Iron Maiden

Eddie's Archive

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In November 2002, Legacy/Sony put out two Iron Maiden releases. One of them was a single-CD best-of collection titled Edward the Great: The Greatest Hits; the other was Eddie's Archives, a limited edition six-CD box set that contains no less than 77 tracks. And the two releases were aimed at different types of listeners. Edward the Great is for casual listeners; focusing on the British headbangers' more essential work -- that CD is a great starting point if you need a dose of Introductory Maiden 101. Eddie's Archives, however, is aimed at Maiden's most hardcore fans -- the sort of obsessive devotees who have all of the band's studio albums and have acquired every Maiden bootleg they could get their hands on. Eddie's Archives is devoted to rarities -- many of which were previously unavailable commercially -- and those rarities range from BBC broadcasts and live performances to the B-sides of various singles. The pre-1982 material features Maiden's original lead singer, Paul Di'Anno, although his successor, Bruce Dickinson, is heard most of the time. Obviously, this is a much bigger dose of Maiden than a casual listener would need to hear, but those who have a deeper interest in the band will find a lot to enjoy on Eddie's Archives -- in fact, serious Maiden devotees will find it to be a fantasy metal feast. Eddie's Archive is not cheap -- six-CD box sets seldom are -- and it isn't recommended to casual listeners, who would be much better off starting out with Edward the Great. However, this is an interesting set if you live and breathe Maiden and aren't on a budget.

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