Iron Maiden concluded the widely successful Book of Souls tour in 2017. Unlike previous tours, there will be no DVD of the concert. In lieu of a video, Maiden simply released an old-fashioned live album.
The Book of Souls: Live Chapter is available in multiple formats. Vinyl devotees will surely purchase the 3 LP set. Fans preferring the digital counterpart can choose between a standard double CD and Deluxe Edition. Be forewarned, the Deluxe Edition does not contain additional music. The accompanying book is still a worthwhile souvenir and is destined to become a collector’s item.
There is one final format that may raise eyebrows. Iron Maiden have paired with retail giant Walmart for a “Walmart exclusive” edition of Live Chapter. A collector’s box houses a standard 2 CD edition of the album, enamel pin, and an exclusive Shaman Eddie figure.
As a supporter of record stores and lover of all things Eddie, the Walmart exclusive created a dilemma. I’d rather see an “indie exclusive,” only available at independent stores. Ultimately, I put aside my record store allegiance and drove to the local Walmart. Not only do I have Eddie keeping watch over my stereo, my CD will remain protected by the accompanying box.
Although my standard CD lacks the collector’s book, the insert includes ample photos and liner notes. Manager Rod Smallwood penned some thoughtful reflections, noting the many “firsts” this tour held for Iron Maiden. Smallwood boasted the latest incarnation of Ed Force One and the new exotic locations that Maiden were able to visit.
By far, the most notable “first,” is that Live Chapter represents Bruce Dickinson’s first tour since battling cancer. Bruce has emerged from his struggle stronger than ever. His voice is in top-notch condition and Dickinson’s energy exceeds men half his age.
The standard CD insert captures detailed photographs of the live show. As always, Maiden spared no expense when creating the stage set.
Musically, the performances are taken from multiple concerts that span several continents. This approach does not hinder the continuity of the album in any way. The setlist mimics a single show and Bruce’s stage banter offers the only indication that songs were recorded in different locations.
Although the lack of a DVD may disappoint some fans, there is ample bootleg footage available. To view high quality video of the tour, check out our review of the Philadelphia show!