Iron Maiden - The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days (EMI) (DVD)
Assembled with a true fan boy's attention to detail and selling for less than a ball of good hash, this two-disc set is astounding value. Disc 1 captures the Paul Di'Anno-fronted version of the band-with the dirt still under its fingernails-at London's Rainbow Theatre in 1980, then again with new vocalist Bruce Dickinson in Hammersmith in '82 and a third spectacle in Dortmund a year after that. The Rainbow performance stands out as lean and unaffected. Three years later and the vanguard band of the new wave of British heavy metal has the show-offy Nicko McBrain mugging it up from behind the drum kit while frequently flat singer Dickinson plumbs new depths of adolescent posturing, kitchen-sink evil, and a true narcissist's appreciation of his own very round buttocks. Then it ends in a custard-pie fight.
Disc 2 has the really good stuff, particularly if you still haven't lost your Maidenhead. Along with the compulsory discography, gigography, TV appearances, early videos, and more, the band's history is cheerfully recounted on camera by almost every member past and present in a feature-length documentary. The topper, though, is Twentieth Century Box, a priceless example of British "yoof" programming from 1980 that investigates Maiden's working-class appeal with lofty quotes from journalists and logic bombs from fans. "If I had a pound for every time I've seen Maiden," spouts one spotty Herbert, "I'd be a rich man by now." Who knew Lewis Carroll was a cockney headbanger?