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Rock In Rio – Commentary
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Rock In Rio

25th March 2002

CD 1
1. Intro: Arthur's Farewell (Goldsmith)
2. The Wicker Man (Smith, Harris, Dickinson)
3. Ghost Of The Navigator (Gers, Dickinson, Harris)
4. Brave New World (Murray, Harris, Dickinson)
5. Wrathchild (Harris)
6. 2 Minutes to Midnight (Smith, Dickinson)
7. Blood Brothers (Harris)
8. Sign Of The Cross (Harris)
9. The Mercenary (Gers, Harris)
10. The Trooper (Harris)
CD 2
1. Dream Of Mirrors (Gers, Harris)
2. The Clansman (Harris)
3. The Evil That Men Do (Smith, Dickinson, Harris)
4. Fear Of The Dark (Harris)
5. Iron Maiden (Harris)
6. The Number Of The Beast (Harris)
7. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Harris)
8. Sanctuary (Harris, Di'Anno, Murray)
9. Run To The Hills (Harris)

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Rock in Rio is the long-awaited live album that caused some controversy among the fans. This is the first massive live recording of Iron Maiden since the somptuous Live After Death and the excellent Live At Donington. But many of the older fans would have preferred to hear more of the "old stuff" from the Golden Age of Maiden, whereas newer fans are delighted by the first official live recording of the most recent songs of the Brave New World album. This is Maiden's fifth official live release (if you consider A Real Live One and A Real Dead One to be one single live album), and most of the songs of their repertoire have now been officially covered live, highlighting their energy on stage and the fact that Maiden is essentially a concert band that mainly releases studio albums to whet the fans' appetite before each tour.

Iron Maiden embarked on the Brave New World Tour and showed the fans that, although they have reached their mid-forties, they haven't lost an ounce of the energy that has characterised the band along its 25-year career. They decided to record their very last concert of the tour, played in Rio de Janeiro on 19th January 2001 in front of some 150,000 frenzied fans, during the prestigious Rock In Rio festival – the maximum capacity of the venue was in fact 250,000, but the organisers decided to limit the number of people in the audience for "safety reasons". This album is mainly intended for the most die-hard fans of Maiden, as well as for the newest fans who discovered the band with the Brave New World album. It has the advantage of containing not only the most recent material, but also of having disregarded jewels of the Blaze Bayley era sung by Dickinson. Many will say that the so-called "Blaze mistake" – which, in my opinion, was no mistake at all – has finally been fixed with 'The Clansman' and 'Sign Of The Cross' having finally Bruce's vocal range applied to them. This is in fact pretty untrue. Blaze's voice was more suited to these dark songs and Bruce's does not add any new, least of all better, dimension to these tracks. The vocals are just different on those songs and many will agree in saying that their respective studio versions are actually more suited to their brooding mood.

The intro of the show is taken from the original sound track of the 1995 film First Knight, with Richard Gere and Sean Connery (a famous Scotsman who had recently been knighted, as Bruce pointed out as an introduction to 'The Clansman' during the concerts). This particular piece is called 'Arthur's Farewell' and was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. If the music is excellent, the film itself is more than mediocre and it is a wonder why Maiden chose this theme as an intro to their concerts, as it doesn't seem to be related to any of the songs of the show, unlike the theme music of Where Eagles Dare (the film) during the World Piece Tour or Churchill's Speech during the World Slavery Tour.

It is a blessing that Bruce's rants in-between songs were edited out for the release of the album. His rudeness, along with his aggressive and arrogant demeanour towards the audience spoiled much of the fun of the show, and many non-English speaking audiences, who did not always understand what he was saying, only responded to the word "fuck" (which was certainly used more than necessary). Whatever happened to Bruce? His speeches of the 1980s were intelligent and clearly done, introducing the songs in the most enjoyable and often entertaining manner, with the occasional swearword to spice up the lot. Nowadays, he acts more like a bully and swears at the crowd at every opportunity, which is really not a good attitude for a frontman. He will certainly not be pleased if he ever reads this, but it would be nice to have the old Bruce back!

What is left on the album is the classic Bruce giving a brief introduction to the songs, like the memorable "Something old, something new... something from our Jurassic period. 'Wrathchild'!" or the quote of Tennyson's poem "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred... cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, volley'd and thunder'd... 'The Trooper'!" The other musicians are performing like they always do, with an intense energy and professionalism, except maybe Janick Gers whose sloppy solos sometimes offend the older fans – like his butchering of Adrian's solo on 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', for instance (he should stop showboating with his guitar and concentrate a bit more on what he's doing!). On a more technical note, Murray's guitar is in the left speaker, Gers' is in the right one, and Smith is in the middle. In any case, Rock In Rio is a brilliant live album that, although not being quite as good, has its place next to Live After Death in the hall of fame of live recordings.

SOLO INFO [Thanks to Forostar]

By song:

    'The Wicker Man' – Adrian Smith
    'Ghost Of The Navigator' – Janick Gers
    'Brave New World' – first solo Janick Gers, second solo Dave Murray
    'Wrathchild' – Dave Murray
    '2 Minutes To Midnight' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Adrian Smith
    'Blood Brothers' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Janick Gers
    'Sign Of The Cross' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Janick Gers
    'The Mercenary' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Adrian Smith
    'The Trooper' – first solo Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, second solo Dave Murray
    'Dream Of Mirrors' – Janick Gers
    'The Clansman' – first solo Janick Gers, second solo Dave Murray
    'The Evil That Men Do' – Adrian Smith and Janick Gers
    'Fear Of The Dark' – first solo Janick Gers, second solo Dave Murray
    'The Number Of The Beast' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Adrian Smith
    'Hallowed Be Thy Name' – first solo Dave Murray, second solo Janick Gers
    'Sanctuary' – first solo Adrian Smith, second solo Dave Murray
    'Run To The Hills' – Dave Murray

By guitar player:

Dave Murray (13 solos):

  1. Second solo 'Brave New World'
  2. 'Wrathchild'
  3. first solo on '2 Minutes To Midnight'
  4. first solo on 'Blood Brothers'
  5. first solo on 'Sign Of The Cross'
  6. first solo on 'The Mercenary'
  7. second solo on 'The Trooper'
  8. Second solo on 'The Clansman'
  9. Second solo on 'Fear Of The Dark'
  10. first solo on 'The Number Of The Beast'
  11. first solo on 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'
  12. second solo on 'Sanctuary'
  13. 'Run To The Hills'

Janick Gers (10 solos):

  1. 'Ghost Of The Navigator'
  2. first solo on 'Brave New World'
  3. second solo on 'Blood Brothers'
  4. second solo on 'Sign Of The Cross'
  5. first solo on 'The Trooper'
  6. 'Dream Of Mirrors'
  7. first solo on 'The Clansman'
  8. 'The Evil That Men Do'
  9. first solo on 'Fear Of The Dark'
  10. second solo on 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'

Adrian Smith (7 solos):

  1. 'The Wicker Man'
  2. second solo on '2 Minutes To Midnight'
  3. second solo on 'The Mercenary'
  4. first solo on 'The Trooper'
  5. 'The Evil That Men Do'
  6. second solo on 'The Number Of The Beast'
  7. first solo on 'Sanctuary'

Changes as compared to the studio versions/old days:

  1. 'The Trooper' – Instead of Adrian only, now BOTH Adrian and Janick play the first solo at the same time. Of course, Janick played this solo live from 1990 to 1998.

  2. 'The Evil That Men Do' – As above, instead of just Adrian, BOTH Adrian and Janick play the solo together. Obviously, it was Janick who played the solo live from 1990 until 1998.

  3. 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' – Instead of Adrian, now Janick plays the second solo (and doesn't do a very good job of it!).

  4. 'Sanctuary' – Adrian never played on the studio version (the solo was then played by Dennis Stratton), but in the old days when Adrian was still in the band, he always took the first solo. Janick played this solo live when he took over from Adrian in 1990 until H came back in 1998.

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