Fans who’ve been collecting Iron Maiden’s series of digipak CD reissues likely have an impressive shelf of memorabilia going. For the fifth batch of reissues, the metal legends are rolling out The Live Collection, which includes the 1985 double album Live After Death and 2002’s Rock in Rio.
The previous batch wrapped up The Studio Collection, compiling Iron Maiden’s entire discography on compact disc using audio from the band’s “2015 Remastered for iTunes” project. Each of those series also came with a deluxe edition featuring a statue of Maiden’s iconic mascot, Eddie. For The Live Collection, the Eddie figurine derives from the Live After Death sleeve.
Live After Death saw Iron Maiden at the peak of their powers, fresh off the release of Powerslave in 1984 and in the midst of their now legendary World Slavery Tour. The grueling itinerary comprised 187 shows and cemented the band’s place as a global metal institution. It stands as a lasting document of British heavy metal and Iron Maiden’s definitive live recording, taken from shows at Long Beach Arena in California and London’s Hammersmith Apollo.
At a time when many “live” LPs featured copious studio overdubs, bassist Steve Harris went on to claim that Live After Death was authentically live. “We were very much, like, ‘This has got to be totally live,’ you know?” Harris said in the band’s authorized biography, Run to the Hills.
Recorded years later in 2001 — after vocalist Bruce Dickinson had returned as frontman following years-long absence — Rock in Rio proved that Iron Maiden’s reputation as one of the best live acts in heavy metal was well deserved. The album was recorded on the final show of the “Brave New World Tour” in front of 100,000 ecstatic fans. Performances from Brave New World are represented on Disc 1, while the second half of the show on Disc 2 touts hits from throughout Maiden’s career.
The Live Collection arrives June 19, with pre-orders of the standard reissues of Live After Death and Rock in Rio available here. The collector’s edition of Live After Death featuring the figurine of Eddie is available exclusively via Wal-Mart.