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Review: Iron Maiden - The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days
Iron Maiden
The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days

Label: EMI
Year released: 2004
Duration: 315 min.

Rating: 5/5

Review online: January 1, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days

Rated 4.8/5 (96%) (30 Votes)

Now that's the stuff. This first DVD covers the history of Iron Maiden from the beginning up to 1984, just before the release of "Powerslave". Considering that's there's over 5 hours of material here, there's a lot of territory that's covered. The first DVD contains three shows: Live at the Rainbow in 1981 (with Di'Anno on vocals), Live at Hammersmith in 1982 (Dickinson on vocals) and the show that closed their Piece of Mind world tour in Dortmund in 1983. That's about two hours of live material right there,. Sorry for the Di'Anno diehards, but as soon as one sees Dickinson hit the stage, it's obvious that Di'Anno looks more like he's constipated than he's performing for a metal band (he's still good though - he just pales in comparison to Bruce - you know it's true. ;)) The picture quality is very good, no doubt there was some restoration involved.

The second DVD is where things get really interesting. There's a 90 minutes documentary that covers the band's history from the beginnings to 1984, with various band members, producers, management and record company employees of that era recounting their experiences, anecdotes, etc... That's a 90 minutes that flies by pretty quick. This is where one can really appreciate the fact that the band's history is being released over a series of DVDs, because there's no way they could have recounted the band's rich history in such details with just one DVD. There's also a 25 min. documentary from the British TV show "20th Century Box" from 1980 that's quite interesting as well.

There are quite a few extras here, as if the feature material wasn't enough: Appearances on Top of the Pops, Rock and Pop (German TV show), five promo videos that were released during the period covered, tons of photos and images, and also the full tour listings and programmes (many of which are next to impossible to read on screen, unfortunately), and the discography (again, limited to the period covered). One more live show, Live at the Ruskin Arms in 1980 (with Di'Anno), is supposedly the oldest live show they found on tape. It's actually a home video and is pretty damn clear considering the age and the means used to film it.

It would be difficult to give more value to a 2-DVD set. This is simply loaded and is a must-have gem for even occasional fans of the band. I'm already looking forward to Part 2.

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