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Bruce Dickinson - Anthology (DVD)

Bruce Dickinson
Anthology - DVD
by Orpheus Spiliotopoulos at 09 June 2006, 2:22 AM

There are albums and there are albums out there. Same goes for musicians, same goes for their anthologies. A few though (if any) could possibly say anything bad, anything that would lessen a musical superhero, a metal madman like the one and only Bruce Dickinson. This exhaustless persona has been a significant influence for metalheads and rockers worldwide for over two decades now, turning hundreds of thousands of people onto our favorite music, with either his all-around and forever legendary Iron Maiden releases or his intriguingly interesting solo career.
Both those lines, drawn by his unique voice, his never-tiring onstage performances and his magnificent lyrics (when solo), still carry on, proudly, constantly promising more goods to come our way. Dickinson's solo career - a great one if you ask me - has been synopsized (kind of) in one great 3-DVD visual Anthology! Fans of the mad pilot, the sword master, the great poet… read on!
 This is indeed an anthology that has been anticipated for quite some time now. DISC 1 is comprised by two parts. The first part, Dive Dive Live, takes us back into the newly born 90's, just after the release of Bruce's debut solo release, Tattooed Millionaire (1990, EMI), and during his Tattooed Millionaire Tour. The entire recorded gig took place at the Town & Country Club in Los Angeles, on August 14th 1990 and features Bruce alongside his longtime Iron Maiden band mate Janick Gers (guitar), Andy Carr (bass) and Dickie Fliszar, performing songs from the vocalist's debut release (Lickin' The Gun, Gypsy Road, Dive! Dive! Dive!, Zulu Lulu, Hell On Wheels, Tattooed Milinaire, No Lies, Son Of A Gun, Born In 58) as well as a few magnificent (and rarely performed) covers of songs such as Sin City (AC/DC), Fog On The Tyne (Lindisfarne), Black Night (Deep Purple) and of course All The Young Dudes (David Bowie) which can also be found on the Tattooed Millionaire album anyway. Then there's the opening Riding With The Angels from Bruce's Samson years (Shock Tactics - 1981, RCA), Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter from Iron Maiden's No Prayer For The Dying (1990, EMI) album and the B-side rarity The Ballad Of Mutt. Whoa… and that's just half the first DISC (and still 3.5 to go)?
The second half of the DISC takes us a few years ahead, to 2 back-to-back concerts in 1996, during the tour for his Skunkworks (1996, Rawpower) album. Both shows happened in Spain, in Pamplona (May 31st) and in Gerona (June 1st) and Bruce's band then featured the following lineup: Alex Dickson (guitars), Chris Dale (bass) and Alessandro Elena (drums). The setlist of Skunkworks Live features songs from the Skunkworks album (Space Race, Back From The Edge, Inertia, Faith, Meltdown, I Will Not Accept The Truth, Dreamstate and God's Not Coming Home from the Back From The Edge single), as well as 2 tracks (Laughing In The Hiding Bush and Tears Of The Dragon) from his Balls To Picasso (1994, EMI) album and Tattooed Millionaire. And of course, there can't be a Dickinson concert without the necessary Iron Maiden track which in this case was The Prisoner (The Number Of The Beast - 1982, EMI).
DISC 2 leaps a few more years into the future and takes us to a magical night in Sao Paolo, in 1999. That was the same night that also (and inevitably) became the amazing Scream For Me Brazil live CD, a living statement of how much Bruce is worshiped in Brazil. All that took place right after the release of the mystical (also mythical) and mesmerizing Chemical Wedding (1998, Air Raid) album and during his world tour for that album. That period's significance laid on two beds; one being the undeniable fact that Bruce had reached a tremendous inspirational peak and the other being the fact that shortly after this tour he would be rejoining Iron Maiden which of course (and thankfully) didn't also mean the end of his solo career. Concerning the - almost 2 hours long - live, which is indeed a rare document, little is there to say, especially if you're a Dickinson fan and you already own the audio CD of that show.
And I say this is a rarity because initially video shooting was not allowed and this is the video from the screen feeds used for the crowd attending the show. A breathtaking concert with an amazing crowd (a fact that is probably better realized on the audio CD due to the clearer audio quality) going berserk all over the place. Songs off the Chemical Wedding album (King In Crimson, Gates Of Urizen, Killing Floor, Book Of Thel and The Tower), the Accident Of Birth (1997, Rawpower) album (the same titled song, Darkside Of Aquarius and The Road To Hell) and the (by then) hit songs Tears Of The Dragon and Laughing In The Hiding Bush off the Balls To Picasso album, all blended in a once-in-a-lifetime setlist experience (which I was lucky enough to experience live; not in Brazil but in Greece). Comrades of Bruce, at the time, were none others than Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith, guitarist and longtime producer/co-writer Roy Z (who's also produced Halford and Judas Priest albums), Dave Ingraham (drums) and Eddie Casillas (bass).
DISC 3 on the other hand (after all this live footage) has all a fan could ever ask for, including 14 promotional videos from the air raid siren's solo career, spanning from the early 90s' All The Young Dudes to Abduction which comes off Dickinson's latest solo work, Tyranny Of Souls (2005, Mayan). What is interesting and totally worth all the attention on the third disc is Bruce's commentary before each video clip. You'll be amazed to discover the things that took place during his solo career up till today, the ups and downs, the fun times in detail, all straight from the man himself! Then there's additional killer stuff like the interview for Tyranny of Souls which (though the questions are generic) turns out to be a very in-depth analysis of the artist's way of composing his solo material. You also won't believe your eyes when you see Biceps Of Steel, Dickinson's debut video appearance from back in the day, when he was the lead singer of Samson!
Biceps Of Steel was filmed sometime around 1979-1980 at the Rainbow Theatre in London. It was filmed by The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle fame film director Julien Temple who - you can hear Bruce say this - would later on feel rather ashamed of this 15 minute bizarre adaptation of the story of Samson & Delilah… Nonetheless, a gem for all the crazy fans!
This anthology is certainly one to go purchase instead of spending money on some of the thousands of rip-off releases that are lurking out there. No matter how much I've searched, I can't come up with any serious cons about this triple DVD release, save for what I said concerning the sound on Scream For Me Brazil (on DISC II). Romantic souls of the Twilight Zone, gather up. This is a high priority investment for your DVD player!

4 Star Rating

Disc 1

Dive Dive Live:

Riding With The Angels
Born In 58
Lickin' The Gun
Gypsy Road
Dive! Dive! Dive!
Drum Solo
Zulu Lulu
The Ballad Of Mutt
Son Of A Gun
Hell On Wheels
All The Young Dudes
Tattooed Millionaire
No Lies
Fog On The Tyne
Winds Of Change
Sin City
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter
Black Night

Skunkworks Live:

Space Race
Back From The Edge
Tattooed Millionaire
I Will Not Accept The Truth
Laughing In The Hiding Bush
Tears Of The Dragon
God's Not Coming Back
The Prisoner

Disc 2

Scream For Me Brazil:

King In Crimson
Gates of Urizen
Killing Floor
Book Of Thel
Tears Of The Dragon
Laughing In The Hiding Bush
Accident Of Birth
The Tower
Darkside Of Aquarius
The Road To Hell


Promotional Videos: Tattooed Millionaire, All The Young Dudes, Dive! Dive! Dive!, Born In 58, Tears Of The Dragon, Shoot All The Clowns, Back From The Edge, Inertia, Accident Of Birth, Road To Hell, Man Of Sorrows, Killing Floor, The Tower, Abduction

Tyranny Of Souls Interview

Biceps Of Steel
Record Label: Sanctuary Visual Entertainment


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