"Tears of the Dragon"

I listened to this classic BRUCE DICKINSON track for the first time in what felt like an eternity yesterday, and I have to say, it's still as fresh and poignant and beautifully executed as it was back when it was first released, waaaaaaaay back in 1994:


His output as a solo artist is, in my opinion, deeply underrated. Once he got his "hard rock" phase out of his system, and settled back down to making terrific heavy metal records again, he and his solo band released two of the greatest "classic" metal records ever created: Accident of Birth, with its hilariously gruesome cover art, and The Chemical Wedding- which to this day occupies a place of high honour in my list of the ten greatest albums of all time that were not released by an outfit called IRON MAIDEN.

And it's not like his hard-rock records were bad, either. Tattooed Millionaire isn't anyone's idea of a great album, but it's far from terrible. Balls to Picasso, with its ridiculous name and dreadful cover art, is downright weird in places, but it contains several truly great tracks like "Shoot All the Clowns", "Laughing in the Hiding Bush", and "Sacred Cowboys"- and, of course, "Tears of the Dragon".

And Skunkworks is uneven, but at least half of the album is terrific; my personal favourite tracks on that one are "Solar Confinement", "Space Race", and "Innerspace". "Strange Death in Paradise" ain't half bad either.

Honestly, the records he was putting out at the time were superior to anything IRON MAIDEN had done for, like, 10 years. Don't get me wrong, I love the Blaze Bayley-era albums- yes, I know, HERESY!!!- but there is no question that the only singer worthy of leading IRON MAIDEN is the one and only Bruce Dickinson.

Which, of course, he proved beyond the palest shadow of any doubt the day after he returned to the fold in 1999.

If you're a fan of classic heavy metal, then see if you can get your hands on the 2-disc version of The Best of Bruce Dickinson. It's a phenomenal "best of" album, but the much more rare 2-disc edition contains a number of B-sides that are in some cases better than the singles that they appeared with.

Comments

  1. Had not even realized he'd had a solo career.... need to fix that.

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    Replies
    1. Start with The Chemical Wedding- it's one of the best albums ever recorded.

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