It's so hard to keep all these releases straight sometimes. With labels scrambling to keep up with an industry that is evolving faster than most can keep up, one temporary solution has been to releases a constant flow of recycled materiel. This can be in the form of live recordings, best of compilations, box sets, reissues, remasters, with symphony, and the list goes on and on. So the question has then become why should I care? So my job with this release is to show you why you should care. Now if you already own every single IRON MAIDEN studio release, this is not something you need. Of course those types are going to buy it anyways.
To start off this is a sequel to the previous compilation release "SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME - THE BEST OF: 1980-1989". This is not to be confused with THE ESSENTIAL IRON MAIDEN that was released just short of 6 years ago. It all depends on how much of an IRON MAIDEN fan you are. The extremely obsessive will just buy every studio release and not need any compilation. The average fan will buy THE ESSENTIAL IRON MAIDEN and be done with it. But if you want a really good collection of IRON MAIDEN's best material over their entire career then I strongly recommend you get both parts of this two part series collection. Everyone is short on funds right now and being able to buy two releases and have the biggest highlights of such a long career is one damn fine deal if you ask me. Plus it will let you know which full albums might be worth your hard earned cash. You can think of it as a really long and involved sample pack.
As the title suggests, this release covers the band's latter years starting with the studio release FEAR OF THE DARK. The second song is one of my all time favorite IRON MAIDEN songs ever. The lyrics on "Holy Smoke" have always brought a smile to my face. There are a few live versions here, but for the most part these are the studio recordings. I say forget about any other compilation and just buy these two. THE ESSENTIAL IRON MAIDEN was the best IRON MAIDEN compilation when it came out, but then they stepped it up a notch with this two part series. Yeah, I'm sure than in a few years they will come out with a super duper version with holographic live concert dvd including the all new "smellovision" technology, but until then this is by far the best collection released. Plus, do we really want to smell the band? I would rather just listen so this will keep me happy for a very long while.