The Problem with the X-Factor?

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
But I think what @MaidenUlster is getting at is that — regardless of missed notes or not — is that Blaze comes across as more honest than Bruce does, and I don’t mean this as a slight at all, just a noticeable difference in their approach to singing. Bruce is my favorite singer so I’m saying this with all the admiration possible — he is just too theatrical to get across Steve’s raw emotions the way Blaze does. Just look at “Tears of a Dragon”, the most emotional song he’s ever written. What makes it great is the way Bruce combines his personal feelings in a really poetic way that feels like the theater performance of a lifetime.

But Steve isn’t half the poet that Bruce is. What makes Steve great is that he comes up with ideas for songs constantly and just writes what comes to him, and that’s filled with a ton of great imagery. A lot on the stuff on TXF sounds like it was scribbled down directly without a major polish, which adds to the raw feelings of the album. Whereas Bruce would have felt like you were witnessing a night at the opera, Blaze makes you feel like you’re actually witnessing the real subject matter. Just because his delivery feels more honest than Bruce’s does, and again, neither approach is bad at all, they’re both worth something in their own right.

That’s why I like studio and live versions of SOTC, because it’s taking the same song and injecting something different into them. One feels like you’re really there in the wind and rain, the other is like a terrific performance at the local theater. At least to me.
Good post. Not sure yet if I entirely agree but I like the picture you're painting.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
But it’s not like he’s mixing up the melody or the rhythm of the delivery, he’s just failing to deliver the same line with a consistent vocal timbre. Do you really think that’s intentional on his part and not just evidence of a general lack of vocal control and consistency?

It’s not isolated to The X Factor, either — this inconsistency gets gradually worse on his solo albums from Blood & Belief through The King Of Metal. Only after that (and some singing lessons, IIRC) did he start exerting more control.
Not sure. I'm afraid I could not do something exactly the same as well. I guess it is not that striking to me (unless something is really more offkey or timed badly), or perhaps it feels natural that there is some loose approach.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
But it’s not like he’s mixing up the melody or the rhythm of the delivery, he’s just failing to deliver the same line with a consistent vocal timbre. Do you really think that’s intentional on his part and not just evidence of a general lack of vocal control and consistency?

It’s not isolated to The X Factor, either — this inconsistency gets gradually worse on his solo albums from Blood & Belief through The King Of Metal. Only after that (and some singing lessons, IIRC) did he start exerting more control.
It's a bit more nasal after the first chorus. Nasal placement is instrumental to singing higher notes and Blaze switches between chest and whatever he's using to sing on the higher end of his range, and both have different fundamental timbres. That being said, some are better than others at joining them together. Fogerty for instance, is very nasal but in the early years masked it with a ton of distortion. I think Blaze gives masking a shot by using his tongue to darken it in the first chorus, but again, that's likely a different take. If he was to really even it out then he would have to brighten his chest voice as well, and its dark timbre is a quality part of his voice to me. So I'll take the different timbres any day, I don't have a problem with it.
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
"Maiden IS more about", what does that even mean? But let's go down that path: Alright, Maiden did about a handful songs about motorcycles and chicks in their total career. But is this really your major association with the Fear of the Dark album (or No Prayer album)? There are 12 songs on FOTD, and the majority is not about that.
IMO when it comes to lyrical content NPFTD and especially FOTD are overall centered in aspects the band never focused before (things that were happening back in the day, society and institutional diatribes and also silly just for the fuck of it lyrics). On the other hand TXF recovered the method and subjects the band approached during mainly their stretch from TNOTB to SSOASS (that although being a concept of its own has that mystical element many Maiden songs approach) adding it a way darker ambiance and tone. So let's go song by song, ok? The songs on each album that deal with matters that IMO Maiden almost didn't approach during the TNOTB to SSOASS are marked in blue:

Let's begin with NPFTD:
Tailgunner: 100% Maiden war song
Holy Smoke: satirical diatribe that is borderline comical to tele-evangelists
No Prayer For The Dying: introspective song about faith and the the meaning of life.
PENO: another society caustic overview

Fates Warning: about what awaits after death, god and the devil etc...
The Assassin: the title says it all... 80's enough
Run Silent Run Deep: Another blatant vintage Maiden song about war
Hooks In you: silly lyrics about chicks and hooks
BYDTTS: more silly lyrics about horror and chicks
Mother Russia: about the people of Russia after the USSR fall.


When it comes to FOTD it's even more evident.
BQOBD: dealing with the shady schemes of banks
FHTE: is another silly tale (although featuring Charlotte its lyrics are absolutely american fm chicks and bikes)

ATSS: Deals with war, a subject maiden approached several times in the 80's (on the first person view)
FITK: inspired by the death of Freddy Mercury and deals with AIDS
Childhood's End: about the pain and misery humanity inflicts to each other
Wasting Love: this is IMO Maiden's only power ballad since it deals with love
The Fugitive: kind of a The Prisoner reprise
Chains Of Misery: I don't even know what gibberish this is about
The Apparition: deals with a message delivered by a ghost or something similar. ok... 80's enough
Judas Be My Guide: another society diatribe.
Weekend Warrior: brings us to the question of hooliganism
FOTD: it's about... well... about being basically nyctophobic.


Now the X Factor:
Sign Of The Cross: based upon a romance/ move (Humberto Ecco's) a frequent feature during the 80's.
Lord Of The Flies: based upon a romance once again (William Golding's)
Man On The Edge: based upon a movie again (starring Michael Douglas)
Fortunes Of War: About WAR and PTSD. Maiden wrote about war a billion times during the 80's and only twice in NPFTD and FOTD (Tailgunner, Run Silent Run Deep and ATSS)
Look For The Truth: a song about facing our darkest fears (this one is more outside the 80's thematic)
The Aftermath: War, once again.
Judgement Of Heaven: being in a depressive dark situation and how faith can pull you out of (kind of a LFTT twin so another one more 90's like)
Blood On The World's Hands: War, bloodshed and the barbaric deeds of humanity.
The Edge Of Darkness: fourth song based upon a book/movie (Apocalypse Now...once again dealing with war and paranoia).
2 AM: A really touching and actual tune dealing with depression but by no means a power ballad in my book (yet much more into 90's Maiden society aware thematic)
The Unbeliever: Another song about inner searching and depression.


It's pretty obvious...

Music wise it recovered the epic flavor, ditches the rock fm songs, etc... but we already had this conversation and have different points of view. It's normal.


Musically, TXF continued with ideas done on, hello again, Fear of the Dark (title track, Afraid to Shoot Strangers. But they took it further. They made many songs with long intros. Nonetheless, in that regard, TXF has more to do with Fear of the Dark or No Prayer for the Dying (Mother Russia and Run Silent Run Deep intros) than with 1980s Maiden. So what is Maiden DNA? If you mean 21st century Maiden: alright, it has more in common with post TXF Maiden than with the 1980s.
Once again we already had this conversation with you. I think ATSS is a thing of its own musically. Has some classic Maiden features but its morphology not to mention the time signature on the first are totally unique. Great song though. If you think differently it's ok... to each his own.

Man on the Edge a short strong song? Hello Fear of the Dark: Be Quick or Be Dead. Hey, a short strong song. Not that different either.
Be Quick Or Be Dead is by far the most furious track the band ever did... once again a singularity (actually there is only a song from TXF era that kinda recaptures that feeling and kinda recycles the initial riff in Judgement Day but it ended up being cut off the album). As for FOTD, short??? Plus it's not as nearly as heavy as MOTE and in that regard is even softer when compared with BQOBD. But hey... if you think they're all similar ok.

but TXF is also different from average (or typical) Maiden in their whole career. Namely: that sort of songs, with long calm, melancholic/dark intros, which started on the two previous albums are not present in the 1980s. And the quantity of such songs, and the moody dark nature of the songs are also not present on almost all other albums. AMOLAD comes closest but that is not an average, or typical Maiden album either.
To sum up IMO TXF has a lot to do with what Maiden did from TNOTB till SSOAS. And the same works for the post reunion albums. If you don't think so, fine once again, agree to disagree.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
It's not only that I do not think so...

ATSS, strange that you not see the connections with TXF. Clearly the use of style and length of the intro was used on TXF.

IMO when it comes to lyrical content NPFTD and especially FOTD are overall centered in aspects the band never focused before (things that were happening back in the day, society and institutional diatribes and also silly just for the fuck of it lyrics). On the other hand TXF recovered the method and subjects the band approached during mainly their stretch from TNOTB to SSOASS (that although being a concept of its own has that mystical element many Maiden songs approach) adding it a way darker ambiance and tone. So let's go song by song, ok? The songs on each album that deal with matters that IMO Maiden almost didn't approach during the TNOTB to SSOASS are marked in blue:

Let's begin with NPFTD:
Tailgunner: 100% Maiden war song
Holy Smoke: satirical diatribe that is borderline comical to tele-evangelists
No Prayer For The Dying: introspective song about faith and the the meaning of life.
PENO: another society caustic overview
These two songs may not be war songs, but they deal with different type of lyrics.
Introspective vs less or non introspective. The latter is more directed at society. Introspective, personal matters can be darker than other themes, such as war.

Fates Warning: about what awaits after death, god and the devil etc...
Not necessarily after death.
The Assassin: the title says it all... 80's enough

Run Silent Run Deep: Another blatant vintage Maiden song about war
The title is based on the film of the name. A submarine WWII film.
Vintage? How was this particularly done before? I may have forgotten/missed this, so help me out.

Hooks In you: silly lyrics about chicks and hooks
BYDTTS: more silly lyrics about horror and chicks
It was a soundtrack for a film, is it based on what the film is about, we can say it was inspired by/based on the film.
Mother Russia: about the people of Russia after the USSR fall.

When it comes to FOTD it's even more evident.
BQOBD: dealing with the shady schemes of banks
FHTE: is another silly tale (although featuring Charlotte its lyrics are absolutely american fm chicks and bikes)

ATSS: Deals with war, a subject maiden approached several times in the 80's (on the first person view
But probably less often than on the nineties albums.

FITK: inspired by the death of Freddy Mercury and deals with AIDS
Childhood's End: about the pain and misery humanity inflicts to each other
Wasting Love: this is IMO Maiden's only power ballad since it deals with love
Ok I did not know a power ballad cannot be about love. This is more about wasting love... a critical song on.. himself. Not typical.
The Fugitive: kind of a The Prisoner reprise
Based on the 1960s series of the same name.
Chains Of Misery: I don't even know what gibberish this is about
Hmm we need to look that up. This is from The Iron Maiden Commentary:
1616617510605.png
The Apparition: deals with a message delivered by a ghost or something similar. ok... 80's enough
I also think The Apparition is a personal Harris philosophical lyric. And see a connection with The Final Frontier song (posted in The Apparition commentary topic)

Judas Be My Guide: another society diatribe.
Weekend Warrior: brings us to the question of hooliganism
FOTD: it's about... well... about being basically nyctophobic.


Now the X Factor:
Sign Of The Cross: based upon a romance/ move (Humberto Ecco's) a frequent feature during the 80's.
A novel ("roman" in Dutch).
Lord Of The Flies: based upon a romance once again (William Golding's)
Man On The Edge: based upon a movie again (starring Michael Douglas)
Fortunes Of War: About WAR and PTSD. Maiden wrote about war a billion times during the 80's and only twice in NPFTD and FOTD (Tailgunner, Run Silent Run Deep and ATSS)
Look For The Truth: a song about facing our darkest fears (this one is more outside the 80's thematic)
The Aftermath: War, once again.
Judgement Of Heaven: being in a depressive dark situation and how faith can pull you out of (kind of a LFTT twin so another one more 90's like)
Blood On The World's Hands: War, bloodshed and the barbaric deeds of humanity.
The Edge Of Darkness: fourth song based upon a book/movie (Apocalypse Now...once again dealing with war and paranoia).
2 AM: A really touching and actual tune dealing with depression but by no means a power ballad in my book (yet much more into 90's Maiden society aware thematic)
You do not wish to talk about the connections with Wasting Love for some reason. But they are there. The solo, especially the end. The riff before the solo in WL is used for the verse in 2AM. I find that your focus on lyrics is too disproportional to see what connects this album (and FOTD) with others, or to see what sets it apart.
The Unbeliever: Another song about inner searching and depression.

It's pretty obvious...

Music wise it recovered the epic flavor, ditches the rock fm songs, etc... but we already had this conversation and have different points of view. It's normal.
It is not that logical to ignore musical aspects imo.
Once again we already had this conversation with you. I think ATSS is a thing of its own musically. Has some classic Maiden features but its morphology not to mention the time signature on the first are totally unique. Great song though. If you think differently it's ok... to each his own.


Be Quick Or Be Dead is by far the most furious track the band ever did... once again a singularity (actually there is only a song from TXF era that kinda recaptures that feeling and kinda recycles the initial riff in Judgement Day but it ended up being cut off the album). As for FOTD, short??? Plus it's not as nearly as heavy as MOTE and in that regard is even softer when compared with BQOBD. But hey... if you think they're all similar ok.
Man of the Edge has similar style of riffs and I'd say it is less heavy than Be Quick or Be Dead. I know MOTE is based on that film but topic wise I see a connection as well. Busy business man, executive, but perhaps less about corruption(?)

What do you mean, FOTD short? I did not say that. I was making another connection with the FOTD album. Again a song that served as a template.
To sum up IMO TXF has a lot to do with what Maiden did from TNOTB till SSOAS. And the same works for the post reunion albums. If you don't think so, fine once again, agree to disagree.

It has not much to do with that era. Apart from war lyrics (of which I cannot count that many in the 1980s). And novel/films. This amount of war lyrics on 1980s albums is lower than on No Prayer or FOTD isn't it? SSOASS has 0 I suppose? SIT can't be that many as well. How can that be a bigger deal then, than the music (intros, styles, slow lengthy calm build-ups, use of guitar lines, everything I told and you did not respond to).

I do not mean to put your view down. In fact I like how you look at the lyrics, gives me insight. It is just that I'm urged to oppose this view.
When someone makes such a bold statement about TXF, a highly different album from the 1980s, they cannot do that without paying attention to the music, see the connections with other albums, and the differences. I'm not special here, it is no rocket science. So, I'm not trying to make this personal. It is just that you happened to make this statement without bringing in the music for the most part. No offense meant.

EDIT:

Lyric wise, the biggest differences between No Prayer and FOTD and other albums could indeed be: a bit less books or films, more society and views on the world and introspectiveness. But you overlooked 3 film/series inspired songs.
You could indeed say books and films are part of Maiden DNA. Still there are more types of DNA/connections/differences and I hoped I could illustrate these somewhat.
 
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TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
One thing partly affecting Blaze's vocal performance on the album, something that I don't think has been widely discussed - is that he still was recovering from the Motorbike accident he was involved in, in which he broke his leg. Therefore he recorded some parts sitting in a chair, which I don't think made him sound any better, combined with that the accident likely made him a bit out of shape as well.
 

Jer

Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
Yūbinkyoku wa mōsukoshidesu, ya obscene gaijin, ya cuckoo otaku. ジョンシルバーチルバー

So, what was this about The X Factor again...?
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
It's a bit more nasal after the first chorus. Nasal placement is instrumental to singing higher notes and Blaze switches between chest and whatever he's using to sing on the higher end of his range, and both have different fundamental timbres. That being said, some are better than others at joining them together. Fogerty for instance, is very nasal but in the early years masked it with a ton of distortion. I think Blaze gives masking a shot by using his tongue to darken it in the first chorus, but again, that's likely a different take. If he was to really even it out then he would have to brighten his chest voice as well, and its dark timbre is a quality part of his voice to me. So I'll take the different timbres any day, I don't have a problem with it.

Seeing Fogerty and Blaze being compared (no disrespect to Blaze because Fogerty is awesome) hurts.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
One thing partly affecting Blaze's vocal performance on the album, something that I don't think has been widely discussed - is that he still was recovering from the Motorbike accident he was involved in, in which he broke his leg. Therefore he recorded some parts sitting in a chair, which I don't think made him sound any better, combined with that the accident likely made him a bit out of shape as well.

I saw him singing standing up in 1996 and 1998 and the results were not much better...
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
It's not only that I do not think so...
Actually it is. It's simply a matter of opinion. You have your's I have mine. And it's ok for me ... I don't want to evangelize no one or force my point of view. Just share it. With that being said I'll only answer to more factual stuff on your last post.

Vintage? How was this done before. I may have forgotten/missed this, so help me out.
If you're talking about RSRD it's about submarine warfare. Maiden has a long tradition on songs about war. So... yeah: this is all along vintage Maiden thematic.
Ok I did not know a power ballad cannot be about love. This is more about Wasting love... a critical song on.. himself. Not typical at all.
Not in my book. Of course a ballad by definition can be just a narrative song. But once again let's check the Cambridge dictionary: "a song or poem that tells a story, or (in popular music) a slow love song". I normally go for the second definition strictly. And yes... a really atypical song for Maiden as Bruce says in ARLO.
Yup. In portuguese novel and romance are almost synonymous and after searching the Cambridge dictionary I think it can also be similar since i found this: "a story of exciting events, especially one written or set in the past: medieval romances"
And I even mentioned the book's author.

But probably less often than on the nineties albums.
Invasion, Genghis Khan, Invaders, Run To The Hills, Where Eagles Dare, The Trooper, Sun And Steel, Aces High, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Flash Of The Blade, Alexander The Great... there are plenty IMO.

Based on the 1960s series of the same name.
That's precisely the series that The Prisoner is all about. So yeah... a Prisoner reprise.

Hmm we need to look that up. This is from The Iron Maiden Commentary:
1616617510605.png
Fair enough and still weak as well lyrics IMO.

I also think The Apparition is a personal Harris philosophical lyric. And see a connection with The Final Frontier song (posted in The Apparition commentary topic)
Yup... it can also be it. So perhaps that's even one less classic Maiden theme in FOTD.

What do you mean, FOTD short? I did not say that. I was making another connection with the FOTD album. Again a song that served as a template.
It's when you said:
Man on the Edge a short strong song? Hello Fear of the Dark: Be Quick or Be Dead. Hey, a short strong song.
Oh... I thought you were speaking about Fear Of The Dark AND BQOBD... not BQOBD as a song from the FOTD album.

As for the rest, mainly music wise, it's as I said before. There's no need to repeat what has been said. You've got your opinion and I've got mine. It is what it is. :ok:
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
In portuguese novel and romance are almost synonymous and after searching the Cambridge dictionary I think it can also be similar since i found this: "a story of exciting events, especially one written or set in the past: medieval romances"
In English we have 'novels' and 'romance novels'. The latter usually deal with love, the former are a broad category of fiction books, longer than short stories and novellas. German and French refer to 'novels' as 'Romans', which is cool. I dunno if this is any help but there you go.
 
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