Iron Maiden – Eddie’s Archive

The fact that Iron Maiden has been together for twenty-five years now is astounding. That’s older than half of the staff members here at Review to a Kill. Hell, the same year Iron Maiden formed, Jimmy Carter became president. Star Wars was released. Elvis died. Convicted murdered Gary Gilmore was executed in Utah… by a firing squad. 1977 was a long time ago folks, which explains why the track listing to this box set is longer than some of our reviews.

Eddie’s Archive is just that – a volume of collectibles to complete true Iron Maiden fans’ collections. From live performances to rare B-sides, this would truly be the icing on your Iron Maiden cake, whatever an “Iron Maiden cake” means.

This volume of recordings comes delivered in a limited edition silver Eddie casket. There’s also a crystal Eddie Head shot glass and a copy of the Iron Maiden family tree, printed on a parchment scroll and rolled up in an Eddie ring. Cool stuff, but not free stuff — with a $99 list price, these extras aren’t gifts. Still, the price is very reasonable for collectors, and the music alone is worth the price to collectors.

As I mentioned in my sister review for Edward the Great – The Greatest Hits, these two releases do not share any common recordings, despite the fact that they were both released on the same day. By looking at the contents and price tags, you can tell the two packages have two separate intended audiences. While the greatest hits package is great for new Iron Maiden fans, this box set is intended for the fan that has everything (or HAD everything), and wants more.

The six discs making up Eddie’s Archive are split into three, double disc packages. The first of which, entitled “BBC Archives,” includes music recorded “between 1979 and 1988 for the BBC’s Friday Rock Show.” The shows from 1979 and 1980 feature original vocalist Paul Di’Anno (who doesn’t appear at all on the greatest hits disc). The 1982 recordings document Bruce Dickinson’s arrival into the band, and the 1988 tracks from the Monsters of Rock Donington festival document the largest crowd ever played too. Not only are the tracks all classics, but the shows are symbolic as well.

The second two disc collection are the “Beast over Hammersmith” recordings, considered by many to be the “show that put Iron Maiden on the map”. I didn’t know that, but their press release says it did, and I’ll take their word for it. By listening to these two discs back to back, you can get somewhat of an idea what it was like to sit in the crowd and see one of the greatest metal bands of all time crank out perfection. This show covers most of their good material, and was released before Seventh Son of a Seventh Son came out so don’t look for those tracks here.

The third set of discs are titled “The Best of the B-Sides,” and contain a lot of rare, hard to find, and unreleased Maiden material. The liner notes with this set of CDs give a little background on each song, telling you the whens and wheres and what single or compilation it appeared on. All the B-sides are unique tracks that never appeared on albums, so if you never bought an Iron Maiden single, there’s a lot of material here for you to go through.

As I stated before, Eddie’s Archive is the ultimate collectable for Maiden fans. Hardcore and longtime fans who need to own “it all” should pick up this box set this Christmas. It’s a great collection that shows Iron Maiden off in it’s best light — live, on stage. It’s a lot of great material, but overkill for the average Joe. Casual fans or the uninitiated should probably stick to the greatest hits package.

CD One – BBC Archives
Disc One
Friday Rock Show Session 1979
01. Iron Maiden
02. Running Free
03. Transylvania
04. Sanctuary
Reading Festival 1982
01. Wrathchild
02. Run To The Hills
03. Children Of The Damned
04. The Number of The Beast
05. 22 Acacia Avenue
06. Transylvania
07. The Prisoner
08. Hallowed Be Thy Name
09. Phantom Of The Opera
10. Iron Maiden
Disc Two
Reading Festival 1980
01. Prowler
02. Remember Tomorrow
03. Killers
04. Running Free
05. Transylvania
06. Iron Maiden
Monsters Of Rock Festival Donington 1988
01. Moonchild
02. Wrathchild
03. Infinite Dreams
04. The Trooper
05. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
06. The Number Of The Beast
07. Hallowed Be Thy Name
08. Iron Maiden

CD Two – Beast over Hammersmith
Disc Three
01. Murders In The Rue Morgue
02. Wrathchild
03. Run To The Hills
04. Children Of The Damned
05. The Number of The Beast
06. Another Life
07. Killers
08. 22 Acacia Avenue
09. Total Eclipse
Disc Four
01. Transylvania
02. The Prisoner
03. Hallowed Be Thy Name
04. Phantom Of The Opera
05. Iron Maiden
06. Sanctuary
07. Drifter
08. Running Free
09. Prowler

CD Three – Best of the B-Sides
Disc Five
01. Burning Ambition
02. Drifter – Live
03. Invasion
04. Remember Tomorrow – Live
05. I’ve Got The Fire
06. Cross-Eyed Mary
07. Rainbow’s Gold
08. King Of Twilight
09. Reach Out
10. That Girl
11. Juanita
12. The Sheriff Of Huddersfield
13. Black Bart Blues
14. Prowler ’88
15. Charlotte The Harlot ’88
Disc Six
01. All In Your Mind
02. Kill Me Ce Soir
03. I’m a Mover
04. Communication Breakdown
05. Nodding Donkey Blues
06. Space Station No.5
07. I Can’t See My Feelings
08. Roll Over Vic Vella
09. Justice of The Peace
10. Judgement Day
11. My Generation
12. Doctor Doctor
13. Blood On The Worlds Hands- Live
14. The Aftermath-Live
15. Futureal – Live
16. Wasted Years ’99 – Live

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