Iron Maiden

Box Set

Holiday Gift Guide

Iron Maiden

Eddie's Archive (Columbia Legacy) Honestly. The box should have been lead. Or better yet, pewter, like the Eddie shot glass inside ("please hand wash" polites the sticker), and the pewter Eddie seal 'round the Maiden family-tree parchment scroll. Tin?! What were they thinking? The Trooper would not be pleased. Fortunately, the sounds sealed inside this tiny tomb are heavy metal -- three 2-CD sets. BBC Archives jolts upright with a crypt-kicking four-song set from 1979, featuring Paul Di'Anno, the English quintet's original screamer. The nasty, straight-razor metal that bands like Guns 'n' Roses appropriated a decade later -- founder Steve Harris' black rider bass; the guillotine twin-axe attack -- slashes through Iron Maiden's "Transylvania," and then "Sanctuary." Rather than pairing it with the second disc's Di'Anno-fueled Reading Festival gig from 1980, which is twice as gripping, suddenly it's the Bruce Dickinson era and The Number of the Beast tour. Again, Maiden is white hot, slightly less so on this version of the group's disc two reprise, an eight-song slice from the Monsters of Rock, UK, 1988. The Beast Over Hammersmith is a 90-minute patchwork also from 1982's Beast Tour, which was the beginning of the band's peak (1982-88). The second half -- opening with another wicked trip to "Transylvania," then "The Prisoner" ("I am not a number, I'm a free man!"), and into "Hallowed Be Thy Name" -- is scorching. Best of the B-Sides peals back the most flesh, beginning with the Alice Cooperish "Burning Ambition" -- the first song Harris "ever wrote completely by himself" -- and evolving into Somewhere in Time-era keepers ("Juanita") and Dickinson remakes of Di'Anno classics "The Prowler" and "Charlotte the Harlot." The Spinal Tap studio gibberish is especially diabolical. Disc two indulges itself in a plethora of b-side covers: Free, Zeppelin, Budgie, Montrose ("Space Station No. 5"), The Who, and UFO, whose classic "Doctor Doctor" fits the lads like a pair of silk scrubs. More Tapish mockery and "Wasted Years" live nail the coffin shut. Following the reanimation of the group's entire catalog earlier this year, Eddie's Archive is a real rotter's nightmare.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
... And Justice For All (Deluxe) (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Dec. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Portrayal of Guilt
Let Pain Be Your Guide (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Nov. 23, 2018

More by Raoul Hernandez
Extreme Metal All-Stars Vltimas Debut “Monolilith”
Extreme Metal All-Stars Vltimas Debut “Monolilith”
Ex-Morbid Angel singer David Vincent hosted local LP sessions

Feb. 28, 2019

Crypt Trip Falls on “Hard Times” With New Single
Crypt Trip Falls on “Hard Times” With New Single
San Marcos classic rockers tease Haze County with audio premiere

Feb. 25, 2019

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle