FROM THE VAULT: Live in Paris 1986


The Iron Maiden concert video that never was. Here’s a classic bootleg of the 1986 Somewhere On Tour show in Paris.

Somewhere In Time. One of Iron Maiden’s most popular albums. One of their most troubled productions. The point where singer Bruce Dickinson nearly left the band. The last Maiden tour that featured a genuinly different kind of stage production. And one of two classic tours in the 1980s that never got a proper concert video, the other one being the 1983 Piece Of Mind tour.

In other words, a rare gem in the vaults of hardcore Maiden fans.

Make sure to check out our Maiden History chapter about the making of the Somewhere In Time album, where producer Martin Birch had to balance the different musical ambitions that Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris and guitaris Adrian Smith brought to the table.

somewhere in time inner sleeve cover art

Space age Eddie, caught somewhere in time.

The subsequent Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album and tour would receive the full concert video treatment. But the Somewhere In Time show was saved for posterity by a Paris TV team. It’s a one-camera production from the 29 November 1986 concert, but to date it’s probably the best video bootleg of the 1986-87 world tour:


Intro – End Titles from Blade Runner (Vangelis)

Guitar solo – Walking On Glass

This tour was the last time that Maiden would ever include a regular guitar solo spot in their show. Walking On Glass was composed by Adrian Smith in 1985 during his and drummer Nicko McBrain’s one-off side project The Entire Population Of Hackney. Smith and co-guitarist Dave Murray included a bit of the Howard Blake song Walking In The Air in this 1986 performance of their duet.

The setlist was remarkable for leaving out the current album’s epic, Alexander The Great, instead retaining the previous tour’s Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Another current song, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, was only granted one single performance on opening night before being dropped.

It was also clear that Dickinson no longer had the ability to sing like he had done in the 1982-84 period, and thus Flight Of Icarus and Where Eagles Dare were dropped from the set early in the tour. A forgotten gem on the album and in the set was Adrian Smith’s Sea Of Madness, which was dropped early in the American leg of the tour, never to return.

You can at least savour that completely rocking song in the above video from the vault. Enjoy!


19 thoughts on “FROM THE VAULT: Live in Paris 1986

      • LOL — poor Harry talked about how he would be standing in Eddie’s “hands” but one of the fingers wouldn’t inflate, or some other on-going tech issue, and he would “feel like a real dong.” After that fiasco, they said, “Never again!”

  1. Still it’s a shame we don’t have an official release based on this tour, as well as 2006’s Amolad tour…

    • Yeah, the real holes in the live catalog are 1983, 1986 and 2006. When it comes to the eighties, 1983 only had the Dortmund show properly filmed and that was a mini-set compared to the regular setlist of the tour. 1986 only had pro-shot footage of bits and pieces and the Stranger In A Strange Land promo, so nothing complete will ever surface. Paris is probably as good as it gets. As Steve said recently, they didn’t film it for posterity and have regretted it ever since.

      • It’d still be nice if they had gone a bit more in depth into this tour in “History Part 3” 😦 at least that would’ve been something…

  2. OMG! Seeing stuff from Maiden live in 1986 just remember me how awful that “History Part 3” was! I was so looking for that documentary… Part 3 was supposed to be the best Maiden documentary ever, since we have little information from 86 and 87. Instead we got the worst… short, almost nothing new, poor editing and that little blurry screen for the interviews. That pissed me off! Sorry, I needed to get this off my chest! πŸ˜€

    • We tried to compensate by doing our part RIGHT HERE. πŸ˜‰

      And to be clear, the 3rd part of the History documentary is crap. The band tells pretty much what we would expect, but to have zero input from Martin Birch on the making of SIT and SSOASS is absolutely ridiculous…

      • At least they acknowledged the creative differences Adrian and Bruce had with the rest of the band! πŸ˜†

        That being said, not having any input from Martin Birch was ridiculous. They could have used the interview(s) they did with him for the History of Iron Maiden part 2. As their original plan was to release “Maiden England” in 2008, I bet the documentary for part 3 was filmed around the same time…

  3. @Ghost, as you say, I bet they filmed part 3 back in 2005 when they did the other ones, as Maiden England was supposed to tie in with Live After Death. Come 2012 they probably thought the footage was too old to make it seem current, so they scrapped it and redid it (speculating here). A lot of the interviews must have been done in 2011 as you can see several Oslo buildings in the background of some of the interviews.

    I think it’s a huge letdown compared to the two others. They’re merely scratching the surface and there is no 2nd opinions from the crew or anyone else in the Maiden machinery.

    • I agree that it lacks the opinions from other relevant people (not having Martin Birch is a crime!), although I like the way the acknowledged some of the problems they faced in that era. Anyway, a let-down after the high quality of the first 2.

      • I agree with all of that. I thought Steve, Bruce and Adrian were very good and open. But it would all have been more meaningful if Martin had been featured. Particularly since he is very clear in the official bio, about both Bruce’s songs and Adrian’s.

        And Ghost, being the Maiden nerd you are, how about Rod’s complete nonsense when it came to the Seventh Son recording schedule? πŸ™‚

      • To be honest, I cannot really remember what he said. I know he has been instrumental in getting Maiden where they are, but his megalomania is too much for my liking!

  4. @Ghost: He boasted that they wrote, recorded and released Seventh Son in less than six months, after the previous tour ended in November 1987. The first part is accurate enough, but the SIT tour ended in May 1987, as the graphics on the screen were showing while Rod was talking. πŸ˜‰

  5. Bruce was on fire in this video. This was his most unrestrained performance ever. Very artistic. I love his looser approach to the melody lines, where the vocal melodies seem to detach from the songs and transcend their usual confines. I also love the way this approach makes the vocals soar compared to the studio versions. Bruce’s style is often described operatic, but this was the only time when that was truly the case.

  6. The band sound really great in this concert and the mix is excellent, with Bruce’s vocals nice and high up in the mix. I wish the reunion albums had been mixed liked that, too, instead of burying Bruce’s vocals in a wall of guitars. I also like how they’re not playing the songs as fast as they did on the Maiden England tour. This must have been an amazing concert to experience. Great sound, mix, individual performances, a strong setlist, and a bombastic yet intimate stage design.

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