Saying Iron Maiden's original vinyl issues sound better than their 1998 CD remasters would be an understatement. Even chock full of dust, these records emit a glorious, uncompressed racket, and each instrument breathes as it should, sounding positively organic. Seeking out these worn but charming first pressings isn't necessarily a bad idea; in fact, it's just about the greatest thing one can do as a budding heavy metal vinyl enthusiast.
|Merch order form included with Piece of Mind|
All three were released by a division of EMI, making the trio plentiful, though good examples command a healthy wad of cash. If you're not overly concerned with sound quality, and don't mind a few hissy pops, your money is best spent on well-used copies. There's a reason these records are played to death--the music is excellent and from smack dab in the middle of Maiden's golden years.
When found at the right price, each release is practically a no-brainer. Live After Death is perhaps the definitive Iron Maiden live album, Powerslave is relentless all the way through, and Piece of Mind proudly introduces McBrain to the line-up. Don't get me started on the cover art, either. Derek Riggs is a genius.
|Live After Death gatefold|