Iron Maiden - or their management, whatever - are shamelessly exploiting the fans. I have by now over 30 official Iron Maiden CDs and CD singles, and I haven't even really tried to keep up. To think that Iron Maiden have only actually recorded 11 studio albums, the last two of which I wouldn't even want to count on account of Blaze Bayley singing on them :-).

A few months ago, it was decided that a significant segment of the Iron Maiden catalogue would be re-issued in a remastered version. Not that any of the originals actually needed that, because they were of pretty good quality to begin with. I still lacked the "Live at Donington" double CD - one of the remastered titles - so now was my chance.

The CD has its good and its bad aspects. Bad are the production (probably done in Steve Harris' Barnyard studios, sounding rather dated and nothing like the seminal "Live After Death") and the fact that everybody and his sister has this album taped from radio (it was transmitted 'live' through BBC and also in Holland). Good is the front cover artwork (a lot better than the bland white original) and the 'CD enhanced option'. Especially this latter point is well designed, with lots of pictures and four full-length videos to watch. Actually pretty impressive. I understand that most re-issues have 'enhanced CD' options added, but no matter how cool these are it's not really a reason to go and run to the shop to get the remaster of "The Number of the Beast", for example.

For those among us who are, um, completionists, this CD has its merits. But especially with "A Real Live One" and "A Real Dead One" floating around, there is virtually nothing new on here. Superfluous to anyone but the most die-hard of fans.



Written October 1998


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