Living In The Golden Years (Godfather Records GR 633/634)
De Montfort Hall, Leicester, UK – October 14th, 1986
Disc 1 (61:24) Intro – Blade Runner Theme, Caught Somewhere In Time, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Sea Of Madness, Children Of The Damned, Stranger In a Strange Land, Wasted Years Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Guitar Solo, Where Eagles Dare
Disc 2 (55:30) Heaven Can Wait, Phantom Of The Opera, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden, The Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills / Band Introductions, Running Free, Sanctuary
Continuing with their releases geared towards hard rock / heavy metal the Godfathers give us their second Iron Maiden release documenting the bands 1986/87 tour in support of the Somewhere In Time record (the first was Fiery Angels Fell Chicago, Il. 3/11/1987 G.F.322) One would ask why another? Firstly the prior release was sadly incomplete missing the encores and secondly this new release is from early in tour and contains a longer set list.
There are quit a few excellent recordings from the tour this being one of them, the recording used is a superb audience source with virtually no crowd interference and has excellent balance of instruments making it a joy to listen to.
The recording starts with the Blade Runner music and the Somewhere In Time intro and the band launch into the title track, the band use of guitar synthesizers is not overdone and gives the bands new tracks a smooth feel. After a rousing 2 minutes the band plays another new track, Sea Of Madness, With its swirling guitar riff it sounds great live and for those of us who only saw the American tour where the song was not played is a set highlight.
Bruce says hello to the crowd and greats Leicester and talks about the bands history of playing the city and introduces a song from four years back, Children Of The Damned. One of the bands slower songs with a heavy chorus the song is well received as is the next two tracks, both singles, from the new record. The first Stranger In The Strange Land has some synth over tones that give it a slick feel, the band actually had Michael Kenney play keyboards live although off stage. Bruce talks about touring and how the song was originally going to be called golden years but they opted for Wasted Years as not to be confused with David Bowie. The Adrian Smith penned track is one of the most commercial songs the band would do and the first single from the record that charted at 18 in the UK.
Someone throws a particularly smelly shirt onstage that happens to a “very old Led Zeppelin shirt” and Bruce asks the punter if its his mothers and launches the band into the epic of the evening, a letter perfect rendition of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith perform a dueling solo that is often referred to as Dancing On Glass, that showcases guitar notes over keyboards, very effective. The first cd is finished with a fast and heavy Where Eagles Dare, inspired by the film of the same name its soaring vocals and guitars make this an excellent mid set kick in the ass.
The second disc starts with last song from the new record the “deals with dreams”, one of the lasting and most endearing tracks clocking in at over 6 minutes the Steve Harris penned track sound excellent live but a little strange as the band was doing the ohh owh ohh owh ohh them selves as opposed to the road crew and lucky audience members as on later tours.
The main set is finished with what was know as the trilogy of terror, Phantom Of The Opera > Hallowed Be Thy Name > Iron Maiden. Phantom is played a little slower than on previous tours and grinds the audience to a pulp, Hallowed takes them to the gallows and Iron Maiden provides their bloodied demise. Maiden at its best. The encores are book ended, 2 tracks from the Number Of The Beast record and the first Iron Maiden record. The crowd shout their approval for both the said title track and Run To The Hills, both songs have the crowd pumped up and they wildly cheer. The band takes a quick break and Bruce introduces the band before getting into the hard crunch of Running Free that includes the now standard sing along before the band delivers the final blow with Sanctuary, an excellent night indeed.
When I saw that Godfathers was releasing another Iron Maiden title soon after releasing “Welcome To The final Frontier” and the fact that it was a double cd release got me very excited and the title delivers on every level, the beautiful cover art adorned with photos relevant from the tour, the fact that we have a complete gig and finally the excellent sound quality makes this release highly recommended. Turn this up LOUD and UP THE IRONS !