Top positive review
Scream For Me, Dortmund!
on April 23, 2010
When Death On The Road came out, I ws very excited. When a band of Iron Maiden's age (or Rush's, for that matter) put out great new studio albums, a live album tends to follow. Back in the 80's I would have found this unnesessary. However, let's face it -- how many more Maiden tours will be there be? How many times will Maiden play "Passchendale" live? It may never happen, so a souvenir like this is important to me. Shame it didn't happen with the Matter Of Life And Death tour -- they played the whole album live, but no live album followed. (Except Flight 666 which was actually from the Somewhere Back In Time tour, but I digress.)
Anyway, what I'm getting at is: If you don't want it, don't buy it. If you love Maiden, and if they never play these songs again, then why miss out? New fans would be better off picking up Live After Death, Rock In Rio or Flight 666 for a better overview of the whole Maiden shebang. For fans, this is solid gold.
Death On The Road, recorded in Germany 2003, has a good mix of newer "reunion" era Maiden with the classics. Yes, I could probably go the rest of my life without ever hearing another version of "Run To The Hills" or "Running Free", but it's a double CD and you may as well get the whole setlist. If Maiden didn't play those songs live, there would be riots. The real treats here are the Dance Of Death material, particularly the title track and "Passchendale", an epic of epics. "Journeyman" is a brave choice to play live as well, and it shines.
Another treat is more Blaze Bayley era material. From the Ed Hunter reunion tour to 2003, Bruce has sung Blaze material live. On various singles and live albums, you can find Bruce doing "Futureal", "Man On The Edge", "The Clansman" and "Sign Of The Cross". The fans begged him to do more, so here we have "Lord Of The Flies". And man, do these Blaze songs sound awesome with Bruce's pipes. The only thing is there seems to be this awkward time change partway through the song. It just doesn't sound right to me. Still, with Maiden's career now heading into its twilight years, I think it very unlikely we will ever hear Blaze era songs live again. I'm glad to have live versions of these tunes with Bruce at the mic.
Production by Kevin "Caveman" Shirley and Steve Harris is fine, but a little bit more dull than the stellar Rock In Rio CD. Cover art is a bit cheesy and I'm not too much into the choice of colours. The booklet, as always, is loaded with awesome live shots.
The single from this live album was "The Trooper" (a ferocious storming version). As with all Maiden singles, it is worth picking up due to the non-album live B-sides. These were recorded in Iceland, and there are some surprises here in some obscure Paul Di'Anno songs. "Prowler", "Another Life", and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" were all released on various analog and digital formats. These are all from the Eddie Rips Up the World Tour. There was also a great, very rare alternate non-album live take of "The Trooper" available only by paid download. Good luck finding that now, but isn't that half the fun of collecting?
4 stars. Not a good setlist for beginners. For fans only. Enjoy.