Iron Maiden- Maiden Japan (1981)


I hope you all join with me for the Maiden Review Series 1980-88. I’m basically just going to be writing about my discovery point of when Maiden came into my world. I won’t be doing a song by song breakdown as I have done that already and there are a million reviews out there. So I thought I would change it up for these Maiden reviews.

Still remember like it was yesterday.  

Dateline Septemeber 1981:

Starting our second week of school (Grade 10) in September of 81 it was a cool fall day on that Monday when I bumped into Muk in the hallways of our high school (Lakeview). 

The conversation went something like this-

“Hey Muk how was the weekend?”

“deKe! I got the new Maiden!” Muk said excitedly.

“Cool, Muk you bought Killers?” I responded. (If you recall I had just gotten Killers two months earlier in July 81)

“No deKe, not Killers but the live album Maiden Japan!”

(Muk and his family went to Duluth that weekend and Muk saw the Maiden EP on the new release rack so of course, he would grab it!)

Muk must have thought he was looking at a deer in headlights at that exact moment!  I probably dropped my binder and math books to the floor as well by that point.

I went home that day and pretty much asked my parents for an early adavnce allowance so I could boogie down to the record shops and get my own copy of Maiden Japan.

Once I secured my own copy. My eyes scoured that album cover of Eddie brandishing a sword. A quick flip over of the cover and it was an EP. Five songs. All Maiden. All Live! (Maiden did put on the back cover that there were a few overdubs but who gives a shit right?!)

Upon spinning Maiden Japan. Side One features “Running Free” and “Remember Tomorrow”. Two songs that came from the self-titled Iron Maiden debut(1980) which I still hadn’t heard.  

“Running Free” begins with Clive Burr laying down that drumbeat that is wicked quick which leads into Bassist Steve Harris joining in. “Running Free” lifts off at hyper speed. Paul Di’Anno drops the gauntlet vocally on the tune.

Just sixteen, a pickup truck, out of money, out of luck
I’ve got nowhere to call my own, hit the gas, and here I go
I’m running free yeah, I’m running free
I’m running free yeah, Oh I’m running free
Dave Murray and Adrian Smith have dueling lead solo’s which would become a highlight as it was amazing how quickly they could play with that kind of precision.
What follows “Running Free” is “Remember Tomorrow” which builds very slowly as Paul takes his foot off the vocal gas pedal but as the tune builds up it lifts off into a ball of rapid-fire guitar and drum bursts. It’s a great track. 

Side Two features three songs from the current Killers release”(Wrathchild”, “Killers”, and “Innocent Exile)”. With Maiden going live the tempo of course is sped up. (not that the studio versions lagged mind you)

Maiden as they would tend to do would release some of there studio output in September which would derail me big time as I would be home studying Maiden covers and lyrics when I should have been doing my homework!

Maiden Japan got me even more hyped up over what lay ahead for Iron Maiden.

A big change was coming in the band which I had no idea about.

Stay Tuned.

Maiden Japan released September 14,1981.

Canadian Sales- Platinum.



29 thoughts on “Iron Maiden- Maiden Japan (1981)”

    1. That’s a good point, Holen. Maybe it was part of Paul’s severance package. Here’s some dough in the co-writes for ya on this EP now see ya!


      1. I only just then noticed looking at the labels. Seems suspect since Paul really didn’t co-write that many songs with the band. But maybe it’s just because those songs are awesome?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Poor Tbone bought the cassette version of LAD and they edited out the whole Bruce talking to the crowd bit to fit the tape. He had no idea what I was talking about at first. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I hear ya Pete. I remember buying the Beast from the East by Dokken on CD originally back in 88 and a couple of songs were missing so I had to buy the album to get the full effect!
        That’s how I remember it lol

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Out of money, out of Muk!

    This was my first exposure to Di’Anno, besides Women in Uniform. The infamous Front Porch Listening Sessions.

    Good series so far Deke, this is one I do own on vinyl since that’s the easiest way to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh man….I remember the moment i saw this in the import rack at Electric Fetus in Duluth. It was the first time I even heard of an ‘import’ record. EF was an amazing place for imports !

    St. James stereo here in town was pretty good too though. I remember getting a live AC/DC bootleg there. Fuck, Deke……why didn’t I keep all these records ??!!

    Maiden Japan was a great early feel for how maiden was live. The production value wasn’t great if i recall correctly (i could be wrong), Regardless…we played the shit out of that one. I wish it was longer than the 5 or so songs on there. I think we got spoiled by Kiss Alive and Kiss Alive 2, which as we now know weren’t really all that ‘live’. I think this may have been the next live record I owned. I do remember borrowing you Aerosmith live bootleg record, but i think it was after maiden Japan. Maiden Japan was pretty in your face and raw.

    Looked on spotify to put it on my playlist for the day and they don’t have it. will have to look around for it. Would love to give it another listen.

    Another trip down memory lane Deke…you’re killing these write-ups !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you can only get this on vinyl and no other format even though it was included in a reissue with Killers back In mid 90s.
      You had some cool stuff on vinyl back than Muk. Eagle Has Landed by Saxon at your house was the first time I heard them. I still think that is Saxons best
      Live Bootleg I got in the summer of 81 so your time line is bang on.
      Thanks for reading 📖


      1. Ahhh I see! I watched the livestream as well and it must’ve been hard for Paul because people requested him to play old Maiden songs, but it brings back painful memories for him! It’s a shame what happened to his health since then.

        Liked by 1 person

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