Expanded Edition first re-release of the fourth solo album by legendary British Heavy Metal singer, the Iron Maiden vocalist.
This is the second album made in collaboration with guitarist/producer Roy "Roy Z" Ramirez and is therefore much different from Bruce's previous "Skunkworks" album. Of all of Bruce Dickinson's solo albums, “Accident Of Birth” sounds the most similar to Iron Maiden, which isn't surprising since former Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith co-wrote many of the songs and plays on the record. This is the album that Iron Maiden never made, the great (quasi) solo work by Bruce Dickinson with assistance from his friend and former band member of Iron Maiden Adrian Smith. Together with Roy Z and further notable musicians, these two legends of Metal recorded their by far best album of the 1990ies.
After his Progressive Rock side project "Skunkworks" tanked the previous year, Bruce had no choice but to return to the genre that made him a household name in the first place, and boy, are the sounds of it ever sweet. With 12 tracks of nothing but awesome, catchy and truly memorable Metal tunes, Bruce Dickinson's "Accident Of Birth" is truly the return to form that we all wanted. With simple words, "Accident Of Birth" is perfect! Bruce hasn’t sung and expressed himself like this since the "Seventh Son Of The Seven Son" album. In this album, Bruce composes epic songs, either singing furiously - the way we loved him-in Heavy Metal thunders, or giving us incredible moments of peace with his exquisite ballads. At times the music reminds a bit of Maiden but how could it be otherwise since the songs are under the signature of Dickinson-Smith?
Varying from intense, energetic, to quiet and relaxing, from sad to powerful moods, anytime you listen at the end you will feel like having had a great new experience. A good example is the title track, beginning with a steamhammer-like intro, with lyrics like a verbal revenge on someone that has mistreated you once and you feel like payback. Or "Omega" and "Arc Of Space" for taking a rest with your body and mind, trying to get closer to the meaning of life or the existence of God. The album has a unique freshness of an icy cold winter morning when you feel like having to face all the world’s problems and all you need to solve them is just some mind-feeding power from Heavy Metal music. This is what you get!
The cover art was done by Derek Riggs, best known for being the creator of Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie and the artwork on all Iron Maiden albums/singles/posters/tour brochures throughout 1980–1990 (and sporadically afterwards up until 2000's "Brave New World" other than one additional Eddie drawing for the cover of his book "Run for Cover"). Four versions of the album cover exist. The regular European release had Edison (as the jester was jokingly named as "Eddie's Son") bursting out of a man's stomach. The regular cover only shows the stomach, but the poster that came with the limited edition of the album made it clear that the stomach belongs to a man. This was deemed too explicit for the US market, where the album was released with a frontal view of the puppet. The 2005 re-release also has a different cover. The outer cardboard sleeve features the puppet nailed to a cross, while the cover art on the CD booklet itself is the one showing the jester bursting out of a man's stomach. The extended edition of the album features the same cover as the original, but re-scaled so as to make the man visible.
The album is better than many latter-day Maiden efforts, and though the songwriting is occasionally uneven, the best moments (including "Man Of Sorrows") make it an intriguing album.
Now you can reach for your remote control and push the "Play" button again. The emperor of Metal has returned to his throne and we, his humble followers have no right to question his dominion. Thank you Bruce and welcome back to Metal!
"Accident Of Birth" is a must-own for Maiden fans, for Bruce fans, and is an excellent start for people new to Brucey's solo material who want to explore the frontier his creativity outside of Maiden took him to!!
An Expanded Edition remastered release features “Accident Of Birth” album and second disc with tracks of CD Singles "Accident Of Birth" and "Man Of Sorrows" (Japanese Edition).
Duellist Enterprises Ltd./Sanctuary Records Group Ltd. A BMG Company, 1997/2005 (SMEDD197). Made in Germany. First press of Expanded Edition.
1. Freak 4:15
2. Toltec 7 Arrival 0:37
3. Starchildren 4:17
4. Taking The Queen 4:49
5. Darkside Of Aquarius 6:42
6. Road To Hell 3:57
7. Man Of Sorrows 5:20
8. Accident Of Birth 4:23
9. The Magician 3:54
10. Welcome To The Pit 4:43
11. Omega 6:23
12. Arc Of Space 4:18
CD 2 (Bonus Tracks)
1. Ghost Of Cain (Demo)* 4:15
2. Accident Of Birth (Demo)* 4:18
3. Starchildren (Demo)** 5:04
4. Taking The Queen (Demo)** 4:33
5. Man Of Sorrows (Radio Edit)*** 3:58
6. Man Of Sorrows (Orchestral Version)*** 5:20
7. Man Of Sorrows (Spanish Version)*** 3:58
8. Darkside Of Aquarius (Demo)*** 6:23
9. Arc Of Space (Demo)*** 4:04
Total playing time: 95:29 min.
* Taken from “Accident Of Birth, pt. I” CD Single;
** Taken from “Accident Of Birth, pt. II” CD Single;
*** Taken from “Man Of Sorrows” Japan only CD Single.