What I’ve never been is a fan of Iron Maiden on the whole or of Bruce Dickinson specifically. I really like the DiAnno albums, but other than that…
I do acknowledge Maiden’s enormous importance in the history of metal as we love it – Rainbow, Judas Priest and Scorpions may have been the first dudes to figure out the simple fact that hard rock needed to be cleansed of all the sins that the bastardised blues had ever committed, and Rush were playing “progressive metal” when the very idea of “metal” wasn’t even truly defined, but it was Maiden who sort of took all their ore snippets, refined them, and forged the template that anyone could use.
I do realise that Bruce Dickinson is a historical figure.
But I can’t make myself enjoy his voice. Blame it on hearing Dio and Graham Bonnett too early in my life. The way Bruce had always been lauded in the press made me expect a voice that could literally blow these two offstage… yeah right.
Not that Robin McAuley could do that either. He’s got what basically is a rock voice, too limited to work in a metal context at all. And yet. There’s a certain charming character to his timbre that I have been irrationally fond of since the moment I heard MSG’s What Happens to Me on an old pirated cassette tape.
Turns out a quality song like Run to the Hills works with a rock voice, too.
That particular tribute also features impressive performances from Dee Snider, Joe Lynn Turner and Mark Slaughter. Yeah, those dudes who can sing (or at least could; Slaughter seems to have developed some problems), but whose recorded output mostly consists of rather awkward and boring hard rock. So, to me, that tribute CD is one of the highest points of their careers.