Which is Your Favorite “Made in Japan” or “Live After Death”?

Which is Your Favorite “Made in Japan” or “Live After Death”? The double live album Made in Japan was recorded by the English rock band Deep Purple on their first trip to Japan in August 1972. It was originally released in December 1972, with a US release in April 1973 and became a commercial and critical triumph.

Life After Death is a live album covered by the band, Iron Maiden in 1985 in Europe. The band made recordings at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and the Long Beach Arena in California while on their World Slavery Tour.

Starting From “Made in Japan”

Although the band was well-known for their impressive live performance and had privately taped several gigs or broadcast them on the radio, they were hesitant to record a live album until their Japanese record label decided it would be beneficial for promotion.

In spite of the fact that they insisted on overseeing the live production and even hiring Martin Birch, an engineer who had worked with the band before, they were not enthusiastic about putting out the album. The tour was fruitful due to enthusiastic fan reception and widespread media coverage.

This album achieved instant financial success, especially in the United States, because of the inclusion of the top five single “Smoke on the Water,” and continued to sell well throughout the decade of the 1970s.

Most of the concerts from the tour were published in a three-disc collection in 1993 and the album was remixed and expanded with a fourth disc of bonus material in 1998. Added content for a deluxe edition was announced in 2014. There was a very positive response to the album from critics. Made in Japan was voted the sixth best live album of all time by readers of Rolling Stone in 2012.

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A History and some Unofficial Recordings of Live Performances

Made in Japan
Made in Japan

In July of 1969, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice, the band’s original lineup, recruited singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover to help them transition from their pop and psychedelic rock sound to a harder rock one.

They started going on a lengthy tour once they became a well-received live band and they recorded some of their performances to share with radio listeners and for private listening. Although they had considered making a live album available for purchase, they ultimately decided against it because they didn’t think it was feasible to capture the energy and excitement of their performance on record.

As a result, many were looking for illegal copies of the band’s music. The most infamous was an album produced in Aachen on 11 July 1970 and labeled H Bomb; Virgin Records’ Richard Branson was later imprisoned for marketing the album.

Melody Maker published an article on the growing popularity of bootlegs and their findings included the claim that H Bomb was the most popular of these illegal copies. The band realized that releasing an official live album would be profitable after the success of similar releases by other acts, such as Who’s Live at Leeds and the Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Out.

Ya’s When asked about the prevalence of bootlegs of his band, Glover told Sounds magazine, “There are so many bootlegs of us circulating around, if we put out our own live set, it should kill their business.”

Concerts and Studio Sessions

By 1972, Deep Purple had already found economic success with multiple hit singles in Japan, so a tour there made perfect sense. The original schedule called for three concerts to take place at the Festival Hall in Osaka on May 11 and 12 and at the Budokan in Tokyo on August 16.

These dates were rescheduled to occur on August 15 and 16 and August 17, respectively, to accommodate a rescheduled US tour. Warner Bros. Records Japan wanted to record the tour for a live album to be distributed in the country because tickets sold out quickly. The group ultimately consented to the plan, albeit they insisted on a high-quality release if it was to happen.

Gillan recalls, “we said we would have to OK the equipment, we wanted to use our own engineer and we would have the last word on whether the tapes were released or not.” To capture their live performances on 8-track for later mixing, the band enlisted producer Martin Birch, who had previously worked with them on studio recordings.

Now About The “Live After Death”

Live After Death
Live After Death

The English heavy metal band Iron Maiden released their live album, titled Live After Death, in October 1985 on EMI in Europe and its sister label, Capitol Records in the United States (the album was later re-released in the United States by Sanctuary/Columbia Records on CD in 2002 and by Universal Music Group/Sony BMG Music Entertainment on DVD). While on their World Slavery Tour, the band recorded in the Long Beach Arena in California and the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

Video documentation of the concert omits performances anywhere else than Long Beach. As part of the band’s Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, it was republished on DVD on 4 February 2008, exactly one year after its first release through Sony as a “Video LP” on VHS hi-fi stereo and Beta hi-fi stereo with 14 tracks and no special features.

The DVD includes the entire concert as well as Part 2 of the documentary series The History of Iron Maiden, which began with 2004’s The Early Days and continued with 2013’s Maiden England ’88, chronicling the making of the Powerslave album and the subsequent World Slavery Tour.

Live After Death: Background

The World Slavery Tour by Iron Maiden kicked off on August 9, 1984, in Warsaw, Poland and ran for a total of 331 days and 187 shows. The tour’s elaborate stage spectacle featured sarcophagi, Egyptian hieroglyphs, mummified versions of the band’s mascot Eddie and a plethora of pyrotechnic effects in order to complement their 1984 album, Powerslave, which was themed after ancient Egypt.

The tour was one of the most successful of the band’s career and the dramatic nature of the performance set the ground for the release of their first live double album and concert film.

The band engaged director Jim Yukich to capture two performances during their four-night run at the Long Beach Arena in California from March 14th to the 17th, 1985 for the Live After Death album and DVD.

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Final Thoughts

Which is Your Favorite “Made in Japan” or “Live After Death”? You can tell us in the comment section. Have you listened to another song from these famous bands of the ’20s?

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