Blaze Bayley – Iron Maiden
Albums: The X Factor (1995), Virtual XI (1998)
Ironically, the fate of Iron Maiden’s Blaze Bayley parallels Tim Owens stint in Judas priest.
Blaze was also hired to replace an iconic frontman (Bruce Dickinson who replaced the equally beloved Paul Di’Anno in the early 80’s) and Blaze was also shortchanged in the music department….making his already impossible job all the more harder!
In comparison to Maiden’s normally high standards, the songwriting on The X Factor and Virtual XI is simply below par and it was convenient to lay the blame at Blaze’s door.
The typical Iron Maiden characteristics were there but the band sounded like they were dialling it in, fully aware that without Bruce Dickinson the law of diminishing returns was inevitable; Blaze Bayley never stood a chance.
A grossly unfair situation as Bayley did more than just a decent job and he definitely deserved more credit; check out “The Clansman” from Virtual XI and “Man On The Edge” from The X Factor as proof that his voice did suit the Maiden sound.