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A Real Live One fits its name perfectly. It contains material from their latest release at the time (Fear of the Dark) until Somewhere in Time. This seems odd because they didn’t include songs from 5 of their previous releases which included some of their most popular songs; “The Number of the Beast”, “The Trooper”, “Run to the Hills”, “Killers”, “2 Minutes to Midnight”, among others. Also, 5 of the 11 songs are from their latest release, Fear of the Dark. I can understand that they were trying to promote their new album, but did they have to include all of those songs on a live album? You might as well have just bought the Fear of the Dark album. The other 6 songs that were included were everything they should've been. It includes some various songs from three of their previous three albums. The only song I felt that was oddly placed on this album was “Bring your daughter... To the slaughter.” As far as I know it was never considered a single, or given any other recognition.
To be honest, the first time I listened it was another live album. After several times listening to the album I began to take a liking to the album. There are bands that are great in studio and can make some impressive releases, but once they perform live it's like 5 guys who've never played an instrument in their life are the performers. If you've listened to any of Maiden’s previous live albums you would know that is not the case. The main reason I tend to stay away from live albums is the bands usually never sound as good live as they do in studio. I am extremely surprised with every single member of the band's performance. They were always in step with the other band members; there weren't competitions between Dave Murray, and Janick Gers. They did their shit and that is what makes for a non-sloppy live performance. Bruce's vocals were on pitch the entire song. His voice did not crack, no breaths in the microphone, only perfection. They could record an album with $20 and still make Bruce's vocals sound as good as they do now. Maiden wouldn't be anywhere without him.
Another problem with many live albums is the band gets lazy, and records one gig, and edit out everything but the music. A Real Live One was refreshing. They recorded this album from many different locations on their European tour. This is very good because they can be sure to pick out the best performance for each song which ensures you're getting the best that you can get. Beyond that, Iron Maiden makes this album truly feel like a live album. They have a vocal introduction for almost every song. Bruce even display's that he can speak French at the end of "Can I play with madness", which introduces "Wasting Love". The only annoying part about the album is Nicko McBrain starting the band out every song with 4 hits to a symbol on his drum set. I know that doing such is necessary in order for each band member to know when to come in. However, this could've been easily edited out. It's nothing that really hurts the album overall, just a slight disturbance.
Of course, leave it to Maiden to put the crowd in frenzy. Every song, with the exception of Wasting Love, the crowd sings along at the chorus lines, so much so in some song that it almost drowns out Bruce's vocals. In songs like "Bring your Daughter... To the Slaughter", and "Fear of the Dark" the crowd doesn't just sing along with the chorus lines, but with the intro guitar riffs. Performance wise, this is my favorite live album. Not just from Iron Maiden, but from any band. However, the choice of songs was a little weak, but not terrible. They should've included songs from more than just 4 albums. Either way, it's worth the money if you come across it in a used record store.