Great Metal Albums of 1985: Iron Maiden- Live After Death


History has shown that 1985 was a damn good year for live albums. There was The Scorpions’ “World Wide Live” album as well as Molly Hatchet’s “Double Trouble Live” both considered to be two of the best all time live albums. Plus there were cool live albums from Hanoi Rocks and Venom to boot. Then when you might have thought that 1985 had enough great live albums, as the year was coming to an end, Iron Maiden come out with their “Live After Death” album and this just happens to be my favourite live album of all time.

This was the tour I first saw Iron Maiden live, having seen them in January of 1985. Twisted Sister was the opening act so you can imagine what a great night that was for me!  What “Live After Death” also did for me was to get me off my ass and start procuring their studio albums. Having seen them live, I still hadn’t done that, I know, shame on me, so this was also the first Iron Maiden album I bought. Actually, I didn’t buy it, my sister got it for me as a Christmas present, very nice of her don’t you think?

One piece of wisdom I can pass onto anyone who is looking to experience the Great Maiden, is that this album is a fantastic place to start. After all, it has all the great Iron Maiden classics played so wonderfully live. Great tracks and I’ll just name my faves here, like “Run to the Hills,” “The Trooper,” “Aces High,” I’ve always loved how that one followed on from Churchill’s WW2 speech, and “The Flight of Icarus” just to name a few. Furthermore, like I wrote in “Rock and Roll Children,” even the thirteen minute long “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” doesn’t get boring as Maiden blow your ears off with their great metal assault. This album was is still so fantastic, even after 34 years, there’s little more I can say here.

If I were to nitpick and the military used to say, “There’s always room from improvement” and that was it would have been cool if the album included an address to the American audiences from Bruce Dickinson. While on the “World Slavery Tour,” and this is also mentioned in “Rock and Roll Children,” Bruce informed every venue in America that Iron Maiden were not Satan worshipers. While, I thought this was amusing when I saw them, it was a shame that the band felt they needed to do this. But that was the hold the religious right had on America at the time. Still, even that small omission doesn’t detract from the fact that “Live After Death” is a stupendous live album. If the situation had been reversed and I heard this album before I had seen them live, I would have moved heaven and earth to go to see them the next time the played live.

Credit where due on another point from Maiden here. While the majority of the album was recorded from shows in Long Beach, California, they didn’t forget their British fans and include five tracks from their Hammersmith shows. When I eventually got to England, I got to fully appreciate what “22 Acacia Avenue” was truly about, thus adding further appreciation to the song.

Track Listing:

  1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech
  2. Aces Hight
  3. Two Minutes to Midnight
  4. The Trooper
  5. Revelatations
  6. The Flight of Icarus
  7. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  8. Powerslave
  9. Number of the Beast
  10. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  11. Iron Maiden
  12. Run to the Hills
  13. Running Free

Recorded from the Hammersmith Shows

  1. Wrathchild
  2. 22 Acacia Avenue
  3. Children of the Damned
  4. Die With Your Boots On
  5. Phantom of the Opera

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- lead vocals

Steve Harris- bass, backing vocals

Adrian Smith- guitar, backing vocals

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

Not much more I can say here, this is just one magnificent live album and it’s what has made me an Iron Maiden fan for three and a half decades.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Come Out and Play

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17 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Iron Maiden- Live After Death”

  1. Great live album. I wonder if Bruce had to tell the Canadian audiences that he loves hockey and maple syrup.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely one of my top 10 live of all time. And I agree about a fantastic place to start. This was my first Maiden LP after Piece of Mind so I knew the live versions better!

    Liked by 2 people

    Well,​ this is my second all-time favorite Live Album so that pretty much sums that up!
    Maiden delivered on all fronts music and packaging. Simply the best at what they do and went that extra mile for the fan on this album!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m awfy fond of this one. One of only two Maiden albums I own on vinyl (courtesy of our pal HMO) and, while I’m not often one to reach for live albums, I do reach for this fairly often.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An all-time classic for me. Worth it on vinyl for the cover and inserts alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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