Former and current Iron Maiden, and former Samson vocalist. He released his first solo effort while still in Iron Maiden. "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" was originally a Dickinson song featured on the soundtrack for 'A Nightmare On Elm Street 5', and helped spawn the idea of a solo-career. Bruce has reunited with Iron Maiden, but will continue to release solo-albums. Dickinson has one of heavy metals defining voices.

TATTOOED MILLIONAIRE (Expanded Edition) (1990, 2005) SANCTUARY RECORDS

CD1:
  1. Son Of A Gun

  2. Tattooed Millionaire

  3. Born In '58

  4. Hell On Wheels

  5. Gypsy Road

  6. Dive! Dive! Dive!

  7. All The Young Dudes

  8. Lickin' The Gun

  9. Zulu Lulu

  10. No Lies

CD2:

  1. Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter (Original Soundtrack Version)

  2. Ballad Of Mutt

  3. Winds Of Change

  4. Darkness Be My Friend

  5. Sin City

  6. Dive! Dive! Dive! (Live)

  7. Riding With The Angels (Live)

  8. Sin City (Live)

  9. Black Night (Live)

  10. Son Of A Gun (Live)

  11. Tattooed Millionaire (Live)

Line-up:

Vocals: Bruce Dickinson
Guitar: Janick Gers
Bass: Andy Carr
Drums: Fabio Del Rio

In 1990, while still very much a part of Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson was asked if he would consider writing a song for the then upcoming "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" movie. He penned and recorded "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter", with the help of ex-Gillan axe-man, Janick Gers. Bruce enjoyed the experience so much, he lied to the record company, and told them he had enough material for a full album. Janick and Bruce started writing songs., and eventually put together a full band to start recording. The result became 'Tattooed Millionaire'.

"Tattooed Millionaire" is in purposes intended, a solo album. So those looking for Iron Maiden part 2, look elsewhere. You can hear and feel that the vibe in the studio was loose and playful. This band is having fun, yet creating lasting music. Already in the opening track, a story about a mad cult-leader, "Son Of A Gun", you hear that Bruce knows how to write memorable songs outside of the parameters of his main band. Other choice cuts include the title track, the autobiographical "Born In '58" and the ballad, "Gypsy Road". And although this doesn't compare much to Iron Maiden, it still sounds very much like Bruce. By today's standards, some might call it hard rock. To me this is still metal, yet leaning more on the vibe from the 70's.  That is also why a song like "All The Young Dudes", a David Bowie penned Mott The Hoople cover, works so well on the album.

Bruce didn't leave Iron Maiden for yet another 3 or 4 years after recording 'Tattooed Millionaire'. However, he brought Janick Gers back with him, replacing Adrian Smith.

The expanded edition comes with an extra disc with 11 bonus tracks. All of them picked from B-sides and other exclusive releases. The live tracks were recorded at the Town & Country Club in LA, on the 14th of August - which proved to be an event even Tom Dundon would approve of. A VHS release of that concert was also released, under the name of 'Dive! Dive! Live!'. "Riding With The Angels" was originally written and performed by Russ Ballard. But Bruce's old band, Samson, also used to cover it. "Black Night" is of course a Deep Purple cover, and "Sin City" is an AC/DC original.

Trivia: The song "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter', that started this whole solo adventure, never made it to the full length album. Steve Harris liked it so much, he convinced Bruce to have Iron Maiden re-record it, and put it on their 'No Prayer For The Dying' album. When released as a single, it became the first chart topping 45 for them.

Killer tracks: Son Of A Gun, Tattooed Millionaire, Born In '58, Gypsy Road

BALLS TO PICASSO (Expanded Edition) (1994, 2005) SANCTUARY RECORDS

CD1:
  1. Cyclops
  2. Hell No
  3. Gods Of War
  4. 1000 Points Of Light
  5. Laughing In The Hiding Bush
  6. Change Of Heart
  7. Shoot All The Clowns
  8. Fire
  9. Sacred Cowboys
  10. Tears Of The Dragon

CD2:

  1. Fire Child
  2. Elvis Has Left The Building
  3. The Breeding House
  4. No Way Out... To Be Continued
  5. Tears Of The Dragon (Acoustic Chillout)
  6. Winds Of Change '94
  7. Spirit Of Joy
  8. Over And Out
  9. Shoot All The Clowns (12" Extended Mix)
  10. Laughing In The Hiding Bush (Live)
  11. The Post Alternative Seattle Fall Out (Live)
  12. Shoot All The Clowns (7" Remix)
  13. Tibet
  14. Tears Of The Dragon (First Bit, Long Bit, Last Bit)
  15. Cadillac Gas Mask
  16. No Way Out... Continued

Line-up:

Bruce Dickinson - Vocals
Roy Z - All Guitars
Eddie Casillas - Bass Guitar
David Ingraham - Drums

Doug Van Booven - Percussion

Guests:

Dickie Fliszar - Drums on 10

Mario Aguilar - Backing Vocals on 7

Dean Ortega - Backing Vocals on 7

 

Bruce & Roy

Bruce returned with his second solo album, shortly after having left Iron Maiden for good (or so we thought at the time). With him this time around was a bunch of all new faces, made up of members of the band Tribe Of Gypsies. Most noticeable, this was the first collaboration between Bruce and Roy Z (later to do wonders for Rob Halford and Rob Rock). Roy co-wrote all but 1 of the tracks on the original album, but he did not produce it. That would come into action on later occasions. Bruce actually tried 2 other producers, and a different backing band, before settling on the Tribe Of Gypsies and producer Shay Baby.

The result is a more mature album than 'Tattooed Millionaire'. The production is warmer, resulting in a richer sound. The songwriting is way more experimental than it's predecessor, yet the album feels more like one unit, instead of just separate songs put together to complete a CD. While maybe not a full on metal album per se, it still offers some heavy moments in songs like "Hell No" and "Fire". But for the most part this is a much more melodic effort, where Bruce gets to use the varieties of his voice, and not just scream out the vocals on top of a galloping rhythm most of the time. For example, there are 2 beautiful ballads here, both showcasing some of the most touching moments ever from Bruce. I believe 'Balls To Picasso' captures what Bruce himself wanted to sound like as a solo artist. I played the heck out of it when it was new, and I still love it as much today as I did back then.

'Balls To Picasso' spawned 4 singles, and some of them were released in several different versions. So the 2005 Expanded Edition comes with a bonus disc with 16(!!) bonus tracks, all previously available on the mentioned single releases. "The Breeding House" is a really heavy number, with a galloping rhythm reminding me of those old Iron Maiden classics. "Wind Of Change" was originally recorded for the 'Tattooed Millionaire' sessions, and released on the B-side of the single for the title track. As usual Bruce delivers some less than serious numbers. Titles such as "Elvis Has Left The Building" and "The Post Alternative Seattle Fall Out" speaks volumes of the mans humor. I must say that Sanctuary did a stellar job with these Deluxe Remastered Expanded Editions, as they truly gives the fans everything from the era of the original release, including all the alternative artwork (the cardboard sleeve and the original artwork shown above), and extensive liner notes is a filled-to-the-brim booklet.

Killer tracks: Hell No, Change Of Heart, Shoot All The Clowns, Sacred Cowboys, Tears Of The Dragon

ALIVE IN STUDIO A (1995) RAW POWER (2-CD)

CD1:

  1. Cyclops
  2. Shoot All The Clowns
  3. Son Of A Gun
  4. Tears Of The Dragon
  5. 1000 Points Of Light
  6. Sacred Cowboys
  7. Tattooed Millionaire
  8. Born In '58
  9. Fire
  10. Change Of Heart
  11. Hell No
  12. Laughing In The Hiding Bush

CD2:

  1. Cyclops
  2. 1000 Points Of Light
  3. Born In '58
  4. Gods Of War
  5. Change Of Heart
  6. Laughing In The Hiding Bush
  7. Hell No
  8. Tears Of The Dragon
  9. Shoot All The Clowns
  10. Sacred Cowboys
  11. Son Of A Gun
  12. Tattooed Millionaire

A double live offering this time. A sticker on the cover says it's a special 2-CD edition, but I've never found one in a single CD format. The first disc is actually live in a studio, with no audience. The band is new, and not quite tight yet. The second disc is live at the Marquee club, and a bit better. The band sound tighter, and the live feel is more present. All in all, not a classic live-album, and not a frequent player at all.

SKUNKWORKS (Expanded Edition) (1996, 2005) SANCTUARY RECORDS

CD1:
  1. Space Race
  2. Back From The Edge
  3. Inertia
  4. Faith
  5. Solar Confinement
  6. Dreamstate
  7. I Will Not Accept The Truth
  8. Inside The Machine
  9. Headswitch
  10. Meltdown
  11. Octavia
  12. Innerspace
  13. Strange Death In Paradise

CD2:

  1. I'm in a Band With an Italian Drummer
  2. Rescue Day
  3. God's Not Coming Back
  4. Armchair Hero
  5. R 101
  6. Re-entry
  7. Americans Are Behind
  8. Inertia (live)
  9. Faith (live)
  10. Innerspace (live)
  11. The Prisoner  (live)

Line-up:

Vocals: Bruce Dickinson
Guitar: Alex Dickson
Bass: Chris Dale
Drums: Alex Elena

 

 

 

original photo used for the cover

Bruce Dickinson's 3rd solo album was not supposed to be another one with his name on the cover. It was to be the first CD from a band called Skunkwork. Bruce wanted to collaborate with the guys backing him on the last leg of the 'Balls To Picasso' tour in creating a new thing altogether. The record company, not surprisingly, wanted it differently. Thus the band name became the name of the album instead.

Produced by Jack Endino, the man responsible for many of the early releases from Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Nirvana, this was obviously an attempt from Bruce to remove himself further from his past, and connect with the popular sound of the day. The result is a mixed effort. Listening to the album as subjective as one can, it is actually not that bad. But listening as a Bruce fan, 'Skunkworks' fails to impress on most accounts. The album was actually praised in the press when it was first released. But the long time fans turned their backs.

Lyrically obsessed with aviation, space and sci-fi, the album has a dark, dreamy tone, backed by a minimalist, depressive Seattle production. It just falls in between two chairs, where the fans of the sound couldn't care less what the ex-singer for Iron Maiden was doin', while those who had followed Bruce for years still expected a return to his classic metal past. Still, when I am able to listen with my open ears, figuratively speaking, I enjoy some of the songs on 'Skunkworks'. Bruce Dickinson is a great songwriter, and his chameleon abilities are at least worth a minimalistic applaud.

The 2001 Expanded Edition comes with 11 bonus tracks on a second CD. Several of them were originally released as B-sides on some of the many singles released from the original album. However, the most interesting songs featured are the 4 live recordings. The band actually shot a home video when they toured for 'Skunkworks', and these 4 songs were also released on a live EP, in Japan only, of course. So now fans from the rest of the world also get to hear Skunkworks play the Iron Maiden Classic, "The Prisoner".

Killer tracks: Back From The Edge, Dreamstate, Meltdown

Eddie, Adrian, Bruce, Dave & Roy

ACCIDENT OF BIRTH (Expanded Edition) (1997, 2005) SANCTUARY RECORDS

CD1:
  1. Freak
  2. Toltek 7 Arrival - instrumental
  3. Starchildren
  4. Taking The Queen
  5. Darkside Of Aquarius
  6. Road To Hell
  7. Man Of Sorrows
  8. Accident Of Birth
  9. The Magician
  10. Welcome To The Pit
  11. Omega
  12. Arc Of Space

CD2:

  1. The Ghost Of Cain
  2. Accident Of Birth (Demo)
  3. Starchildren (Demo)
  4. Taking The Queen (Demo)
  5. Man Of Sorrow (Radio edit)
  6. Man Of Sorrow (Orchestral Version)
  7. Man Of Sorrow (Spanish Version)
  8. Darkside Of Aquarius (Demo)
  9. Arc Of Spade (Demo)

Line-up:
Bruce Dickinson: Voices
Roy Z: Guitar, Mellotron & Piano
Adrian Smith: Guitar
Eddie Cassillas: Bass
David Ingraham: Drums

Guests:

Silvia Tsai: Violin on 4, 7, 12
Rebecca Yeh: Cello on 4, 7, 12
Richard Baker: Piano on 7

original European cover art

original American cover art

After the disappointment of 'Skunkworks', both the band, and the album, Bruce Dickinson brings the 'Balls To Picasso' line-up back again. And this time they are joined by ex-Iron Maiden axe-man, Adrian Smith. The result is 'Accident Of Birth', perhaps the finest solo effort from the Air Raid Siren.

In every way this is a return to form. And not only a return to Bruce's solo effort form. No, in a time when Iron Maiden were trying to reinvent themselves musically, releasing sub-par, dark, moody & epic albums with Blaze Bayley, Bruce delivers a full blown, classic heavy metal platter. 'Accident Of Birth' is heavier than any of its predecessors. And with Adrian Smith once again at Bruce's side, many of these songs could have easily been on any classic Iron Maiden album. However, there is one mans contribution that cannot be ignored on this album. Roy Z is not only responsible for the warm, yet in-your-face and heavy production, he has also co-written all of the songs, and is playing guitar, mellotron and piano. Thus, I'm led to think that Roy is the true creator of the sound Bruce Dickinson ended up with on this phenomenal record. But as is the case with any satisfying meal, it is all the ingredients put together that makes the experience. Bruce is delivering the performance of his lifetime, sounding hungry and passionate all the way through. He is also mixing it up with powerhouse vocals on the heavy rockers, and some heartfelt wailing on the ballads (There are 4 of them on the original 12 track album). Adrian is easily recognized, with his roomy sound and outlandish feel. Roy is riffing like no others, and in hindsight, after hearing his work with Rob Halford and Rob Rock, it is easy to hear his presence in all of the compositions and the playing. And all of this is brought together by some amazing songs. Songs that reels you in with heavy hooks, and unforgettable choruses. I mean, a song like "Accident Of Birth" is so good it is almost scary! I never seem to grow tired of this album, and keep coming back to it all the time.

2 singles were released from this album. And in 2005 'Accident Of Birth' was remastered and reissued. This Expanded Edition comes with all the exclusive tracks from those singles on a 9 track bonus disc. The new version also features 2 different versions of the cover art. The cardboard wrapping has the original cover for the 'Man Of Sorrow'-EP/single, while the booklet cover is a larger version of the original European cover. I've also included the original versions above. All of them done by none other than Derek Riggs, the man responsible for all of the classic Iron Maiden art.

Killer tracks: Taking The Queen, Darkside Of Aquarius, Road To Hell, Man Of Sorrows, Accident Of Birth, Welcome To The Pit, Omega

Roy, Bruce, Dave, Adrian and Eddie

THE CHEMICAL WEDDING (Expanded Edition) (1998, 2005) SANCTUARY RECORDS

  1. King In Crimson
  2. Chemical Wedding
  3. The Tower
  4. Killing Floor
  5. Book Of Thel
  6. Gates Of Urizen
  7. Jerusalem
  8. Trumpets Of Jericho
  9. Machine Men
  10. The Alchemist
  11. Return Of The King *
  12. Real World *
  13. Confeos *

Line-up:
Vocals: Bruce Dickinson
Guitar: Roy Z
Guitar: Adrian Smith
Bass: Eddie Casillas
Drums: David Ingraham

Guests:

Arthur Brown: Spoken words

Frazeeke MC, The Guru, Willy 666, Craig Lichtenstein: Background vocals on 4

* = bonus tracks

With a vitalized solo band, and a commercial success with the last album, Bruce returns only a year later with another astonishing metal album. However, even though it is the same band playing on 'The Chemical Wedding', the overall sound is slightly altered since 'Accident Of Birth'. Bruce prides himself in never releasing the same album twice, and I'd say mission accomplished!

'The Chemical Wedding' is a much darker effort than anything previously released under the Bruce Dickinson banner. The extensive booklet tells me that Adrian and Roy restrung their guitars with bass-strings to get that thunderous bottom end. It might sound a bit complex at first, and it might take a round or 3 in the player before you really get into the material. But when you do, it is obvious that Bruce, Roy Z and Adrian have come up with another masterpiece. This is dark and broody metal, still firmly planted in the classic metal mold, albeit with an updated sound, mostly due to the production, once again courtesy of Roy Z.

'The Chemical Wedding' is also a concept album. It deals with occult science, alchemy and the art of William Blake. It is his painting, "The Ghost Of A Flea" seen on the cover, and the spoken parts are excerpts from his poems. Mr. Dickinson has for a long time been influenced by such topics, but this is the first time it is so vividly expressed through his music. The dark sceneries painted in the lyrics are made very lively through the broody music. This is perhaps not my favorite Bruce Dickinson album. Still, this is perhaps his finest work to date.

This was to be the last studio album from Bruce Dickinson before he, and Adrian Smith, rejoined Iron Maiden. The Expanded Edition comes with 3 bonus tracks, all previously only available on Japanese singles. The booklet once again delivers a great write-up from Dave Ling (Metal Hammer, Classic Rock), and lots of band pictures from the era of the album.

Rock trivia: The painting that adorns the cover for 'The Chemical Wedding' was already used as a cover by the prog-band Gilgamesh, for their 1978 release, 'Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into'.

Killer tracks: King In Crimson, Chemical Wedding, The Tower, Book Of Thel, Gates Of Urizen, Jerusalem, Trumpets Of Jericho

SCREAM FOR ME BRAZIL (1999) AIR RAID

  1. Trumpets Of Jericho
  2. King In Crimson
  3. Chemical Wedding
  4. Gates Of Urizen
  5. Killing Floor
  6. Book Of Thel
  7. Tears Of The Dragon
  8. Laughing In The Hiding Bush
  9. Accident Of Birth
  10. The Tower
  11. Dark Side Of Aquarius
  12. The Road To Hell

Second live offering by the Air Raid Siren in person. This strikes me as a somewhat unnecessary release. Guess it was put out as a compromise, when Bruce rejoined Iron Maiden. Bruce is very eager to continue to pursue his solo-career, although he now is back home where he belongs. (His next release shows just that). 'Scream For Me Brazil' is a manifestation of what we witnessed on the Chemical Wedding Tour. The album is quite good, actually. It's another nice edition to the collection. Some of the songs are even better in a live setting. But if you want to get into Bruce career, buy the regular release instead.

THE BEST OF BRUCE DICKINSON (2001) METAL-IS (2-CD)

CD1: The Best Of Bruce Dickinson

  1. Broken
  2. Tattooed Millionaire
  3. Laughing In The Hiding Bush (live)
  4. Tears Of The Dragon
  5. The Tower
  6. Born In '58
  7. Accident Of Birth
  8. Silver Wings
  9. Darkside Of Aquarius
  10. Chemical Wedding
  11. Back From The Edge
  12. Road To Hell
  13. Book Of Thel (live)

CD2: Special Edition: Tracks From The Vaults

  1. Bring Your Daughter... ...To The Slaughter (Original Soundtrack Version)
  2. Darkness Be My Friend
  3. Wicker Man (Rec. 1997)
  4. Real World
  5. Acoustic Song
  6. No Way Out...Continued
  7. Midnight Jam
  8. Man Of Sorrows
  9. Ballad Of Mutt
  10. Re-Entry
  11. I'm In A Band With An Italian Drummer
  12. Jerusalem (live)
  13. The Voice Of Crube (interview)
  14. Dracula

 

The interesting thing about a 'Best Of..'-album, is seldom the stuff that's on the other regular albums. It's the stuff the record companies put on to please the fans, who already have all the other stuff. And on this 'Best Of..'-platter, we are treated to some real goodies. A whole bonus disc, with 14 tracks, all 'From The Vaults'. There are even 2 new tracks on the regular release (disc 2 is supposed to be a limited offering only). From "Wicker Man" (not to be mistaken for the Iron Maiden version on 'Brave New World') to the songs not even titled yet (like "Acoustic Song"), this disc shows how talented Bruce Dickinson really is. It's a mystery to me why none of these songs were released earlier! So this compilation is truly one of the best ones ever released! Heck, the 4 pages long extra booklet, with Bruce's own autography, written as a mediaeval tale, is worth the price of the double CD!

TYRANNY OF SOULS (2005) MAYAN/SANCTUARY

  1. Mars Within - intro
  2. Adbuction
  3. Soul Intruders
  4. Kill Devil Hill
  5. Navigate The Seas Of The Sun
  6. River Of No Return
  7. Power Of The Sun
  8. Devil On A Hog
  9. Believil
  10. Tyranny Of Souls

Line-up:

Bruce Dickinson - Vocals

Roy Z - Guitars, Bass on 7, 9

David Moreno - Drums

Ray "Geezer" Burke - Bass on 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10

Juan Perez - Bass on 2, 3

Maestro Mistheria - All Keyboards

After Bruce joined Iron Maiden again, one could only hope for a new solo album from the air raid siren himself. It took 7 years before we got treated with this one. 'Tyranny Of Souls' is a little more diveresed than the last 2 efforts from Bruce. It ranks nicely alongside his other solo albums, and one might look upon it as sort of a culimination of all his prior work. "Adbuction" is the first song here, and this is probably the most Iron Maiden-sounding tracks on the CD. Bruce also shot a music video for this track. "Soul Intruders" is up next, and this could have fitted nicely on "Accident Of Birth". The songs is a typcal Roy Z/Bruce Dickinson collaboration. "Kill Devil Hill" is another Roy Z signature, with a riff heavier then a freight train, but with a much more melodic chorus. "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun" brings it down quite a bit, with acoustic gutars and all. The song reminds me of the softer sides of "Balls To Picasso". And so on goes the entire album. I can't imagine any fan of Dickinson not liking this album, as it has the man's trademarks written all over it. It is no wonder that this man is one of my all time vocalist heroes.

Killer tracks: Soul Intruders, Kill Devil Hill, River Of No Return, Tyranny Of Souls

Bruce Dickinson guest appearances:

V/A - 'Rock Aid Armenia'

V/A - 'Nativity In Black- A Tribute To Black Sabbath'

Ayreon - 'Universal Migrator Part 2'

Tribuzy - 'Execution'

 

Roy Z guest appearances:

Steel Prophet - 'Dark Hallucinations'

Warrior - 'Ancient Future'

Warrior - 'The Code Of Life' (as writer)

Tribuzy - 'Execution'

W.A.S.P. - 'Unholy Terror'

Tributes - 'Temporary Insanity - A Salute To Deliverance'

 

Eddie Castillas guest appearances:

Warrior - 'Ancient Future'

 

Chris Dale guest appearances:

Tribuzy - 'Execution'

 

Related artists:

Iron Maiden, Psycho Motel, Warrior, Rob Rock, Balance Of Power