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Iron Maiden, Rock In Rio (Live)

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Tuesday, March 26, 2002 @ 10:43 AM


(EMI:CHRYSALIS - UK)

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Prepare yourself for something giant...

Iron Maiden's show at Rock In Rio in January last year was the band's biggest headlining event ever. The six-piece played in front of 250,000 people and this historic show is now out on a double CD - - the whole show as it went down in Rio.

Just for the records: Rock In Rio is only the second (official) release of a complete concert recording. The first was Live At Donington, which was originally released on November 8th,1993. All the other live albums are compiled from either two gigs (Live After Death, 1984) or feature recordings from many different shows (Are Real Live/Dead One, 1993). By the way, for the first time ever, Iron Maiden thank their keyboard player in the booklet (Michael Kenney). Nice one!

The track list is the same as on Maden's European Brave New World tour, so after a lengthy intro you get "The Wicker Man," "Ghost Of The Navigator" and "Brave New World" in one go. All in all, there are six tracks from Brave New World on RIR. The other three are "Blood Brothers," "The Mercenary" and "Dream Of Mirrors." You also get some of the highlights of the last 22 years: "Wrathchild," "The Trooper," "Brave New World," "Sign Of The Cross," "The Clansman" (can you imagine what a quater of a million Brazilian Maiden fans shouting along the chorus line "Freedom!"? sound like?), "The Evil That Men Do", "The Number Of The Beast," "Sanctuary," "Run To The Hills" and many more. Unfortunately, "Wasted Years" is sadly missed. Well, maybe next time...

RIR is a real live album in the truest sense of the word: no make-up, no edits, no overdubs. Instead it's got a real concert atmosphere up to the end of the second CD: Maiden finish with "Run To The Hills" at 3:50, Bruce says good night until 4:08, then you can hear these masses of people shouting and whistling until they're blue in the face (7:14, i.e. more than three minutes!). Then the usual Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life," is played over the PA and that goes on for another half a minute.

Produced and mixed by Kevin Shirley and Steve Harris, I just think RIR is the best Maiden have ever sounded: tight and perfect timing, immense power, great playing and a killer sound. Don't know if I've ever heard a better live sound of theirs or perhaps I'm just over-excited. And then the crowd: 250,000 Maiden fans shouting their guts out of their throats throughout the complete show sounds simply stunning.

Anyway, Iron Maiden just do it for me on RIR: fat but crystal clear drums, powerful guitars with distinct sounds, a great twangy bass sound with a really sharp attack and Bruce in top form. RIR might well be the highlight of Iron Maiden's career. They've set themselves a monument. A milestone in rock history.

Track listing:

CD1:

1. Intro
2. The Wickerman
3. Ghost Of The Navigator
4. Brave New World
5. Wrathchild
6. 2 Minutes To Midnight
7. Blood Brothers
8. Sign Of The Cross
9. The Mercenary
10. The Trooper
11. Brave New World (Enhanced Video)

CD2:

1. Dream Of Mirrors
2. The Clansman
3. The Evil That Men Do
4. Fear Of The Dark
5. Iron Maiden
6. The Number Of The Beast
7. Hallowed Be Thy Name
8. Sanctuary
9. Run To The Hills
10. A Day In The Life (Enhanced Video)

*****


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