Songs that didn't work live


Ancient Mariner
*LOTB free discusion (if you really need to speak abut it, use spoilers)*

Really, here is no songs that don't work live in LOTB set IMO.

I was wondering, do you think that Maiden has ever performed a song live that didn't work live. I couldn't think of any right now, but I'm interested if you think that Maiden chose the wrong song to play, because, well, it didn't work live well and it would be better to leave it as it is on the album.

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
The Red & The Black. The "woah-oh" parts are forced af. They could've played Shadows Of The Valley and The Man Of Sorrows instead, both superior songs that combined are just as long as TRATB.

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
I think "Wasting Love" didn't work, at all. The intro harmony sounded disturbingly awkward to me, and Bruce couldn't handle it very well (his performance simply didn't fit, as opposed to the album version). I always skip it when I listen to A Real Live One or Live At Donington.


Ancient Mariner
I got one. The Mercenary. I always thought that the chorus dragged a bit and it didn't really lift off the audience. OOTSP would've been a better choice.

TRATB was better live IMO. At least the whoa-oh's had purpose, unlike the album, where they were awkward as fuck.
Last edited:

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
"The Red and the Black" is an overall top 10 (maybe even top 5) song either way for me, so...


The Red and The Black. Bruce struggles to sing the verses and the whoah-whoahing sections are embarrassing. Maiden don't need to build that sort of thing into their songs; we fans are quite capable of singing the guitar harmonies without the prompts, thank you very much.

Diesel 11

Und die Welt zählt laut bis zehn...
The Red and the Black featured a weaker Bruce but otherwise the live version excelled. Love the instrumentals there.


Educated Fool
Run to the Hills or Can I Play with Madness never fully work for me because the backing vocals for the choruses of both songs live are lacking. Steve/Adrian obviously can't pull off the Bruce-style vibrato to do it properly.


Ancient Mariner
The red and the black for sure and then...let's see....When the wild wind blows for the most part.


Ancient Mariner
I kinda agree about some of the mentioned songs. The Mercenary is a good live song, but nothing too spectacular. I'd enjoy it as a "codename wrathchild" song in pretty much any set, but it's not a song I'd WANT to be included. Enjoyable with some good stuff in it, but nothing irreplaceable. I can see @soundwave's (I did read your comments with Frank Welker's voice in my head, haha! :D ) point about RTTH and CIPWM but the most recent live recordings of the latter are pretty good, actually. Sounds much... beefier than the original Maiden England live version or FOTD tour recordings. It worked very well right after Moonchild during Maiden England tour and the audience shouting the title after the break is always such an amazing moment. :) I think TRATB sounds pretty good live and the crowd reactions seemed to be rather positive as well; the sing-along-whoah really got people.

Overall, there isn't that much stuff that didn't (or wouldn't, if played now/in the future) work live, since Maiden has always thought and rehearsed their setlist picks quite thoroughly. They're being pretty careful and playing safe (arguably too much) when it comes to these things, so the odds for songs not to work after the first shows aren't that big. Of course, some performances do occasionally fall a bit flat, but that has not happened too often. Arguably some of the SIT stuff didn't work out live as they perhaps would have wanted back in the day, thanks to the high-end production and overall sound of the actual record, but I believe that stuff would sound better with the current line-up anyway, should they decide to play any of that stuff live.

I suppose The Final Frontier songs are good candidates here. El Dorado and Coming Home worked very well and I love the intensity of the live version(s) of When the Wild Wind Blows, not to even mention the great performance of The Talisman in En Vivo! However, the title track wasn't that great show opener and the general problem with the TFF stuff was that those songs really need that very high level of intensity and presence to really work. The official release, En Vivo! definitely has that and those songs sound great there, but there is quite a lot of much worse footage around from that tour. The Helsinki show 2011 was a perfect example of the weak points of that set: daylight, somewhat rusty Bruce and some very routine run-through-performances. Definitely nothing terrible, since below average Maiden show is still being quite a solid one, but it really didn't turn out THAT great either.
Last edited:


Grim Reaper
Staff member
Trooper when played dizzyingly fast for an older Bruce's voice - especially noticable on ME 13/14
Last edited:


Ancient Mariner
Judging from live videos, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. Played a bit too fast, and Bruce never quite got the timing correct in the verses. The same emotion and feel was lost in the live versions.


Out of the Silent Planet
The Pilgrim and The Longest day in 2006 - the choruses are not transformed well live.
Last edited:
I agree with BTATS and its question of timing. I will always remember how Bruce totally messed up the chorus in Zurich (a funny moment, listening to the recording of it right now :bigsmile:).
From the same album, I think of The Legacy more as a studio kind of song (and a great one) but live, specially the long intro and then the mid tempo part, it really takes too much time before actually get going


Ancient Mariner
Yeah. I agree with TFF. Itbwas intro into another intro and then into a medicore mid-tempo rocker.

Thankfully, the opening song improved vastly on TBOS.


The Red & The Black. The "woah-oh" parts are forced af.
That's probably one I have to disagree with. I didn't really like the album version - or the album as a whole - but it worked really well live when I saw them in 2016 (Ullevi). (Same with "The Book of Souls" and "Death or Glory".) Didn't find any part forced really.

"Aces High" has never 'worked' live in my opinion. But I don't know, it really is a Maiden trademark to do songs that you can't really sing and then play them live anyway. So I'm kind of torn on it.

"Lightning Strikes Twice" is a painful example. Blaze couldn't hit that note in chorus, and it's apparent even on the record that he is shouting to reach.
  • Like
Reactions: Jer