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RANT 6

Maiden Reunion

Analogkid2112

Great news!! Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith have re-joined Iron Maiden! This should be the biggest piece of news in the band history! Dave, Adrian AND Janick will share guitar duties, and good olí Air Raid Siren is back at the vocal helm. A return to the glory days is imminent! This is the best news that an Iron Maiden fan could have and we should all be overjoyed. We are all overjoyed, right? Or are we?

I consider myself a very big Maiden fan. I have followed their progress since 1984 and feel that Iíve gone through their ups and downs as the years have gone by. Why wasnít I filled with joy when I found out about the reunion? Is it because Iím not a fan anymore? I still think Iím a pretty big fan. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that the reason Iím not jumping up and down (yet) is because Iím concerned about the bandís future, and because of that, the "quick fix" of the reunion news hasnít had a full effect on me. Let me voice my concerns:

  1. The "Blaze" Factor

    It seems that Iím one of the few people who actually enjoyed Blaze in the band. He got a lot of criticism for not singing Bruce songs like Bruce. Letís keep in mind that Bruce Dickinson is a legendary singer and I can only think of a handful of guys who could actually handle singing his vocal lines. Blaze sounds very different from Bruce. He doesnít have the range that Bruce has (or had; thatís debatable), and due to the fact that he couldnít hit the notes Bruce hit in the studio, some people unjustly called him every name in the book even going as far as wishing physical misfortune on him, like death, (forgetting that as far back as the World Slavery Tour, Bruce couldnít hit his own notes). My personal opinion is that Blaze was never expected to sound like Bruce. If that had been their intent, they would have hired a Bruce clone. Nice and simple, but instead of that, in true Maiden fashion, the band went ahead and dared to be self-innovating by bringing in a singer who in turn brought along his own personality and style. I think that the albums Blaze made with the band are up to par with anything Maiden has done. The X Factor is an awesome, dark album, and I canít really find anything wrong with Virtual XI. I consider myself fortunate because I can enjoy their work with both Bruce and Blaze. I believe Blaze helped the band go through a very difficult time, kept the creative juices flowing, and fronted Iron Maiden with class. He joined the band knowing that he would be subject to criticism if anything only because he wasnít the second coming of Bruce Dickinson (If you think about it, any singer replacing Bruce was going to get crap from "fans"). My hope is that Blaze wasnít just unceremoniously fired to make room for Bruce. There are many factors to consider like the bonds, and the 20th anniversary, however, the details of Blazeís departure have not been divulged so I will abstain from making any kind of conjecture. I trust that the split was amicable, and that all parties involved agreed that it was the best course of action and not just a ploy to "cash in" the issues mentioned above.

  2. The Number Of The Bruce

    There is no way of knowing how committed Bruce is to the "reunited" Maiden. He has enjoyed a successful solo career for about a decade now, and some of his albums particularly his last two, have been very well received by metal fans in general. I was fortunate to see Bruce and Adrian perform as they toured for their Accident Of Birth album. It was a fantastic show with Bruce in top shape voice-wise. If memory serves me right, Bruce began to get the "going solo" itch as far back as 1986 when apparently his compositions were vetoed in favor of Harris and/or Smith tunes. He left the band and was fortunate to find great musical partners (Roy Z, and the Tribe Of Gypsies), and had the opportunity to be in control of his work and his direction(s). He didnít have Steve Harris to contend with, and their dislike of each otherís methods was very well documented. I really see no reason why Bruce wouldnít jump ship again when a disagreement with Steve comes up, having now tasted full artistic freedom and control for a number of years. I really think that if Bruce quits again, Iron Maiden will come to an end, and none of us want to see that happen.

  3. Gimme Back My Bullets

    This is in reference to Lynyrd Skynyrd, who have three guitarists in their band. I am really not concerned about this since Iím almost sure that all these three talented guitar players can co-exist in harmony (yes, Janick is talented and very deserving to be in Dave and Adrianís company. I could write another essay on Janick!)

  4. I Canít Get No (Satisfaction)

    I canít help it but feel that this could potentially be a step backwards for the band. I personally would like to see Maiden create new music and take different approaches the way they have so far, but the danger of becoming a "greatest hits" act is always there. This is an extremely critical point where the future of the band can very well be decided.

  5. alt.rock-n-roll.metal.ironmaiden

    I have followed this news group for about a couple of years now, and have seen it deteriorate to the point where it resembles more an anti-Maiden news group than anything else. There seem to be very few attempts at serious uplifting discussion, and they are there, but it seems that the majority of threads have to do with personal insults between people. There are a couple of yapping dogs in there that make the most irrational and ridiculous comments and assumptions (like, "Blaze sucks and thatís a FACT", or "my opinion is better than yours because I know more than you. If you donít agree then f*** you!"), making it impossible to have intelligent discussion with them. Most likely, I think they do this out of their need to belong and to assert themselves in the world since they are probably unable to do so in their day-to-day dealings with others. I sincerely hope that if any band members read posts in this news group, that they know that those so-called points of view probably donít reflect how the majority of fans feel about the band.

Anyway, those are some of the things that come to mind now. Please feel free to e-mail me with your comments and/or observations.

Analogkid2112
15th February 1999

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