IRON MAIDEN have issued the following press release regarding their upcoming "The Early Days" DVD and their tour plans for 2005:
"The History Of IRON MAIDEN - Part 1; The Early Days" double DVD is to be released this autumn on EMI appropriately almost exactly 25 years to the day since the band first signed to the British label.
"The Early Days" is a unique collection of archive material packed onto two DVDs that covers the beginnings of the band's career from the struggle to get gigs in East End pubs through to becoming within just five years a band capable of headlining arenas anywhere around the world and achieving this without any radio support to speak of at any time.
This isn't simply a band history but more the intense and personal voyage of a remarkable group of individuals who shared one vision and worked hard to achieve that goal without any compromises along the way. It also demonstrates the band's unique relationship with their fans, the foundation for which was laid right back then …at the beginning.
The first DVD contains nearly two hours of archive MAIDEN live concert rarities that demonstrate the energy and power that propelled them to the forefront of world metal.
The first program of DVD1 is MAIDEN's first ever concert video "Live at The Rainbow" which was produced by EMI back in 1980 shortly after they were signed and was one of the first ever concert VHS releases. This title has not been widely available for some time so fans can now see the band fronted by Paul Di'Anno singing such classics as "Killers" and "Phantom Of the Opera".
The rest of the footage on DVD1 consists of two shows neither of which has ever been fully available. "Beast Over Hammersmith" was filmed at the beginning of the "Beast On the Road" tour that to many fans at the time was the first introduction to Bruce Dickinson. Songs like "Hallowed be Thy Name" and "Number of The Beast" have proved to become regular features in the MAIDEN live set since this was first recorded in 1982 and now thanks to some modern reconstructive work fans can enjoy the highlights from this rare footage.
To complete the first disk is "Live At Dortmund", a massive concert in Dortmund in December 1983 originally filmed for German TV with MAIDEN headlining a stellar metal bill as part of their "World Piece Tour". Originally the show was broadcast live across Europe but has not been seen since until now. Research into the footage shows that all the original film has since been destroyed so this is truly now a rare piece of MAIDEN history.
DVD 2 includes the feature-length (90 minutes) documentary titled "The Early Days" with extensive interviews and photographs and historical detail.
The documentary which forms the basis for the title contains over 90 minutes of extraordinary interviews with the colourful cast of characters involved with MAIDEN over this early period — current band members, a whole host of ex band members, managers, agents, journalists, photographers, EMI execs past and present, crew, promoters, fans — all of whom have their own perspective of the events and process that led up MAIDEN's worldwide success, and the fun and hard work involved.
It chronicles their early struggles in the mid to late '70s in London's East End where the hardest thing was just keeping a line-up together for more than a couple of pub gigs, through the early successes of their eponymous debut album and "Killers", their first world tours, the colossal impact on the rock world that was "The Number of the Beast" and through to the end of their first full headlining world tour – "Piece of Mind" — in 1983.
A very honest and revealing (but also entertaining) insight into just what it was like early on in the world of Eddie and MAIDEN, it's also a guide book to the problems faced and attitude and talent needed to get a band off the ground and to the pinnacle of worldwide success — and then to keep it there!!! It is a fascinating and compelling story for any music fan.
Also on Disk 2 is a 30 min TV Documentary by LWT shown in 1980 on the rise of heavy metal featuring the band and footage of them performing at The Marquee in 1979 and an insight into the new breed of music fan that arose out of the ashes of the punk era.
Possibly one of the rarest items on "The Early Days" is a 45-minute home video recorded by the band of them performing at The Ruskin Arms in East London. This footage was originally feared lost forever however by complete chance a surviving copy was found in Steve Harris' home and the delicate tape was processed and now included in its entirety. With the exception of a very short clip used in "12 Wasted Years" this has never been seen by anyone except the band themselves making it such a rare gem for the collector.
Extras include rare TV appearances like their first "live" performance on "Top of the Pops" and "Rock and Pop" on German TV, special photo gallery revealing never before seen personal pictures taken by the band and crew and a thorough overview and detail of all the bands artwork, tour programmes and imagery both on tour and their studio releases, plus of course some hidden goodies.
"The Early Days" is the first of what will eventually become a series of DVDs to be released over the coming years. Each release will extensively cover a period of the band's career to become a collection of not only re-mastered footage but also previously unavailable and unseen material taken directly from the band's own personal collections, along with extensive interviews.
Says Steve Harris, "We haven't had any of our original live videos available for some time so when we started looking at this project we thought lets make each DVD a real document of not only the shows but everything around that time. Everybody has been digging through the archives to make this the most complete it can possibly be and I'm really proud of the end result. A lot of the footage we'd thought had been lost for good like the home video of the Ruskin Arms. Both disks contain some real collectors stuff. For example we filmed the first Hammersmith Odeon shows with Bruce but because of various lighting issues we never felt that it was really good enough to use. It just never really captured the excitement of show or the spectacle that it was — but by the time it was on film we could do nothing about it. However with technology being what it is now we've revisited and repaired some of the problems with the original masters to get it to a point where we can finally keep our fans happy by making it available."
"I have to say that I've really had a lot of fun recalling the early beginnings and we've managed to interview just about everybody who was ever part of MAIDEN from the very first line up in 1975 through to the band that everyone knows now. I found things I thought I had lost over the years and sometimes the smallest thing can remind you of exactly why you started doing this in the first place and the struggle everyone went through. I think the fans are going to love this."
Plans are currently being put together for IRON MAIDEN to play some festival and stadium dates next summer and bring the "Early Days" back to life. The band will be linking in the look and feel of their beginnings in the stage set as well as performing some classic tracks from that time which haven't been heard live for a while!! Dates will start to be announced in the near future
Says manager Rod Smallwood, "On reviewing all these great shows it just reminded us all of the great songs that the band have in their repertoire. It's always difficult when touring a new album to include too many of the older songs which the fans always ask for as the band would end up playing for four or five hours! The plan for next year is to recreate the power and energy and look of their early shows and eventually continue this idea with each subsequent DVD release."
The next in series will be the spectacular "Live After Death", which will cover the bands legendary four sold out shows at Long Beach Arena in 1984 through to the Somewhere in Time tour in 1987.
For more details and preview video clips check out www.ironmaiden.com
The full contents of "The Early Days" are:
* Documentaries (115 min)
* The Early Years – 90-minute Feature Documentary
* 20th Century Box – Heavy Metal (1980) – 25-minute feature
Live At The Rainbow – 1981 (35 mins):
01. Ides Of March
04. Remember Tomorrow
06. Phantom Of The Opera
07. Iron Maiden
Live At Hammersmith 1982 - Beast On The Road (45 mins):
01. Murders in The Rue Morgue
02. Run to The Hills
03. Children Of The Damned
04. Number Of The Beast
05. 22 Acacia Avenue
06. Total Eclipse
07. The Prisoner
08. Hallowed Be Thy Name
09. Iron Maiden
Live at Rock & Pop Festival 1983 Dortmund - World Piece Tour (35 mins):
02. The Trooper
04. Flight Of Icarus
05. 22 Acacia Avenue
06. Number Of The Beast
07. Run To The Hills
Live at The Ruskin Arms – 1980 (40 mins):
04. Remember Tomorrow
05. Running Free
07. Another Life
08. Phantom Of The Opera
09. Charlotte the Harlot
* Extras (40 mins)
* Live on "Top of the Pops" – "Running Free" and "Women In Uniform"
* Live on "Rock and Pop" – Germany TV – "Running Free"
01. Women In Uniform
02. Run To The Hills
03. Number Of The Beast
04. Flight Of Icarus
05. The Trooper
* Rare and unseen Photo gallery featuring over 150 pictures and images
* Full tour listings/ Discography/ Tour programmes and artwork galleries.