Iron Maiden - The Essential Iron Maiden
Sony Music
Heavy Metal
Disc 1: 13 songs (74:40) Disc 2: 14 songs (72:52)
Release year: 2005
Iron Maiden, Sony Music
Reviewed by Mike

To coincide with their Ozzfest tour, Iron Maiden have decided to make a new release available to their fans. What this amounts to is an expanded version of the Edward the Great compilation that was released 3 years ago. This is a 2 CD retrospective of the band's career, with each album represented in this set. The 2 cd set runs is reverse chronological order. Disc one starts with material from the band's latest effort, Dance of Death, while Disc two concludes with material from the debut album. Without further ado, here is the track listing:

Disc 1:
The Wicker Man
Brave New World
The Clansman
Sign of the Cross
Man on the Edge
Be Quick or Be Dead
Fear of the Dark (live)
Holy Smoke
Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter
The Clairvoyant

Disc 2:
The Evil That Men Do
Wasted Years
Heaven Can Wait
2 Minutes to Midnight
Aces High
Flight of Icarus
The Trooper
The Number of the Beast
Run to the Hills
Phantom of the Opera
Running Free (live)
Iron Maiden (live)

With this compilation, you'll see that the track listing is evenly distributed between all the band's albums. I think most fans would agree, the more "essential" Iron Maiden material is the older material. Personally, I would have nixed a few of the newer tracks from disc one in favor of some older classics like Murders In the Rue Morgue and The Prisoner, which sadly, are both absent here. However, also take note that there are no new tracks to speak of in this set either. Thus, it's very clear to me that this release isn't targeting die hard fans that own all Iron Maiden's albums. With the band currently on the OzzFest tour, many teens and 20 somethings from the younger generation of metalheads may be getting their first exposure to Iron Maiden. Or, at the very least, casual fans that aren't familiar with all the band's material might be getting a first in depth glimpse of the band this year. Having said that, this release is perfect for those type of fans. An unbiased, nearly equal amount of focus is placed on each segment of the band's career. You get to hear material for all three vocalists, and even get a taste of what the live albums sound like. This is a very efficient use of 2 cd's to give novice Maiden fans a comprehensive view of the band. From this two cd set, listeners will be able to choose the era of the band that they like the most, and begin building their collection from there. For what it is, this release hits the nail on the head. Die hard fans like me can argue that some tracks should be present in place of others, but that's not the point of this release. Still going strong after 25 years, this is a perfectly timed release to get some younger fans away from the garbage nu metal bands that creep their way into OzzFest, and more acquainted with a true metal giant such as Iron Maiden. For any of you who are just getting your first taste of Iron Maiden, or only have limited exposure to the band, this 2 cd set is a great way to familiarize yourself with this band's spectacular 25 year career. From this disc, you will be able to figure out which era of the band to build your collection around.

Killing Songs :
Mike quoted no quote
Other albums by Iron Maiden that we have reviewed:
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Iron Maiden - Killers reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
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