which Maiden song reveals the worst difference compared studio version <-> live version?


Ancient Mariner
666 - I dislike how loose the intro, and the song in general is live compared to the tight studio version. Except that is on BOH where they played it identically.
IM - I prefer Clive's drumming patterns to Nicko's.
CIPWM - There's never really been a strong live version except perhaps on Flight 666. The Donington '92 performance is horrendous.
TWM - With the exception of RiR '01, they've never managed to capture the urgency.

On the other hand, most of their songs are performed better live. Particularly the 90's material.

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
"From Here To Eternity" and "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" sound much better live. As well, of course, as anything from the first album, except "Phantom of the Opera" - Dennis Stratton's backing vocals partake of the legendary feel of the song, in my opinion.
@CA Bryers Interestingly, you think the reverse about FHTE. Can you explain? ;)
"From Here to Eternity" I think is just preference. Haven't listened to it for years, but might give it a retry soon--I just thought it sounded oddly loose and junky (which are terrible descriptors when trying to explain my point, I know) back in the day when I'd listen to ARLO/Donington regularly. Since posting the above opinion, I'd probably replace FHTE with "Wasting Love" anyway as a song that doesn't really work live, and it's probably down to the guitars sounding pretty slopping on the (main) melodic lead lines.
"Bring Your Daughter..." I always thought worked well...when Bruce was into it, at least. It still boggles my mind that Steve chose the performance used in ARLO to represent the song, and Bruce sounded absurdly bored on that one. Sounded great later on Donington '92, though.


Educated Fool
I don't care for the studio version of Hallowed, far too slow and stiff in comparison to how it's played live. RiR 01 the definitive version for me.

See also Sign Of The Cross and The Clansman.


Ancient Mariner
Both Can I Play With Madness and Wasted Years are obviously less achieved live and many of you already pointed the reason why... but there are other tunes IMO. The chorus from Caught Somewhere In Time is nowhere near of what it is live (understandably so... that thing is absurdly difficult). Also, despite the choir part with the crew on stage, Heaven Can Wait never got a live performance as good as the studio one (although some are quite good). in a nutshell SIT vocally speaking is something jaw dropping and so it's normal some songs lose a bit on that department.

Other than that From Here To Eternity manage to sound even worst live than it is on FOTD and that's not only judging by ARLO, Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter also loses a bit of its creepy feel to it but on the other hand the initial sing along gives it some extra oomph, Afraid To Shoot Strangers live is amazing but the studio version is so good I can't help to prefer the latter and although the vast majority of early live performances of Children Of The Damned are tremendous I still prefer the studio one. Regarding post reunion stuff the majority of stuff is not as accurate live but gains points energy wise though I must stress how every single Wildest Dreams live version I listened to sounds a bit off (especially the bridge that happens to be my favorite part of the song).So yeah... I think that's it:

Songs that normally sound somewhat sloppy live:
Can I Play With Madness
Caught Somewhere In Time
From Here To Eternity

Songs that although sounding great live still fail to achieve the studio quality:
Heaven Can Wait
Wasted Years
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter
Wildest Dreams

Songs that sound great both ways but I still like the studio version a tad bit:
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Children Of The Damned

And when it comes to pre reunion tunes I think that's all. Every single remaining tune has at least one best live rendition or at least as good as the studio one.
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Free Man
for me there's two: I think Can I Play With Madness is a good track, while Wasted Years even is a great track. in their studio versions. but somehow they both never really sounded as strong when performed live. with Wasted Years for example all the melancholy gets lost.

I don’t agree for Wasted Years.
Can I Play with Madness is screwed by the backing vocals, not that bad as a whole.
To answer your question, I don’t like how Alexander the Great and The Nomad have been treated with regards to live. At all.
They’ve literally buried them. :dead: :D

Whining aside I’ll give you not one, but both extremes, 1. studio > > > live & 2. studio < < < live (bonus track):
1. Paschendale while not bad per se, it doesn’t deliver its studio grandeur, thus the clear “winner”, while
2. Red & the Black (I hate it in the album) is one of the best live songs I’ve witnessed. Certainly the peak during TBOS Tour.

Flaming Blimp Crash

Ancient Mariner
Still want to hear Stratego live and I'm still a huge fan of the song, but the missing backing vocals in the live version hurts it. Nicko changing up the gallop on the bass drum is an understandable necessity when it comes to playing live, but it also really drives the studio version.


Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Not exactly on point but the latest albums seem to be played live with less precision and less guitar layers although they got the 3 guitars. E.g IESF has a lot of textruring in the studio but it is waaaay too slow. The live version is 43 sec faster but half of the guitar phrasing is missing. So my new obssesion is speeding up the studio versions to match the live tempos. I got to say it works miracles to the songs and shows -IMO- what a production team mess Kevin and Steve are. Their songs almost always sounded better live but even the studio versions, thanks to Martin packed enough energy. IMO this is no longer the case.
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Educated Fool
So my new obssesion is speeding up the studio versions to match the live tempos. I got to say it works miracles to the songs and shows -IMO- what a production team mess Kevin and Steve are.

Clearly, they made a giant mistake in not hiring some random off the internet to handle their production.


Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Clearly, they made a giant mistake in not hiring some random off the internet to handle their production.
Come on mate, let's not go through all that again please. Kevin is a well established producer, I just happen to feel that his collabotrations with Steve are not that good. I do not think they manage to do what they aim for. Simple as that. It might as well be that any producer working with Steve would have no say at all.We can only judge what they produce for over 20 years now and IMO for the most part the albums are not that well made.

Mr Stevens


Always outstanding live, and the frdt time I heard the song was on Live After Death.

I was a bit surprised when I first heard the studio version, it seems really rather pedestrian and slow at times. As if the studio tape is slowed somewhat. Still a great song but the power and excitement in it really comes out when played live.


Most of the time I prefer the studio versions and I don't like the songs being played faster on live situations. However, I like it when Adrian plays something little or different that is not on the original record, and I like harmonies/simultaneous solos played by Janick and Adrian. Songwise; Fear of the Dark, Wasted Years, Running Free, Run to the Hills sound better live. Coming Home on En Vivo is superb, especially the end of Adrian's solo, where Bruce skips the part "to Albion's land" and you can hear Adrian's guitar clearly... I just love it.


Ancient Mariner
All Maiden songs are better live.

EDIT: although if I had to pick 2 that are "least better" I would have picked your 2 :lol: Wasted Years for instance has only really been sounding good since it was brought back for SBIT.