Bruce Dickinson fans, rejoice! The singer’s hard-to-find debut solo effort is back in print, complete with bonus tracks. Note that I did not tell Iron Maiden fans to rejoice. For, if you are a Maiden fan and expect Bruce’s solo work to sound like Maiden, you will be disappointed. Tattooed Millionaire came at a time when Bruce was getting tired and wanted a break from Maiden (a much longer break would come later, but he’s back now and all is right with the world of Iron Maiden). Therefore, he decided to record songs that didn’t sound like the songs he was doing with Maiden, as opposed to say, Peter Cetera, who claimed that he left Chicago because he wanted to do new stuff and proceeded to record music that sounded exactly like the music he was doing with Chicago. Instead, Bruce got together with a couple of friends and recorded his version of the late-’80s hair-metal rock and roll album.
The result is sometimes excellent, sometimes laughable, but always fun. The title track serves to skewer the rest of the hair-meal scene at the time, and the cover of “All the Young Dudes” is worth the price of the album alone. Dickinson definitely had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek for tracks like “Dive! Dive! Dive!” and “Zulu Lulu,” but he deftly switches his mood back to anthemic rockers with “Hell On Wheels” and “Gypsy Road.” Several of these tracks will be echoing in your brain a long time after you first play the disc. The band accompanying Dickinson service him well, but this is his spotlight to shine in. You do get a chance to hear early work from guitarist Janick Gers before he got his current job with Iron Maiden.
Normally, this is the place where I would tell you to pick up this disc if you don’t already have it and are curious about what I’ve written, but to stick with the original copy if you already own it. Not this time. If you already own the original version of Tattooed Millionaire, and like it enough to be reading this review, then you should definitely look into the new release. In addition to a short essay in the liner notes placing the album in time, Dickinson has included five bonus tracks, previously available only as U.K. B-sides, including a great cover of AC/DC’s “Sin City” and a live cover of the Samson song “Riding With the Angels.” Chances are, your copy of this album could use replacing. Heck, chances are your copy is a tired old cassette tape, and the new version is a bargain with all of the stuff you love and five new songs. So whether you own the original or not, give Bruce a chance, just don’t expect Iron Maiden.
Bruce Dickinson: http://www.screamforme.com