Maiden Japan Vol. 1 (Tarantura TCDM-1-1,2)
Koseinenkin-Kaikan Dai-Hall Tokyo, Japan May 21, 1981
Disc 1: SE / Opening, The Ides Of March, Wrathchild, Sanctuary, Twilight Zone, Remember Tomorrow, Another Life, Clive Burr Drum Solo, Another Life (Reprise), Band Intros, Genghis Kahn, Killers, Innocent Exile, Purgatory, Murders In The Rue Morgue
Disc 2: Phantom Of The Opera, Iron Maiden, Encore Cheer, Running Free, Encore Cheer, Transylvania, Dave Murray Guitar Solo, Drifter, Encore Cheer, Prowler, SE / Ending, Announcement
Maiden Japan Vol. 1 is a new release from Tarantura of a previously unreleased show from Iron Maidens first tour of Japan in support of the Killers record. Iron Maiden was hugely popular in Japan prior to their tour and all the shows were sold out quickly, The show two days later from Nagoya was officially released in part as the classic Maiden Japan EP and the show from three days later in Tokyo was broadcast over the radio and many bootlegs on both vinyl and compact disc have been released over the years. The sound quality on this new release is slightly distant and bass heavy, which leads to distortion and times but is overall a nice and clear recording. I tweaked down the bass on my stereo and had no problems cranking this up.
The show starts off with Wrathchild and Sanctuary and Twilight Zone, both getting the crowd fired up before slowing this up with a blistering version of Remember Tomorrow, a personal highlight for me. Another Life and Clive’s drum solo are up followed by a powerful Genghis Kahn instrumental. A strong Murders in the Rue Morgue rounds off the first disc, it is unfortunate that they did not play Strange World before Murders as they did days later in Tokyo. I always loved how the mellow ending of Strange World segues onto the opening strains of Murders.
Disc 2 starts off with Phantom of the Opera played at breakneck speed, anyone who has heard the live version from the Marquee in 1980 that was a b-side to Women in Uniform knows what I am talking about. It is not hard to figure out where Metallica got so much inspiration from, the speed, time signatures and aggression are all here. The main set finishes as always, with Iron Maiden. This is followed by the encores of Running Free, Transylvania, Drifter and finally Prowler.
1981 was a turning point in Maidens rise to the top, most of the songs they were playing had been in their repertoire for years and most would be retired after this tour to move aside for the break through Number of the Beast. The packaging comes in a nice, color gatefold with pictures from the Japanese tour and a bonus poster to boot, the CDs have pictures from the front on disc 1 and the back on disc 2, a classy production and I can only hope that there are other recordings from this tour to be released. For Iron Maiden fans this release should be sought out.