Iron Maiden's 1989 concert video Maiden England doesn't have the seminal power of its own extraordinary Live After Death from four years earlier, but it is a strong effort. In many ways, the 15-song Maiden England is a risky video because it doesn't rely on hits. That makes it a must for die-hard fans because Maiden England, which was filmed on November 27 and 28, 1988, at the Birmingham N.E.C. on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour, captures many rarely performed songs. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson, guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, bassist Steve Harris, and drummer Nicko McBrain open with "Moonchild" and "The Evil That Men Do," two of the best songs on Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The band revisits its early days with "The Prisoner" from 1982's The Number of the Beast; footage from Patrick McGoohan's acclaimed '60s television show, which inspired the song, is included. The hypnotic "Still Life" and the ballad-like "Infinite Dreams" show Iron Maiden is capable of subtlety to add texture and depth to its music. The explosive "Killers" is another uncommon inclusion. "Can I Play with Madness" certainly isn't pop, but it's just as catchy and concise. Dickinson introduces "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" as a "difficult song," and he's correct, since Iron Maiden hadn't attempted a song on such a grand scale since "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" on 1984's Powerslave. Three fan favorites do close Maiden England -- "The Number of the Beast," "Hallowed Be Thy Name," and "Iron Maiden" -- but its treasures are the concert rarities and the newer songs. The bandmembers seem to be enjoying themselves, particularly the jovial McBrain, a reliable ham any time a camera is nearby. Maiden England was directed and edited by Harris.
AllMusic Review by Bret Adams