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Bruce Dickinson

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Paul Bruce Dickinson (born August 7, 1958 in Worksop Notts, England) is the lead singer in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Before this, he was singer in similar band Samson from 1980 until he joined Iron Maiden with their Number of the Beast album in 1982. During previous years, he was in Styx (1976) (not the American band of the same name; Styx), then went on to sing for Speed (1977 - 1978) and when this band split, he joined Shots until the summer of 1979.

Other talents include literature, writing, Olympic standard fencing, train technology and flying Boeing 737 charter jets for the UK charter airline Astraeus (which Iceland Express leases planes from) where he is employed as First Officer.

He is sometimes called "Conan the Librarian" after a character in the "Weird Al" Yankovic movie UHF, and has been nicknamed, 'The Air Raid Siren'. Dickinson went by the stagename "Bruce Bruce" prior to joining Iron Maiden. He is also an above average guitarist, as can be seen in the Live After Death video and various videos from his solo career. He studied history at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, and was active in student politics as a member of the Conservative Party.

Dickinson currently presents the Saturday evening "rock show" on BBC alternative rock radio station 6 Music. He has recently taken the helm of BBC Radio 2 Serial, Masters of Rock. He also presented the 5-part historical TV series about aviation; Flying Heavy Metal was shown on the Discovery Channel in the UK.

Contents

Biography

Solo career

His career outside Iron Maiden started with the recording of "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" which appears on the A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child soundtrack and Disc Two of The Best of Bruce Dickinson album. A different version of the song was recorded by Iron Maiden for the No Prayer for the Dying album. The original version got him a studio deal for a full album. Along with friend and soon-to-be Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, Dickinson wrote the Tattooed Millionaire album within two weeks. The result was a rather poppy rock album with surprisingly fun, solid songwriting. It was, however, far away from Iron Maiden's heavy metal sound and fantasy lyricism - the baudy sexual innuendoes of "Dive, Dive, Dive!" would never find themselves on one of Iron Maiden's releases. It is possible that some of the songs are leftover ideas from the Somewhere in Time sessions, in which Dickinson presented more experimental ideas to Steve Harris who was not convinced, thus leading to a complete absence of Dickinson songwriting credits on that album.

Before the release of his second effort, Balls to Picasso, Dickinson left Iron Maiden and went through two different efforts with two sets of different collaborators. The first was with Myke Gray of the band Skin, and the second with the producer Keith Olsen. Of the second, a few songs surfaced as B-sides and one, "No Way Out... Continued" appears on the 2-disc The Best of Bruce Dickinson collection. Dickinson was not happy with the majority of the material on these efforts. Salvation came at last in the form of Tribes of Gypsies guitarist Roy Z. He agreed to work with Dickinson to improve the Keith Olsen album and ended replacing all of it except "Tears of the Dragon". Balls to Picasso was recorded with the Tribe of Gypsies and was a far more mature record than Tattooed Millionaire, with some very well-crafted songs, spurred along with the melodic and shredding leads of Roy Z.

The Tribe departed to tour and record under their own steam, leaving Dickinson to track down another band. Dickinson's new writing partner was Alex Dickson, and after touring his current song catalogue (documented on Alive in Studio A) with him and the rest of the new band, sat down to write Skunkworks. The idea was that the band would be called that, but the record company insisted Dickinson's name be on the release. Dickinson likened that to David Bowie attempting to do the same with Tin Machine and how it did not work for him either. The album is often described as grunge, which while not wholly accurate does convey the idea that the songs are rather short, with relatively brief guitar solos and overall less of a metal edge.

The Skunkworks entity ceased to be after the touring due to musical differences (Dickinson wanted the next album to be more metal), and after a period of inactivity Dickinson once again teamed up with Roy Z to record Accident Of Birth. Adrian Smith was asked to guest but played on the whole album and tour. The album marked a return to heavy metal for Dickinson; in fact the album could be considered to be heavier than Iron Maiden. It was a big success and for the first time, a follow up was inevitable. The Chemical Wedding, a semi-concept album on the writings of William Blake followed. This record proved to be even more successful, with engaging lyrics and powerful songs. Scream for Me Brazil was a live album that documented a show of the Chemical Wedding tour, and featured songs from the last two albums and two from Balls to Picasso.

The Best of Bruce Dickinson album with two new Roy Z songs and a limited edition disc of rarities was released upon his announcement of a return to Iron Maiden. Dickinson is said to have wanted to record another album with Roy Z, but he was busy with Judas Priest vocalist, Rob Halford, and the window of opportunity was missed. Tyranny of Souls, was finally released in May 2005. This time the songwriting was all split between Roy Z and Dickinson, with Roy playing all guitars and even basses in some songs. Much of the writing was done by Roy sending recordings of riffs to Dickinson which he wrote lyrics and melodies for while on tour. With the release of Tyranny of Souls, Dickinson's back catalogue was reissued with a bonus disc of extra tracks for each album except The Chemical Wedding and the two live albums, the latter of which were packaged together in a three-disc set.

A compilation DVD was expected for the first half of 2005 but was pushed back to Fall 2005 to avoid clashing with the Iron Maiden schedule.

Discography

Samson

  • Head On (1980)
  • Shock Tactics (1981)
  • Live at Reading 1981 (1990)

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson

Iron Maiden Videos/DVDs

Bruce Dickinson Videos/DVDs

  • Dive! Dive! Dive! (1990)
  • Skunkworks Live Video (1997)
  • TBA (Best Of, expected in Fall 2005)

Misc. Appearances

  • Xero - Oh baby (EP - Lone Wolf secret track 1983)
  • Soundtrack - The Nightmare on Elmstreet Part 5 (Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter 1989)
  • Rock aid Armenia - The Earthquake Album (Smoke on the Water cover 1989)
  • Comic Relief - Smear campaign (Elected cover 1992)
  • Nativity In Black - A tribute to Black Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath cover 1994)
  • Montserrat Caballé - Friends for life (Bohemian Rhapsody cover 1997)
  • Extreme Championchip Wrestling Compilation - Extreme Music (The Zoo cover 1998)
  • Soundtrack - The Bride of Chucky (1998)
  • Humanary Stew- A tribute to Alice Cooper (Black Widow cover 1998)
  • Ayreon - Universal Migrator part II:Flight of the Migrator (Into the Black Hole 2000)
  • Halford - Resurrection (The One You Love to Hate 2000)
  • Halford - Live Insurrection (The One You Love to Hate 2001)

Bibliography

External links

nl:Bruce Dickinson no:Bruce Dickinson pl:Bruce Dickinson pt:Bruce Dickinson sv:Bruce Dickinson

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