To coincide with the release of the new Iron Maiden double album, Book of Souls, we decided to revisit the Blaze Bayley era of Iron Maiden, which was a brief period in the band’s storied career that only produced two albums. As a result of poor record sales and declining fan interest, Maiden were forced to dump Bayley in 1999 and reunite with Bruce Dickinson to restore faith in the Maiden brand. In this episode we will discuss both The X Factor and Virtual XI, their critical and commercial reception, while evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of Blaze’s contributions to the classic Iron Maiden sound. The impact of these recordings on their future direction will also be addressed.
The X-Factor originally released: October 2nd 1995.
Virtual XI orignially released: March 23rd 1998
(Listen to the songs we talk about on this episode’s Spotify playlist HERE)