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The X Factor [Parental Advisory]

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Performer Notes
  • Iron Maiden: Blaze Bayley (vocals); Dave Murray, Janick Gers (guitar); Steve Harris (bass); Nicko McBrain (drums).
  • Additional personnel: Xpresion Choir.
  • Recorded at Barnyard Studios, Essex, England.
  • When longtime vocalist Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden in 1993, many fans feared that the band was finished. But the rest of the band decided to stick it out, finding a replacement in ex-Wolfsbane frontman "Blaze" Bayley. On Maiden's first recording with Bayley, 1995's THE X FACTOR, the band sticks to the same musical direction of its early-'90s work: straightforward, heavy tunes.
  • Bayley's voice couldn't have been more different than that of his predecessor. While Dickinson sang in a higher register (often in an operatic style), Bayley was more of a bassy, low-down belter--just listen to such tracks as "Man on the Edge" and "Lord of the Flies" for proof. Unfortunately, the new lineup didn't have the same staying power as the Dickinson-fronted era, lasting for only one more recording.
Professional Reviews
Q (12/95, p.140) - 3 Stars - Good - "...X FACTOR is still what the band do best: highly portentous, often refreshingly real deviations from a proven formula..."

NME (Magazine) (10/14/95, p.35) - 6 (out of 10) - "...Blaze [Bayley]'s lyrics eschew any nonsense about elves and psychopaths, favouring instead ruminations about the nature of war....probably...their best album..."
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