The Problem with the X-Factor?

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
To me, Blaze simply was the wrong replacemenet. Having said that, who would have been the right person to replace Bruce? Perhaps no one.
As a replacement, Blaze wasn't probably the good choice, but who would have been ? But if one forgets Bruce for a moment, Blaze suited the songs, or maybe Harry and the guys composed songs that suited his vocal range. Anyway, I'm glad Bruce was back, but I'm equally glad that the band had this parenthesis with Blaze.
 
I remember at the time with all the talk about Kiske being the replacement, but not sure if he'd be right for the x factor album. Would of been cool to hear him belt out the classics though on stage.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Well,the production is really bad.The drumming is way too basic at times.Guitar harmonies are almost completely absent.Blaze is giving some horrible performances on someof the songs e.g. Judgement of heaven. X Factor is he point in time where they perfected all the bad habbits of their late songs.I have no problem with dark albums it is that for the most part this album is too faulty for me.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
I thought that was one of the better songs (incl. Blaze), personally.

Really? I think that there is one part in particular that is not only bad for a Maiden record.......but for any record for that matter. don't mean to be rude I just really feel that the X-FACTOR is not that great. The production is one of the main flaws.

e.g around 2:16

On the other hand, production was never an issue for me while listening to tracks like Judgement day and justice of the peace. To be honest with you these are some of the few the songs - of the period - that make me feel like the band is playing music and not just standing there change a chord every 30 sec...and there is a real drummer playing....not someone emulating a drum machine.
 
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Deanatron

Can I play with Agnes?
I really liked 'The X Factor' when it came out. It was the first album released after I got into the band and I enjoyed the fact it was different. As a Moody 15 year old I liked the darker tone and Blaze's voice was part of that. Great Eddie / packaging too. Shame they didn't stick with that style.

Now when I listen the dodgy production job stands out and kinda ruins the album a bit. The guitars are far too quiet for me. To be honest it sounds like a demo. Virtual XI suffers from this too, but worse.

There's plenty of great songs on there though, I still listen to it once in a while. Favourite tracks are 'Sign Of The Cross', 'Lord Of The Flies' and 'Edge Of Darkness'.
 

Caveman Ninja

The Titanic doesn't fit inside
I really liked 'The X Factor' when it came out. It was the first album released after I got into the band and I enjoyed the fact it was different. As a Moody 15 year old I liked the darker tone and Blaze's voice was part of that. Great Eddie / packaging too. Shame they didn't stick with that style.

Now when I listen the dodgy production job stands out and kinda ruins the album a bit. The guitars are far too quiet for me. To be honest it sounds like a demo. Virtual XI suffers from this too, but worse.

There's plenty of great songs on there though, I still listen to it once in a while. Favourite tracks are 'Sign Of The Cross', 'Lord Of The Flies' and 'Edge Of Darkness'.

I completely agree with everything you have said here. Except I was a moody 13 year old!
 

Deanatron

Can I play with Agnes?
Haha, cool. The perfect IM album for moody teenagers! I'm actually listening to it now. I still love the quiet intro to 'Look For The Truth'.

I'd like to hear Kevin Shirley have a go at remixing this album...actually all the 90's albums come to mention it.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
This album has been growing on me as of late, but there are still some pretty bad tracks that take away from the experience, mainly Look For The Truth, Fortunes Of War and The Unbeliever.
 

Caveman Ninja

The Titanic doesn't fit inside
Haha, cool. The perfect IM album for moody teenagers! I'm actually listening to it now. I still love the quiet intro to 'Look For The Truth'.

I'd like to hear Kevin Shirley have a go at remixing this album...actually all the 90's albums come to mention it.
Ah, there we differ. I wouldn't trust Kevin Shirley to mix a bowl of dough!

Get someone competent on the job and I'd be totally on board. The 90s albums are certainly all sonically deficient!
 

JudasMyGuide

the Office Block Persecution Affinity CEO
I love the album very much, and - along with AMOLAD - it's consistently my "most loved" Maiden album. It does sound a bit half-baked here and there (some of the transitions, some of the vocals), but to me that only adds to the charm.

Sign, Judgement, Edge, 2AM and the Unbeliever are very high on my list. Especially Sign and Unbeliever.

Blaze was a perfect choice for this album (or vice versa).

I really think the "problem" was mostly Blaze and the dark, moody atmosphere - the PlayClassics crowds must have hated it with a vengeance.
 

Caveman Ninja

The Titanic doesn't fit inside
I don't think it's Shirley as much as Mr Harris...

It's both. And Shirley should take more of the blame because he's billed as the producer. He needs to fucking grow a pair and tell Steve when he's wrong instead of just letting him rule the roost... Martin Birch would never have stood for it.
 

Caveman Ninja

The Titanic doesn't fit inside
The production does have some flaws. Rhythm guitar is a bit weak compared to vocals, something about drums (I remember feeling something wrong about the cymbals) and the intro of Sign of the Cross is too quiet. But there are Maiden albums with way worse production out there (IM, Killers, FotD, DoD) and in terms of songs it's one of my favourite albums too and features some of my favourite songs.

Are you mental? Killers sounds absolutely fucking amazing!
 

Saapanael

Твои карие глаза, твои сладкие уста
That comment is quite old. Right now, I would definitely prefer Killers' production to TXF's. The latter sounds doesn't sound powerful enough.
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
I would agree that TFX lacks power in the production, theres some stodgy sounding playing and Blaze doesn't have the range to lift some sections (see how Bruce lifts Lord of the Flies on Death on the Road). All that aside, I think its easily the best 90s album, Steves playing is blistering at times and we get some things we've not really heard before (intro to Blood on the Worlds Hands, Unbeliever).

In Sign of the Cross and Unbeliever we have two genuine cracker tunes, 90s or otherwise. To me theres no proper duds, I would listen to the whole thing straight through every time. I cant say that about FotD, DoD or VXI and to a lesser extent TFF.

Overall I think that some people just 'feel' TXF and some dont. I do. Although I didnt always, I was mega disappointed when it came out, it being the first Maiden album where I was fully conscious of all the hype, interviews, build up etc.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
(see how Bruce lifts Lord of the Flies on Death on the Road)

Yeah, the original intonation is too low for him and he sounds weak and uninteresting (indeed, I doubt that anyone even heard him live), and an octave higher is too high and he's straining, while Blaze always sounded great. They really should have dropped that one (then again, there is a kind of justice in that, Blaze was really having hard time singing Bruce songs)
 

Ziggyplayedguitar

Educated Fool
I think another weakness with the album was the packaging? I didn't like the so called realistic Eddie.

They should have saved the brilliant A Real Dead One artwork for TXF, rather than just throw it away on a 2nd rate live album.
 
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