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Here's where it all started - 88%

Metal_Thrasher90, April 25th, 2009

An excellent item for us the Maiden maniacs. At first conceived to be just a few live clips and a short 20 minute interview with the band about their recollections, but fortunately "The Early Years" was finally released including lots of material: Live and documentary stuff, TV appearances, extensive artwork, tour programmes, listings and photo galleries.

The DVD1 begins with the first feature lenght concert video by the band: "Live At the Rainbow", filmed in December 21st, 1980 (London). An excellent performance of the line-up Di Anno-Harris-Murray-Burr-Smith on their finest hour. It features classics like "Phantom Of The Opera", "Iron Maiden" and "Remember Tomorrow" on its probably best live version ever. Also includes on the set list an early version of "Killers" with different lyrics from the original. The second chapter is the unreleased to the date show at Hammersmith Odeon filmed March 20th, 1982, from the "Beast On The Road" tour. Featuring new legendary vocalist Bruce Dickinson, the live versions of "Run To The Hills", "The Prisoner" or "Total Eclipse" almost sound better than the original ones. So this part gives the chance to enjoy of classics from "The Number Of The Beast" album specially, unfortunately major technical and lighting problems caused the end product to be unusable, so only the best parts are included here. But anyway, it's a great opportunity to see the Dickinson-Harris-Murray-Smith-Burr line-up doing their thing. And the last part of DVD1 is the show filmed December 18th, 1983 at the end of the "World Piece Tour" in Dortmunt. The Metal bill included giants such as Judas Priest, Scorpions and Ozzy Osbourne, who did a great show too. Unfortunately the sound quality is definitively the worst of the 3 concerts featured on this DVD. It affects the final result a bit, but anyway, "The Trooper", "Flight Of Icarus" and "Revelations" from "Piece Of Mind" sound even better than on the "Live After Death" versions.

DVD2 includes the excellent documentary "Early Days" (fortunately subtitled, thank God!). One of the best ever done, Iron Maiden haven't been captured that way before. Lots of stories, experiences and comments by every member of the band from 1975 to 1983, and also by all those people behind the stage who made it possible (love the 14th chapter: "Am I satanist? ...No!", Steve made it clear). The Ruskin Arms concert from April '80 is a good extra but unfortunately the audio and visual quality, typical of bootlegs, affects notably the final result.

So in conclusion, this DVD is essential for any Maiden fan, and one of the best visual compilations ever done. Do you need more reasons to get it?