maiden england

WTF SEARCH TERMS: “Runny James Dio”

WTF SEARCH TERMS Part II: “Runny James Dio”

Welcome to the second installment of WTF Search Terms.  If you missed the first one, click here.  If you didn’t, then remember these two things:

1. Each of these are real search terms, typed in by real people on a search engine like Google.

2. Somehow, each of these search terms led them to ME!

So here’s 10 more for this installment!

  • A week isn’t a week unless I get hits from people looking for stuff like this.  I’m still assuming that people don’t know how to spell the word “lesbian”.

lebrain sex

lebrani nude 1

  • Here’s a good one:

why is here i go again not on reissue of slide it in

Because it’s not on Slide It In.  It’s on 1987, sillypants.

  • This guy can’t spell the singer’s name, nor the name of the site he’s looking for.

you too runny james dio neon nights

  • Here’s a selection that led people to some of my Kiss reviews:

just how bad is peter criss’ ’78 solo album?

was peter criss’ ’78 solo album really that bad

why did paul feel unwanted and alone in the carnival

patty stanley stripper

jean simmons with a moustache

  • And finally, if this guy had his way, we’d all be speaking Anglesh:

hmv dvd prices iron maiden maiden anglend

See you next time for more WTFs!



REVIEW: Iron Maiden – Maiden England ’88 (2013 CD reissue)

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IRON MAIDEN – Maiden England ’88 (2013 CD reissue)

It only took 25 years, but Iron Maiden have finally released a complete 2 CD edition of their legendary Maiden England recording.  A video was released in 1989, and a truncated CD version in 1994.  These were great, but less than 100% satisfying.

The first thing you notice is the striking cover art.  This is by somebody named Hervé Monjeaud.  It resembles Derek Riggs’ Eddies enough to fit in fairly seemlessly with the 1988 era.  I wish they used the original motorcycle cover art by Derek Riggs, but at least they credit him inside as the original artist.

Also checking the credits, I was pleased to find that the audio was not remixed.  This is the same mix that Martin Birch produced at the time.  The three unreleased songs are freshly mixed by Kevin Shirley, but there’s no tampering.  This is the authentic Maiden England.

Last year when I reviewed every Maiden release in a row, I discussed Maiden England.  Please check that review out if you’re looking for a more comprehensive review of the songs and content. Back then, I gave it 4/5 stars.  I found the sound a tad muddy, I complained about the brief running time, and I didn’t like that the CD did not include every song from the VHS version.  The missing songs were “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “Can I Play With Madness”.  This edition restores them to the running order, and even adds three more songs that were cut completely from the original release!  So right there, two of my beefs have been addressed.

What about the sound?  Bloody great!  Whatever it was about the first CD release, the flatness of it, is gone.  It’s like when you take your car to the wash, how it shines.  Maiden England ’88 sounds so much better than the original CD.  And of course there’s a nice substantial booklet with photos and lyrics.  No notes from Steve or anybody else, disappointingly.  I always like those “producer’s notes” or what have you.  But that’s window dressing, this is really such a pleasure to listen to, I assure you.  As I wrote these words, Dave Murray was wheedly-wheedly-ing in my ears.  And I liked it.

With the added material and fresh sound, Maiden England ’88 takes its place alongside other Maiden classics such as Live at Donington or Rock In Rio.  Of course it cannot usurp Live After Death, nothing ever will.  Maiden England ’88 has some really awesome Maiden material that didn’t make Live After Death, such as “Still Life”, which remains dramatic and stunning.  “Killers” and “Sanctuary” are two other songs that were not on Live After Death.  Not to mention, by 1988 Maiden had two more albums to draw from.  That means you’ll also hear “Wasted Years” and “The Clairvoyant”, songs that stand strong among the old stalwarts.

The three unreleased songs are “Run To The Hills”, “Running Free” and “Sanctuary”.  These were the encores.  They are not mixed onto the end of the show, but follow a pause and have a noticeably different sound.  It’s hard to describe how the sound differs, but you can hear a change.  I’m not sure why these weren’t included on the original VHS.  Surely not for quality reasons.  The running time of the original video was 95 minutes.  Would another 15 have bumped them into a higher, tax, uhh, you know?  (120 minute tapes were common back then too.)

There’s a DVD too, but I don’t have that yet.  One thing at a time!  Send me a copy, EMI, and I’ll be happy to review it!

5/5 stars

Part 154: Cassettes Part IV – LeBrain’s Tapes (What Remains)


Cassettes Part IV – LeBrain’s Tapes (What Remains)

I used to have a lot of tapes.  So many, that T-Rev converted my closet doors to shelving, just to store my numerous cassettes!  It was quite a feat of engineering on his part.


If you’ve read the other three parts of this series on cassettes, then you’ve already seen some of the awesome artwork that T-Rev used to come up with for his tapes.  Doing those articles got me nostalgic, but very few of my own tapes remained.  A year or two before I met Mrs. LeBrain, I briefly dated this one girl who was getting into hair metal.  I had succeeded in replacing most of my tapes on CD (although still incomplete; I need a copy of Live Fast, Die Fast by Wolfsbane, and Phenomenon 1).  All my tapes were redundant, and I gave her boxes and boxes full of them.

God knows where those tapes are now.  I doubt she took them back home to Thunder Bay when it was all over, they probably ended up in a landfill.  No big loss really, the only shame of it is that, like T-Rev, I used to make a lot of my own custom artwork.

Mrs. LeBrain and I were visiting her mom yesterday, and I found some of my old Beatles tapes that I had made, at her place!  Her dad drove a delivery van with nothing but a tape deck inside.  He was more than happy to receive my old Beatles tapes, and he loved them.  And there they were, still at the house, complete with my computer generated J-cards.  Nothing elaborate, although I did paste the cover for Abbey Road onto that tape.

This inspired me to dig through some boxes here, and see if I had any of my own tapes left.  Surely there must be something here, with some of my own custom cover art!  There was just a handful left, stuff that I wouldn’t have parted with at the time, and lo and behold, there was my old artwork.  These sure brought back memories!

Back in the early record store days, cassette was my primary medium.  They were portable, you could leave them in the car and not worry about them getting banged up, so I recorded everything onto cassette.  It wasn’t until I had left the record store in 2006 that I got my first car with a CD deck.  Before then, I had one of those adapter kits to play a discman in the car, but it sounded shite.  I was glad to find the following treasures tucked away in a box!


Ahh, Spinal Tap.  A Spinal Tap Reunion was recorded from a 1992 TV special.  Unavailable on DVD today, as far as I know.  That’s a shame.


I bought Grande Rock by The Hellacopters on vinyl, to get that bonus track “Angel Dust”.  Or, more accurately, one of my record store compatriots got it for me at Orange Monkey Music in Waterloo.  I dutifully recorded it to cassette without making elaborate packaging, but I did put some effort into the cassette spine.


You Fat Bastards by Faith No More was the full show that was released on CD in truncated form on the Live at the Brixton Academy CD.  This was from a VHS release.

Guns N’ Roses did a couple cool TV specials.  I recorded Live at the Ritz off T-Rev, who stuck on some demos for bonus tracks.  The cover was made by adapting an old Appetite For Destruction J-card.  I think this turned out pretty cool.  Invade Paris! was a TV special from 1992.

These two Maiden tapes were from VHS releases.  It’s a shame that Raising Hell was never released on a CD.  Here’s hoping the band will put that out on a future box set.  It was Bruce’s “final” show.  I just edited out the crap sections with “magician” Simon Drake.   Maiden England is also taken from VHS, but this is the full show.  The CD release omitted two songs:  “Can I Play With Madness”, and “Hallowed Be Thy Name”.  My cassette didn’t!  I thought my J-card for Maiden England turned out pretty cool, using an old Seventh Son cover as its basis.

Unfortunately, this is all that remains of my old cassette art.  I did some much more elaborate things, which Thunder Bay Girl probably tossed out.  One was for Savatage’s Dead Winter Dead.  When I recorded that one to cassette, I actually painted the gargoyle onto a J-card.  Wish I kept that one.  Rush’s Test For Echo may have been the most elaborate one I’ve done.  Using some old cardboard and a full-page ad for the album, I created my own digipack for that cassette.  It would be nice to still have.  Ahh well.

It seems funny, in today’s age of mp3 files and players, that a format as crappy as cassette was anyone’s main format.  But there you go.  Before I could play CD’s in the car, they were the best way to bring music with me.  I’ve always believed a music collection was for showing off as much as listening to, plus I enjoyed making the artwork.  I’m glad some still survives today!

REVIEW: Iron Maiden – Maiden England (1989 VHS, 1994 CD)

Part 12 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews!

IRON MAIDEN – Maiden England (PAL VHS/CD set)

Maiden’s spectacular Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour seemed the perfect time to do another live home video.   Future Maiden tours were to be toned down stageshow-wise for quite a few years.  It also enabled Maiden to take a break while Steve Harris took 6 months to edit the video himself.  In the meantime, Adrian and Bruce were able to write solo albums.  We’ll get into that.

In the meantime, “Moonchild” opens the set.  Sadly the acoustic part is just a pre-recorded tape, but Bruce just howls his way through this one.  As Bruce welcomes the Birmingham crowd to the show, the band break into “The Evil That Men Do”, probably the best live version of this song available.  Steve charges into it and the rest of the band keep up.

This is followed by a deuce of classic Maiden tunes that were-not-but-should-been-on Live After Death!  These would be “The Prisoner” and “Still Life”, also available on the single for “Infinite Dreams”.  “Still Life” is a rarity to hear live so this is a nice treat; I think it’s an excellent song.  One of my all time favourites.

“Die With Your Boots On” was included on Live After Death but I ain’t complaining!  You can hear that Bruce has lost a little bit of his range on some of the high notes; it is what it is.  It’s an awesome tune and this version has a certain reckless abandon.

The single, “Infinite Dreams” follows, and I always felt it was one of the better Seventh Sontunes.   It works live, especially once the band kick it into gear halfway.  And if you somehow managed to fall asleep, an especially screamy “Killers” will wake you up.

That’s it for classic Maiden for a while.  The next four numbers are all from the most recent two albums: “Heaven Can Wait” (with singalong), “Wasted Years” (which Bruce seems to struggle with), “The Clairvoyant” and the epic “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”.  At 10 minutes long, Bruce makes sure the crowd doesn’t fall asleep, getting them to sing along.

The CD closes with a double whammy of classic Maiden:  “The Number of the Beast” and “Iron Maiden”.  Bruce implores the Birmingham NEC to scream for him, and scream they do.

The VHS version had two extra songs, lopped off the CD for time reasons.  They are, unfortunately, an amazing “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and the single “Can I Play With Madness”.

A DVD version of Maiden England with a remastered and complete CD was confirmed by Maiden manager Rod Smallwood to be forthcoming on March 25, 2013.

Maiden England was a good package, and it’s cool to have the Seventh Tour documented on video, with that cool arctic stage set and crystal balls, and all that.  Comparing it to Live After Death is just…well…you can’t.   Live After Death was 25 minutes longer therefore more comprehensive, and perfectly mixed.  Maiden England sounds a little more…I dunno…muddy, maybe?

Who cares.  It’s Maiden.

4/5 stars