Albums that Mean Something

Iron Maiden

Live After Death

Released October 14, 1985 via EMI/Capitol Records

Live After Death

I must admit that I hate lists. The idea of culling a list together is so subjective and often the people who create them don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about. Besides, everyone has a particular taste; subjective or not.

So with that being said, HMS has decided to provide you with a series of albums that meant something. At least this is from my perspective, so if you agree or not; that’s totally left up to your own discretion.

I will begin with this beauty going back to 1985. I was a sophomore in High School when I stumbled across a used cassette of Iron Maiden’s Live After Death. Surely for most Maiden fans, this is the definitive live recording in their discography and it never fails to disappoint every time I give this a spin. It was recorded on the World Slavery tour in Long Beach, California and at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England.

At the time, the tour was colossal in many ways: lasting 331 days and performing more than a 187 shows across the globe. The band tied the tour in with their latest album Power Slave, so the stage and theatrics had an Egyptian theme running through it. Bassist Steve Harris had said at the time, the band wanted no overdubbing on the tracks and he wanted this to be the best possible live sounding record ever. Boy; did he ever mean that!

Live After Death sounded so crisp, bristling with energy throughout every track. Vocalist Bruce Dickenson lived up to his nickaname – as the AIR RAID SIREN; while the band provided the powerful soundtrack behind him. This was musical theatre at its best!

What really sold it for me was the wonderful cover art from Derek Riggs. Eddie is seen rising from the Grave amidst a wild thunder and lightning storm behind him. That image never left me from the first day I saw it on the cassette cover. In fact the artwork of Derek Riggs became a catalyst in my teenage life, steering me towards a career as a visual artists.

So I dedicate Live After Death as an album that meant something to me.