Virtual XI: individual album judgement by yours truly

Shmoolikipod

Poison Godmachine
Update 14/7/2018

Futureal: 6/10 ±0
The Angel and the Gambler: 7/10 ±0
Lightning Strikes Twice: 3/10 -1
The Clansman: 10/10 +2
When Two Worlds Collide: 7/10 ±0
The Educated Fool: 8/10 +2
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger: 5/10 -1
Como Estais Amigos: 6/10 ±0

Average: 6.5/10 +0.25
 
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Shmoolikipod

Poison Godmachine
This really shows how our perception of numbers can diverge greatly. I also gave this song a 7/10, and to me, a 7 means great. You obviously disagree, since you already said you don't consider "Angel and the Gambler" a great song.
Yep, that's why this isn't the perfect format, that would probably be song by song ranking but that's long and much harder than just voting from 1 to 10.
My thinking when ranking was:

10. Masterpiece
9. Song I really love that has a little something that brings it down, or a flawless song that doesn't quite reach the heights of a 10
8. Great song
7. Good song
6. Average song
5. Okay-ish song, not one that I dislike but usually skippable
4. Forgettable song, just bland, boring, filler...
3. Song I dislike, not quite hate but I'd prefer it not being on the album
2. This is the lowest ranking I gave, to The Apparition, and I don't even hate it. I'd say 2 is the worst of 4 (bland and boring) and 3 (bad).
1. Here go the songs I hate. Shape of You, Love You to Death (Priest), Loverman cover by Metallica... The difference between 1 and 2 in my list is huge, I could use 1 or 2 more numbers between them. Maybe we should start counting in hex, and then Empire would be F, Seventh Son D and Weekend Warrior can stay at 9 :D

I guess your "good" song range is larger than mine and "filler" range smaller?
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
I try not to overthink these things too much. And, I'm not quite sure why, but I find it easier to vote on a 5/5 scale than on a 10/10 one, so I guess I would vote something like this:

8–10 (4–5) => these 3 numbers I reserve for songs I think are flawless, ot at least recognize their own flaws and actually use them in their own favor;
7 (3.5) => a great song, one that doesn't always work due to the flaws being more apparent, but still enjoyable and very strong;
5–6 (2.5–5) => average. The song as a whole doesn't stand out, but it has its moments of brilliance, either musical or lyrically;
2–4 (1–2) => usually forgettable songs apart from one bit or 2. Songs that particularly fail horribly in the lyric department ("Weekend Warrior" being the prime example), or that have good lyrics, but the song itself turns out to be boring and mostly disposable (i.e.: "Gates of Tomorrow").
1 (0,5) => songs with little to no redeeming qualities at all. No Maiden album tracks fit this category.

It's also worth noting that, since this is a Maiden forum, all my ratings here are relative only to Maiden's catalog. If I were to vote everything against every other types of music, there would be a lot more 10s than the 56 I have already given out.
 
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Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
VXI - one of my favorite albums by Maiden, very very underrated, melodic and nostalgic album.

Futureal - 10/10
The Angel and the Gambler - 7/10
Lightning Strikes Twice - 7/10
The Clansman - 10/10
When Two Worlds Collide - 10/10
The Educated Fool - 9/10
Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger - 9/10
Como Estais Amigos - 7/10
-------------------------------------------------------
Average album score: 8,62
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Futureal - 7 >
The Angel and the Gambler - 7 >
Lightning Strikes Twice - 8 >
The Clansman - 10 >
When Two Worlds Collide - 7 >
The Educated Fool - 6 >
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger - 9 >
Como Estais Amigos - 10 >

Average Score: 8.0/10
Actual Score: 9.2/10

Better than the sum of its parts. Virtual XI has its weaknesses, but it's also a really, really good album (in my opinion).
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
  1. Futureal - 8.5/10
  2. The Angel and the Gambler - 4/10
  3. Lightning Strikes Twice - 7/10
  4. The Clansman - 8.5/10
  5. When Two Worlds Collide - 5.75/10
  6. The Educated Fool - 8/10
  7. Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger - 5/10
  8. Como Estais Amigos - 6.75/10

Average: 6,68/10
 
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KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Futureal 9/10
The Angel and the Gambler 6/10
Lightning Strikes Twice 7/10
The Clansman 9/10
When Two Worlds Collide 8/10
The Educated Fool 9/10
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger 9/10
Como Estais Amigos 8/10

Average song rating 8,13
Overall album rating 81%
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
1. Futureal 7
2. The Angel and the Gambler 7
3. Lightning Strikes Twice 7
4. The Clansman 9
5. When Two Worlds Collide 7
6. The Educated Fool 7
7. Don't Look to the eyes of a stranger 7
8. Como estais amigos 7

7,2

VERY GOOD
 
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The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
That's a lot of sevens.
I know, it's a bad album in terms of the production and songs not well worked. But each song has something good on it, some guitar melodies, guitar solos, acoustic stuff or rythm parts. In the other hand…The suddenly end of Don't look to the eyes of stranger means…How the f*** am I going to finnish this song?. Use and abuse of the keyboards too.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
VIRTUAL XI (1998)

1. Futureal - 10/10
One of the band’s shortest songs and filled with a lot of vigor and energy that makes for a sweet opener.

2. The Angel And The Gambler - 10/10
Yes, it’s repetitive, I get that, but in terms of the song itself, it’s got a great vibe, with ‘70s influence coming in to make for a fun and enjoyable romp at the casino.

3. Lightning Strikes Twice - 10/10
Maiden have hardly been this vivid before in conjuring up the picture they want. You can literally see the storm coming in and unleashing upon the listener with this track.

4. The Clansman - 10/10
The immortal classic. A great epic anthem that’s well worth its iconic status.

5. When Two Worlds Collide - 10/10
Blaze is singing with a passion and the melodies here are unbelievably good. Whew.

6. The Educated Fool - 9/10
The one step down on a mostly perfect album. Blaze’s double tracked chorus never did much for me and while I’ve warmed up to it, it does feel lengthy. The rest of the song is great though.

7. Don’t Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger - 10/10
Talk about building up an atmosphere. Dark and sinister and a great penultimate track.

8. Como Estais Amigos - 10/10
I just love this song so damn much. I get tears with every single listen. Top 3 Maiden for sure.

Yes, I’m a sucker for the Blaze era, fuck you.

Rating: 99%
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
VIRTUAL XI (1998)

1. Futureal - 10/10
One of the band’s shortest songs and filled with a lot of vigor and energy that makes for a sweet opener.

2. The Angel And The Gambler - 10/10
Yes, it’s repetitive, I get that, but in terms of the song itself, it’s got a great vibe, with ‘70s influence coming in to make for a fun and enjoyable romp at the casino.

3. Lightning Strikes Twice - 10/10
Maiden have hardly been this vivid before in conjuring up the picture they want. You can literally see the storm coming in and unleashing upon the listener with this track.

4. The Clansman - 10/10
The immortal classic. A great epic anthem that’s well worth its iconic status.

5. When Two Worlds Collide - 10/10
Blaze is singing with a passion and the melodies here are unbelievably good. Whew.

6. The Educated Fool - 9/10
The one step down on a mostly perfect album. Blaze’s double tracked chorus never did much for me and while I’ve warmed up to it, it does feel lengthy. The rest of the song is great though.

7. Don’t Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger - 10/10
Talk about building up an atmosphere. Dark and sinister and a great penultimate track.

8. Como Estais Amigos - 10/10
I just love this song so damn much. I get tears with every single listen. Top 3 Maiden for sure.

Yes, I’m a sucker for the Blaze era, fuck you.

Rating: 99%
And then you give 9 to the only song I could give a 10 to.
 

Poteitos

Prowler
My ratings

Futureal: 9
The Angel and The Gambler: 6,5
Lightning Strikes Twice: 8
The Clansman: 8
When Two Worlds Collide: 8,5
The Educated Fool: 8
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger: 7
Como Estais Amigos: 9,5

Overall: 8,0
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I've given the new remaster a listen. While the guitars are definitely more in your face than The X Factor they still have a terrible amateurish tone, no more so than on the punky riff in Lightning Strikes Twice, it really make the album sound like a pub band. There's some good stuff on the album but also Maidens lowest quality stuff, including the worst ever track.

The subject matter for the lyrics is very generic and entry level metal, except on Como Estais Amigos which is light years above anything else on the album in terms of emotional resonance.

Don't look to the Eyes of a Stranger is terrible rubbish, parts of it could possibly be salvaged, i.e. the intro is ok maybe the Eurythmics could have used it for something, the build up section might have been ok if cut back to about 8 measures and dropped the vocals, but the verses are awful musically and lyrically like what a 14 year old might write for their first song, and the polka section is, without doubt, the worst section of any Maiden song.

I like Angel and the Gambler, always have done, and I make no apologies for that. Saying that, the album version should have been edited down to remove the repetitive build up in the middle and the repetitions in the outro. Some Keith Moon drumming would have been great too, especially as they were going for a The Who vibe.

When Two Worlds Collide has grown on me since 1998, but it could have done with different lyrics for the chorus which sounds like Blaze was given a christmas present of "Baby's Book of Rhymes".


10: Clansman
9 Futureal, The Angel and The Gambler
8 When Two Worlds Collide, Como Estais Amigos
6 Educated Fool
5 Lightning Strikes Twice
4 Don't Look To The Eyes of a Stranger
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
My ratings:

Futureal: 8
The Angel and The Gambler: 3
Lightning Strikes Twice: 5
The Clansman: 8
When Two Worlds Collide: 5
The Educated Fool: 5
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger: 3
Como Estais Amigos: 7

Overall: 5.5

By far the weakest Maiden album. I am so glad this line-up did not last any longer.
 
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