REVIEW: Iron Maiden – Maiden Japan (1981 EMI)

Part 4 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews!

IRON MAIDEN – Maiden Japan (1981 EP)

I don’t know exactly why, but some countries got four songs on this EP while others got five.  Something to do with what would be considered a single vs an EP.  Fortunately for me, Canada was one of the countries that got all five.

A cross section of the best songs from the first two albums, Maiden Japan (how can you not love the title?) was an almost instant love for me.   Expertly recorded by Maiden and Doug Hall, the EP breathes new life into “Running Free” and “Remember Tomorrow”, two songs from Iron Maiden.  Di’Anno’s screams are absolutely awesome.  By and large I often prefer these versions to the originals.

This EP was relatively easy to find here when I was growing up, so it was my first exposure to early Maiden aside from the “Women In Uniform” music video.   A lot of the time, if you hear a good live album first, that is the version that sticks with you through life.

This would prove to be Paul Di’Anno’s final release with Iron Maiden.  The band were already planning his replacement.  An early cover with Eddie decapitating Paul was quickly replaced with another, in light of these developments!

The original cover art

I know this was released on CD, I saw it myself.   It was with the 2 CD edition of Killers, Japanese import version.  Yet another item that I wish I’d splashed out for!

Lineup:  Paul Di’Anno, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Clive Burr.

Changing vocalists proved to be the right move to Maiden; it launched them into a whole new world and tranformed them into a bigger, better Beast

4/5 stars

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15 comments

    1. Its not the entire recording of the E.P at all.
      The official E.P was recorded on the 23rd May in Nagoya 1981 and the 17 track full show that you have was a fanclub release and the show is taken from the day after in Tokyo 24th May 1981..So they are 2 entirely different shows

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  1. Great representation of the Maiden Japan line up!!!
    This was the second Maiden I bought,I love the aggressiveness of the songs,I mean who woulda thunk as a fan at the time that Paul D was getting his pink slip,I as a 14 yr old at the time sure didn’t know,I mean at the time bands did not change lead singers ,except for
    AC DC( we all know why) I think was the big band at the time,sure members were fired(Peter Criss) or quit(Mr Frehley) but as a whole ,not lead singers in metal anyway…..
    Excellent swan song for Paulie D….
    4.5/5 …minus a half a point for only 5 songs….!

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    1. Excellent remarks Deke! There are a couple bands though that you can say were major ones for lead singer changes — Sabbath and Purple. Purple had managed to go through 4 by that time. Sabbath probably close to that if you count Dave Walker.

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  2. Yeah mike your right ,I mean Sabbath esp Dio,..David Donato,Ian Gillian,Ray Gillian,Tony Martin…..geez u caught me sleeping at the wheel..hahahaha

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  3. Hi mike, I beg your pardon. i didn’t reply to your answer anymore! (in the meanwhile my first son has born, you know it makes some trouble…). Anyway, I have the entire recording, gimme just a little time and i’ll send you a link to download it! PS. Have a wonderful 2013! ;) Gene

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