Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Live After Death

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Genre  Heavy metal
Label  EMI
Live After Death

Released  14 October 1985 (audio) 23 October 1985 (VHS/Betamax) 16 December 1985 (VHD) 21 July 1986 (Laserdisc) 4 February 2008 (DVD)
Recorded  8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984, and 14–17 March 1985
Venue  Long Beach Arena, California Hammersmith Odeon, London (audio only)
Length  98:09 (audio) 90:00 (video, approx.)

Live After Death is a live album and video by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, originally released in October 1985 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the US (it was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 2002 on CD and by Universal Music Group/Sony BMG Music Entertainment on DVD). It was recorded at Long Beach Arena, California and Hammersmith Odeon, London during the band's World Slavery Tour.


The video version of the concert only contains footage from the Long Beach shows and was reissued on DVD on 4 February 2008, which coincided with the start of the band's Somewhere Back In Time World Tour. In addition to the complete concert, the DVD features Part 2 of "The History of Iron Maiden" DVD series, which began with 2004's The Early Days and continued with 2013's Maiden England '88, documenting the recording of the Powerslave album and the following World Slavery Tour.


Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour began in Warsaw, Poland on 9 August 1984 and lasted 331 days, during which 187 concerts were performed To tie in with their 1984 album, Powerslave, the tour's stage show adhered to an ancient Egyptian theme, which was decorated with sarcophagi and Egyptian hieroglyphs, and mummified representations of the band's mascot, Eddie, in addition to numerous pyrotechnic effects. The theatricality of the stage show meant that it would become one of the band's most acclaimed tours, making it the perfect backdrop to their first live double album and concert video.

For the Live After Death video, the band hired director Jim Yukich to film two shows of their four night run at Long Beach Arena, California from 14 to 17 March 1985. The double LP release was also recorded at Long Beach, although side four contains additional tracks, recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, London on 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984. According to bassist Steve Harris, while the video used footage from two nights at Long Beach, the audio version is only made up of one performance, although no exact dates are specified. Harris also says that, even if they had had the time, they would not have added any studio overdubbing to the soundtrack, stating that "we were really anti all that, anyway. We were very much, like, 'This has got to be totally live,' you know?"

Since its release, the album has received consistent critical praise, with reviewers remarking that it is one of the genre's best live albums. For the band, the record's release was extremely advantageous as it meant they could delay the recording of their follow up studio album, 1986's Somewhere in Time. This time off following the World Slavery Tour was extremely beneficial for the band, who desperately needed to recuperate following the tour's heavy schedule.

Cover art

The cover art was done by Derek Riggs, and pictures the band's mascot, Eddie, rising from a grave. Engraved on his tombstone is a quote from fantasy and horror fiction author H. P. Lovecraft's The Nameless City:

"That is not dead which can eternal lie
Yet with strange aeons even death may die."

Also engraved onto the headstone is what appears to be Eddie's full name, "Edward T H--", the remainder of which (his supposed surname, "Head") is obscured by a clump of sod.

The cover's depiction of Eddie follows the continuity from previous artworks; he sports the metal screw cartouche from his Piece of Mind lobotomy, which is being struck by lightning, and is also bound by metal cuffs connected by an electrical surge, as seen in Powerslave tour promotional artwork.

The back cover depicts the rest of the graveyard and a city being destroyed by lightning, which Riggs states was inspired by John Martin's painting, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Death appears in the clouds above the destroyed city; the character is a regular feature of Riggs' covers (such as "Twilight Zone", "The Trooper", Powerslave and Somewhere in Time). Near Eddie's grave is a black cat with a halo, which also features in the Somewhere in Time and "Twilight Zone" artworks, which Riggs states was "not about anything really" and was added "to get people's attention". To the cat's left, there is a tombstone engraved with "Here lies Derek Riggs". Riggs also included gravestones which state "Live With Pride", added at the band's request to show opposition to lip-synched performances, "Here Lies Faust In Body Only", the German legend who sold his soul to the Devil (hence "in body only"), and a stone which simply reads "Thank You", representing the Grateful Dead.


The intro before "Aces High" is a part of the We shall fight on the beaches speech made by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on 4 June 1940. (Churchill re-recorded the speech – the original speech in the House of Commons was not recorded.):

"... We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender ..."

It was later used for their Ed Hunter Tour, Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, and Maiden England World Tour.

Critical reception

Live After Death has been highly rated by critics since its release; Kerrang! and Sputnikmusic both agree that it is "possibly the greatest live album of all time", while AllMusic describes it as "easily one of heavy metal's best live albums".

Sputnikmusic argues that it is the band's best live album, concluding that "Iron Maiden's 1985 release has everything you could ask for. With, exciting renditions of classic songs, and brilliant performances, Live After Death is quite a fun listen." PopMatters describes it as "a searing, 102-minute collection of Maiden at [their] peak... an absolute treasure for fans [which] went on to be universally regarded as an instant classic in the genre".

The album's video counterpart received similar critical acclaim, with AllMusic stating that "Live After Death is a visual pleasure as much as a sonic one. The elaborate staging and lighting effects are excellent. The editing is superb as well [with] very few rapid-fire, seizure-inducing camera cuts". The bonus features included in the 2008 DVD reissue were also praised by PopMatters, Kerrang! and

Track listing

The first 13 tracks (12 songs and the intro) of the audio release were recorded at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California from 14–17 March 1985. The last 5 songs were recorded earlier on the same tour, at the Hammersmith Odeon (now known as the Hammersmith Apollo) in London on 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984. On the original double LP version, the songs from Long Beach are on the first three sides, whereas the songs recorded in London ("Wrathchild", "Children of the Damned", "22 Acacia Avenue", "Die With Your Boots On" and "Phantom of the Opera") are on side four.

The initial CD version (released in December 1985) features the first three sides of the LP version; the fourth side was not included due to capacity limitations. In addition, "Running Free" is shortened from 8:16 on vinyl to 3:16 on the CD by eliminating the crowd interaction, while the intro and first song, "Aces High", are merged into the same track. The 1998 remastered re-release includes the unedited versions of all songs, as well as a second CD with the missing tracks from the fourth side of the original LP. The 1995 re-release (which was not remastered) also comes with an additional CD, which instead contains the B-sides from the Live After Death singles releases.

The Live After Death video was also recorded at Long Beach Arena, but on different nights. It contains the entire concert, complete with intro and encore, and closes with "Sanctuary", which is absent from all audio versions, excluding the 1995 bonus CD.

Album track listing

All tracks written by Steve Harris, except where noted.

^ I Iron Maiden's entire discography, from their 1980 self-titled debut album to 1992's Fear of the Dark, was re-released as limited editions with a bonus CD in 1995.

VHS track listing

  1. "Intro: Churchill Speech"
  2. "Aces High" (Harris)
  3. "2 Minutes to Midnight" (Smith, Dickinson)
  4. "The Trooper" (Harris)
  5. "Revelations" (Dickinson)
  6. "Flight of Icarus" (Smith, Dickinson)
  7. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Harris)
  8. "Powerslave" (Dickinson)
  9. "The Number of the Beast" (Harris)
  10. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Harris)
  11. "Iron Maiden" (Harris)
  12. "Run to the Hills" (Harris)
  13. "Running Free" (Harris, Di'Anno)
  14. "Sanctuary" (Iron Maiden)

DVD track listing

  1. "Churchill Speech"/"Aces High" (Harris)
  2. "2 Minutes to Midnight" (Smith, Dickinson)
  3. "The Trooper" (Harris)
  4. "Revelations" (Dickinson)
  5. "Flight of Icarus" (Smith, Dickinson)
  6. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (Harris)
  7. "Powerslave" (Dickinson)
  8. "The Number of the Beast" (Harris)
  9. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Harris)
  10. "Iron Maiden" (Harris)
  11. "Run to the Hills" (Harris)
  12. "Running Free" (Harris, Di'Anno)
  13. "Sanctuary" (Harris, Dave Murray, Di'Anno)

DVD disc 2

  1. "History of Iron Maiden – Part 2 – Live After Death" (60 mins)
  2. Continuation of "The History of Iron Maiden" documentary series, which began with The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days. Band members, crew, friends and associates talk about the period in the band's career which saw the writing, recording and release of the Powerslave album, the following World Slavery Tour and the recording of the Live After Death album.
  3. Behind the Iron Curtain (57 mins approx)
  4. Shot during Maiden's historic tour of Poland and other parts to the Eastern Bloc in 1984 featuring interviews, live and offstage footage capturing the atmosphere of this remarkable journey behind the Wall at the height of the Cold War.
  5. Rock in Rio '85 (50 mins approx)
  6. Highlights from the band's set supporting Queen on the first day of the first Rock in Rio in front of 350,000 people.
  7. 'Ello Texas (15 minutes)
  8. Interview and live performance. Caught by a film crew in 1983 at the Alamo and sound checking their show in San Antonio.
  9. Artwork Gallery, Tour Programme, Tour dates and photo gallery
  10. Promotional clips for "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight."


Production and performance credits are adapted from the album, VHS and DVD liner notes.

Iron Maiden
  • Bruce Dickinson – vocals, guitar on "Revelations"
  • Dave Murray – guitar
  • Adrian Smith – guitar, backing vocals
  • Steve Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Nicko McBrain – drums
  • Production
  • Martin Birch – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Mick McKenna – assistant engineer (Hammersmith)
  • Charlie McPherson – assistant engineer (Hammersmith)
  • Ricky Delena – engineer (Long Beach)
  • Nick Basich – second engineer (Long Beach), second mixing engineer
  • Wally Traugott – mastering
  • Derek Riggs – sleeve illustration, sleeve concept
  • Ross Halfin – photography
  • Steve Joule – sleeve design
  • Rod Smallwood – management, sleeve concept
  • Andy Taylor – management
  • Simon Heyworth – remastering (1998 edition)
  • Jim Yukich – director (video)
  • Matthew Amos – director ("The History of Iron Maiden" documentary)
  • Joe Abercrombie – editor ("The History of Iron Maiden" documentary)
  • Dave Pattenden – producer (DVD)
  • Certifications

    1985 VHS
    2008 DVD


    Live After Death Wikipedia