ON TOUR 2014: Retro reviews of the 1980s albums

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So Iron Maiden are hitting the road for one final hurrah! to the 1980s. Here’s our retro reviews of the band’s oh so glorious 1980s catalog, from where the band will pick their 2014 setlist.

It’s early May, less than four weeks until the tour starts. Rehearsals should be about to begin, and we all know that the 2014 summer tour will probably be the last time Maiden will do a set that celebrates the 1980s records.

Maiden’s immensely popular History cycles started with the DVD release The Early Days in 2004 and the accompanying 2005 tour. The band played an uncompromising set of material only from the first four studio albums, bringing gems like Murders In The Rue Morgue and Where Eagles Dare out of retirement.

The project continued with the DVD release of Live After Death and the massive 2008-09 Somewhere Back In Time world tour, where the band just about recreated their classic Powerslave show. That tour was so popular that Maiden decided to do one more round of 1980s mayhem, the trek which has now become the 2012-14 Maiden England tour.

(Continues below pic!)

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Bruce in the shadow of Eddie during a mind-blowing rendition of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, on the current Maiden England world tour.

Some fans, not too many, still hope for a 1990s History project. At Maiden Revelations we maintain that this has just about zero chance of ever happening, and singer Bruce Dickinson did in fact refer to the Maiden England project as the band’s last History tour in a statement on the Sonisphere UK website.

As the 1980s albums rolled out in the vinyl picture disc format in 2011/12, we took the opportunity to reappraise these albums in retro reviews. You can find them all right here, just scroll down that page to find everything from Iron Maiden in 1980 through Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son in 1988. The body of work from which Maiden will assemble their 2014 setlist.

Now, we could of course say they’re all the bloody best albums ever, period! But it’s more fun to differentiate them somewhat. Feel free to disagree and discuss! At Maiden Revelations we can’t even agree with ourselves half of the time.

Turn it up and get ready for the tour!

Click here for our in-depth look at what to expect from the setlist and production of the 2014 leg of the Maiden England tour.

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48 thoughts on “ON TOUR 2014: Retro reviews of the 1980s albums

  1. Here’s two versions of my set list speculation and it could well be wishful thinking since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is my favourite album, my first set list still has five 7th son songs like 2012/13 only replaces The Clairvoyant with Infinite Dreams (though I realise it’s likely it may be cut back to around 3 7th son songs to leave room for more Eddie Rips Up The World and SBIT era songs):

    01. Moonchild
    02. Infinite Dreams (first time since 88)
    03. Still Life (first time since 88)
    04. Die With Your Boots On
    05. Can I Play With Madness
    06. The Trooper
    07. The Number Of The Beast
    08. Heaven Can Wait
    09. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
    10. Powerslave
    11. The Evil That Men Do
    12. Hallowed Be Thy Name
    13. Fear Of The Dark
    14. Iron Maiden

    Encore:

    15. Killers (first time since 99)
    16. Run To The Hills
    17. Sanctuary

    With those exact songs in the above, be it in that exact order or a different order, would be awesome and it would mean that every song from the original Maiden England 88 video that was omitted in the 2012/13 set list would be included in the 2014 set list.

    Not only are Die With Your Boots on and Sanctuary relevant to the first history tour, but many fans who have seen the 2005 tour live or on YouTube would have thought “The first history tour should have had Killers and Still Life” so that would make up for that. It’s a no brainer that Heaven Can Wait and Powerslave bring back elements of SBIT.

    Here’s my 2nd set list. This one is a long shot because it would mean playing 7th son of a 7th son in it’s entirety. For me and other SSoaSS fans that would be epic, but others expecting a balance of songs across the three history tours might not like it:

    1. Moonchild
    2. Infinite Dreams (first time since 88)
    3. Can I Play With Madness
    4. The Evil That Men Do
    5. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
    6. The Prophecy (first time EVER)
    7. The Clairvoyant
    8. Only The Good Die Young (first time EVER)
    9. Heaven Can Wait
    10. The Trooper
    11. Still Life (first time since 88)
    12. Die With Your Boots On
    13. Fear Of The Dark
    14. Iron Maiden

    Encore

    15. Powerslave
    16. Killers (first time since 99)
    17. Hallowed Be Thy Name

    It’s a big long shot, not only because their 1980 debut album and their 2006 leg of A Matter of Life and Death tours are the only tours to date where they’ve played an entire album, but it would also Maiden going back and playing two 7th son songs that weren’t played on the original 1988 tour. Then again, no one thought Metallica would go back and play a song that wasn’t on the original album tour and in more recent times they have.

    With the exception of Sanctuary, this set list still has every Maiden England 88 song not played in 2012/13

    Regardless of whether the set list is anything like either of my predictions, I still reckon there’s a high chance of Powerslave being included and that the walk on bandaged Eddie will appear during Powerslave (instead of Custer Eddie appearing during run to the Hills).

    • Don’t get your hopes up. There’s no way stuff like Infinite Dreams is going to show up on a tag-on leg after being nixed in rehearsals for the start of the tour proper in 2012 and not brought back in 2013. Powerslave, Die With Your Boots On, and (unfortunately) Heaven Can Wait seems credible though.

    • I think playing the whole album would be so fantastic, even if it would NEVER happen. But I think this upcoming tour will probably just mean a slight shift in focus towards Powerslave, since the band just can’t seem to stay away from that album… you have to wonder, don’t they get bored of playing the same songs tour after tour?

      If I were in Bruce or Steve’s position I’d JUMP at the chance to polish off an old rarity from SIT or POM and rehearse it til it sounds so good it just HAS to be in the set. I don’t get it.

      • Bruce’s voice would be a deciding factor, they always stick with what he can do best. Added to Steve’s conservatism, that probably explains the sets over the past few years.

        These songs SHOULD have been given the History live treatment: Killers, 22 Acacia Avenue, Flight Of Icarus, Stranger In A Strange Land, Infinite Dreams. No-brainers. And then there’s deeper stuff like To Tame A Land, Still Life, Sea Of Madness… Missed opportunities.

      • Well yeah, but the fact that Bruce can manage to squeak out Aces High as an encore night after night somehow makes it hard to believe he couldn’t do the same for any of the tunes you mentioned as well. I’d be willing to bet both Steve AND Bruce are fairly conservative in their song choices at this point because they simply know what will work.

        Still, it’d be nice if they took a chance once in a while. They haven’t since around 2006…

  2. @Adam: I didn’t mean that Bruce would have trouble with the songs I mentioned, just that they should have been played. Particularly he would not have trouble with Killers or Still Life, very Maiden England-esque songs.

    But it’s also not simply a case of register. Some songs, like Aces High, have ridiculously high registers. Others might not go as high but still be harder for him to do, possibly because he just isn’t used to doing them. I mean, it’s probably not like Bruce sang Infinite Dreams in the shower for 25 years, but he’s been doing Aces High rather a lot in the past 15 years. Whatever he sticks to will be the ones he can do more easily, at his age.

    As for taking chances, I’d argue that 2010 was the last really radical setlist. But it did include radical duds too, like Wildest Dreams…

    • It’s true that he may not be used to doing certain songs live, but that didn’t stop them from doing ATSS, The Prisoner, or SSOASS, which haven’t been done live in years! I think they’re just getting lazy and too conservative with the touring concepts. And while I agree the first half of TFF tour was brilliant (but not quite as brilliant as it could’ve been!), the second leg onwards definitely fell flat as far as song selection goes.

      • I agree with that. From 2011 on, I’ve had a problem with it. The songs you mention though, first of all they wouldn’t discount everything that Bruce isn’t used to. Some fans argued back before the announcement of the Maiden England tour that there would never be a tour like that because Maiden had played all they wanted to play from the 80s on the Somewhere Back In Time tour, and whatever wasn’t played there the band didn’t want to play. Wrong! I just wish it had been wronger… 🙂

        (Most of us realized that a Maiden England tour was inevitable, particularly after a couple of Rod interviews back in 2010, but some fans were in complete denial about this. And upon the announcement of the Maiden England tour they promptly launched a denial of their initial denial. Fascinating.)

        Secondly, Infinite Dreams is much, much harder to sing than any of those three you mention, of course.

        Then again, until I hear it from someone in the band I don’t really buy the “Bruce couldn’t hack it” explanation. Might just as well have been Steve going “er…I’m not sure the fans are going to clap and shout like they would have with Afraid To Shoot Strangers…now wait, there’s a thought!”

  3. Oh, to represent all those 1980s records…

    Intro: Churchill’s Speech
    ACES HIGH
    CAN I PLAY WITH MADNESS
    THE PRISONER
    CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED
    FLIGHT OF ICARUS
    THE TROOPER
    THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
    Intro: The Ides Of March
    MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE
    PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
    WASTED YEARS
    SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
    THE CLAIRVOYANT
    FEAR OF THE DARK
    IRON MAIDEN
    MOONCHILD
    2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
    RUN TO THE HILLS

    • CAUGHT SOMEWHERE IN TIME
      FLIGHT OF ICARUS
      THE PRISONER
      INFINITE DREAMS
      STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
      IDES OF MARCH/MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE
      THE TROOPER
      WASTED YEARS
      REMEMBER TOMORROW
      THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
      SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
      THE CLAIRVOYANT
      POWERSLAVE
      IRON MAIDEN

      WHERE EAGLES DARE
      THE EVIL THAT MEN DO
      RUN TO THE HILLS

      😀

      • So explain me something….

        playing just 4 songs like Bring your daughter, Fear of the Dark, Sign of the Cross and the Clansman you have more than 1\3 of the set.

        They don’t need to play that many songs of the 90s for a great live era. Besides, it’s a pity if they keep a gap of “behind-the-scenes” between 7th son and Brave .

        I bet Gers will be sad…

        Well, probably there will be a dvd of Donington 92, who knows…

  4. For what it’s worth, here’s my 2014 ME prediction, based on the press release and the sad knowledge that they’ll take no risks and, as Christer says, tracks like Infinite Dreams have been previously nixed in rehearsals:

    1. Moonchild
    2. Can I Play with Madness
    3. 2 Minutes to Midnight
    4. Revelations
    5. Wrathchild
    6. Die With Your Boots On
    7. Powerslave
    8. Wasted Years
    9. Phantom of the Opera
    10. The Clairvoyant
    11. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
    12. Heaven Can Wait
    13. Fear of the Dark
    14. Iron Maiden
    ————————-
    15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
    16. The Evil That Men Do
    17. Run to the Hills

    Do I win a prize if I get 17 out of 17?!

    • Substitute Aces High for Moonchild and The Number Of The Beast for Hallowed Be Thy Name, and it looks pretty likely.

      • I always forget one track! Yes, NOTB will be in there, but I’m sure they’ll still open with Moonchild, this being an icey ME set. I think Hallowed will be back, seeing as this is a kind of end-of-an-80s-era set. DWIYBO or The Clairvoyant to drop out in place of NOTB.

  5. @2Mins: Hallowed was mostly likely dropped because Bruce has problems singing it, so I’d be surprised to see it return. Opening with Moonchild is always cool in my book, but it would be the third year in a row…

    • Is that why it was dropped? It was odd having Aces High as first encore, but no Hallowed, from an ageing-vocalist point-of-view. It would be a real shame if they can’t manage Hallowed at all over the final few years of their career. Especially when they’re squeezing the life out of lesser tracks…

      As for Moonchild, I’ll bet you my signed Infinite Dreams 12″ that it opens the show… It’s still an ME show after all!

      • You’ll have to talk to Torgrim about that bet. 😉

        Bruce couldn’t do Hallowed properly towards the end of the 2011 The Final Frontier tour. And then it was dropped the following year. Let’s face it, there would be no other reason for that song ever getting dropped. What we know for sure is that Hallowed and Infinite Dreams were both in the set as rehearsals started in 2012, and got replaced by Running Free and Afraid To Shoot Strangers.

      • Christer, if I remember correctly, ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ was supposed to be played mid-set, right before ‘Wasted years’, with ‘Run to the hills’ being the last encore (please check the setlist that Davey has in http://vimeo.com/44534539 @1:18). They probably realised that Bruce would struggle singing the latter as the last song of the show, swapped it with ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ and included ‘Running free’ as a safe encore, same as they did in 2011 (as can be seen @20:08 in the “Behind the Beast” documentary http://youtu.be/XXHHglAcSYY).

        We should remember that Bruce struggled with ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ in 2011 when the song was played as an encore. I bet he could sing it properly with the song if played mid-set, like in some of the previous tours.

  6. @Christer Ah, I didn’t know that about Hallowed in the rehearsals. Those were two pretty bad substitutions! They should have dropped Running Free after ’85!

    • I certainly agree it’s overplayed at this point, not being one of the greatest Maiden tracks. But it does get the audience going, I have to admit. 🙂

      At the start of the 2012 tour there was an official pic of the lighting desk, with all the songs pre-programmed and showing on the display screen. To my and Torgrim’s endless frustration there were 2 additional songs tagged on (having been programmed) after the official set: Hallowed Be Thy Name and Infinite Dreams. Which means they were meant to be in the set, but were dropped during rehearsals…

      It’s speculation, but pretty solid speculation, that Afraid To Shoot Strangers was brought in to replace Infinite Dreams. Same type of song, much easier to sing than ID, but out-of-period. Smacks of substitution.

      • I SWEAR Nicko talked about Infinite Dreams vs. Afraid To Shoot Strangers on his Eddie Trunk radio interview back in 2012 before the tour… I remember IMOC forum posts about it. I cannot, for the life of me, find a recording of that show anywhere 😦

  7. @Retel:

    “They don’t need to play that many songs of the 90s for a great live era. Besides, it’s a pity if they keep a gap of “behind-the-scenes” between 7th son and Brave.”

    Sure they can do a 90s tune here or there. Personally I’d like to hear this line-up do Tailgunner. But a 1990s History tour, sold as a focus on the 1990s the way they sold 2005, 2008 and 2012 as a focus on the 1980s, just isn’t going to happen. There’s simply not a decent audience for it.

    “I bet Gers will be sad…”

    I’m not so sure that Gers is proud of Virtual XI… 😉 Seems to me that Janick is pretty damn happy doing new albums and 1980s History tours in cycles. Something people often forget is that those History tours have been Janick’s only chance to play a bunch of old greats.

    “Well, probably there will be a dvd of Donington 92, who knows…”

    That’s been confirmed. But don’t expect them to tour for it.

    • Well yeah a donington 92 dvd was confirmed, but before they made it conveniently enough a history trilogy, in their statements… If they were going to waste (in my opinion) 2014 with “touring” wouldn’t it at least, be more exciting and interesting and ballsy to release “Live at Donington 92” early on (like on february) and tour a similar setlist with many classics and also some songs from the 90s aswell, instead of touring the same tour a 3rd year ? With history part 4 as a second dvd, and some songs from the donington 2013 as extras. Then a setlist like this

      01. Tailgunner
      02. The Number Of The Beast
      03. Afraid To Shoot Strangers
      04. Wrathchild
      05. The Trooper
      06. Sign Of the Cross
      07. Can I Play With Madness
      08. Wasted Years
      09. The Clansman
      10. 2 Minutes to Midnight
      11. Heaven Can Wait
      12. Fear of the Dark
      13. Iron Maiden

      14. Bring your Daughter … to the Slaughter
      15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
      16. Sanctuary

      • Well, as long as I don’t have to suffer through more 90s stuff than the greats you pick here (Tailgunner, Bring Your Daughter, Afraid, Clansman and Sign), I’d be fine with it. 🙂

        But the fact that they chose NOT to utilize Donington Live 1992 is the best indication that they will NEVER tour for a 1990s re-release.

  8. @Ghost: You bet he could? You’re saying they didn’t drop Hallowed because Bruce struggled? I know it wasn’t meant to be the last song of the set, but you’re going to have a real problem convincing me there is any other reason in the universe that Hallowed would ever be dropped. 😉

    • I bet he could sing ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ mid-set and perform it as well as he did in “En vivo!”, if not better.

      My point is that judging from the setlist they were rehearsing and that Dave is holding in his hand in the video that I have posted, they were going to play both ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ and ‘Run to the hills’, with the latter being the last encore. They probably realised during rehearsals that the set was going to be too tough for Bruce to sing night after night and decided to play ‘Run to the hills’ in place of ‘Hallowed be Thy name’, right before ‘Wasted years’, and finish the encores with a song that is a walk in the park for Bruce (‘Running free’). As it becomes quite clear from the “Behind the Beast” documentary, ‘Run to the hills’ was supposed to be the last encore in the 2011 tour, replaced with ‘Running free’ during rehearsals. I guess they thought it was time to play it again.

      • Whatever the shuffling of those songs in the set, the reason that Hallowed was dropped should be obvious. They didn’t drop Beast, they didn’t drop Phantom. They dropped Hallowed. Reason? Vocals.

        Being a singer myself (nothing close to Bruce obviously) I feel very confident that Bruce finds Hills much easier to perform than Hallowed. On a similar note, Infinite Dreams is actually the most ridiculously difficult of all the potential Maiden England tracks. I tried it recently. I can have a decent go at stuff like Trooper, but Infinite Dreams is just fucking impossible…

      • Of course it was dropped because it would mean Bruce would end up struggling with it at the end of the tour, like it happened in 2011. That is obvious.

        What I meant is that they made the choice of playing ‘Run to the hills’ rather than making him sing two rather challenging songs in the set. They were wise enough to drop one of those.

        To be honest, I am fine with that. I’d rather see Bruce keeping his voice in shape and doing a mostly brilliant job night after night than end up like Rob Halford, struggling with downtuned songs. If that means dropping a song they have played in every tour since 1982 (and it is my favourite song ever), that is fine with me. 🙂

  9. @Christer Well yeah I tried to come up with a realistic post 2010s Maiden setlist, which would’ve been possible to get.. 2 songs of Fear, 2 songs of No prayer 2 songs of maidens least appreciated and least favorite albums (not mine but in general), and at least 1 song of off each 80s album. + a more sensible tour than a 3rd year in the row 80s based setlist.. This way they wouldn’t so obviously turn their backs on a big part of their history with no commercial failure as it would be commercialised as a fear of the dark themed tour which (fear of the dark) was a fan favorite, and also they would have a sensible time to release the donington 92 dvd…
    PS. Also maybe “children of the damned” instead of “can I play”, as one of the “surprises” they think they’re offering us in the recent years… 😛

    • I’ve got some money on Children Of The Damned turning up this summer, actually. As for Maiden turning their backs on a big part of their history, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? It’s still there, they just don’t create live shows around it, which is just fine with me and most Maiden fans really. The people that want a 90s theme are a marginal fraction of the hardcore fan base. Which, as I’ve said for years, is why such a concept would not make any sense.

      Whatever any of us thinks, it’s clear what Maiden and Rod think: They’re much happier with the 1980s and post-2000 eras of the band than the 1990s.

      • You’re absolutely right, but it would make sense to do it for their History tours and dvds purposes, especially in a small tour like this one .. and even more sense containing only the 6 songs of that era, I mentioned with all the other (10) classics… Everyone’s happy and that era is covered without any financial dissasters..

  10. And covered also in a sense that all of the “classics” I mentioned (besides “children”) were played live in donington 92 or in other shows of that era..

    • Okay, but I’d rather have another round of the 1980s than some 90s tunes coupled with the usual suspects. And I’m pretty sure that most fans feel the same way. 😉

      I’m going to the Bergen show with 8-10 friends. Less than half of them would have been interested if the tour had any sort of 90s theme. They get off on new Maiden and 80s Maiden, but 90s Maiden bores them. My impression is that this is a general situation with Maiden’s less-than-ridiculously-hardcore fans.

      • But you’ll probably listen to the usual suspects anyway 😛 At least they’d have another go at songs like Tailgunner (first time with this lineup) Bring your daughter, clansman, sign of the cross, that we’ll probably never listen to again, live..

  11. @Ghost: Me too. I didn’t miss Hallowed, personally. Seen them play it enough times. Didn’t miss Beast in 2006 either. 🙂

    Seems to me that dropping Hallowed and Infinite Dreams points to vocal issues. They’re the toughest ones to sing in the set they started rehearsing. I actually think Bruce finds Run To The Hills fairly easy to sing, particularly since he developed a good technique for the chorus. He can also let the audience take over the chorus if need be. No such luxury in Hallowed or Infinite Dreams…

    But of course, when it comes to picking a Maiden England set, this still doesn’t explain why rarities like Killers and Still Life wasn’t in the running. Or Stranger In A Strange Land, for that matter. Even Flight Of Icarus would probably be much easier to sing than Infinite Dreams… 🙂

  12. Any views on whether, this being a short tour, there’s any chance of Hallowed and Infinite Dreams being added to the set? Less strain on Bruce over just 20 gigs?

    I suspect I’m just clutching at straws…

    • Yes, you are. 😀 He’d do ID when it’s 20 gigs, but not when it’s 30, like the European leg last summer?

  13. @SakaRaka7: I’d rather have the usual suspects combined with 80s highlights and rarities than the usual suspects combined with 90s songs. And most ticket buyers feel the same way, that’s the point.

  14. @SakaRaka7: Back in 2011, before the Maiden England tour was announced, I thought it would be kinda sensible for them to combine Maiden England and Donington Live 1992 into one touring package. They didn’t, but boy did the actual 2012-13 Maiden England set come close anyway! 😦

    Think about it: Phantom out, Bring Your Daughter in. Aces High out, Tailgunner in. And voila:

    MOONCHILD
    CAN I PLAY WITH MADNESS
    THE PRISONER
    2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
    AFRAID TO SHOOT STRANGERS
    THE TROOPER
    THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
    BRING YOUR DAUGHTER…TO THE SLAUGHTER
    RUN TO THE HILLS
    WASTED YEARS
    SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON
    THE CLAIRVOYANT
    FEAR OF THE DARK
    IRON MAIDEN
    TAILGUNNER
    THE EVIL THAT MEN DO
    RUNNING FREE

    Which only serves as yet another reminder of how frustratingly off the late 80s Maiden England concept the setlist was at some key points…

    They could even have done a decent combo of the 1988 and 1992 stage sets by keeping the floor and stage rig Seventh Son-themed, while doing a Fear Of The Dark-theme higher up in drapes and backdrops. Perfectly logical, the FOTD moon and sky over the icescapes of SSOASS.

  15. Pingback: Maiden Revelations in Barcelona – LIVE UPDATE! | maidenrevelations

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