Part 38 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews!
IRON MAIDEN – The Essential (2005)
…And the era of Maiden compilations had begun. And I did buy them all.
The Essential is a series. I have The Essential Johnny Cash as well as others. So, this one was not put together by the band. There’s no Eddie on the cover, no exclusive content, no liner notes from Rod Smallwood nor Steve Harris. Instead there are liner notes from Lonn M. Friend of RIP Magazine. They’re aimed at newbies, but at least all songs get full musician and writing credits.
Much like 1996’s Best of the Beast, the tracks are reverse-chronological. This time, it works better than on Best of the Beast. The cool thing is that this means you start with the incredible epic “Passchendale” from Dance of Death. What an opening. Every album (studio and live) is visited, including four Blaze Bayley tracks.
Everybody bitches about what tracks should have been left off, and which should have been included. Here’s mine:
1. I would have included no Blaze tracks, and instead included live versions of Bruce singing them.
2. Those are the only times I would have included live tracks.
3. I could do without “Holy Smoke” and “Bring Your Daughter”. Give me “Tailgunner” instead.
4. Give me “Stranger In A Strange Land” instead of “Heaven Can Wait”.
But that’s about it. You get a healthy mix of hits along with great album cuts such as “Wrathchild”, “Killers”, and glory be, “Phantom of the Opera”! Those, plus “Passchendale”, make this a passable greatest hits disc.
Tracklist is below, but only you can decide if this one’s worth buying. I bought it for “the collection”. As far as a complete career-spanning set goes, this is about as close as it got without having to buy multiple sets. However it’s now out of print, so the point is moot.
|3. The Wicker Man|
|4. Brave New World|
|6. The Clansman|
|7. Sign Of The Cross|
|8. Man On The Edge|
|9. Be Quick Or Be Dead|
|10. Fear Of The Dark|
|11. Holy Smoke|
|12. Bring Your Daughter..To The Slaughter|
|13. The Clairvoyant|
|1. The Evil That Men Do|
|2. Wasted Years|
|3. Heaven Can Wait|
|4. 2 Minutes To Midnight|
|5. Aces High|
|6. Flight Of Icarus|
|7. The Trooper|
|8. The Number Of The Beast|
|9. Run To The Hills|
|12. Phantom Of The Opera|
|13. Running Free (Live)|
|14. Iron Maiden (Live)|