Bruce Dickinson - Worst to Best

Without any particular introductions, enjoy my personal worst to best of Mr. Bruce Dickinson, one of my favourite singers of all time. Let's see what he has been up to in his solo career.

7) Tattooed Millionaire (1990)
Bruce Dickinson is starting to get tired of Iron Maiden (and Heavy Metal in general) and takes refuge in this hard rock solo album (co-written with Janick Gers). The result isn't too bad, there are some good pieces (the first three tracks), but it's not exactly worthy of being engraved on the tombstone. Bruce doesn't want to be a tattooed millionaire, he says in the title track. Well, if he continued down this path he would have lost 80% of his fans, in my opinion. 
Top tracks: Son of a Gun, Tattooed Millionaire, Born in 58.

6) Skunkworks (1996)
Bruce changed his name to "Skunkworks", he replaced all the members of the band and changed his style. There are some good songs and the record is not this immense rubbish that many say (Bruce says that he listens to it from time to time), but this is not Bruce Dickinson and the audience that loved him with Iron Maiden cannot be happy with an album like this one. One of the best things about this album is the bonus tracks, it's called "I'm in a band with an Italian drummer" and it's hilarious, it's about the new drummer Alessandro Elena. 
Top tracks: Space Race, Inertia.

5) The Mandrake Project (2024)
Bruce published this album after waiting almost 20 years from his predecessor. There are some good things and Bruce's performance at his age is definitely remarkable (he's 65!!!) but the songs are written in different periods of his life and the overall listening to me sounds a little inhomogeneous to my ears and most of all, without killer tracks. Click here if you want to read the full (track by track) review.
Top tracks: Mistress of Mercy, Many Doors to hell, Sonata (Immortal Beloved).

4) Balls to Picasso (1994)
Bruce Dickinson officially bids farewell to Iron Maiden (not exactly amicably) and returns with this questionable title and with Roy Z in place of Janick Gers. Balls to Picasso did not have great success, as it was difficult to decipher as a genre and not very homogeneous in terms of style, despite having great songs (like the splendid Tears of the Dragon, perhaps the best-known song of his solo career). 
Top tracks: Shoot All the Clowns, Change of Heart, Tears of the Dragon.

3) Tyranny of Souls (2005)
By now Bruce has returned to being part of Iron Maiden but in 2005 he finds the time (thanks to the solicitations of the faithful Roy Z who sent him all the songs with priority mail) to produce Tyranny of Souls. This is a very respectable album. Not all the songs are great but there are killer tracks. Above all Navigate the Seas of the Sun, of my favourite of his career and the beautiful title track.
Top tracks: Navigate the Seas of the Sun, Kill Devil Hill, Tyranny of Souls.

2) The Chemical Wedding (1998)
It's a magnificent concept album inspired by the life and works of the controversial artist William Blake. The tones of the album are darker than usual and after this album Iron Maiden and Bruce will understand that there is no point in continuing their careers apart. Blaze Bayley is not performing very well with Maiden and Bruce has returned, with a couple of amazing albums, to Heavy Metal. The wedding has to happen. 
Top tracks: The Tower, Jerusalem, Book of Thel.

1) Accident of Birth (1997)
After Skunkworks Bruce fires everyone and calls back Roy Z, the designer Derek Riggs (the one from Iron Maiden) and his old friend Adrian Smith. Above all, it returns to what he was born to do: classic Heavy Metal. The album is a jewel and will sell more than Maiden's contemporary album Virtual XI. The album is fantastically homogeneous and varied and is my favourite of Bruce's solo career.
Top tracks: Taking the Queen, Darkside of Aquarius, Man of Sorrow.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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