Archive for Bruce Dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2020 by 80smetalman

After Judas Priest’s use of guitar synthesizers on their “Turbo” album, many people in the metal world were waiting with great anxiety on the release of Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere in Time” album because the rumours were flying that Maiden were also using guitar synthesizers on their new album, me included. Like so many metalheads at the time, I thought synthesizers were for pop bands and true metal bands didn’t use them. However, when all the anxiety was over and I finally got to listen to the album, I found that the use of guitar synthesizers didn’t turn Iron Maiden into Duran Duran and actually, “Somewhere in Time” is still a cool album.

Taking a step I didn’t normally take back then, I bought the twelve inch single, “Wasted Years.” Normally, I went straight for the album but I guess the guitar synth rumours made me a little nervous. After a listen or two, I found that the synths suited the song very well and that there was nothing to worry about. Iron Maiden remained true to the sound which made them a sensation. Long story short, I loved the song. One piece of 80smetalman history: the “Wasted Years” twelve inch was the first record I bought when I got to England.

If there was any question to whether Iron Maiden rocks out on the album, then have a listen to the track, “Sea of Madness.” The tracks opens with typical Iron Maiden guitar riffs from Smith and Murray before catapulting into a power tune. Bruce’s vocals are as clear as ever, Steve’s bass line is what you expect from the man as is Nicko’s drumming, plus there is a cool guitar solo. Everything’s there on “Sea of Madness” but it still doesn’t get my vote for hidden gem!

My vote for hidden gem on the album could be controversial. “Heaven Can Wait” wasn’t released as a single but it was played live on the next few Maiden tours after this one. The other point is the fact that it is definitely up there in my top ten or possibly top five of all time 80smetalman favourite Iron Maiden songs. Therefore, it could be argued that the gem isn’t exactly hidden. Nevertheless, this song just totally kicks ass and it’s a case of taking all the good things I said about “Sea of Madness” and multiplying them two or three times more for “Heaven Can Wait.”

Another track which might qualify is “Deja Vu.” Back in 86, it didn’t really make itself known unto me but listening to the album recently, it has caught my notice and it is a better track than what I used to remember. Of course, the other tracks are just as cool, having been a long distance or semi long distance runner in high school, (I ran the 800 metres), I can identify with “The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner.” While the lyrics ring true with me, Iron Maiden are one of the few bands who can capture it so well in the music.

Steve Harris stated that “Somewhere in Time” was never meant to be a concept album but it just happened that most of the songs on it were to do with time, interesting thought. However, Mr. Harris also keeps to his love of putting history to music with the closing track, “Alexander the Great.” I know if I was ever to have the opportunity to teach children about Alexander, then I would use the song to motivate the pupils.

Track Listing:

  1. Caught Somewhere in Time
  2. Wasted Years
  3. Sea of Madness
  4. Heaven Can Wait
  5. The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner
  6. Stranger in a Strange Land
  7. Deja- Vu
  8. Alexander the Great
Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- lead vocals

Steve Harris- bass

Adrian Smith- guitar, backing vocals

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

Guitar synthesizers or not, Iron Maiden put out another great album in 1986 with “Somewhere in Time.” I don’t think the band intended it but the release of the album almost coincided with my arrival in England. It’s not a bad album to arrive in another country to because after listening to it, I didn’t feel like (bad pun alert) a stranger in a strange land.

Next post: Tygers of Pan Tang- First Kill

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Samson- Joint Forces

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2020 by 80smetalman

Even as early as 1986, the British heavy metal band, Samson, was already becoming known as “the other band Bruce Dickinson was in.” No prizes for knowing Bruce was in Samson before leaving to join Iron Maiden. In fact, I probably should have been posting Samson albums in the previous years leading up to 1986. I blame my crap memory. If anyone’s interested, I could visit those albums after the tour of 86 is done before moving onto 1987.

Guitarist Paul Samson wasn’t going to throw in the towel after Bruce’s departure and continued the band and lead singer Nicky Moore proves to be a capable replacement on Samson’s 1986 album, “Joint Forces.” In spite of the fact that I had heard of Samson before coming over to Britain, I never listened to them until I saw them open for none other than Iron Maiden. It was a result of that concert, I finally got around to listening to Samson. That was the problem in 1986, so much good metal and not enough time to listen to it all.

Starting with both ends of the album, the opening and closing tracks lay down the framework to what is a great album. “The Chosen Few” is a very fast paced song which grabs your attention from the start, the closest track to thrash. Then, while the contradiction may not work on other albums, the closing power ballad, “Reach Out to Love” is the perfect way to end the album. I don’t remember if they played the song when I saw them but if I was to go back in time and Samson was playing in the US, my cigarette lighter would have been held aloft all throughout the song.

That leaves the songs in between and let me say that there is no let up anywhere on the album. I like the reggae/metal feel to “No Turning Back” and “Tell Me” is a real power rocker. Paul really lets go with the guitar on this one. “The Russians are Coming” is a short but sweet speedy rocker. It’s a good dig at then president Ronald Reagan’s paranoia that the Russians were going to invade America at any moment and it has a cool guitar solo from Paul. However, of all these tunes, my favourite has to be the mid tempo, melodic metal jam, “Burning Emotion.” For me, this track embodies everything Samson does well on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. The Chosen Few
  2. Tramp
  3. Burning Emotion
  4. No Turning Back
  5. Tell Me
  6. Tales of the Fury
  7. That Ain’t All
  8. Power of Love
  9. The Russians are Coming
  10. Reach Out For Love
Samson

Nicky Moore- vocals

Paul Samson- guitar

John Mccoy- bass

Chris Shirley- drums

Whether Samson was Bruce Dickinson’s other band or not seems a mute point. What I know is that I missed out on a great band in Samson, something I need to rectify.

Next post: Iron Maiden- Somewhere In Time

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Book Review: Bruce Dickinson An Autobiography

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

Welcome to my second ever book review. The first one was three years ago so I figured it was time I do another. Okay, it’s because I write more than I read but this particular book definitely needs a comment or three on. My total reaction to “Bruce Dickinson, An Autobiography” was, “I wish I could write like that.” Bruce has a distinct writing style that definitely entertains as well as it informs. When recounting his life, he doesn’t do the normal David Copperfield crap with dates and list of his life’s events. Instead he gives those accounts through his own eyes in a very amusing way which at times while reading it made me wonder if I should pack up writing.

Iron Maiden

Naturally, I read the book to hear about his life with the great Iron Maiden and yes, there are some wild accounts there. However, his life before and outside of Maiden was just as intense. Reading about his childhood, his father was a bit of a Delboy Trotter, (a character from the famous British sit-com “Only Fools and Horses), in the sense that he was always acquiring and running different businesses, often at the same time. At one point, he owned a hotel but sold used cars from the front of it. I point this out because I think Bruce’s childhood experiences contributed to his eccentricity.

Bruce Dickinson

How he became a pilot was also a very good and interesting read. He started on a twin engine plane and by the end, he was piloting huge passenger jets. Then there is how he started his brand of beer, “The Trooper.” However, the part that I found most interesting was during his solo career. His account of his concert in war torn Sarajevo and all what he and his band had to go through, the check points, the fear of getting fired on, to be able to perform was absolutely mind blowing. Talk about guts but then it was those guts that helped him beat cancer very recently. How he describes what he went through while battling this disease is harrowing and it’s only right that he gets full marks for overcoming it.

Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography is a cracking read from start to finish. He keeps the reader entertained while at the same time giving them insight into his wild and wonderful life. Plus there are a few surprises along the way as long as events that I didn’t know about but not surprised about. I bow to the superior writer here.

Reading the autobiography has further convinced me that Bruce Dickinson deserves a knighthood. Therefore, I call on all British readers to clink the link and sign the petition.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

On a different note, though I have retired from festivals, I will still go for single days. This year, it looks as if I must go to Bloodstock on the Sunday because Queensryche are headlining and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider is also on the bill for that day.

Next post: Starship- Knee Deep in the Hoopla

I don’t feel worth to post a link to Rock and Roll Children for this post.

A Knighthood For Bruce Dickinson

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2017 by 80smetalman

Bruce Dickinson

After all his accomplishments in music, aviation and business, it is time that Bruce Dickinson is formally recognized for all of his achievements and be granted a knighthood by the United Kingdom. Therefore, I have started a petition which you can sign so this can happen. It’s a travesty that he hasn’t been recognized sooner. I know that if he were a trendy pop singer, he would have gotten a knighthood for doing less. So click the link below and let’s get Bruce what he so richly deserves.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?recruiter=69219669&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive&sharerUserId=69219669&utm_content=nafta_twitter_shortlink%3Areal_control

Iron Maiden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Iron Maiden- The Number of the Beast

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Iron_Maiden_-_The_Number_Of_The_Beast

Honestly, I didn’t intend to make the post of Iron Maiden’s killer 1982 album “The Number of the Beast” coincide with the release of their latest album “Book of Souls.” I was just simply going down my list of albums for 1982 and it was next. However, the gods of rock operate in mysterious ways and so it must have been their will that the post would be made in light of the new album. Especially since “The Number of the Beast” was the first album to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead singer. It has already been established that the new album is a personal triumph for Bruce after his battle with cancer so maybe it’s fitting that appropriate tribute is paid to his first album with Iron Maiden.

Unlike several other bands who were around in 1982, Iron Maiden was not one of those who escaped my attention. Quite the opposite, it was this year when I discovered them while on liberty in Toulon, France. Somebody played an Iron Maiden song that was on a juke box in a bar there and the rest was history. I can’t even remember which Maiden song it was, too much alcohol, but I know I liked it. It probably wasn’t even from this album.

What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? For me, it has all the wonderful tracks that led me to love Iron Maiden. This album features such classics as “Run to the Hills,” The Number of the Beast,” “22 Acacia Avenue” “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “The Prisoner.” See, I heard each of these songs other places such as live albums and videos before I ever heard this album and they were stand out songs on those. Hearing all of them together on one album was simply a mega bonus. Even the track least known to me, “Gangland,” is a very cool track that has every bit of the grit that Iron Maiden puts into all of their songs. I have already declared that “The Number of the Beast” is my favourite Iron Maiden studio album.

There are many things that make this album so good. Obviously all of the classic kick ass tracks that are on the album. However, I agree with many thousands and thousands of others who said that the vocals of Dickinson was what took it up to the summit of great albums. His voice is fresh and ferocious, a combination that many singers don’t have together in abundance. Still, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band. The guitars of Smith and Murray are just superb with the rhythm section of Harris and Burr keeping things all together. With all of these things, it is no wonder the songs are so good.

Track Listing:

  1. Invaders
  2. Children of the Damned
  3. The Prisoner
  4. 22 Acacia Avenue
  5. The Number of the Beast
  6. Run to the Hills
  7. Gangland
  8. Hallowed Be Thy Name

Iron Maiden

                                 Iron Maiden

Along with all the great music associated with “The Number of the Beast” from Iron Maiden, it is also had it’s share of controversy. Without even bothering to listen to the album, the religious right in America branded the band ‘Satan worshipers’ due to the title of the album. This led to record burnings and protests at their concerts and why when I finally got to see them two tours later, they felt the need to tell every audience they played to in America they weren’t Satan worshipers. I highlight this point in “Rock And Roll Children.” One listen to the album will provide plenty of evidence they aren’t. “The Prisoner” was inspired by the popular British television show. “22 Acacia Avenue” is about a house of ill repute, and I am pretty sure it was inspired by the trial of Madam Cyn in London who was acquitted of running a house for prostitution. The more famous “Run to the Hills” is about the plight of the Native Americans. I could go on here but the point is that the songs aren’t Satanic. In fact, the subjects of many of the songs of Iron Maiden is another reason why I like them so much.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Nugent

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Don Henley- I Can’t Stand Still

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

Don_Henley_-_I_Can't_Stand_Still

Sometimes I wonder if musicians who are in a band and then put out their own solo albums aren’t faced with an agonizing worry on how their albums are to be received. If the album sound too much like that of their band, they are accused of just putting out the same album with different musicians. On the other hand, if they venture too far from that band’s sound, they are criticized for being too diverse or if the album sounds somewhat commercial, selling out. People of little or no experience of heavy metal have accused both Ozzy and Bruce Dickinson of doing the former in spite of the fact that when you listen to those albums, there are notable differences  in the sound between Ozzy and Black Sabbath as well as Bruce and Iron Maiden. No pleasing some people I suppose. Having heard many a solo album, I think the one album that best successfully strides the line between these two extremes is the solo album by Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn, “Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside.” It is my favourite melodic rock album of the 2000+ era and while there are some moments where you can hear the Tyketto influence, he definitely does his own thing without totally diversing and it sounds very good. Therefore, I wonder if back in 1982, I wonder if Don Henley had such a worry when he released his first solo album following the demise of The Eagles.

dv-ssor

It took me a couple of listens to “I Can’t Stand Still” before I finally remembered how good it is. Fortunately,  I am more musically open minded than I was in 1982 and that helped me appreciate it even more. While the influence of Henley’s days with The Eagles is definitely there, he puts his own spin on things. It’s not “Hotel California” but it was wrong of me to expect it to be. The closest songs that come to that on “I Can’t Stand Still” are the tracks “You Better Hang Up,” “Nobody’s Business” and “Them and Us.” As far as The Eagles go, I have always believed that Henley’s voice was best suited for their ballads and this is certainly proven with the two ballads on this album, “Long Way Home” and “Talking To The Moon.” Ironically, it is the single from the album where Don puts his best personal stamp. “Dirty Laundry” may sound like new wave synth pop to the untrained ear but it is definitely his song and the guitar solos are the best on the album. The following track and probably my favourite, “Johnny Can’t Read,” gets the same sort of work from Don. What amazes me the most about “I Can’t Stand Still” is the sheer number of musicians Henley gets to play on the album with him. I mean, he practically used all of Toto at some point on the album.

Track Listing:

1. I Can’t Stand Still

2. You Better Hang Up

3. Long Way From Home

4. Nobody’s Home

5. Talking to the Moon

6. Dirty Laundry

7. Johnny Can’t Read

8. Them and Us

9. La Eile

10. Lilah

11. The Unclouded Day

Don Henley

Don Henley

Don Henley- drums, lead vocals, keyboards

Ras Baboo- percussion, timbales

Derek Bell- harp

Kenny Edwards- bass, guitar

Steve Foreman- percussion

Bob Glaub- bass

Louise Goffin- vocals, gut string guitar

Andrew Gold- keyboards

Max Gronenthal- vocals, gut string guitar

George Gruel- vocals

Garth Hudson- synthesizer

Maren Jensen- vocals, gut string guitar

Danny Kooch Korchmar- bass, guitars, synthesizers, backing vocals

Ross Kunkel- drums

Steve Lukather- guitar

Paddy Maloney- whistle, ulliean pipes

Jeff Porcaro- drums, moracas

Steve Porcaro- keyboards

Timothy B Schmidt- bass, guitar, vocals

Leland Sklar- bass

JD Souther- acoustic guitar, gut string guitar

Benmont Trench- keyboards

Waddy Watchel- electric guitar

Ian Wallace- drums

Joe Walsh- lead guitar

Max Williams- drums

Bill Withers- vocals, gut string guitar

Warren Zevon- vocals, gut string guitar

Don Henley made an impressive start out of the blocks in his solo career with “I Can’t Stand Still.” While he doesn’t completely abandon his past, he isn’t afraid to be his own person with the album and once that conclusion is arrived at, it makes the album that much more enjoyable.

Next post; Glen Frey- No Fun Aloud

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Dickinson Diagnosed With Cancer

Posted in Heavy Metal, Illness, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2015 by 80smetalman

Bruce Dickinson, vocalist from Iron Maiden, has been diagnosed with cancer.

While having a routine checkup in December, the heavy metal frontman, 56, learned that he had developed cancerous tumors on the back of his tongue, according to a statement on the Iron Maiden fan page.

Bruce Dickinson of the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden performs on stage in 1983.PETER STILL/REDFERNSBruce Dickinson of the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden performs on stage in 1983.

The performer finished seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiology treatment Wednesday.

The announcement says that doctors expect the artist to make a complete recovery, although it will take several months for Dickinson to get back on his feet.

“Bruce is doing very well considering the circumstances and the whole team is very positive,” thereleased statement explains.

Iron Maiden completed their most recent tour in the UK in July 2014

Let us all wish Bruce a full and speedy recovery.