The Best of Bruce Dickinson
My take on Bruce Dickinson is that he’s a tremendously creative, driven man. He’s been part of one of the most important metal bands in history, is an expert fencer, a writer, and lots of other stuff, I’m sure. He takes no shit from anyone. Yet he knows his limitations… What that means to me is that during the 1990s, he distanced himself from Iron Maiden. At first, I think, to nothing better than what he had. Granted, there were issues none of “us” can begin to fathom unless you happen to be Steve Harris, but still, his first solo project, Tattooed Millionaire, contributed very little, in my opinion, to metal or “rock” in general, and hearing the title track on this collection, even though Bruce’s voice is always great, doesn’t change my opinion. I kind of feel like a jerk because I did not know of Bruce’s albums Tears of the Dragon and Alive in Studio A. I am familiar with Skunkworks, and I agree with Bruce (in the liner notes) that “…David Bowie tried… submerging himself in another identity in Tin Machine… it didn’t work for him, either.” The tracks off the former three albums are interesting, as was Skunkworks, but they’re not as metal as perhaps they should have been? I don’t know. I do know that Skunkworks was a difficult listen. Accident Of Birth, the following album featuring IM guitarist Adrian Smith was, again, interesting and it had a metal edge, no? Then there’s Chemical Wedding, the album just prior to the reunification of Bruce with Iron Maiden. Chemical Wedding, all true metal fans agree, is one of the best metal albums of the 1990s, and certainly the best of 1998. Thusly, this is an important compilation, a catalog of Dickinsonian rock and metal and should be a part of everyone’s metal library.