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June 15, 2024

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Iron Maiden
Casket Box Set -- Eddie's Archive (Portrait/Columbia/Legacy)

By: Glenn BurnSilver

As one of the few true metal bands with staying power, Iron Maiden has rocked worldwide since the late seventies, attracting an envious following of loyal fans. Now the faithful are being rewarded with a rich treasure, a limited edition, silver Eddie embossed casket. (Eddie is, for the uninformed, the Iron Maiden monster mascot). Inside the box, besides assorted cool trinkets -- such as a shot glass and parchment paper family tree - the real gold is found in the form of six CDs of previously unavailable live and B-side rarities. It is the live material that reveals Iron Maiden's true power. The BBC Archives discs are comprised of 4 concerts: Maida Vale, November 1979, Reading (England) Festival, August 1980 and August 1982 -- which welcomed Bruce Dickinson to the fold - and the Donington Monsters of Rock Festival, August 1988. Every live Maiden number you could want to bang your head against the wall to is here: "Number of the Beast," "Prowler," and "The Trooper" among others fill the discs with a number of repeats (perhaps the only downside) that mark the musical growth of the band over the years. Beast Over Hammersmith, showcases 1982's Beast On The Road tour that squarely placed Iron Maiden on the top of the metal world. These two CDs rip through an ear-splitting set of "Murder In The Rue Morgue," "Phantom of the Opera" and "22 Acadia Ave," among others. Best Of The B Sides is just that, a band-compiled mix of live and studio cuts that didn't make the actual albums. "Burning Ambition," "Cross-Eyed Mary" and "Justice Of The Peace" are just a few of the 31 highlights. It is a Maiden lovers dream, enough great music to wake the heavens and bring the neighbors over in a fury. Be sure to invite them in to hear what they've been missing. I'll give it an A-.
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