What type of Blaze-era Iron Maiden fan were you?

What type of Blaze-era Iron Maiden fan were you?


  • Total voters
    95

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Nothing can improve the original, IMO. It's good as it is. People say that the video edit is better and all, but that makes no sense to me. It keeps most of the repetition while removing most of the verses and an entire solo. I don't see how it can be any more of an improvement than this extended version.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Nothing can improve the original, IMO. It's good as it is. People say that the video edit is better and all, but that makes no sense to me. It keeps most of the repetition while removing most of the verses and an entire solo. I don't see how it can be any more of an improvement than this extended version.
Exactly. I mean, both the long and short versions are fun to listen to when you feel like it, but the original is great already.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
Nothing can improve the original, IMO. It's good as it is. People say that the video edit is better and all, but that makes no sense to me. It keeps most of the repetition while removing most of the verses and an entire solo. I don't see how it can be any more of an improvement than this extended version.
Agreed. While I definitely see the need of cutting the song a bit shorter and I'm not the biggest fan of it in the first place, I've always felt the video edit even more lacking than the album version. It pretty much comes down to the third verse; I think it's pretty essential, given the story of The song, and the verses are actually pretty good, really. Everything about the repetition has already been said and while the whole package is very underwhelming for almost ten-minute-song, it's enjoyable on it's own rights. A little bit of perspective during the recordings and well, even a sturdier sound than what VXI came up with could have helped a lot.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
One of my favorite things about TAATG is the way it can conjure up images for me. With the opening, it feels like a movie scene... a dark night, we swoop down and into a gambling den to find our protagonist...

And then the Angel, adrift on the ocean, arrive at the crossroads, etc. I can see it all vividly. VXI gives me personally a lot of images via the music, and they’re different than any other Maiden album. I can see the virtual world, the dark night with lightning flashes, the Scottish highlands, the telescopic view, the mid-life crisis, the dark night in which you’re running to escape the stranger, and the fires burning in remembrance for those who died.

Say what you will about it, but it’s a different Maiden album that’s doing a lot of different things and even if it’s not perfect, that’s okay. Some of my favorite albums aren’t perfect, and that’s part of the reason I like them. They still succeed despite that.
 

7th son

Educated Fool
I agree that the verses are actually pretty good, they shouldn't have cut any of them. If they cut several minutes of chorus repetition it would be the best version of the song.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
VXI gives me personally a lot of images via the music, and they’re different than any other Maiden album.
^That is what I feel when I listen to the album - I totally agree with you on that case and about the whole post actually ;) The edited video version of TAATG is ok, but they should have kept both solos ! It never was a bad song in my eyes.... That is the case with the other two songs that are always considered the worst in Maiden discography - WW and TA - Weekend Warrior has a great chorus, fantastic rock rhythm and a wonderful solo, The Apparition is a good song, very simple, but it has a good solo too.
With the Maiden songs you never know when some song will become one of your favorites - they have never released a bad song !!! That was the case with me when I back and listen to 2 A.M. - I always thought that it was a bland song, but when I listened to it one or two times in a row I started to notice things that before I have never heard - the song has a very melancholic feel and a great touching solo by Janick, mid-tempo song with a great lyrics too. It became one of my favorite songs from The X Factor !

Virtual XI is a very favorable album and one of my favorites from Maiden - it contains the most melodic songs, which I like a lot - with not a single bad song on it !!!
 
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I started listening to Maiden in 1991. Once I got used to the songs, my favourite album was No Prayer. Later on, as I got more and more into heavy metal, my favourite Maiden album became Powerslave. In 1993 I was disappointed to hear that Bruce was leaving the band, but interested to find out who would enter.

In 1995 when The X Factor came out, I was excited to listen to it. I loved the cover art.
My favourite song on that album where Sign of the Cross, Man on the Edge and Blood on the Worlds hands.
I initially thought Blaze sounded OK but obviously quite different from Bruce.
I listened to the album quite a bit. It was Maiden of course. But once I had got used to the album, I'd say it was in my bottom two Maiden albums along with Fear of the Dark, I didn't think it sucked. I like all Maiden albums, so being at the bottom of the list doesn't mean I hate it.

When Virtual XI came out I listened to that, was excited about a new Maiden release of course. I didn't like the album cover. It came with a 3d thingy which was a novelty. I liked The Clansman, I listened to this album quite a bit, as I do any new Maiden release, but I did recognise it as my new bottom ranked album.

A few years later I was shocked to see Blaze on youtube singing Maiden classics horrendously badly. I knew Maiden's fan base had dropped during that period, concert attendance was poor etc, but I didn't know why until I saw those clips on youtube. Prior to that, I didn't consider Blaze to be a bad singer, I just thought the X factor and Virtual XI just didn't have great songs. I think after listing to the youtube video it did impact me quite a bit. I got sick of Blaze's voice, and couldn't bring myself to listen to those Maiden albums of his. I've now gotten out of that stage. I don't mind his voice now, but I still don't think those albums are very good, they are definitely in my bottom 3 maiden albums along with Fear of the Dark. I don't get an urge to listen to these three albums, but out of boredom I do sometime go and listen to them.
 

stjerky

Nomad
Nothing can improve the original, IMO. It's good as it is. People say that the video edit is better and all, but that makes no sense to me. It keeps most of the repetition while removing most of the verses and an entire solo. I don't see how it can be any more of an improvement than this extended version.
Foto me the worst thing about TAATG is the synth sound. It sounds like a children's Casio organ from the 80's.

If they used something like Hammond B3 sound, it would have sounded better.
 

deslock

Invader
Bought The X Factor the day it came out. Found the mix and production lacking, but the songwriting was a step up from the previous couple records (which were mostly terrible to mediocre, though there are a few great songs, the highlight being Fear of the Dark, which ranks amongst their best).

Blaze doesn't have Dickinson's range, but I preferred Blaze's voice to the growling phase Dickinson went through in the early 1990s. Not as consistent as their 1982-88 albums, but TXF has a lot of excellent material was was somewhat of a return to form for the band.

The Angel and the Gambler is terrible, but Virtual XI is underrated in my opinion. Futureal, Lightning Strikes Twice, The Clansman, and When Two Worlds Collide are all strong songs. The Educated Fool and Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger also have some amazing parts.
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
This here is an old thread that surprisingly I hadn't contributed to. So strap in and hear my tale:

In 1988, I was 8 years old. I grew up listening to country music mostly. Some stuff happened, and I moved in with my aunt and uncle (it was either that or foster care) and they had two existing children, a boy and a girl, both older than me. The older male specimen, we'll call him "Kevman", was about 5-6 years older than me and liked metal. So this was my exposure to the world of hard hitting music. The very first metal albums I heard were 7th Son (then still fairly new), Master of Puppets (love it now, didn't care for it then) and Def Leppard (the one with Rocket). Seventh Son had me immediately hooked, and they've been my favorite band ever since, and I'm 39 now.

The point of this intro is to detail where I was in life when X Factor hit. While Maiden became my very favorite band when I was 8, it wasn't until I was 10-11 that I really started making an effort to dub all my of my nu-brother's cassettes and his friend's cassettes so I'd have my own copies. Around turning 12 my brother's friend told me about Maiden's new album coming out (No Prayer completely passed me by until my later teens) called Fear of the Dark. We'll call that friend "Dayve". Yea..Dayve. Naturally as soon as this was out, Dayve bought it (Kevman was no longer interested in Maiden, or in playing GI Joe or Dungeons and Dragons with me anymore, not that I'm bitter) and I immediately dubbed it. This was technically my first "new" Maiden release that I was on the ground floor of. I loved it! And then I was told not long after that Bruce was leaving. I'd pester Dayve almost every day for any news of Bruce's replacement. Granted, I was young, and while it was Bruce's voice that got me into the band, I wasn't married to the idea of him being the definitive singer.

So it came to be that later on, Dayve finally had news that a dude named "Blair Blaze" would be the new singer. Dayve also wasn't super sharp, but he was a cool dude. Later he corrected and affirmed it was Blaze Bayley. I was excited! And I remained in anticipation for what seemed like forever.

One day in 1995 my friend and I are walking through the mall. Turns out he was also a huge Maiden-head. We stopped into Camelot Music to see if any new Maiden albums had come out yet, and lo and behold, X Factor was on the shelf! We had enough money and change between us to procure two copies on cassette, one for each of us. We went back to his house and he immediately told him mom to "get the fuck out of here mom, we're gonna listen to music!" and she did. It should be noted that this friend of mine was a delinquent of renown in the neighborhood, but we stuck together because we were both outcasts and both loved Maiden. He popped in his cassette copy and we sat in front of the stereo just listening with our lyric sheets out, bobbing our heads and giving each other silent nods of agreement.

He didn't care for the album as much as I did, considering it too slow and boring, but he liked it and had no problem with Blaze's voice. I, however, was over the moon for this new album. I was only 15 when it came out, and I was excited to hear new music from my favorite band. Three years is a long time to a kid. Now it's nothing at all.

From the ages of 14 and onward I became a computer geek and had regular internet access (never occurred to me to look for Iron Maiden news at the time) and I was always checking out more and more underground bands. The first super underground band (underground at the time) was My Dying Bride. The X Factor and Turn Loose the Swans were my teenage anthems. Both long and ponderous and complex and opened me up to a whole new world of music.

Fast forward to 1998 and I'm excited that Maiden-with-Blaze have a new album coming out. I bought it day of release on CD and played it non-stop. Looking back, I think I realized around this time that I did actually prefer Bruce to Blaze and I preferred their earlier material, but I still loved the new stuff too. However, the internet was a toxic place, and I was for the first time seeing how much people around the world universally hated Blaze-Maiden and those two albums. I'd like to say I was immune to that criticism but it still kinda hurt that my favorite band was being shit on. I felt like the end was near for Maiden.

Then not long after it was announced that both Bruce and Adrian were returning to the band. I was so goddamn excited and became glued to IronMaiden.com every single fucking day, back when their forums were free.

Long story short, I loved the Blaze years even though objectively I can view that he wasn't the best choice. He was the best choice for the album Steve wanted to make in 1995 to exercise his demons, but he wasn't the best long term solution due to his issues with the older material. He doesn't have the range. However, Blaze's voice is just as commanding and powerful as Bruce's as long as he's singing comfortable in his lower registers. I always thought he'd be a great singer for Black Sabbath, but I digress. And while I adore the post 2000 albums by Maiden, considering each of them to be just as good if not better than their 80s material, I still sort-of wish that Blaze was given the chance to make a third album. I'd have especially loved a third Blaze album with a real producer to bring the best out of them.

Thanks for reading my long ass story!
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
Well aside from lack of the rest of the band, Silicon Messiah is just that (even if I still like TXF more).
Eh, as much as I love Blaze's material, his solo stuff doesn't really seem like it comes from the Maiden school of thought. But yea, it's still a fantastic album. The Man Who Would Not Die is my fave Blaze album, and he sounds so damn commanding and in control on that album it's amazing.
 

Sth2112

Nomad
Got into Maiden in the early 2000’s , so I bought the Blaze albums in 2003 I think. Like both albums of course, even thought VXI is my least favorite other than The final frontier. Mainly because of the production, poor songs but with some great parts here and there (The clansman and Futureal is really good, When two worlds collide being a good one), and the horrible performances by Steve and Nicko. TXF is a lot better, but that one also suffer from low-budget production. Blaze does a pretty OK job I think, he did so much better on his own.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
None of those options. I Listened both when they came out (like every Maiden Album since 7th Son) and my reaction to both records was quite different:

The X Factor:
  • The first song I heard was, obviously, Man On The edge. Got a little disappointed with the vocal delivery but MOTE along with the two other songs featured in the cd single version I bought (Judgement Day and Edge Of Darkness) sounded simply amazing nonetheless! Still love these 3 songs to this day.
  • I remember like it was today: putting the cd to play and smilling more and more as the songs unfolded. Although with a lesser capable frontman, Maiden was truly back and MOTE wasn't just a fluke like Be Quick Or Be Dead regarding the majority of Fear Of The Dark.
  • Went absolutely WOOOOW with Sign Of The Cross. Similar (yet less enthusiastic) reaction to Fortunes Of War, Look For The Truth, Judgement Of Heaven and Lord Of The Flies. Already knew MOTE and TEOD and loved thee songs.
  • Really got impressed back in the day with the clawing back to their metal roots in an even heavier and dark fashion.
  • Got disappointed that Judgement day didn't make it to the album's tracklist.
  • Went to see them live in that very tour with My Dying Bride. Although the set was really cool the overall performance was merely good. Could notice Blaze struggling a lot with a handful of songs. Other than that quite enjoyed it.
  • IMO the album doesn't sound dated although I prefer Dickinson singing this record's material (SOTC, LOTF and MOTE). So I really would love to hear the whole thing re-recorded - plus Judgement Day - with Bruce's voice (abit like Testament did in First Strike Still Deadly and Exodus with Let There Be Blood)
  • To this very day TXF is my 7th favorite Maiden Album (sometimes overlaps Killers at #6) only toped by A Matter Of Life And Death and that amazing stretch between Piece Of Mind and Seventh Son.

Virtual XI:
  • The first song I heard was Lightning Strikes Twice in the radio. Liked the dramatic feel to it and some parts. Although sounding a bit generic and lighter than TXF stuff it sounded like propper Maiden and was a solid tune. But didn't impress me too much.
  • Little I knew what was to come... A couple of days after listened to The Angel And The Gambler and went what-the-f**k-was-that-? mode. Got a real bad impression regarding that track (still don't like it today although looking back Maiden did at least a handful of way worst tracks)
  • Once again bought the album the day it came out and as Futureal started spinning went "YES!" again. Really cool energetic fast opener. Skipped the following 2 songs (especially TAATG) and The Clansman kicks in... Another great song! By now it seemed that my worst fears regarding that weak advance single were starting to fade. As I was starting to sigh of relief When Two Worlds Collide unfolds in an uninspired and boring (yet 100% Maiden) track. Ok... by now it was 2 great songs, 1 cool track, 1 mediocre sea of boredom and 1 utter stinker. Regarding there's only 3 more tracks Virtual XVI could go both ways. Then comes The Educated Fool: an intense and really cool track shedding some hope regarding VXI's final take. Hope that was totally crushed regarding the nonsense excuse of a song that is DLTTEOAS making me go facepalm mode again. Como Estais Amigos closed the album in a manner that sounded quite boring back then (came to like it a bit more with the passing of the years) and when the last notes were played I felt disappointed. Something was off.
  • Blaze´s performance improves a bit but nothing too noticeable while the overall quality of the songs plunges nose down.
  • Went To see them live with Hellowen back in 98. Utter disaster of a show.
  • Album aged awfuly while containing 3 really cool tracks (Futureal, Clansman and The Educated Fool)
  • Although prefering Bruce's version of The Clansman 1000 times I really don't eagger for a re recording of the album with Bruce's voice (unlike TXF).
  • VXI is second to last in my IM rank (only ahead of the utter clusterfuck that is Fear Of The Dark). It has its moments but is quite far from the 2 following albums in my likes: BNW and NPFTD.

So there you go... 21/ 24 years after these 2 albums came out I literally never pick VXI for a listening while TXF hits my car drive every now and then. That says enough.
 
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chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
I have a weird nitpick, you said it was "obvious" that MOTE was the first song you heard from X Factor? Since the first song is Sign of the Cross, I'm not sure why that's obvious? I know the MOTE single came out first, but since the post was regarding album impressions, I was confused and then befuddled. That's a lot of words for such a minor bit of confusion; sorry!
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Foto me the worst thing about TAATG is the synth sound. It sounds like a children's Casio organ from the 80's.

If they used something like Hammond B3 sound, it would have sounded better.
Nicko wanted to use a real brass section.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I have a weird nitpick, you said it was "obvious" that MOTE was the first song you heard from X Factor? Since the first song is Sign of the Cross, I'm not sure why that's obvious? I know the MOTE single came out first, but since the post was regarding album impressions, I was confused and then befuddled. That's a lot of words for such a minor bit of confusion; sorry!
No problem lol. Yes... Man on The Edge was playing at metal radios in my homeland back in 95.
Plus as I referred to:
but MOTE along with the two other songs featured in the cd single version I bought (Judgement Day and Edge Of Darkness) sounded simply amazing
Yup... I bought this single version before the album came out. I think it also had an interview with Blaze where he says he spent days completely drunk after he knew he got the job as Maiden frontman.
 
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