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Iron Maiden – Whispers In The Night – Stockholm ’92 (The Godfatherecords G.R.1018/1019)

Gr1018Whispers In The Night – Stockholm ’92 (The Godfatherecords G.R.1018/1019)

Globen, Stockholm, Sweden – August 29, 1992

Disc 1 (51:21) Intro, Be Quick Or Be Dead, The Number Of The Beast, Wrathchild, From Here To Eternity, Can I Play With Madness, Wasting Love, Tailgunner, The Evil That Men Do, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Fear Of The Dark

Disc 2 (54:10) Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter, The Clairvoyant, Heaven Can Wait, Run To The Hills, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Iron Maiden, Hallowed Be Thy Name, The Trooper, Sanctuary, Running Free

One of my favorite Maiden memories happened after their concert at Pine Knob Amphitheatre in Michigan on June 20, 1992. The band was doing a post concert signing at the Sound Warehouse record shop on Hall Road across from Lakeside Mall, so after the concert we headed over to meet my heroes. It was a one item per person deal so I took my 12″ singles of Women in Uniform, Bring Your Daughter for the band and Tattooed Millionaire for Bruce, thankfully my future wife and good friend did not mind the hour or so wait as it was rather chilly for late June. So anyway we finally get in and I am quite excited to see and meet the band but as one could guess after a two hour show and already signing a lot of signatures so far the band were nice but tired and not conversing much. So I am going through the line, my wife behind me and stops in front of Bruce and he looks at her and smiles, I should tell you I did very well in snagging her, and says “It’s a bit cold out there?”. I am thinking, who the hell is this guy, I had spent hundreds of dollars to this point on records, singles, shirts and all the other crap you could think of and he doesn’t say anything to me but a hot girl walks by and he turns into a chatty Cathy. Like I said I cherish the memory as it was the only time I met the band, and the last time I would see Bruce in Maiden until their stop at the same venue seven years later. And I still have the signed records and flier from the event.

What does this have to do with the latest Iron Maiden release from Godfathers? Well after not releasing for well over a year the Don has presented us their first release to focus on the Fear Of The Dark era of the band. While there seemed to be quite a few releases from the tour for collectors, the majority of them were from South America dates and Bruce’s final gig with the band and I am not sure if there was ever an audience source bootleg to come from this tour, thankfully we have a hell of one now. The band’s stop in Stockholm, Sweden occurred early on in the European tour and there are four known recordings to exist, the best of them is taken from the T-Mullet source and is the version used for this title. The audience source is very good to excellent albeit just slightly distant, there is a perfect balance of instruments and vocals and it is a clear and detailed recording that demands to be played at loud volumes. The sound does favor the upper frequencies and there is a great balance of music to audience and the atmosphere is perfectly captured.

The recording starts with chants of “Maiden…Maiden” and an interesting soundscape introduction that features some eerie sounds as well as bat squeals. The band launch into the opener of Be Quick Or Be Dead, the same song that opens the Fear Of The Dark record, killer riff and a superb opening wail from Bruce as we are suddenly into a high energy zone. Firmly entrenched in Maiden, Jannik Gers takes an erratically brilliant solo, he would co write five songs on the record, including Be Quick. Curious is the next song, The Number Of The Beast is in the second slot and it works in getting the audience into a frenzy, they sing along with Bruce in fantastic fashion. Wrathchild is a nod to the formative years of the band, again the audience sings the lyrics with Bruce but the band has new music out and they get back into the new record with the second single From Here To Eternity. Similar in structure to Holy Smoke, a feel good up tempo rocker and while it did not set the charts on fire the audience know it well and help with the chorus.

Bruce does a bit of video promotion in his introduction for Wasting Love, the song is a definite departure from Bruce’s lyrics to this point, dealing with relationships and loss. I love this song and my favorite version is on A Real Live One, the music is heavy and dramatic yet melancholy and this is a superb version of the song. Solid versions of Tailgunner and The Evil That Men Do follow but it’s the later part of the first disc we get into some really great stuff beginning with Afraid To Shoot Strangers. Written with inspiration from the first Gulf War, Bruce’s introduction finds him stating war is “bullshit” and says it’s the tale of someone not wanting to hurt anyone. The song is pure Steve Harris and is genius in its construction, quiet introduction but with Nicko playing a military drum beat while Bruce starts to tell the tale that precedes the battle and the build up and finally the battle begins, musically of course. The battle is a full on assault from the band, Jannik takes the first solo, fast and furious that really rips, Dave’s follows and is more cohesive yet lacks the fire that Gers brought. As the song quietly fades Bruce does a maniacal laugh that leads into Fear Of The Dark that garners a huge, deep cheer from the crowd. What can be said about Fear Of The Dark, an instant Maiden classic, even this early on it is a set highlight complete with crowd interaction as they feel its power also.

Disc 2 begins with Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter, initially written by Bruce for a movie soundtrack and adopted by Maiden on the No Prayer record, the song begins in progress thanks to a cut presumably for a tape flip, very little is lost and the song does feature a sing along kind of intro, very feel good. From here on the classics will flow beginning with The Clairvoyant, Bruce starts to begin to wring the energy out of the audience he sneers “All right Stockholm…everybody….alright ” and leads them to the chorus. Hot on its heels is Heaven Can Wait, the first few lines find some of Bruce’s vocal effects out of sync, again he demands, and gets, complete participation from the audience. The end of the song is chaotic thanks to Jannik, his style of playing is very Blackmoreesque and his abuse of his fret board is great. Run To The Hills again gets total audience participation and is played at a bit faster tempo. 2 Minutes To Midnight finds the audience a bit tired, they are barely audible during the chorus, perhaps Bruce is getting the better of them. I much prefer the Adrian Smith version of this song, he wrote the music and it is one song that, for me, Jannik does not capture. Iron Maiden finishes, as usual, the main set in bloody fashion and it is Eddie’s appearance that garners the loudest response from the audience. The encores are standard fare, Hallowed Be Thy Name begins the festivities and seems to have switched places with Run To The Hills like on previous tours. The crowd has recovered and sing the opening lines of the song, very powerful, Bruce is in excellent voice and hits all the high notes with ease. The song is pure Maiden and the band maneuver through all its twists and turns with ease, one thing that differs with the Jannik versions is the Hendrix like ending from Dave Murray.

The Trooper is much welcomed and barrels over the audience who help with the chorus like ooohhhs, Jannik’s solo is simply manic but works in its brilliance and is almost the opposite of the structured Murray. Sanctuary is a standard encore, a blast back to the beginning so to speak. Why does it get played so much? It’s a frickin great song that, as an encore works perfectly. Bruce takes a break in the middle to ask if the audience has enjoyed themselves and does a quick band introduction, much to the appreciative audience. While the band plows through an instrumental part, Bruce interacts with the audience as told by the crowd feedback. The band is not quite finished, Running Free sounds aggressive on this recording and the audience respond instantly by singing with Bruce to great effect. The song includes the sing along portion of the show, although Bruce ends it rather quickly but no matter, the audience sounds whipped by this point anyway. Stockholm audiences are always great, one only has to listen to this recording to know they are passionate about Maiden and metal music as they chant “Maiden…Maiden…Maiden”, and we get a little bit of “Bright Side Of Life”, the Monty Python outro. Great concert that deserves many repeated listenings.

The packaging is typical Godfathers tri gatefold sleeve, excellent graphics posed and live shots, the Eddie head and hands coming from the rear of the stage brings back great memories, there are liner notes that give hindsight into Maiden 1992 also. Another great Maiden package from Godfathers, one that definitely fills a gap in my collection and hopefully the next year brings more Iron Maiden releases from this most proficient label. 

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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