Bruce Dickinson a better singer in 1986 or 2016?

A new fan-made video on Youtube asks whether Bruce Dickinson is a superior vocalist today or 30 years ago.

“Bruce was superb in 1986,” said the fan known as One Man Mambo. “Today he is otherworldly.”

The footage was taken from concerts in France, Mexico and the United States.

The video can be seen at https://youtu.be/ki_Ig-9KFi4

“Bruce, I love you” concluded One Man Mambo.

Moderator note: link contains tour spoilers
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner

or..
EDIT:

Difficult choice... :S

Moderator edit: spoiler tags added
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Final warning: anything that gives away any of the current setlist will result in a ban. Please respect the choice of other forum members to avoid spoilers.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
2016. Bruce learned to control all the powers of his voice after he left Maiden. He needed that! Skunkworks (funny it was 1996) is his most important album, in terms of voice. He created anthologic vocal lines, amazing lyrics and the emotion oozes from every word sang there.

1986 is the worst tour Bruce ever did, musically speaking. They say that about not filming the tour 'cos they gave ears to someone else saying they shouldn't spend money with filming but, in fact, it was because his voice was crap and it really was on most of that tour.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Yes but there were good nights in '86/'87 , at least half of the boots he's ok, and on some he significantly rocks.
 

THESEVENTHMARINER

Ancient Mariner
He's definitely a better singer now. I can't enjoy any live recording from the band recorded past 1984, just because of how Bruce sounds. From 84-88, he just sounded tired and less powerful compared to how he was on the albums. I'm not even a massive fan of Live After Death because of this reason, give me the Flight 666 soundtrack over it any day.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I have to say, I find Bruce's performance generally a lot more polished from what I've heard reunion era compared to what I've heard from live performances in the 80s. For all critics point to his voice not being as agile as it was, he hits what he aims for. I find a suggestion of more power and gravity in his voice these days, possibly down to him adapting his vocal technique as his voice as aged (or matured).
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
Before I came on this forum I thought I was the only one who thought Bruce was hard to listen to live at times. I was branded a heretic by some mates for slagging off LAD, despite the fact that I loved Maiden more than some of these mates love their parents. They just took the 'legendary band, legendary live album, legendary singer' fanboy attitude and that was it. Even pre LAD I find that he throws in a few uncalled for wails that I dont like. OK, hes got the range but theres no need IMO.

Its always nice to know you are not alone in this world!

So for me, 2016, easy.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
2016 as well, his voice is probably not as powerful now as it was, but it is still plenty powerful and he sings with such great nuance. I would extend this to the whole band actually .. they really tell the stories of their songs so well musically and vocally (not just lyrically) better now than they used to.
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
He seems much more consistent live these days which is the real win. I think, for the most part, he sounded better on record back in the 80's. But that's probably just as much a production/vocal line issue more than anything else.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
He seems much more consistent live these days which is the real win. I think, for the most part, he sounded better on record back in the 80's. But that's probably just as much a production/vocal line issue more than anything else.

It probably helps that they play 70 shows a tour now (on the high end) versus 150+ .. add to that better travel and just getting older, wiser, less partying, etc.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns

Was there.

As for the topic:

Some of the stuff he sang on record in the 80s I don't think he could do today, range-wise, and he had the same talent for vocal theatrics back then as he has now. What he has today, is better control of his voice, which makes him more consistent live. His best level might not be as spectacular as in the 80s, but his worst level now is much, much better than his worst back then.

On record I still tend to like the 80s material best.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
On the record, Bruce's voice was at it's peak from the mid-to-late 80s until the early 2000s. Yes, this includes the FOTD era, even though his tone wasn't to the liking of most fans. Bruce's performance on The Chemical Wedding and Brave New World are, I think, his absolute best vocal recordings ever. Since the Dance of Death era, age has begun to show in his voice on the records. However, a large part of this is no doubt due to the lack of overdubbing and post-FX added to the tracks since DOD because of Steve's "live-sounding" obsession. I'm sure if every album were recorded like the old days, Bruce's voice would sound much better.

Live, he has undoubtedly been the strongest since the reunion. He understands his own voice now far better and he knows how to control it. The 80's have some seriously questionable live recordings.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
However, a large part of this is no doubt due to the lack of overdubbing and post-FX added to the tracks since DOD because of Steve's "live-sounding" obsession. I'm sure if every album were recorded like the old days, Bruce's voice would sound much better
Look no further than Tyranny of Souls for this. Much less raw production on the vocals and his voice sounds better there than on DoD or AMOLAD.
 

JudasMyGuide

the Office Block Persecution Affinity CEO
I definitely prefer Bruce from around 1992 to 2006, which is not an option - I think that his performance on both NPftD and FotD was actually great, but the best part of his carreer vocal-wise would be his latter solo work and the first three reunion albums. I even liked the way his age has begun to show in his voice, with him sounding deeper and so on.

However, he sounded strained on TFF and though he sounds much better on TBOS and technically he's good, he sounds a bit... tired there, so I'm not all that enamoured by his performances lately. I remember him being great live on the ME tour, though. And from I've heard, since he's been taking care of his voice and doesn't just scream without giving it a second thought, he's much more consistent live. So, as far as I'm concerned, I guess it's 2016 for me.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I in no way take the fanboy stance, but I think Live after Death sounds great for its time. In fact, I use it and Powerslave as a benchmark for when Bruce's vocals matured more into what we hear today vs where his voice sounded more youthful but a little less polished on Number of the Beast and Piece of Mind (both also great albums).

I honestly don't get this. Bruce sounds pretty bad on at least half the tracks on LAD.

Look no further than Tyranny of Souls for this. Much less raw production on the vocals and his voice sounds better there than on DoD or AMOLAD.

Definitely. I wish they kept "producing" the Maiden albums instead of just recording them.
 
Top