the early days

REVIEW: Iron Maiden – The Trooper (2005 single, CD/12″/7″/download)

1703Part 35 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews! 

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IRON MAIDEN – “The Trooper” (2005 single, available on CD, 7″, 12″, and a special download with an exclusive track)

“The Trooper” was re-released as a live single, in support of Maiden’s forthcoming Death on the Road live album (up next in my series of Maiden reviews), and their then-current Eddie Rips Up the World tour. It was released in numerous formats, each with its own exclusive content. Let’s look at ’em all:

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CD Single

This, the most common format to find, contains 3 audio tracks and 2 videos. Personally, I never watch these enhanced CDs, and both these videos are available elsewhere on DVD. They are the 2003 live version of “The Trooper” from the Death on the Road DVD, and the original music video.

The 3 audio tracks are:

  1. “The Trooper” – 2003 live version from Death on the Road
  2. “The Trooper” – original album version from Piece of Mind
  3. “Prowler” – 2005 live version from the Eddie Rips Up the World tour

I love when Bruce sings the old Di’Anno-era classics, and this version of “Prowler” is exclusive to the CD format. During the Eddie Rips Up the World tour, they only played tracks from the first 4 records! That was because at the same time, they were also promoting their 2004 The Early Years DVD, which I talked about last time.

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mp3 Single

Undoubtedly, the rarest version. Since you can’t take a picture of a non-physical format, here’s a picture of the CD that I made of it!

This is what the download site had to say at the time about this odd-duck release:

To celebrate the release of their new single The Trooper, Iron Maiden are also releasing an exclusive EXTRA digital-only version of the track. Taken from their concert at Eglishollin Stadium, Reykjavik, ONLY AVAILABLE HERE complete with some very special extras!

I don’t have a clue what the extras were supposed to be, all I got was the mp3.  If there was anything exclusive such as artwork that was supposed to come with it, I’ve never found any evidence of it.  I have to discount any rumours of artwork.

  1. ‘”The Trooper” – 2005 live version from the current Eddie Rips Up the World tour, Reykjavik, Iceland

This is a slightly more frantic version than the 2003 live take, and trying to find a copy online is futile today.  I’ve had many people ask me to send them a copy.  Sorry, that’s not what this blog is for.  I don’t know what copyright laws regarding this are, but more to the point, I’m here to share my knowledge, not my music.

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7″ Single (blue vinyl)

I love this one. Here’s the track list:

  • A. “The Trooper” – 2003 live version from Death on the Road
  • B. “Another Life” – 2005 live version from the current Eddie Rips Up the World tour

Again, another Di’Anno classic from the Eddie Rips Up the World tour, and a smokin’ one at that. The only other place you could hear Dickinson sing this song is a 1982 version, exclusive to the massive Eddie’s Archive box set, which we’ve already covered.

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12″ Single (picture disc)

These 12″ picture discs are desired by collectors, but never sound as good as regular vinyl. Play it once, put it on your computer, and keep the record safe.

  • A1. “The Trooper” – 2003 live version from Death on the Road
  • A2. “The Trooper” – original album version from Piece of Mind
  • B. “Murders in the Rue Morgue” – 2005 live version from the current Eddie Rips Up the World tour

So again, a Di’Anno era classic, exclusive to this format. A couple earlier versions with Bruce singing are available on the Eddie’s Archive box set. This is the most current recording available of Maiden playing this song. Maiden generally don’t play a lot of the old Di’Anno’s anymore, excluding stuff like “Iron Maiden” and “Running Free”.

So, as a huge fan of Bruce singing Di-Anno era Maiden, and as a big fan of beautiful vinyl, gotta give this:

5/5 stars

Next time, we’ll talk about Death on the Road itself.  Stay tuned.

Note: All comments regarding trades will be deleted.

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REVIEW: Iron Maiden – “The Number of the Beast” (2005 single) / The Early Days (DVD)

Part 34 of my series of Iron Maiden reviews!

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IRON MAIDEN – “The Number of the Beast” (2005 CD/vinyl single)

I’ve decided, much like my idol Martin Popoff, to stick pretty much to audio releases when it comes to this series of Maiden reviews.  To get into video just opens a big can of worms that I don’t think I can handle.  However worth mentioning is the excellent Maiden DVD The Early Days.

SAM_1611A two-disc set, The Early Days combines an excellent documentary with lots of rare early Maiden footage featuring Di’Anno and Dickinson.  Live At The Rainbow, Beast Over Hammersmith (audio available on Eddie’s Archive), Live In Dortmund, and Live at the Ruskin Arms are all a part of this, as well as some videos and Top of the Pops performances.  The documentary chronicles the early days and features interviews with ex members Paul Di’Anno, Clive Burr, Dennis Stratton, Dave Sullivan, Terry Rance, Doug Sampson, Ron “Rebel” Matthews, Terry Wapram and Bob Sawyer.  There are very few members missing from this documentary; most notably singers Paul Day and Den Wilcock, and drummer Thunderstick.

The following year, Maiden re-released “The Number of the Beast” as a CD single, with an advertisement promoting The Early Days on the back.   Therefore I’ve decided to consider this single as promotional to The Early Days, which also contains the video for “Beast”.

The tracklisting is as follows:

  1. “The Number of the Beast” (original version)
  2. “The Number of the Beast” (live at Brixton ’02)
  3. “Hallowed Be That Name” (live at Brixton ’02)

plus videos:

  1. “The Number of the Beast” (Camp Chaos version — essentially has added animations)
  2. “The Number of the Beast” (live at Brixton ’02)

I also have a red vinyl 7″ single with a lovely poster.  This one just contains the two versions of “Beast”.

These live tracks being ’02, they featuring the six-man lineup of Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, Janick Gers, Adrian Smith, and Nicko McBrain.

So what can I say as far as an actual review goes?  Well, it’s Maiden live in ’02, two of their all time best tracks.  “Hallowed” in particular smokes with fiery solos by Dave and Janick.  Janick simply burns up the fretboard with the kind of speedy fingerwork that the fans love him for.  Bruce is in top voice.

As a nice little extra bonus single for the fans, I have no complaints.

5/5 stars