Iron Maiden – Beast Over Palladium (Zodiac 176)

Iron Maiden – Beast Over Palladium Pre-FM MasterBeast Over Palladium (Zodiac 176)

The Palladium, New York City, NY, USA – June 29, 1982

(63:18) Murders In The Rue Morgue, Wrathchild, Run To The Hills, Children Of The Damned, The Number Of The Beast, The Prisoner, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Phantom Of The Opera, Iron Maiden, Sanctuary, Drifter

Iron Maiden released The Number Of The Beast record to the masses in March 1982, the band had a lot riding on their new vinyl opus. It would be the first record with Bruce Dickinson, the first with Adrian Smith sharing writing duties, and the first record with all new material. The music was extremely strong and propelled the band to lofty heights in England and put their name on the map in the lucrative American market. With little or no radio airplay, the band would break America the good old fashion way, full frontal assault on concert stages…headliners beware. The American tour began in the Midwest supporting Rainbow followed by a southern trek supporting 38 Special then followed by an extensive tour with The Scorpions. Between the 38 Special and Scorpions dates, Maiden played a week of Headline dates in Canada with the final two done in New York. The headline date at the Palladium was the first of the two American headline dates.

The show was recorded for a radio broadcast and most of the early releases are culled from recordings made from the radio, 666 1/2 (Metal Memory 90007), New York Palladium (Golden Stars GSCD 1082), A Night At Palladium (Goodfellas FELL 08), Live USA (MG Records MG 1355) are just a few of the titles. When I saw this title released claiming to be a pre FM master I was intrigued and went over to the old Wolfgang’s Vault site and sure enough, there it was. The term pre FM master is a bit of a misnomer, it should be called pre FM edit. This is not the complete show, it is missing 22 Acacia Avenue, Another Life, Transylvania, Running Free and Prowler, this is confirmed by the existence of an audience recording from this concert. There is also a bleep in Bruce’s dialog just prior to Sanctuary when he asks the crowd if they want another song.

The quality on this new release is excellent, the balance is perfect, the depth of the sound is simply fantastic with a perfect range of frequencies and sounds best cranked up and blows all other releases away. The performance by the band, as most know, is superb. New York is a huge market, together with being a radio broadcast the band leave it all on the stage. From everything that I have read or heard, Steve Harris wanted the best musicians in Maiden, musicians who could keep it in control and live performances had to meet his high expectations. The set list is typical for the American leg of the tour, Murders In The Rue Morgue makes for a fast and aggressive opener, damn I love this song and really like the Bruce vocals on it. The new music sounds as fresh as it did when I first heard them, the band play superb versions of Run To The Hills, Children of the Damned and Number of the Beast. The culmination of the set is the trilogy of terror that begins with a wonderful Hallowed Be Thy Name, not yet at that mythical status version from latter tours (listen to the Live After Death version for the definitive version). Clive Burr’s (RIP) drumming is great to hear, his style was a bit more frantic than Nicko’s, just listen to Phantom Of The Opera, his drumming is excellent during the really fast passages, early progressive speed metal perfection. Bruce is the shinning star on this release and tour, his enthusiasm, stage presence and vocal range made him an excellent front man who could compete with the likes of Rob Halford, Klaus Meine, and Ronnie James Dio on the world’s arena stages.

The packaging is typical Zodiac, front cover uses Beast On The Road graphics slightly altered for this release, the back cover uses the classic Run To The Hills art, the cover insert folds open to release a great live shot of the band with a similar look to the tour program. The CD has a picture on it and it all comes with a highly collectable sticker to boot. Buy this release, put your old release on ebay, or simply throw it away. Great release that demands repeated listening’s, once heard you will play over and over.

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