Released: November 23, 2004
The Early Days' is a unique collection of archive material packed onto 2 DVD's that covers the beginnings of the band's career from the struggle to get gigs in East End pubs through to becoming within just 5 years a band capable of headlining arenas anywhere around the World and achieving this without any radio support to speak of at any time.
The Early Days, Part 1
unregistered, on february 22, 2005 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The DVD is a double disc set that features live gigs on one disc and a 90 minute documentary on the other. The gigs then:
01. Live At The Ruskin Arms 1980: effectivley a home movie. Shot on just one camera the line-up is Steve Harris/Dave Murray/Clive Burr/Paul Di'anno/Dennis Stratton. The sound quality as you might imagine is not the best but the gig itself is really good and worth watching to see what Maiden were like in the very early days.
02. Live At The Rainbow 1980: Dennis Stratton replaced by Adrian Smith. This is a really good gig and the band play pretty well. The sound is excellent. It's full on but not mind blowing if you know what I mean. The bass sounds great as do the guitars. The drums are good and Paul Di'anno is on top form. He made up the lyrics he uses for "Killers" just before the show. Stand out songs are Phantom of the Opera, Wrathchild and Remeber Tomorrow and Killers.
03. Beast Over Hammersmith 1982: Paul Di'anno replaced by Bruce Dickinson. Bruce Dickinson is amazing here. The sound is much better than the Rainbow gig and there is a real sense of showmanship from the band. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith's guitar solos just bounce off each other in songs like Number of the Beast and The Prisoner. Bruce delivers songs such as these and all the rest with fantastic energy. Steve and Clive of course are also excellent.
04. Live In Dortmund 1983: Clive Burr replaced by Nicko McBrain. This show probably has the best sound. The Piece of Mind material sounds superb - The Trooper, Revelations and Flight of Icarus. The sound is much more complete than the Hammersmith show and Nicko's drumming is great. The band play the best out of the four gigs here I think. // 10
Content: 5 hours focusing on the first four Maiden albums. The gigs shown are not full sets but if they were the 2 disc would probably be about 7/8 hours long. The documentary has interviews with current band members Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson and Nicko McBrain. There are also interviews with ex-members Clive Burr, Paul Di'anno, Dennis Stratton and a few people that were in the band before it broke through - Doug Samson, Ron Matthews and Terry Rance for example. I wish that the gigs contained full sets. In Dortmund during Iron Maiden the band 'murder' Eddie but this is not shown. Also I think that some Piece of Mind tracks are missing. I'm pretty sure they played Where Eagles Dare and Die With Your Boots On on that tour but again they're not shown. One thing that surprise people is at the Beast Over Hammersmith gig during 22 Acacia Avenue a girl dressed as Charlotte the Harlot comes and walks around the stage. As well as the documentary and gigs there are some TV appearances and the promo videos of all the singles in that time. // 10
Production Quality: The production for this DVD is as good as it could be. The footage of the live shows is as it was back then and the editing and stuff on those shows is good. The documentary is also produced really well and is really interesting. At the Beast Over Hammersmith show the lighting is not great but nothing can be done about that now. There is some computer graphics and stuff with Eddie and this looks pretty cool. // 10
Overall Impression: Compared to other Maiden DVDs such as Rock in Rio and Visions of the Beast I think that The Early Days is really good. Better than Visions and similar to Rock in Rio. I was really impresed by the documentary myself and I was amazed that so mant ex-memebers and old record company execs took part. I like everything about it. Simply there is nothing to knock the band for except maybe the awful taste in dress in the early gigs. Ah well spandex isn't going to be forgotten yet. I would definitely replace this if it were lost/stolen becuase it's great to watch and it's a piece of Maiden history. // 10
The Early Days, Part 1
SethMegadefan, on june 11, 2005 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Attention all Maiden fans: if you don't own this DVD you don't have the right to call yourself a Maiden fan. That's right, this DVD is about the very epitome of the band itself, and has some very nice information within, not to mention a repeated use of the first half minute of "Losfer Words" played back over and over again on the menu. What are you going to get with this DVD? A documentary with info on the band's first four albums (Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast, and Piece Of Mind), along with a few live shows to keep you entertained. So how's the sound quality? Well, the documentary part does a great job with sound quality (what do you expect from a professionally made documentary on a band as famous as Maiden).
The live shows, well, they're live, so obviously the sound quality's going to be a little rough here and there, but actually, these ones aren't too bad. For the most part you can distinguish between the vocals and guitar parts and it doesn't sound like one big muffled pile of crap. That's a definite plus. I was surprised, actually, because they're probably some of the best done live videos I've ever seen. So it appears the producers really set their minds to it when they were making this thing. // 10
Content: I know what you're thinking, and I thought it too before popping the DVD into the player: that it's a metal band documentary and it's only going to be about drug abuse and women and you know, the cliched rock and roll documentary. This documentary, however, tries very hard to steer clear of all of that and just get into the minds of the band members themselves. They've even got a timeline going on throughout the feature that will show you the date and the lineup of that time. And yes, Maiden went through a crapload of lineups before and during their albums. I really liked how you got to pretty much see everyone from the band and hear them talk and share their feelings towards the band and their members. It's not one of those "and then they released this and then they played at this show and then this guy quit" type of documentaries, it really goes in depth. I thought it was one of the most well-done documentaries I've ever seen; certainly the most cliche-free. // 10
Production Quality: Like I said before, the documentary is done fantastic and even the live shows are done well. Cheers to the producers for molding this into a listenable DVD, as opposed to most live videos I've seen (and, very sadly, heard). // 10
Overall Impression: This is definitely one of the most in-depth, kickass documentaries I've ever gotten the privilege to view. You watch the documentary, get to know the guys, and then pop on over to the live shows to watch some of them; this DVD's got it all. I maybe could have asked for some more live shows, but hey, let's not get greedy, let's be happy with what we have! Plus, there's something so cool about watching the band beat the hell out of the Eddie mascot at their last show of their Piece of Mind tour, pulling out colored clothes to look like brains. Gotta love those guys! // 10
The Early Days, Part 1
Avantasia, on april 19, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is great, for all the old video footage that they have the sound is perfect. Couldn't be better. // 10
Content: This DVD has plenty of extra footage (i.e. old concerts, interviews etc) and its all quality stuff. The promos are excellent and the old TV show 20 century box that did a show on Iron Maiden is insane. // 10
Production Quality: They hyped up the footage to make everything look great. // 10
Overall Impression: This has everything that a die-hard Maiden fan would need to know about the first four albums (Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast and Piece Of Mind). // 10
The Early Days, Part 1
Stian_S, on june 10, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Here you got the best of the best, the first four albums. As always Maiden plays flawless at live gigs. On top of loads of Maiden gigs you get a documentary which tells of the very start of Iron Maiden. These gigs feature both Di'Anno and Dickinson. // 10
Content: This is a doble disc, the whole first disc containes several hours of live footage, including "Live At The Rainbow," "Beast Over Hammersmith" from World Beast Tour and Live from Dorthmund from World Piece Tour. Here they play everything from "Phantom Of The Opera" to "Flight Of Icearus." On the secnd disc you get a deepgoing documentary on the early days of Maiden. And there are some fun features, such as documentary about the band made by 20th Century Box in '81 and a gig called "Live At The Ruskin." This gig was preformed on the day of realease for "Iron Maiden." // 10
Production Quality: Some of the footage are of poor quality. "Live At The Ruskin" was filmen on home video camera in the middel of a big crowd, but still kicks ass. The Beast Of Hammersmith is reconstructed from unseen footage. The light setting was bad at this gig, but here the quality is ok. The rest is flawless. // 8
Overall Impression: This disc is perfect if you want the early Maiden and some background info on them. The most impressive thing on this disc is Live At The Rainbow, pure Maiden spirit. The thing I love about this disc is all the things you get for a little price. If this was lost, I would buy a new one. If somebody stole it. // 10