Iron Maiden
Maiden Japan


3.5
great

Review

by ExplosiveOranges USER (27 Reviews)
August 7th, 2014 | 30 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not Maiden's essential live performance, but an entertaining EP regardless.

Being in a metal band is far from easy. Whether it’s writing complex riffs and drum patterns, or switching seamlessly between harsh and clean vocal styles, a “true” metal musician has to truly put tons of effort into their music in order to give it any sort of flow or substance. However, the studio is actually the easy part. The thing that really takes a toll on band members is the fact that heavy metal is first and foremost a live genre. Any fool with decent recording and mixing software can mess around with a few glitches to make the studio recording sound listenable. But performing live? That’s entirely right there, right then. Even one mistake will be amplified tenfold. Some bands have gained notoriety for creating great albums and extended plays, but completely phoning it in during live performances. Surprisingly enough, though, the oldest metal bands are among those with the best live shows. Even in their 60s, the members of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest somehow managed to create an interactive and energetic atmosphere with their audiences. However, Iron Maiden are undoubtedly the most successful of the three major bands, with performances attracting fans from all over the world, and countless acclaimed live albums such as Live After Death. But, as with any metal band, Maiden had their earlier, rougher days.

Enter Maiden Japan, Iron Maiden’s first official live album. Released back in September of 1981, this EP was vocalist Paul Di’Anno’s final recording with the band, and showed a very different side of Iron Maiden’s live shows. In Paul’s last few months with the band, many gigs and shows were canceled due to his cocaine addiction and alcoholism, but his vocals are surprisingly good on the album. Sure, they’re raspy and occasionally off-pitch, but that’s his style, after all. The instrumental department is mostly solid; the main problem being that Clive Burr’s drum kit is slightly muffled in the mix. Despite the minor setback, Adrian, Steve, and Dave execute their guitar and bass duties flawlessly, switching easily from mellow acoustic passages to punk riffs. Also worth noting is the fact that since this was recorded when Iron Maiden had released only two studio albums, there are some performances of more obscure songs that have either rarely been played since or simply haven’t been played at all. Of course, songs like “Wrathchild” and “Running Free” are still very popular amongst casual fans and are played even today, but the more die-hard fans may be pleasantly surprised to hear more underrated tracks such as “Innocent Exile” or “Remember Tomorrow”.

So, overall, while this isn’t the essential live album from Iron Maiden, it’s an enjoyable ride nonetheless, and is still worth giving a shot even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Maiden’s death-defying modern life performances.



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user ratings (105)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Extended performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jno1xcwUSoc

Short review for a short EP. Comments and criticism welcome.

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BMDrummer
August 7th 2014


7153 Comments


good review, have a pos

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

thelastsignal
August 7th 2014


1368 Comments


Very nice review, Oranges. One of your best, just the right length for the album, it seems. I need to get more into these guys.

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Mark and Brendan. The reason it took so long to get it up was that I originally wrote the review for the FULL
CONCERT version, only to discover that it was only the EP that got submitted for the game.

laughingman22
August 7th 2014


1668 Comments


cool review m/

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gracias.

thelastsignal
August 7th 2014


1368 Comments


Would you have rated the full concert version differently, Oranges?

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, maybe. Considering it was a helluva lot longer and they played some really good tracks.

manosg
August 7th 2014


6078 Comments


Nice write up Oranges, pos. I know that you had to do this one as part of that random review game so you did a good job. Still, I'm surprised you didn't review the complete concert.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, manosg. Yeah, it was the EP that was submitted for the random album game, not the whole thing, and I wasn't entirely finished when I hit that realization, so I figured it would be easier to switch.

insanedrexl1
August 7th 2014


555 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review m/

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facupm
August 7th 2014


7672 Comments


yeah i heard this once was cool i guess

danielcardoso
August 7th 2014


2229 Comments


Great review, Oranges. Pos'd from me.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


5805 Comments


Excellent review dude, really concise and interesting. One of your best [2]

Kind of weird how the Maiden Japan EP has way more ratings than the full concert and that this was the one that was submitted for the Random Album Game. Still haven't heard any Maiden live albums yet but I'm guessing I should probably start with Live After Death instead of this one.

Digging: Moonsorrow - V: Havitetty

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, fellas. Yeah, Judio, Live After Death is probably one of their best albums, even being a live album.

facupm
August 7th 2014


7672 Comments


yeah pos'd

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2014


19756 Comments


will read after my lunch break!

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

manosg
August 7th 2014


6078 Comments


"Live After Death is probably one of their best albums, even being a live album."

Live After Death is easily one of the best live albums I've listened. The energy on that album is unmatched.

dannyboy89
August 7th 2014


11960 Comments


Pos.

ExplosiveOranges
August 7th 2014


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Atari Lol, thanks!

@manosg It might end up as my 4th 5 for Maiden.

@danny YOU'RE STILL ALIVE! Thanks for the pos, btw.



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