By Bob Nalbandian

IRON MAIDEN continued

The second disc of this CD contains an interesting mix of six live tracks, once again from the Reading Festival, this time spearheaded by DiAnno in '80. The last eight tracks are interestingly enough from "Seventh Tour Of A Seventh Tour." originally broadcasted live on British radio when Maiden headlined the famous "Monsters Of Rock Festival" at Castle Donington in '88. This is definitely one of the bands finest moments before an estimated 100,000 people, and the crowd singing along in "Moonchild" will give any Maiden fan goose bumps.

The third double CD in the Archive contains the best of the single B-sides, and also the first track Steve Harris ever wrote completely by himself - "Burning Ambition," off the "Running Free" single from 1980. This compilation is also a rare and a good opportunity to hear Maiden play covers by some classic rock bands such as Marshall Fury, Stray, Golden Earring, Zeppelin and Free to mention a few. With the box-set you will also get a Maiden Scroll with a family-tree explaining how Maiden was formed and from where present and former band members ended up in the band. The scroll is neatly rolled up and kept together with an "Eddie Ring". An "Eddie shot-glass" is also included - a very cool one, I must say!

The new greatest hits collection, "Edward The Great," is not included in the box set, which I thank Steve Harris for - who needs it anyway? Any greatest hits collection by Maiden that doesn't include "Hallowed Be Thy Name," "Phantom Of The Opera" or "Iron Maiden" is not a greatest hits collection, as far as I am concerned. Some might come to Harris' defense by pointing out the fact that the tracklisting includes many of the radio hits, which in a sense is true. However, if you open up the booklet that comes with the collection, Harris states that it was "hard to pick" the songs since they are supposed to "symbolize the past 25 years of our professional career." I would have understood the "greatest hits" part if it would have been radio hits solely, but since Harris himself points out the fact that the tracks are supposed to symbolize what Maiden is all about, I think he had done a poor job when he compiled the collection. Besides that, we have the "Best Of The Beast"-collection from '96, which contains 34 tracks, as opposed to the new collection that only has 16. Previously issued are also the two bonus discs that came with the "Ed Hunter" PC-game in '99, with 21 tracks, so with the risk of repeating myself - who needs "Edward The Great"? Fredrik Hjelm

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