Pretty Maids
It Comes Alive

1. Pandemonium
2. I.N.V.U
3. Hell on high heels
4. Wake up to the real world
5. Destination paradise
6. Another shot of your love
7. Scream
8. Walk away
9. It comes at night
10. Queen of dreams
11. Savage heart
12. Clay
1. Yellow rain
2. Rock the house
3. Back to back
4. Rodeo
5. Lovegames
6. Future world
7. Little drops of  heaven
8. Please don’t leave  me
9. Red hot and  heavy
10. Lethal Heroes (Bonus track on USA and Euro Edition)
10. Nightmare In The Neighbourhood (iTunes bonus track)
10. Spooked (Japan bonus track)

DVD Contents:
1. Pandemonium
2. I.N.V.U
3. Hell on high heels
4. Wake up to the real world
5. Destination paradise
6. Another shot of your love
7. Scream
8. Walk away
9. It comes at night
10. Queen of dreams
11. Savage heart
12. Yellow rain
13. Rock the house
14. Back to back
15. Rodeo
16. Lovegames
17. Future world
18. Little drops of  heaven
19. Please don’t leave  me
20. Red hot and  heavy
- Rockumentary (incl. backstage footage and interviews with the band)

Ronnie Atkins - Vocals
Ken Hammer - Guitars
Rene Shades - Bass
Allan Tschicaja - Drums
Morten Sandager - Keyboards

Red Hot and Heavy (1984)
Future World (1987)
Jump The Gun (1990, released as Lethal Heroes in America)
Sin-Decade (1992)
Stripped (1993, acoustic album)
Scream (1994, not released in Europe until 1995)
Spooked (1997)
Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing (1999)
Carpe Diem (2000)
Planet Panic (2002)
Wake Up to the Real World (2006)
Pandemonium (2010)
Screamin' Live (1995, live compilation)
Alive At Least (2003, live compilation)



Released 23/3-2012
Reviewed 9/3-2012


Early predictions on this album didn't look all too well for Pretty Maids since I was the one to review the album. FIrstly, I'm not a fan of this band and that is based on the songs I've heard from this band, which - if I'm honest - wasn't too much (but enough to form an opinion) and that's not really helping either. Secondly, as I always point out when reviewing live albums, I'm no fan of live albums simply because in 95% of the cases, what we get is completely useless unless you document a very unique live occasion for the band (like a one and only show along with special guest appearances or the 1000 show with the band). And I don't like bands that release a big number of live albums either and this is the third live album by the Danes. However, the occasion is that Pretty Maids celebrates 30 years as a band and all in all I have to say that I really like this album!

This album really reminds me of the first times I went to live shows. I can almost see and feel the same things I experienced then as I play this album and that is exactly what a live album should do for you. A live album is never as exciting as visiting a live show, and the normal thing is that the songs also sounds worse than they do on studio albums but on rare occasions they can actually sound better and this is one of those exceptions. On this live album, how strange this might sound, Pretty Maids sounds better than they do on their albums.These songs are better live than on album, at least that's my opinion.

The album has been recorded in Switzerland in front of an enthusiastic audience and if you don't settle with hearing this crowd you can always buy the DVD-version and see them with your own eyes. I normally say the DVD is to recommend, always! But this double CD works really well to in my book since it's almost like playing a studio album sound-wise. However, the album is very long with its 110 minutes split on two discs where the first goes for almost exactly one hour and the second is just above 52 minutes. The DVD version change the song Clay, as well as possible bonus tracks, for a rockumentary where we can follow the band backstage and hear them in interviews. The cover is also a nice feature - it has plenty of skeletons and mountains in fire red painted sunset colours as well as a Pretty Maids badge and a Danish and Swiss flag. It looks good but is very ugly, if you know what I mean?

Back to the music and this album begins, regardless of which edition you pick up, with the title track from their latest album and as the intro plays we can hear the voice of Barack Obama talking about things (which seems to be a popular feature these days considering the fact that Andromeda released an album with the exact same thing just this fall. I think the best songs on this album comes from the slower ones as well as those where the audience sings along really well. Another Shot Of Your Love is my favorite of them all, which comes from 'Wake Up To The Real World', their penultimate studio album to date. The quality, though, is high overall and there are only a few small dips here and there and I think the ending with Red Hot And Heavy is the right song to end this anniversary edition since, as Atkins also states, it's their normal ending tune on live shows.

Instrumentally the band sounds very interconnected and tight and the vocals too, all though the voice isn't brilliant anywhere. Within the inner circle of hard rockers and heavy metal heads Pretty Maids are very big and well known but commercially they've never had any success despite their 30 years in the crown of the hard rock tree. They've made 12 studio albums, 5 EPs, 2 live albums and 2 compilation albums, one of those a best of. It's a solid career and it still very active despite plenty of members has come and gone during these years. This album for example has one new face - Rene Shades (replacing Hal Patino who replaced long time bass player Kenn Jackson for one year) and two of the members has only been in the band since 2006 (Allan Tschicala and Morten Sandager). Regardless of the many new faces the band sounds very solid and well-rehearsed like if they had done this together for their entire life. Paul Christensen (or Ronnie Atkins as he's more known) does his vocals the way he normally do them - like if he's trying to speak while sitting on the toilet pushing through the biggest shit he's ever had. The overall impression though is, as I've already said, that it's a strong performance without any real issues anywhere except good ones.

We can only congratulate Pretty Maids to their 30 years as a band. Now these young boys who thought they were maidens has grown old and ugly but musically they haven't aged a bit - only improved. The best live album of 2012? Well, at least so far it is!




Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Kingdom Come/Fair Warning/Pink Cream 69
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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