Posts Tagged ‘Iron Maiden’

KISS pumpkin

(Read the 2010 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10)

My favorite time of year is here again…..Halloween!

A couple of years ago, I did the 2007 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10. What I was trying to do was pick out some songs that were creepy, spooky and fit into the Halloween mood. Of course I left out a few obvious ones for my own personal picks. Last year I forgot to do one and I got a ton of email to do one for Halloween 2009 so I went through my collection again. I tried not to repeat any songs from the 2007 list, with one obvious exception, so here’s this year’s list (in no particular order except #1)…..

  1. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’
  2. Helloween – ‘Halloween’
  3. King Diamond – ‘Halloween’
  4. Alice Cooper – ‘Killer’
  5. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Mr. Crowley’
  6. Fastway – ‘Trick Or Treat’
  7. W.A.S.P. – ‘Scream Until You Like It’
  8. Helloween – ‘Escalation 666′
  9. King Diamond – ‘Voodoo’
  10. Iron Maiden – ’22 Acacia Avenue’

Bonus Track: Alice Cooper – ‘Keepin’ Halloween Alive’ (new song for Halloween 2009)

So I got to listen to a few CDs today but I got lazy and didn’t really want to change discs in the stereo so I plugged in the iPod and hit Shuffle. Here’s the first 20 songs…..

  1. Twisted Sister – ‘Leader Of The Pack’ (1985)
  2. Black ‘N Blue – ‘Action’ (1984)
  3. Saxon – ‘Denim And Leather’ (1981)
  4. D.C. Cooper – ‘Chained’ (1999)
  5. Mogg-Way – ‘Fortune Town’ (1997)
  6. Anvil – ‘Bondage’ (1981)
  7. UFO – ‘A Self-Made Man’ (1995)
  8. Dio – ‘Otherworld’ (2000)
  9. FarCry – ‘Heaven’ (2009)
  10. KISS – ‘Get All You Can Take’ (1984)
  11. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Euthanasia’ (1980)
  12. Balance Of Power – ‘Miracles And Dreams’ (1999)
  13. Lillian Axe – ‘The 2nd Of May’ (2007)
  14. AC/DC – ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (1977)
  15. Phil Vincent – ‘How Long’ (2008)
  16. Iron Maiden – The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner’ (1986)
  17. KISS – ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ (1987)
  18. Bullet – ‘No Mercy’ (1983)
  19. Black Sabbath – ‘No Stranger To Love’ (1986)
  20. Loudness – ‘Gravity’ (2008)

Bonus Track: Whitesnake – ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ (1984)

Iron-Maiden-Flight-666-cd

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 (2009, Universal Music)

Tour Setlist (with a song filmed in each of 16 different cities)

  1. Churchill’s Speech (Mumbai, India)
  2. Aces High (Mumbai, India)
  3. 2 Minutes To Midnight (Melbourne, Australia)
  4. Revelations (Sydney, Australia)
  5. The Trooper (Tokyo, Japan)
  6. Wasted Years (Monterrey, Mexico)
  7. The Number Of The Beast (Los Angeles, USA)
  8. Can I Play With Madness (Mexico City, Mexico)
  9. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (New Jersey, USA)
  10. Powerslave (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  11. Heaven Can Wait (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  12. Run To The Hills (Bogota, Colombia)
  13. Fear Of The Dark (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  14. Iron Maiden (Santiago, Chile)
  15. Moonchild (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  16. The Clarivoyant (Curitiba, Brazil)
  17. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Toronto, Canada)

Band Lineup:
Bruce Dickinson – Lead Vocals
Steve Harris – Bass
Dave Murray – Guitars
Adrian Smith – Guitars
Janick Gers – Guitars
Nicko McBrain – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Michael Kenney – offstage Keyboards

Produced by: Kevin Shirley & Steve Harris

Total Time = 102 mins

Iron Maiden

The FLIGHT 666 Soundtrack is the CD version of the live concert DVD from the FLIGHT 666 DVD set. It’s the same tracklisting as Disc 2 from the DVD and it’s the same performances, the band giving us one live song from 16 different cities on the first leg of the 2008 Somewhere Back In Time tour.

While it’s nice to have a double live album from Iron Maiden, the problem is that they have so many now…..7 by my count and that’s not including the MAIDEN JAPAN E.P.! I like Maiden live so I like the live records but at least there is a continuity to them, that’s the overall problem of the FLIGHT 666 live record. If it was a single show, or a bunch of shows strung together with audience noise in between, then it might be a little better but having the fade in and out between songs/countries is a little annoying for me and not what a true live album is about. Then again, this is technically a live soundtrack.

I think the overall problem for me is that I’ve watched the actual FLIGHT 666 film (Disc 1 of the DVD) so many times in the last month that I’ve just come to associate the song performances with the visuals of the band’s stops in the different countries. By the same token, I don’t enjoy the live DVD (DVD Disc 2) as much as I do the actual documentary DVD! For me, this isn’t the definitive live album from Iron Maiden and I probably won’t give it much playing time when I can reach for classics like LIVE AFTER DEATH (1985), LIVE AT DONNINGTON (1993) or ROCK IN RIO (2002). Then again, FLIGHT 666 is a bad live record in terms of performances and sound.

Bottom Line:
Would be better without the gaps between songs but that’s the point of the whole project: to give everyone a glimpse into the different cities and countries on the first leg of the tour. There’s no comparing it to LIVE AFTER DEATH but young/new Maiden fans will enjoy hearing the songs from the last tour. I bought it as the companion to the DVD set, which is exactly what it’s meant to be, but I’ll be watching the DVD more than I will listen to the CDs. Good for completing the Maiden collection but not necessary if you have the DVD.

Favorite Songs:
Like I said in the DVD review, if I have to pick a couple of favorites they would be ‘Powerslave’ (from Costa Rica) and ‘Fear Of The Dark’ (from Colombia).

Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 DVD (2009, Universal Music)

DVD 1

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 (Film Documentary) – (113 mins)

DVD 2

Tour Setlist (with a song filmed in each of 16 different cities) – (102 mins)

  1. Churchill’s Speech (Mumbai, India)
  2. Aces High (Mumbai, India)
  3. 2 Minutes To Midnight (Melbourne, Australia)
  4. Revelations (Sydney, Australia)
  5. The Trooper (Tokyo, Japan)
  6. Wasted Years (Monterrey, Mexico)
  7. The Number Of The Beast (Los Angeles, USA)
  8. Can I Play With Madness (Mexico City, Mexico)
  9. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (New Jersey, USA)
  10. Powerslave (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  11. Heaven Can Wait (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  12. Run To The Hills (Bogota, Colombia)
  13. Fear Of The Dark (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  14. Iron Maiden (Santiago, Chile)
  15. Moonchild (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  16. The Clarivoyant (Curitiba, Brazil)
  17. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Toronto, Canada)

Band Lineup:
Bruce Dickinson – Lead Vocals
Steve Harris – Bass
Dave Murray – Guitars
Adrian Smith – Guitars
Janick Gers – Guitars
Nicko McBrain – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Michael Kenney – offstage Keyboards

Produced & Directed by: Sam Dunn & Scot McFayden

Executive Producer: Rod Smallwood

(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = 3 hrs + 35 mins)

Iron Maiden

I was lucky enough to catch Iron Maiden’s Somewhere Back In Time world tour in Mansfield, MA last summer so I was really looking forward to this DVD documentary on the band’s first leg of the tour. FLIGHT 666 is named for the airline call numbers of Iron Maiden’s custom made Boeing 757 airplane (nicknamed Ed Force One) that the band, crew, families and gear flew in to travel over 50,000 miles across the globe to play 23 concerts in 45 days. Making the flights even more special was the fact that lead singer Bruce Dickinson, a pilot for Astraeus Airlines, was behind the controls…..talk about double duty!

Disc 1 is the documentary that takes you behind the scenes from planning the tour to how the band travels and how they spend their time off. There are plenty of interview pieces with band members and crew but the most important part of the film is the focus on the fans and the hysteria that forms when Ed Force One touches down in different countries. Travelling with the band from England to Mumbai, India for the first gig you get hit with the reality that Maiden are a worldwide phenomenon and that Maiden fans are some of the most passionate in the world. Just watching the crowd from Mumbai swirl and sway to ‘Aces High’, and watching the pre-show fan hysterics, I am a bit jealous because I wish the crowds I am usually in here in the U.S. were just as passionate. You can definitely tell the difference between the faithful in India compared to the fans in the U.S. but the real story doesn’t come until the band travel to Mexico and South America.

Iron Maiden has played all over the world and, as Bruce Dickinson put it, ‘The further south they go, the hotter it gets.” How true! Starting with the Mexican dates and moving into Costa Rica, Colombia, a string of dates in Brazil, Argentina and ending in Chile, you really see the height of Maiden fanaticism in the Latin American countries. From the crowds waiting at the airport and hotels to the crowds outside the arenas, you get a sense of just how important Heavy Metal is to these people and I could identify with them. Different fans that were interviewed made it clear that Maiden’s arrival for a show was an important event. You had fans talking about how the gig was “the thing” to see and that friends had quit jobs to be there, others in Colombia spoke about police oppression and how important the Maiden concert was to them. You could see the impact the concerts had with the crying fan in Costa Rica who caught a Nicko drumstick to the fans in Colombia who camped out a week in advance of the show with no food just so they could be close to the stage. It’s this fan interaction that makes the film and it’s exactly what filmmakers Sam Dunn & Scot McFayden have done with their previous films METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY and GLOBAL METAL. Seeing the band offstage, mixed with the fan reaction, mixed with parts of the stage performance in each country is a cool way to tell the story.

I like seeing other things bands do on tour besides give the same old interviews with the same old tour stories. Seeing Bruce Dickinson behind the controls of Ed Force One was cool and seeing the band travel with their families was something you don’t immeadiately think of when you think of a Metal tour. There were some Metal dignitaries backstage at the U.S. performances in L.A. and New Jersey, some of them gave interviews or spoke to the cameras (Tom Morello, Kerry King, Lars Ulrich and Vinny Appice) while others were just quick sightings (Ronnie James Dio, Scott Ian, and Doro)…..I always like seeing who’s backstage because I never get there! There are also scenes with band members doing different things on their days off like Adrian Smith playing tennis with the pros in Australia while Nicko McBrain & Dave Murray played golf. There’s the quick soccer match footage in Brazil where I think I might have seen the guys from Sepultura with Steve Harris in a quick shot and there’s also the band exploring the temples in Mexico. I would have liked a little more in depth interviews with some of the band members, specifically the quiet Dave Murray and elusive Janick Gers, but the star of the offstage footage was Mr. Nicko McBrain…..he made the DVD! Just something about the madman behind the drumkit in golfing attire with his hair slicked back just seems so funny!

Disc 2 is the complete setlist live in concert with a song filmed in each of 16 different cities around the world. The setlist is exact to the one I saw in Mansfield on the second leg of the tour so there are some really good Maiden memories attached to the performance but, like Disc 1, the quality of the performances are linked to the crowd reaction of the different countries. You can definitely see the differences between the crowds and how some are more rabid and Metal hungry than others. Watch ‘Aces High’ from Mumbai, India or ‘Powerslave’ from San Jose, Costa Rica and compare it to ‘The Number Of The Beast’ in Los Angeles…..it’s like two completely different worlds. The L.A. crowd seems tame compared to the chaos of any South American, Indian, or Japanese audience!

The running order of the live set doesn’t correspond to the travelling but to the setlist itself. Just like the band criss-crossing the globe, the DVD is a criss-cross of different performances in different countries in order to keep the original running order intact. The L.A. show is sandwiched between Mexican dates and the New Jersey performance seven songs ahead of where it was in the tour itinerary. For me, I would have rather had the original itinerary but the band went with the best performances of their songs and mixed the country order. Not a big deal I guess. The live set is just as solid as all the other live Maiden DVDs but it doesn’t have the same impact as the actual film.

Bottom Line:
Iron Maiden is a legendary Heavy Metal band with an impact that truly is global. Everytime the band releases an album, a DVD or goes on tour, they give 110% and they never disappoint…..this is why they have been one of my favorite bands since I started listening to Metal when I was a kid. When you see an Iron Maiden show, you know you are getting a top notch performance…..and when they translate that live show into a DVD package, you know you are getting possibly the DVD of the year! Last year Maiden released the LIVE AFTER DEATH DVD and it took top honors as the best DVD of 2008, now they give us FLIGHT 666 and it will be hard to beat in 2009! For me, the band could have just released the film and it would still be the best DVD so far this year but they also made sure to give everyone the full Iron Maiden live experience with a 2nd DVD of the concert setlist. Overall, another successful world tour and another visual triumph.

Favorite Songs:
All the songs Iron Maiden played live on this tour were classics but the songs they filmed in India, Mexico and South America are the best because of the crowd reaction. If I had to pick one song that would be my favorite it would be a tie between ‘Powerslave’ (in Costa Rica) and ‘Fear Of The Dark’ (in Colombia).

It’s been a long week with work getting busier while school and baseball is winding down for my daughters. There hasn’t been much time to listen to much of anything except the new Iron Maiden – Flight 666 live album soundtrack…..along with watching the double DVD! I decided that I would pass up the Sunday overtime and take a much needed day off from work and spend Father’s Day with the family and hopefully listen to some music…..

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 DVD (2009): 2 DVDs that take up 3 hours and 35 mins from start to finish…..I’ve watched the whole thing everyday in the past week. I was up early this morning so I put it on and stared at the television watching Maiden conquer the globe again. I saw this tour a year ago and it was cool to re-live the setlist while seeing Maiden mania in different countries around the world. The DVD of the year so far!

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 (2009): I can’t get enough of Maiden right now so I listened to the double CD today while walking the dog. I got thru the first hour walking the dog and I kept my iPod on around the house to finish it off. Now I have to compare it to the rest of the Maiden live albums…..can you believe this is their 7th live album?!

Michael Schenker – Thank You (1993): Everyone went out after I listened to FLIGHT 666 so I took the opportunity to seize the quiet time and play something low-key. Michael Schenker is one of my favorite guitarists and I have enjoyed his THANK YOU series of acoustic albums for their excellent musicianship and relaxation. My youngest daughter would only take her afternoon nap if I played THANK YOU or THANK YOU 4 (2003) on a continuous loop! This time my dog took a nap to Schenker’s acoustic guitar while I thumbed through old issues of Metal Forces.

Manowar – Gods Of War (2007): I like to take a look at my top posts here at HMA, especially the album reviews, to see what people are clicking on. No surprise that Manowar would be in the top 5 of all the album reviews that get read. Seeing that it’s popular among the readers, I decided to listen to it again. Big mistake! I listened and after I was done I remembered why I chose GODS OF WAR as the Worst Album of 2007…..it’s terrible!

Accept – Balls To The Wall (1984): So I’m listening to the end of the Manowar album and I pulled up the new version of ‘Balls To The Wall’ by the reunited Accept with Mark Tornillo (TT Quick) on vocals…..sorry there’s no one like Udo Dirkschneider. Didn’t the guys try this once with David Reece? I decided to go with the classic album first and then listen to…..

Accept – Eat The Heat (1989): …..EAT THE HEAT so I could compare Udo to David Reece and hear the difference fresh. It may say Accept on the album cover but it’s not Accept. I can’t fault Reece though because it’s a tough enough job to replace an original singer but, when that singer has a voice so unique, it’s even tougher. EAT THE HEAT isn’t something I listen to often, I think I’ve listened to it twice in the last 5 years.

By this time I’m looking for something great, something classic. The Manowar album and EAT THE HEAT had negated the greatness of Maiden, Schenker and Accept so I had to find something special, something I haven’t listened to for a long time…..

Savatage – Sirens (1983): What a way to end the day! I haven’t listened to SIRENS in a very long time…..I remember when this first came out! It’s still one of my favorite albums from 1983, and from Savatage…..they have an awesome catalogue of albums. I remember this record so well, I heard this in a local record store a couple months after it had come out and picked it up on cassette. ‘Holocaust’ is my favorite track.

Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD

Iron-Maiden-Flight-666-cd

Iron Maiden – Flight 666 DVD (2009) – $14
Iron Maiden – Flight 666 soundtrack (2009) – $15

So I was out in front of the record store again this morning waiting impatiently for the doors to be unlocked so I could get my hands on the new Iron Maiden DVD — FLIGHT 666. Everytime Maiden puts out a DVD, it’s a superb product and I expect FLIGHT 666 to go beyond my expectations especially when Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden (the guys that did METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY and GLOBAL METAL) filmed it!

I saw the tour stop in Mansfield last summer so I know all about the live show, I want to see the behind the scenes footage and the worldwide footage of fans in other countries going wild. The video is 2 DVDs at over 3 1/2 hours between the film and the concert footage. The CD is a double disc set that is a mirror of the DVD performance. Why did I need both? Because it’s Iron Maiden! The only complaint I have is that the CD cost a dollar more than the DVD and the DVD gives you more quality Maiden product. Not sure what the powers that be are thinking, the DVD should easily be priced higher than the CD if we went by content. I saw the vinyl at the store too but I wasn’t dropping the $20 for it.

I didn’t get a chance to see this in a theater and I’ve avoided VH-1 Classic (they have been showing it multiple times a day since last Friday!) so I’m going into my viewing/listening with fresh eyes and ears. Up the Irons!

I’m trying to catch up on a lot of listening to some of the newer releases that I haven’t gotten to yet but having the collection organized has been a challenge. Everytime I grab an album to put into the Collectorz cataloging software or iTunes, I find another that I haven’t heard in a long time! Then I find a band I forgot about and I pull out all of their albums! Will it ever end?

UFO – The Visitor (2009): This hasn’t left my rotation since I got the advance from SPV a few weeks ago and I don’t think it’s going to leave anytime soon. One of the best albums of the year for me.

Saxon – Into The Labyrinth (2009): I had the advance in December and I haven’t put it down yet…..album of the year for me but UFO is challenging!

Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – Play My Game (2009): A great comeback for the Ripper, its good to hear him doing his own thing and not being a hired hand. I like the Iced Earth and Malmsteen albums but I think Ripper has to make a mark with his solo career or Beyond Fear.

Beyond Fear – s/t (2006): More of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens doing his own thing instead of being a hired frontman. I listened to the album and realized that this was easily one of the best pieces of work Owens has produced. It hasn’t grown stale since it’s release, it still sounds feash and I think that’s because Ripper had the control.

Chickenfoot – s/t (2009): Sammy Hagar & Michael Anthony…..that’s enough to sell me on this album but then you add Joe Satriani and Chad Smith. This isn’t Van Halen, solo Hagar or a Red Hot Chili Pepper thing, this is an actual new band with some good Hard Rocks songs from solid performers. So far it’s better than I thought.

As Cities Burn – Hell Or High Water (2009): One of the worst albums I’ve heard so far this year! The album cover screams Metal but As Cities Burn is a Christian Rock/Indie/Progressive/Modern Rock band and there is just nothing heavy or hard to the music. It sounds too much like what is already clogging Rock radio: mainstream modern Rock with no substance. I wanted to give this another chance but it was a tough listen.

Joe Lynn Turner – Rescue You (1985): JLT’s first solo album after Ritchie Blackmore ended Rainbow. I haven’t listened to this in years and I just got the CD in from a nice seller on Ebay.

Iron Maiden – (various albums): Basically I pulled out all my Maiden albums and started spinning them on the stereo. At work, I put the iPod on “shuffle” and listened to Maiden out of order and had some cool playlists. The new DVD documentary and live CD, FLIGHT 666, come out Tuesday and I want to be ready!

AC/DC – Back In Black (1980): I never pull out BACK IN BLACK because I can tune in to any Rock radio station in my local area and I guarantee I will hear the whole album by the end of the day! There’s nothing wrong with BACK IN BLACK, it’s just that I know it all by heart and it’s completely overplayed. So why is it in my current playlist? My 10 year old daughter loves the album and she absolutley begs me to play it! At least she knows about good music!

The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed (1969): I’ve always been a Stones fan and LET IT BLEED has been my favorite Stones record for a long time. I heard ‘Monkey Man’ on one of the radio stations as a “deep track” and I pulled the album out as soon as I got home!

ironmaidenandnewwaveofbyw4

Iron Maiden & The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal DVD (2008, Sexy Intellectual Productions)

(Region 0, NTSC, Total Running Time = 157 minutes)

When I was a kid in the early ’80s and I started getting serious about Heavy Metal, many of the bands that I started listening to were from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Samson and Girlschool were all playing on my stereo and their pictures were hanging on my walls alongside KISS, Judas Priest and AC/DC. As I got older, I discovered a lot of other new bands from the NWOBHM and older Metal bands that benefited from the movement. Judas Priest, AC/DC, Motorhead and even Black Sabbath saw a resurgence at the beginning of the ’80s due to the NWOBHM explosion.

For those not familiar with the NWOBHM here’s a quick simple explanation:

By the late ’70s, big time Arena Rock acts like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, KISS, and Aerosmith were viewed as dinosaurs of the music world and the newest musical fads were Disco and Punk. In the U.K., the Punk movement was a phenomenon and the do-it-yourself rebellious attitude influenced an entire movement of kids forming bands and trying to do something different. Taking a cue from the “dinosaur” bands, these new musicians actually learned to play their instruments well, something many Punks didn’t bother with, and set out to “make it”. The music was loud, raw and heavy and took influences from all styles of music. The biggest bands to come out of the NWOBHM were Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon but there were literally hundreds of bands popping up all over England almost overnight and the new Metal movement made it’s mark.

What this DVD tries to accomplish is to chronicle the history of the NWOBHM from interviews with some of the movement’s players and Rock journalists of the time. There are interviews with Paul Di’anno and Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden), Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Thunderstick (Samson), Rob Weir (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Tino & Chris Troy (Praying Mantis) and Girlschool. These are band members that lived the experience and they shed a personal light on what it was like starting out and continuing on with their careers. Other interviews come from journalists Geoff Barton, Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing and Joel McIver who all had a first had account of the Metal climate of the time and they add critical review to different aspects and bands of the movement. Of course a retrospective DVD on the NWOBHM would not be complete without the insight of Neil Kay, the Heavy metal DJ who formed the Soundhouse club and who almost single-handedly spearheaded the NWOBHM with his love of well-played Rock. If it wasn’t for Neil Kay, would bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon be playing to millions to this day?

This DVD packs in a ton of rare footage from newsreels, concerts and studio sessions to give an inside historical look at the beginnings of the new Metal genre. There are plenty of interviews and commentaries as well as a bonus section that includes some extended interviews, the NWOBHM and BBC Radio 1, and a interactive challenge game. Like I said, I’m a big fan of the NWOBHM so anything that gives a historical perspective is at the top of my list, the only complaint I have is that there wasn’t much said about some of the lesser known, and less successful, bands of the genre. I would have liked to hear a little more on Rock Goddess, Tokyo Blade, Angel Witch, Jaguar, and many of the rest but there’s only so much time to a DVD! Honestly, you could make a multiple DVD set, or an entire series, exploring the numerous NWOBHM bands but it would get out of focus. This DVD focuses on the more well-known bands, the most successful bands, and moves on from there. No matter what, it’s one of the best DVDs I’ve seen in a long time.

Just a quick word to the wise here: you may have noticed that the DVD title uses Iron Maiden? If you’re looking for footage of the current lineup of Iron Maiden, or a lot of Maiden footage, then I would go out and buy a Maiden DVD. There is a good size portion of the DVD dedicated to the rise of Iron Maiden, they were the biggest and most successful band of the NWOBHM, but the current lineup of Maiden, their management and their label have not authorized this DVD. There is some audio and video of early Maiden but the official stuff is under the cpyright control of the band. It’s still an awesome DVD!

Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of the NWOBHM, then you should run right out and buy this! If you’re a Metal fan and enjoy learning about the history of Metal, then this is an absolute must! What really makes this DVD is the genuine love of the NWOBHM music that everyone involved with it has. These band members and journalists were right in the thick of the movement when things were new and ideas were fresh and their enthusiasm in talking about it all makes it genuine. For me, this DVD was a great companion piece to The NWOBHM Encyclopedia (by Malc MacMillan) reference book. I’ve had that book since it was published in 2001 and it has been an invaluable resource in my quest for picking up NWOBHM albums, I recommend finding that too!

For more info on the NWOBHM, check out these websites:

NWOBHM.info
The Old School Metal Show
Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Tale Of The Tape:
Dell DJ 30 (1st Gen)
4482 songs (387 albums)

I’ve got the MP3 player shuffling as I’m creating a new master list for my CD collection so here’s the first 20 songs that have come up (band-song-year)…..

  1. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Bad Times’ (1980)
  2. KISS – ‘Hard Luck Woman’ (1976)
  3. Icarus Witch – ‘Mirror Mirror’ (2007)
  4. Iron Maiden – ‘Man On The Edge’ (1995)
  5. Def Leppard – ‘Bad Actress’ (2008)
  6. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)
  7. Scorpions – ‘Obsession’ (1999)
  8. Daylight Dies – ‘A Portait In White’ (2008)
  9. Iron Maiden – ‘Remember Tomorrow’ (1980)
  10. Dio – ‘Straight Through The Heart’ (1983)
  11. Quiet Riot – ‘Overworked And Underpaid’ (1999)
  12. Primal Fear – ‘Fighting The Darkness’ (2007)
  13. Q5 – “Our Love Has Come And Gone’ (1984)
  14. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – ‘Burn’ (1988)
  15. KISS – ‘The Oath’ (1981)
  16. Westworld – ‘Bring The Water To Me’ (1999)
  17. Running Wild – “The Poison’ (1998)
  18. Girlschool – ‘Metropolis’ (2008)
  19. Rainbow – ‘Street Of Dreams’ (1983)
  20. Black Sabbath – ‘Die Young’ (1980)

Bonus Track: Saxon – ‘Forever Free’ (1993)

2008 was another great year for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal DVDs but I didn’t buy nearly as many as I did last year. This year was all about the quality instead of the quantity as the global economy became the issue of the year. The good news is that bands are taking great care when producing these DVDs by adding extra content, bonus footage and CDs of live performances to the overall packages. Money has to be spent wisely and the following list of DVDs gave a lot of bang for my hard earned buck! Here’s my list of The Top 5 Music DVDs of 2008:

#1

Iron Maiden - Live After Death DVD (2008)Iron Maiden – Live After Death

There was no competing with Iron Maiden when it came to DVD of the Year. Live After Death was released in early February and it led wire to wire as the best DVD released this year. The original Live After Death concert footage was in dire need of a proper DVD release and the band answered the call with a remastered DVD of the full performance from the old VHS. In addition to the main feature, the band exceeded expectations and went the extra mile with the second DVD including the History of Iron Maiden, Behind The Iron Curtain, Rock In Rio ’85, ‘Ello Texas, and promotional videos. With over 5+ hours of content and landmark performances Iron Maiden’s latest DVD was the best value of the year, I paid $14 on sale and it was money well spent.

#2

ironmaidenandnewwaveofbyw4Iron Maiden and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal

Just like KISS did last year, Iron Maiden has taken the first two slots in this year’s DVD awards…..technically. This DVD has a disclaimer on the back that states that “this film is not authorized by the current lineup of Iron Maiden nor by their management or record label”. So the band had nothing to do with the release but there is plenty of archival footage of the band as they spearheaded probably the most important movement in Heavy metal history: The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. There is a ton of music and footage, both studio and live recordings, of many of the major NWOBHM bands like Saxon, Samson, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Def Leppard, Praying Mantis and more. Bands members are interviewed as are industry experts like Malcolm Dome, Geoff Barton, and Garry Bushell along with perhaps THE most influential man in the NWOBHM movement, legendary Metal DJ Neil Kay. A DVD that has over 2 1/2 hours of NWOBHM history would have easily taken the top spot any other year but it came in a close second to Live After Death even though I bought it at the end of December. 

#3

gamma-ray-hell-yeah-the-awesome-foursome-live-in-montreal-dvdGamma Ray – Hell Yeah!!! The Awesome Foursome – Live In Montreal 

Gamma Ray of one of the best Power Metal bands of all-time and they released an excellent 2 DVD set this year. Disc 1 is a full 2 hour live performance in Montreal, Canada from May 2006. Right there that should be enough but the band adds a second DVD with 2 1/2 hours of bonus footage including a road movie from their 2006 North American tour, videos, Wacken Open Air performances from 2003 & 2006, and Historay. How can you beat over 4 1/2 hours of Gamma Ray for less than $20? The only thing that could have put this in the top spot was if the accompanying CD release of the Montreal concert was included. If that was included and not a separate release, this DVD set would have come very close to taking top honors this year.

#4

heavy-metal-in-baghdad-dvdHeavy Metal In Baghdad

I have always liked learning about the Heavy Metal scene in different countries and Heavy Metal In Baghdad helped me explore the Metal scene in war-torn Iraq. The film follows the Iraqi Metal band Acrassicauda from the beginning of the U.S./Iraq war to the band’s escape from the country and their survival in a new home. There is a lot of talk about “living for Heavy Metal” and “following your dreams” in the Metal scene but that is exactly what Acrassicauda do. Playing Heavy Metal in a country like Iraq is not something that the government and religious community embrace, this makes bands like Acrassicauda outcasts. With their lives in danger everyday with the threats of war, the band members follow their dreams and fight to survive. It shows you how lucky we are in the U.S. This DVD is just under3 hours and includes the main 90 minute film and an additional 90 mins of bonus footage.

#5

paul-stanley-one-live-kiss-dvdPaul Stanley – One Live KISS

KISS is my favorite band and last year they took the top two spots with KISSology Volumes 2 & 3. Here to represent the band is founder, frontman and guitarist Paul Stanley with a DVD chronicling his sold-out solo performance in Chicago on 11/6/2006. The 21 song setlist includes tracks from his 2006 solo album LIVE TO WIN as well as many KISS klassics that you never get to hear. It’s a very basic release in terms of content, there really isn’t much bonus material, but the footage shows off the one thing KISS fans have known for decades: Paul Stanley is the talent in KISS! Highlights for me were some of the tracks from Paul’s 1978 solo album like ‘Move On’, ‘Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me?’, & ‘Goodbye’.

I went out on my final CD hunt last Wednesday to the local record store. I had two “$5 off a $25 purchase” coupons to use up before they expired so I took the two hours I had free before I had to pick up the kids at school and went shopping. I braved a small crowd buying up Xmas gifts and I managed to find a couple of bargains…..

yngwie-malmsteen-odyssey-1988Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – Odyssey (1988) – $10: Have I ever told you my Yngwie ODYSSEY story? I had it on cassette and it died. I could buy this album brand new for $15 anywhere over the years but I chose to be difficult and buy it used. Over the last ten years I have bought this CD used at least 5 or 6 times and each time there has been a scratch that has made the CD skip. In a couple of cases, I even used a CD fixer before I returned it to the store I bought it. Everytime I walk into one of my local shops, I always grab the new copy of ODYSSEY for $15 and say “Today is the day I’m buying it!”. I walked in the local shop and this album was under one of the staff’s recommended picks and it was brand new for ten bucks! I finally bought it…..

Music Review Twisted SisterTwisted Sister – Live At The Astoria (2008) – $16: I meant to go and grab this two weeks agao when it came out but I forgot. Twisted Sister has had a successful resurgence in the last few years but the revival in my house is due to my 10 year old daughter who has become a total SMF. She’s way too young for me to explain what SMF actually means, all she knows is that it’s what the band calls their fans! The pressure from her to buy the new TS album, and the sale price, was enough for me to pull the trigger. $16 isn’t bad for a CD/DVD combo.

Purchase #1 Total = $21 (after the $5 off coupon)

I give my local shop some credit for having good sale prices and coupons but enforcing the “1 coupon per customer” rule is kind of dumb. I work in retail and I know that policies like that can be relaxed a little, especially when you know a customer is going to walk out of the store and turn around through the entrance again! Unfortunately, the guy at the counter was being an enforcer so I went out to the car, dropped off Yngwie & Twisted, and went back in for more…..

jorn-lonely-are-the-brave-2008Jorn Lande – Lonely Are The Brave (2008) – $14: I finally broke down and picked up the U.S. release because I know that I am never going to break down and order the  European Limited Edition with the two bonus tracks. I keep meaning to order it or buy it from Ebay but I never get around to it.

ironmaidenandnewwaveofbyw4Iron Maiden & The NWOBHM DVD (2008) – $18: I am a huge NWOBHM fan and I love anything that has to do with NWOBHM history. This DVD has been on my radar since it’s release earlier in the year but the online prices have been too high. The record store finally got in a copy and I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve already watched it 3 times and it’s a great DVD.

Purchase Total #2 = $28 (after the second $5 off coupon)

That’s not all! I had a few bucks left in Paypal and I like to use it all up by the end of the year so I went to Ebay and decided to grab a CD that has been too expensive until now…..

kiss-jigoku-retsudenKISS – Jigoku Retsuden (2008) – $28: I featured this album in the WANTED column back in October but the high price for this Japan only release had me scared. The economy has sucked so bad that spending close to $30 on one CD is too rich right now. I never had a problem before but this feeling of responsibility has stopped the purchase until now. The CD was $28 and the shipping was $8 for registered airmail but I had close to $40 in Paypal from selling some old junk online…..I consider this purchase a freebie!

Tale Of The Tape:
Dell DJ 30 (1st Gen)
4555 songs (385 albums)

One of the problems with taking a weekend off is that you need to take care of all the little things around the house that you let slip when you are working and doing all the things you need to do to keep life going. I had some chores around the house to do, bills to pay, a dog to walk and a house that needs it’s Halloween transformation. The only way to get through it is to put the headphones on, press SHUFFLE, and go about your business! Here’s the first 20 songs that played…..

  1. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Badger Badger’ (1980)
  2. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Angel Eyes’ (2008)
  3. Uriah Heep – ‘Tears Of The World’ (2008)
  4. Icarus Witch – ‘Queen Of Lies’ (2007)
  5. Alcatrazz – ‘God Blessed Video’ (1985)
  6. UFO – ‘Hunger In The Night’ (1988)
  7. Alice Cooper – ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ (1971)
  8. Extreme – ‘Slide’ (2008)
  9. Iron Maiden – ’2 Minutes To Midnight’ (1984)
  10. Mogg-Way – ‘Totaled’ (1997)
  11. Motley Crue – ‘Down At The Whiskey’ (2008)
  12. Judas Priest – ‘Wheels Of Fire’ (2005)
  13. U.D.O. – ‘ The Devil Walks Alone’ (2007)
  14. Mogg-Way – ‘Death In The Family’ (1999)
  15. Krokus – ‘Shotgun Boogie’ (1990)
  16. Scorpions – ‘Mind Like A Tree’ (1999)
  17. Saxon – ‘Empty Promises’ (1986)
  18. Krokus – ‘Backstabber’ (1999)
  19. Balance Of Power – ‘No Place Like Home’ (2003)
  20. Black Sabbath – ‘Zero The Hero’ (1983)

Bonus Track: KISS – ‘Charisma’ (1979)