Iron Maiden - The Early Days Part 1
Another way to steal cash from the fans? No, not this time, this is well spent money. The first part of The Early Days series contains no less than four concerts and an in-depth documentary from the first years in the Iron Maiden history. Maiden might be pushing out releases of various formats, but they always gives you value for what you are paying for, so even this time.
The four concerts are historical pieces and perhaps not something that everyone enjoys, but for a Maiden fan like myself, this is like Christmas. And it is great to see the energy that Paul Di'anno had on stage in the Live At The Rainbow concert from 1981, as well how amazing Bruce Dickinson was right from the start in this band on the Beast Over Hammersmith from 1982. And how the stage was starting to get bigger in Live In Dortmund from 1983 as part of the World Piece Tour with the historical moment where Eddie was killed on stage. But unfortunately we don't get to see this since it was ruled too violent for German television and they were the only ones that had this concert saved for the afterworld. It is amazing how good it sounds considering the years passed since recorded and the picture quality is also considerably good, even if it partly tends to be of VHS character, and the stage lightning on Beast Over Hammersmith made that concert a bit too dark and gloomy. Live At The Ruskin could have been better though, regarding both sound and picture, but what the hell - you get Iron Maiden in the really early days, and you can't demand that much quality from home movie footage from 1980.
If you have seen 12 Wasted Years and read the biography there isn't really that much that you didn't know but still it very fascinating 90 minutes you get with the documentary. It features interviews with all of the past members, even those that were in the band before the line-up that recorded the debut album, and also lots of people around Maiden that has been involved in the band in some way. It brings you from the start, with Steve Harris forming the band, on to the end of Piece Of Mind, and it is supposed to pick up with Powerslave when part II of The Early Days is released, whenever that will be? We also learn the important role of Steve Harris, who's diary notes we also get to look at, and with which determination and passion he drove Maiden forward, and let's not forget the strategic visions from Rod Smallwood that also played a major part to get Iron Maiden where they are today. This is a very well produced documentary and a great way to learn about one of the most important bands in metal history.
But the concerts and the documentary are not all you get, there is also the videos from that era, another short TV documentary from 1981, other television appearances, discography, photo and artwork galleries and some hidden Easter eggs. So do I really have to point out that this is a must for the Maiden fan and everyone with the slightest interest in this band?