Metal For Muthas (Godfather Records G.R.555)
Rainbow Theatre London England June 20, 1980
(78:27) The Ides Of March, Sanctuary, Wrathchild, Prowler, Remember Tomorrow Killers, Running Free, Another Life / Drum Solo, Band Introduction, Transylvania, Strange World, Charlotte The Harlot, Phantom Of The Opera, Iron Maiden, Drifter
Iron Maiden’s debut self titled album was released on April 14, 1980 and a British tour began the following May that was followed by the bands first European tour supporting KISS. I got my first taste of this concert from a vinyl set and to my knowledge still the only bootleg release of this show, Revelation Live At the Rainbow on Screaming Oiseau Records SOR 7505 ABCD.The audience recording is very good, the instruments are well balanced and can be heard clearly for most concert focusing on the mid and high frequencies.
There is some crowd noise present but does not distract from the listening experience only adds to the ambiance. Iron Maiden in 1980 was a well oiled machine, they had a stable line up of Di’Anno Harris Murray Stratton and Burr and their popularity was built on live performance and the incredible songs in their live repertoire. They had two tours earlier in the year under their belt, the first was in support of the Metal For Muthas compilation record on which two songs, an early version of Wrathchild and Sanctuary, appeared and due to their popularity Maiden was the headliner and the second was a month long jaunt in support of Judas Priest.
The set list is great, they actually play the entire Iron Maiden album plus a few surprises. The first surprise is an early version of Killers but with different lyrics but the musical structure of the track is in place as is the chorus part with the “I Can See” lyrics. Another Life also from the Killers album is played and also serves as Clive Burr’s chance to solo and give the others a quick breather. The song is pretty much the same musically and lyrically as what would be recorded on the Killers album, only difference is it is played at a faster tempo as is most of the songs here.
The version of Charlotte The Harlot is also very nice, the song is one of the few written by Dave Murray and while it was in the set list sporadically throughout 1980 it is great to have a live version with great sound quality on a silver release. Most songs, with the exception of the beautifully played Strange World, are at a faster tempo than their album counterparts.
When listening to this concert you can feel the power and energy that would influence many bands that would later become the genre of thrash such as Slayer and Metallica. A few months after this recording the band would replace guitarist Dennis Stratton with Adrian Smith and be one step closer to their “classic” line up, although there are many who think that the Di’Anno led Maiden was the real deal.
The gatefold sleeve is adorned with relevant pictures from the Di’Anno era and the graphics are the usual high standards and considering that there are few, if any, silver releases from this early point in Iron Maiden’s history this must be considered an essential release for fans of the band or the casual listener.
So this gig was actually recorded BEFORE the classic ‘live at the Rainbow’ available officially on video ? Wow, nice !