REVIEW: Iron Maiden – “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” / “Different World” singles

Part 40 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews!

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IRON MAIDEN – “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” / “Different World” (CD, vinyl, DVD, download singles)

There were a lot of B-sides made available for A Matter of Life and Death, so let’s talk about ’em all, shall we?  It’s the last time we’ll have a chance to do so, as since this time Maiden haven’t released any B-sides at all.

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“The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” (CD, 10″ vinyl)

This awesome song was made available in two formats.  Both had BBC Legends sessions.  The CD has a great version of “Hallowed By That Name”, which is also the iTunes bonus track.  If you’re like me, no doubt you prefer a physical format to a bunch of 1’s and 0’s floating invisibly on your hard drive, yes?   If that is indeed the case, then the CD single is where it’s at, and it’s a corker.  I love the sound of the three guitars on this one.  Not one, but two playing the melody, with one playing the rhythm.

There’s also a beautiful 10″ vinyl, with a sticker.  Clear 10″ vinyl, very cool.  The vinyl had two more songs from this session:  “The Trooper” and “Run to the Hills”.  Now, if you’ve been following along, then you’re already aware there are plenty of live versions of all three of these tracks on the various Maiden live albums, not to mention previous B-sides, and the Eddie’s Archive box.  What’s the difference?  Well, if you want all the power and breakneck energy of a Maiden live performance without crowd noise, this is the way to hear it.  It’s live in the studio.

CD

  1. “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg”
  2. “Hallowed Be That Name” (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

10″ vinyl

A. “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg”
B1. “The Trooper” (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)
B2. “Run to the Hills” (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

5/5 stars

“Different World” (US CD single, UK CD single, DVD single, 7″ single, download)

This is where things start getting a little crazy.  Yes, you had to buy five different formats to get all the tracks.  Incredible.  It’s stuff like this that makes me miss the simpler old days of collecting!  Let’s go through these, one by one.

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US CD

This one was redundant if you already own the “Benjamin Breeg” singles.  This one repeats “The Trooper” and “Hallowed” from that single, leaving “Run To The Hills” as a vinyl exlusive.

  1. “Different World”
  2. “Hallowed Be That Name” (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)
  3. “The Trooper” (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

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UK CD

Europe had their own exclusive CD B-side, however.

  1. “Different World”
  2. “Iron Maiden” (Live in Copenhagen on the A Matter of Life and Death tour)

So, yes, I shelled out for a live version of a song that I already have numerous live versions of!  (4 versions on the BBC Archives album alone!)  Life of a collector.  How does it differ from other live versions?  Shit, I don’t know.

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DVD single

DVD singles seemed to be a passing fad, somewhat.  I hope so anyway.  I don’t like ’em.  I don’t see the point of 1) putting out a single that you can’t play in some countries due to region codes, and 2) putting out an audio track on a video format.  This being Maiden though, I made sure I bought this, from the UK Amazon site.

  1. “Different World”
  2. “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” (Live in Copenhagen on the A Matter of Life and Death tour)
  3. “Hocus Pocus”

At least the music has some value to it!  A live version of “Benjamin Breeg”, the first and thus far only live release of that song.  And as per Maiden’s usual high standards, it’s freaking great.

But the real cool thing is “Hocus Pocus”, a cover of, yes, the song by Focus!  Lead vocals…sort of…are by Nicko.  No yodeling though.  Just Nicko’s usual nonsensical ramblings in the background! Worth having for sure, but as a cover…what’s the point without the yodeling?  As a cover version, it’s disappointing.  Nicko yodeling?  That would have been awesome.

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7″ single

A picture disc, and a sweet looking one at that, this one has a live version of “Fear of the Dark”.

A. “Different World”
B. “Fear of the Dark” (Live in Copenhagen on the A Matter of Life and Death tour)

Once again, it’s a B-side that we already have lots of live versions of, nothing wrong with it, but nothing especially different either.

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mp3 download single

  1.  “Different World” (Live in Aalborg on the A Matter of Life and Death tour)
  2. “Interview with Steve Harris on A Matter of Life and Death”

And another brand new live track!  Once again, this one has yet to be released on any live albums, so it truly is an exclusive.  It was available via the official Maiden site.  It’s cool to hear Steve and Adrian joining Bruce on the chorus, it sounds great.

The interview with Steve, 10 minutes long, I do not have.  Interviews are not high on my priority list for collecting, and it is no longer available.  It was only made available to those who pre-ordered the mp3 single, which I did not do.  There was also an interview disc made available with the Eddie’s Head box set, which I do not have.  Not a big deal to me, the music has always been what I’ve aimed to collect.

4.5/5 stars

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21 comments

  1. Brilliant collection. This is surely the go to site on the web now for Maiden stuff? Awesome. Shame they couldn’t put some live versions of the current albums songs. I think that would have been more worthwhile than the umpteenth version of The Trooper.

    Like the new theme by the way! Looks great.

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    1. I know, I wish they had done a proper live album from this tour! But as Deke mentioned in the other thread, maybe it wasn’t well received enough? People holding up signs saying, “Play Classics”? Screw them. Like Steve Harris is going to stand there on stage and say, “Right, lads, screw the setlist that we rehearsed. Let’s play Clairvoyant again.”

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      1. Yeah, good point. All the more reason they should have stuck some new numbers on the B-Sides to reward the faithful! But, I guess the poor reception is why there was no album from that tour… shame. I would have been up for that too.

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    1. No more B-sides.

      I have one more special single lined up. A rare one I imagine, but very pretty. No B-sides on it, but it’s something to look at for sure. Thanks to my UK connection I had a copy posted to me…

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  2. I totally share your opinion on 0’s ans 1’s music shold be made on physical media in case your digital collections is destroyed with HDD crash.

    I still seek for the digital single though…
    They should make it available again with interview…

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  3. I have a DVD promo copy of The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg. It has two versions on it The Rock club edit and the Promo version, I cant find any reference to this anywhere do you know of this, is it rare !

    Liked by 1 person

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