|After nearly eleven years in the band, word was out: Bruce Dickinson was leaving Iron Maiden to pursue his solo career. But, before leaving he'd have one last hurrah: A world tour, with two live albums coming out afterwards. After the tour the albums did come out, which were titled A Real Live One and A Real Dead One. |
The first thing to discuss is the album cover (which was the A Real Live One cover originally). Without question Eddie has never looked this cool. Using blue on the band's logo instead of the usual red also gave it a boost.
The next issue is the tracklist. Overall, these were great song choices. This covers songs from 1980-1984. 6 tracks from Iron Maiden, 3 from The Number Of The Beast, 2 from Piece Of Mind and 1 from Powerslave. Sadly, those 6 tracks from Iron Maiden originally featured Paul Di'Anno on lead vocals, and Dickinson doesn't do a great job at them. His own tracks he seems to do fine on though.
Where it all implodes is production quality. You'll fast notice the sound quality in general is nowhere near as good as most Maiden releases. Why? To make things worse, the fading between songs was done poorly. You'll hear the audience screaming one second, and hear them screaming the next second, but they'll sound radically different because it's actually a whole different audience. Also, Dickinson's infamous "scream for me" line is present here, and after it he'll always say the name of the city being played in. And because this was recorded in several places it's NEVER CONSTANT! If you didn't read the insert you're gonna be confused there.
Because of the shortcomings I recommend this for die-hard Maiden fans only. If you get one of the two live CD Maiden albums with two full-length CDs get Rock In Rio. The sound quality is better as is the variety of material explored. Plus, Dickinson's voice sounds a lot better. The best live album is Live After Death, but it and Live After Donington only feature about 5 tracks on the second disc. So get Rock In Rio if you want two full length live CDs. If you don't mind an extra CD with only about 5 tracks then get Live After Death. If you decide to get this album, get it used. I almost guarantee your local used CD shop will have a few copies for a relatively low price. But, you're better off getting the other live albums.