Running Free" on the audio version, vocalist Bruce Dickinson refers to it being the fourth concert at the venue, which should mean that the audio version was recorded on Sunday, 17 March. On the video version, after "2 Minutes to Midnight", Dickinson refers to it being "night number two" (Friday, 15 March), while on the documentary 12 Wasted Years , "The Trooper" and "The Number of the Beast" are said to have been recorded on Saturday, 16 March.

Cover art

The cover art, by Derek Riggs, pictures the band's mascot, Eddie, rising from a grave. Engraved on his tombstone is a misquote 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."

The original Lovecraft text reads

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

Also engraved on 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 depiction of Eddie follows continuity from previous artworks. His long hair is restored and he sports the metal screw cartouche from his Piece of Mind lobotomy, which is being struck by lightning. [13] He 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. This, said Riggs, was "not about anything really" and was added "to get people's attention". [13] To the cat's left is a tombstone engraved with "Here lies Derek Riggs". [13] Riggs also included gravestones that 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 (hence "in body only"), and a stone that simply reads "Thank You", representing the Grateful Dead. [13]

The sleeve was hung in the studio where Florence and the Machine recorded their debut album Lungs . "Some of the songs on my album are like gothic horror shows," said singer Florence Welch. "So, yeah, Iron Maiden massively influenced the album, quote-unquote!" [16]

The poster is shown on the episode of The Walking Dead, season 10 episode 22 "Here's Negan". It can be seen above Lucille and Negan's bed.

Intro

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. [17] (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, [18] Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, [19] Maiden England World Tour, [20] and the Legacy of the Beast World Tour. [21]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
About.com (DVD)Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [22]
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [11]
AllMusic (VHS)Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [23]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 8/10 [24]
Kerrang! 5/5 [25]
Kerrang! (DVD)5/5 [26]
PopMatters (DVD)9/10 [27]
Sputnikmusic 5.0/5 [12]
The Daily VaultA [28]

Live After Death has been highly rated by critics since its release; Kerrang! and Sputnikmusic both agree that it is "possibly the greatest live album of all time", [12] [26] while AllMusic describes it as "easily one of heavy metal's best live albums". [11]

Sputnikmusic argues that it is 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". [29]

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". [23] The bonus features included in the 2008 DVD reissue were also praised by PopMatters, Kerrang! and About.com . [22] [26] [27]

The album has also been described by Classic Rock as "the last great live album of the vinyl era." [30]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Steve Harris, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Churchill's Speech" (intro) Winston Churchill 1:09
2."Aces High" 4:07
3."2 Minutes to Midnight"5:52
4."The Trooper" 3:59
5."Revelations"Dickinson5:59
6."Flight of Icarus"
  • Smith
  • Dickinson
3:21
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Rime of the Ancient Mariner" 13:03
8."Powerslave"Dickinson7:06
9."The Number of the Beast" 4:48
Total length:49:24
Side three
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Hallowed Be Thy Name" 7:17
2."Iron Maiden" 4:11
3."Run to the Hills" 3:52
4."Running Free"
8:16
Side four
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Wrathchild" 2:54
6."22 Acacia Avenue"
  • Harris
  • Smith
6:04
7."Children of the Damned" 4:19
8."Die with Your Boots On"
  • Smith
  • Dickinson
  • Harris
4:51
9."Phantom of the Opera" 7:01
Total length:48:45
1995 reissue bonus disc
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)" (Hammersmith Odeon) 4:14
2."Sanctuary" (Long Beach Arena) Iron Maiden 4:40
3."Murders in the Rue Morgue" (Hammersmith Odeon) 4:32
Total length:13:26

Notes

Personnel

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album, [34] [32] VHS and DVD liner notes. [35] [36]

Iron Maiden

Production

Chart performance

Album

CountryChart (1985)Peak
position
Australia Kent Music Report 31 [37]
Netherlands MegaCharts 8 [38]
New Zealand RIANZ 16 [39]
Norway VG-lista 13 [40]
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 8 [41]
Switzerland Swiss Hitparade 26 [42]
United Kingdom Official Albums Chart 2 [43]
United States Billboard 200 19 [44]
CountryChart (1986)Peak
position
NetherlandsMegaCharts54 [38]
New ZealandRIANZ38 [39]
CountryChart (2005)Peak
position
NorwayVG-lista38 [40]
CountryChart (2008)Peak
position
NorwayVG-lista36 [40]
SwedenSverigetopplistan41 [41]
CountryChart (2009)Peak
position
Mexico Top 100 Mexico 67 [45]
CountryChart (2013)Peak
position
Finland The Official Finnish Charts 28 [46]
Germany Media Control Charts 93 [47]
NorwayVG-lista23 [40]
SwedenSverigetopplistan28 [41]

1985 VHS

CountryChart (1985)Peak
position
United States Billboard Charts 2 [48]

2008 DVD

CountryChart (2008)Peak
position
Australia ARIA Charts 1 [49]
Austria Ö3 Austria Top 40 3 [50]
Belgium (Flanders) Ultratop 2 [51]
Belgium (Wallonia) Ultratop 9 [52]
Denmark Tracklisten 1 [53]
Finland The Official Finnish Charts 1 [54]
France SNEP 1 [55]
Germany Media Control Charts 1 [55]
Hungary Mahasz 3 [56]
Italy FIMI 1 [55]
Ireland IRMA 2 [55]
New Zealand RIANZ 1 [55]
Netherlands MegaCharts 6 [57]
Norway VG-lista 1 [58]
Portugal AFP 2 [55]
Spain PROMUSICAE 1 [59]
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 1 [60]
Switzerland Swiss Hitparade 1 [61]
United Kingdom UK Music Video Charts 1 [62]
United StatesBillboard charts2 [63]

Singles

SingleChart (1985)Peak
position
"Running Free (Live)" Irish Singles Chart 12 [64]
UK Singles Chart 19 [65]
"Run to the Hills (Live)"Irish Singles Chart18 [64]
UK Singles Chart26 [66]
SingleChart (1990)Peak
position
"Running Free (Live) / Run to the Hills (Live)" UK Albums Chart [note 1] 9 [67]

Notes

  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

Audio
RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Austria (IFPI Austria) [68] Gold25,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [69] 2× Platinum200,000^
Germany (BVMI) [70] Gold250,000^
Sweden (GLF) [71] Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [72] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [73] Platinum1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

1985 VHS
RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [74] 2× Platinum20,000^
United States (RIAA) [75] Platinum100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

2008 DVD
RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF) [76] Platinum8,000^
Australia (ARIA) [77] Gold7,500^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat) [78] Gold6,831 [78]
Germany (BVMI) [79] Gold25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [80] Gold25,000^
United States (RIAA) [75] Platinum100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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