there was a time when i was completely despising all live recordings. i thought, why listen to a band play live from record when i could just as well go and really watch them live? this opinion started to morph quite a bit in the bygone year of 2017. i started to buy some live recordings from bands i really hold dear to my heart. converge or between the buried and me to name a few. still i won't buy every new live recording coming out, i prefer the visuals in addition but there are a few exceptions.
one exception is definitely the first official live album by iron maiden, called "live after death". i didn't know much about this sucker but when i saw this copy in the maiden bin at blitz records in kiel, i felt propelled to buy it. i had already bagged the self-titled one of the previous post and had actually burnt all of my monthly budget but the fantastic condition of this copy was too good of a deal to say no. the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
"live after death" was recorded on the band's massive "world slavery tour" supporting their 1984 output "powerslave". the tour lasted for almost one year and unbelievable 189 gigs. it was the biggest stage show the band performed to this date and they were one of the first big metal acts to take such an enormous stage show on tour through eastern bloc countries. the first three sides of this double vinyl release were recorded during their four shows run at the long beach arena in long beach, california and side four was recorded during another four nights run at the hammersmith odeon, london.
after i took my copy home and wnated to spin it for the first time, i made an odd discovery. i pulled the records out in search for record one. strangely i found on one record a number written in black ball pen. on the flip side another number. when i inspected the other record i recognised that it had the same centre label. two records with labels for side three and side four. at first i panicked in fear of owning two equal records.
when i listened to them i was relieved to find that all the right songs were on the records, just the wrong centre labels on record one. that's why the pre-owner wrote the ball pen numbers on the labels, to distinguish between the different sides. must have been a mix up by the pressing plant. wonder if there is a complete pressing with this flaw or just a few copies (or even one copy) with the wrong centre labels mixed among the right ones. apart from that i just love the whole layout of this record. fantastic cover art, tons of live pictures and a nice booklet with further information. great record. emi records. 1985.
post scriptum: in search for more information about the tour, i came across the fact that one of the long beach shows was recorded on film. i don't know if it was broadcasted on television or if it was especially recorded for a vhs release. in any case, emi re-released the vhs material on dvd in 2008. the complete show on disc one and tons of extras, such as a full lenght documetary about the tour, on a second disc. had to have it!