Blaze Bayley

srfc

Ancient Mariner
As am I.

This myth that the record sound being "live" is down to big bad Steve, and that Bruce want's it more polished, is just a myth that has grown up from internet fans projecting what they imagine they are being deprived off as being what Bruce and Adrian must also secretly want and what they hate being down to Steve or Rod.

This post reads a bit like I'm being snarky towards @Mosh , I didn't mean it that way, it was aimed at no one in particular, and just in general at the idea that Steve is almost always wrong, and that when any member of Maiden expresses a contrary opinion people jump to the conclusion that the member must have exactly the same idea as what fans supposedly want. E.g. Adrian's production issues, no one has any idea if what Adrian wants would have been any more to their tastes than what Maiden actually produced, but people have convinced themselves that Adrian is on completely the same wavelength that they themselves are on.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
The "quickie" approach of recording is what allows Maiden to still record albums, although at a very slow pace. Bruce certainly doesn't want to do the same melody line again and again, and could not stand what Martin Birch did to him back in 1982. At the end of the day (the new Smith record shows it), it's down to the songs and the melodies. Modern sounding (or whatever you call it) crap is always crap. And Maiden don't do crap.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
The "quickie" approach of recording is what allows Maiden to still record albums, although at a very slow pace. Bruce certainly doesn't want to do the same melody line again and again, and could not stand what Martin Birch did to him back in 1982. At the end of the day (the new Smith record shows it), it's down to the songs and the melodies. Modern sounding (or whatever you call it) crap is always crap. And Maiden don't do crap.

Virtual XI is a massive turd as far as I am concerned.

I do agree with you on one thing: recording live in the studio is the reason why we still get Maiden albums (long may it remain so), albeit at a snail’s pace. I wish they would spend more time creating new music rather than extending best of tours over 3 calendar years though.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Ah, we're getting to the more often used style from the time when it came out. *enters time machine, transports to late 1990s*
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
It was very dissapointed to open the booklet and see that.
I don't understand how the rest of the band were right with Harris to take those pictures.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I loved football, but why to mix football with a music album that any song has nothing related? I know he was play in West Ham juniors or whatever, and they played some football matches trough the tours but this is another story. It was embarrassing and dissapointed to me. How can you go to US and sell this? The cover artwork was horrible and also the logo. It's just not serious meanwhile Bruce and Adrian was releasing a phenomenal album with cool artwork and serious photos of the band. When people ask why Maiden failed with this album…this is one of many reasons.

And I have to say that I don't watch football anymore because I hate all the business, riots, money…is around the sport
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Maybe it's just me but I feel like you guys are just grasping for extra reasons to hate on Virtual XI. Seriously, the band taking picture with football players is some kind of sin? It's a fucking photo. Maiden have always raved about how much they love the sport, so why is it surprising they'd do this? On an album cover I can understand, but band photos? Who said they were supposed to be serious? There's a picture of Bruce with a pool ball in his mouth from the Powerslave era but no one's complaining about that. Seems like you people are just mad for no reason. Seriously, get over yourselves.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Exactly Diesel.

Just because he is Dutch?
Well yeah, I thought that was nice. Hadn't expected him to be there. But you know, if one likes football, it's cool to suddenly see such things.

I loved football, but why to mix football with a music album that any song has nothing related? I know he was play in West Ham juniors or whatever, and they played some football matches trough the tours but this is another story. It was embarrassing and dissapointed to me. How can you go to US and sell this? The cover artwork was horrible and also the logo. It's just not serious meanwhile Bruce and Adrian was releasing a phenomenal album with cool artwork and serious photos of the band. When people ask why Maiden failed with this album…this is one of many reasons.

And I have to say that I don't watch football anymore because I hate all the business, riots, money…is around the sport
The things people get worked up about. The cover art was wonderful. Loved the colours. Fits the title.

Accident of Birth had a crap cover. O great, an evil clown coming out of a belly. Wow, serious stuff!
Balls wasn't a great cover either.

Serious photos? This is really exaggerated stuff. That squad pic was not a joke. It was not terribly serious but does it have to?
The band liked football. Where were you when they explained this in interviews of that time? Did you follow the band?

But if the cover was not to my liking I still would not judge the music or production one hair different. If a cover is so important for success to people, if it does not fit to their precise personal criteria, well.. I find it hard to admire their views on such matters.
 

Magnus

Pica Serdica
Maybe it's just me but I feel like you guys are just grasping for extra reasons to hate on Virtual XI. Seriously, the band taking picture with football players is some kind of sin? It's a fucking photo. Maiden have always raved about how much they love the sport, so why is it surprising they'd do this? On an album cover I can understand, but band photos? Who said they were supposed to be serious? There's a picture of Bruce with a pool ball in his mouth from the Powerslave era but no one's complaining about that. Seems like you people are just mad for no reason. Seriously, get over yourselves.
The post I liked mentioned no football players, it just said "and the Virtual XI was so terrible…".
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
As I said the booklet and the art direction it just was one of many reasons why they failed with this album. It was embarrassing and disapointed to me when I bought the album at that time. It's just my point of view.
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
How can you go to US and sell this?
The US was not much of a market anyway for the band during this period - as i mentioned a few pages earlier, the band, just like Bruce Dickinson, along with many other metal bands, were unable to secure a major label deal and was signed to independent label CMC International. The US market was not their main focus, and propably didn't constitute more than around 10 % of the band's record sales during this time.

As of 2005, Virtual XI had just sold 65 000 copies in the US, compared to 112 000 for The X Factor.

Brave New World, originally released on major label Columbia - in comparison had sold around 280 000 at that time. But that required a real effort to get back in the industry and a secure a deal. And not just getting Bruce back - but as well working on the right production, the right song writing and the right album - by hiring Kevin Shirley along with some A&R input.


(Virtual XI still did rather well in countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Greece etc though.)
 
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Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
This post reads a bit like I'm being snarky towards @Mosh , I didn't mean it that way, it was aimed at no one in particular, and just in general at the idea that Steve is almost always wrong, and that when any member of Maiden expresses a contrary opinion people jump to the conclusion that the member must have exactly the same idea as what fans supposedly want. E.g. Adrian's production issues, no one has any idea if what Adrian wants would have been any more to their tastes than what Maiden actually produced, but people have convinced themselves that Adrian is on completely the same wavelength that they themselves are on.
I think what you’re saying is generally true (Adrian’s albums tend to not sound very great in fact). My point with Bruce is that he was clearly after a more produced sound than Steve, just based on the albums he released in the 90s compared to what Maiden released in the 90s. Every rock band ultimately wants their albums to have a good live feel, but there is a clear difference of opinion on the level of polished.

I don’t mind the football stuff on VXI. It didn’t appeal to the American market, but it definitely would’ve appealed to the South American market which the band was clearly (and rightfully) targeting. They were going where the money was
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
I don’t mind the football stuff on VXI. It didn’t appeal to the American market, but it definitely would’ve appealed to the South American market which the band was clearly (and rightfully) targeting. They were going where the money was
But... isn’t Maiden their hobby and passion they should not care about money that is a sellout approach I want all my music for free, why are there so few new big bands why are tickets expensive I am the biggest Maiden fan on the planet they should play Alexander the Great all new stuff sucks why haven’t they released an album yet. // Every Facebook or blabbermouth comment field.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
I forgot. They are millionaires why is the merch so expensive I want new merch but why does Maiden pedal so much merch what a novelty act can they please release a new batch of the trooper balze suckz.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
The cover art was wonderful. Loved the colours. Fits the title.
Agree. I always liked the VXI album cover - the colours are great and I don't have a problem with the football pitch (the original artwork is without it and it is also quite good). The poster with the football players is not surprising and I think it's added for fun (it's not like it is part of the album cover)... Steve just combined his two favorite things (music and football), plus as Steve said, the World Cup in 1998 also inspired this (since the original artwork was without it).

I like the album cover (Eddie is interesting), the colours, I like the production of the album, the songs and the performances - probably the most melodic album of Maiden. Virtual XI is one of my favorite albums.
 
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