Complete List Of Bruce Dickinson Albums And Discography

Bruce Dickinson Albums

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Paul Bruce Dickinson’s multifaceted career stands as a towering testament to his indelible impact on the world of heavy metal and beyond. Born on August 7, 1958, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, Dickinson’s journey from the quaint streets of his hometown to the zenith of global music stardom is a narrative of relentless passion, unparalleled talent, and a ceaseless pursuit of artistic evolution.

Embarking on his musical odyssey in the vibrant pub scenes of Sheffield during the 1970s, Dickinson’s early forays into music laid the foundational stones of what was to become a legendary career. His tenure with the British new wave heavy metal band Samson under the stage name “Bruce Bruce” marked his initial brush with fame, setting the stage for the monumental chapters that were to follow.

In 1981, Dickinson’s path took a pivotal turn as he joined Iron Maiden, stepping into the role of lead vocalist and becoming the voice of one of the most iconic bands in heavy metal history. With Iron Maiden, Dickinson’s remarkable vocal range and electrifying stage presence became synonymous with the band’s identity, contributing to the creation of classic albums that have achieved platinum and gold status across the globe.

Despite reaching the pinnacle of success with Iron Maiden, Dickinson’s restless creative spirit drove him to explore a solo career in 1993, showcasing his versatility across a spectrum of musical styles. His solo work, particularly the acclaimed 2005 album “Tyranny of Souls,” highlighted his ability to transcend the boundaries of heavy metal and experiment with new sonic landscapes.

Dickinson’s contributions to music extend far beyond his vocal achievements. A true renaissance man, his endeavors as a commercial pilot, fencing champion, author, and radio presenter reveal a character of extraordinary depth and diversity. Notably, his role as a pilot for Iron Maiden’s “Ed Force One” during their world tours exemplifies his multifarious talents and adventurous spirit.

Beyond his personal achievements, Dickinson’s influence reverberates through the music industry, inspiring a legion of artists with his dynamic vocal style and commanding stage presence. His innovative fusion of operatic tenor with the raw power of heavy metal has set a benchmark for vocalists across genres, cementing his status as a pioneer in the music world.

In reflecting upon Bruce Dickinson’s storied career, one is compelled to celebrate not only his musical genius but also his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity. His journey from the stages of Sheffield to the annals of heavy metal royalty embodies the essence of artistic pursuit, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and fellow musicians alike.

Tattooed Millionaire

Released 1990

Tattooed Millionaire is the debut solo studio album by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, released in 1990. The album’s inception was sparked by Dickinson’s involvement in creating a song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, resulting in “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter”. Although this track was not included in the original album release due to Iron Maiden’s decision to record a version for their 1990 album No Prayer for the Dying, which became their only UK number one single, Tattooed Millionaire itself was a significant departure from Dickinson’s work with Iron Maiden. With a hard rock sound that leaned less towards the progressive, the album was crafted alongside future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers.

The album yielded four Top 40 UK singles, including the lead and title track “Tattooed Millionaire,” which reached No. 18, and a cover of the David Bowie penned Mott the Hoople hit “All the Young Dudes,” reaching No. 23. The original track listing was composed mostly of songs written by Dickinson and Gers, with notable covers adding diversity to the album’s sound. The 2002 Sony Legacy edition and the 2005 expanded edition introduced bonus tracks, including the original soundtrack version of “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter”, live versions of songs, and additional covers.

The musicians on the album included Dickinson on vocals, Gers on guitar, Andy Carr on bass, and Fabio Del Rio on drums, with Chris Tsangarides handling production and engineering duties. The album achieved notable chart success, reaching positions in Finland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and even the US Billboard 200. It was certified Silver in the United Kingdom, signifying sales of over 60,000 units. This project not only showcased Dickinson’s versatility as a musician but also established his capacity to explore and succeed in realms outside the heavy metal dominion he was best known for with Iron Maiden.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Son of a Gun” – 5:55
  2. “Tattooed Millionaire” – 4:28
  3. “Born in ’58” – 3:40
  4. “Hell on Wheels” – 3:39
  5. “Gypsy Road” – 4:02
  6. “Dive! Dive! Dive!” – 4:41
  7. “All the Young Dudes” (David Bowie cover) – 3:49
  8. “Lickin’ the Gun” – 3:17
  9. “Zulu Lulu” – 3:28
  10. “No Lies” – 6:17

Balls to Picasso

Released 1994

Balls to Picasso is Bruce Dickinson’s second solo album, released in 1994, and marks his first solo endeavor after officially departing from Iron Maiden, though he would rejoin the band in 1999. This album began his collaboration with guitarist Roy Z, a partnership that would extend to future works such as Accident of Birth, The Chemical Wedding, and Tyranny of Souls. Although it diverged from the sound of Dickinson’s debut Tattooed Millionaire, it maintained a more traditional sound compared to the subsequent Skunkworks. Dickinson later expressed that the album was influenced to be less heavy than originally intended.

The journey to Balls to Picasso was not straightforward. Initially, Dickinson started the project while still with Iron Maiden, engaging the British band Skin for early sessions but eventually abandoned this direction due to stylistic dissatisfaction. A subsequent attempt with producer Keith Olsen resulted in several tracks that were ultimately not used for the final album and led to the project being dubbed “The Peter Gabriel Album” by insiders. Frustrated, Dickinson scrapped this effort too and finally teamed up with Roy Z and his band Tribe of Gypsies, bringing the album to fruition. Interestingly, “Change of Heart” was a pre-existing track from Roy Z and vocalist Rob Rock, which Dickinson adapted for this album.

The album’s title and cover art have their own stories. Initially intended to be named Laughing in the Hiding Bush, a title that later became a song dedicated to Dickinson’s son Austin, the album underwent a name change due to financial constraints preventing the use of the original Storm Thorgerson-designed artwork. The cover for Balls to Picasso was a simpler affair, famously created by Dickinson himself in a moment of resourcefulness. Thorgerson would later contribute to the artwork for Dickinson’s Skunkworks.

The track listing of Balls to Picasso showcases a blend of songs co-written by Dickinson and Roy Z, with contributions from others on specific tracks. The 2005 extended edition of the album added a second disc full of bonus tracks, including acoustic versions, live performances, and remixes, enriching the album’s legacy. The personnel on the album primarily consisted of the Tribe of Gypsies, with additional musicians and production staff contributing to the project.

Upon its release, Balls to Picasso achieved moderate chart success across Europe and Japan and even entered the US Billboard 200. Singles like “Tears of the Dragon” and “Shoot All the Clowns” performed well, particularly in Finland and the UK. The album’s diverse sound and the journey to its creation highlight a pivotal moment in Dickinson’s solo career, marking a transition towards more personal and experimental musical endeavors.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Cyclops” – 7:59
  2. “Hell No” – 5:12
  3. “Gods of War” – 5:02
  4. “1000 Points of Light” – 4:25
  5. “Laughing in the Hiding Bush” – 4:21
  6. “Change of Heart” – 4:58
  7. “Shoot All the Clowns” – 4:24
  8. “Fire” – 4:30
  9. “Sacred Cowboys” – 3:54
  10. “Tears of the Dragon” – 6:27

Skunkworks

Released 1996

Skunkworks is Bruce Dickinson’s third studio album, released in 1996, and it represents a unique chapter in his solo career. This album was the outcome of Dickinson’s collaboration with the band he assembled for the Balls to Picasso tour, although this lineup would disband by the end of 1996. Originally intended to launch a band named Skunkworks, Dickinson faced resistance from his label, which insisted on releasing the album under his name. The album diverged significantly from Iron Maiden’s signature heavy metal sound, embracing an alternative metal vibe reminiscent of bands like Rush and Soundgarden. Produced by Jack Endino, known for his work on Nirvana’s Bleach, Skunkworks embodied a sound that Dickinson felt passionate about exploring, despite resistance from his management.

Dickinson’s vision for Skunkworks was not just a musical project but an expression of a desire to evolve and defy the constraints of being labeled solely as a heavy metal singer. His frustration with these constraints and the eventual dissolution of the Skunkworks band led to a period of reflection and reevaluation of his musical direction. Despite the project’s challenges, Dickinson embarked on a UK and US tour to support the album, marking the first time he included an Iron Maiden song in his solo performances, reworking “The Prisoner” for his live shows. The tour’s live performances in Spain were captured and released as the Skunkworks Live EP in Japan, offering fans a glimpse of Dickinson’s new musical journey.

Following the Skunkworks project, Dickinson would reunite with Roy Z for his next solo endeavor, Accident of Birth, signaling a return to a more familiar musical landscape. The 2005 re-release of Skunkworks included previously unreleased tracks and the live EP, enriching the album’s legacy and offering a more comprehensive view of this experimental phase in Dickinson’s career.

The album’s cover art, crafted by Hipgnosis designer Storm Thorgerson, featured a visually striking image of a tree with brain-shaped foliage, cleverly situated by a lake in Scotland. This creative concept played on the name of Braintree, Essex, and was achieved through a combination of photography and digital manipulation, further emphasizing the album’s experimental and innovative spirit. The cover and the album’s content reflect Dickinson’s willingness to explore new territories, both musically and thematically, despite the commercial and industry pressures that came with such a bold move.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Space Race” – 3:47
  2. “Back from the Edge” – 4:17
  3. “Inertia” – 3:03
  4. “Faith” – 3:35
  5. “Solar Confinement” – 3:20
  6. “Dreamstate” – 3:49
  7. “I Will Not Accept the Truth” – 3:45
  8. “Inside the Machine” – 3:28
  9. “Headswitch” – 2:14
  10. “Meltdown” – 4:35
  11. “Octavia” – 3:14
  12. “Innerspace” – 3:31
  13. “Strange Death in Paradise” – 4:52

Accident of Birth

Released 1997

Accident of Birth, released on June 3, 1997, stands as Bruce Dickinson’s fourth studio album and his second collaboration with guitarist/producer Roy Z. This album marked a significant stylistic shift from the alternative metal sound of Skunkworks, embracing a heavier and more traditional metal style reminiscent of Dickinson’s tenure with Iron Maiden. The inclusion of Adrian Smith, a fellow former Iron Maiden member, further solidified the album’s ties to their shared legacy. This reunion foreshadowed their eventual return to Iron Maiden in early 1999. The success of Accident of Birth not only rejuvenated Dickinson’s solo career but also cemented his ongoing collaboration with Roy Z, who would contribute to subsequent albums such as The Chemical Wedding and Tyranny of Souls.

The album’s artwork, created by Derek Riggs, known for his iconic work with Iron Maiden, featured a jester puppet named Edison (“Eddie’s Son”) in a nod to Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie. The artwork underwent several iterations across different markets due to its graphic nature, with variations ranging from cropped images to entirely different designs, including one where the puppet is nailed to a cross, used for the “Man of Sorrows” single in Japan. The 2005 expanded edition returned to the original, unedited design, showcasing the full graphic intensity of Riggs’ work.

Critically, Accident of Birth was well-received, with the German magazine Rock Hard lauding it as the “Album of the Month” for May 1997 and later ranking it among the greatest rock and metal albums of all time. Reviewers praised Dickinson’s vocal performance and the dynamic songwriting, often comparing it favorably to Iron Maiden’s classic era. The album’s tracks, primarily co-written by Dickinson and Roy Z, with contributions from Smith, showcased a return to a more traditional metal sound, further enriched in the 2005 expanded edition with additional demos and alternate versions.

The album achieved moderate chart success across Europe and Japan, and its singles, particularly the title track “Accident of Birth,” received positive attention. The personnel on the album, including Smith and Roy Z on guitars and a supporting cast of musicians, contributed to a sound that was both a nod to Dickinson’s past and a step forward in his solo career. Accident of Birth not only redefined Dickinson’s artistic trajectory but also reaffirmed his status as a heavy metal icon, capable of evolving his sound while staying true to his roots.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Freak” – 4:15
  2. “Toltec 7 Arrival” – 0:37
  3. “Starchildren” – 4:16
  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

The Chemical Wedding

Released 1998

The Chemical Wedding, released on September 15 1998, is Bruce Dickinson’s fifth solo album and showcases a significant artistic evolution, drawing heavily on the themes and imagery of William Blake’s works. This album, released through Dickinson’s Air Raid Records, features both sung and spoken excerpts from Blake’s poetry, integrating these elements into a heavy metal framework. The title and overarching themes of the album are inspired by the mystical and alchemical text The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, blending historical and literary influences into a complex narrative tapestry.

Reuniting with Adrian Smith, Dickinson’s former bandmate from Iron Maiden, the album delves into various thematic explorations, from fear and tragedy to union and failure, each framed within a broader alchemical context. Dickinson’s aim was to craft songs that, while thematically rich and layered, could also be appreciated for their sheer sonic power. The track “The Trumpets of Jericho,” for example, uses the Biblical story as a metaphor for the struggle and failure inherent in the alchemical pursuit, reflecting the broader thematic ambitions of the album.

In addition to its literary and thematic depth, The Chemical Wedding also stands out for its musical complexity and depth, featuring contributions from a talented ensemble of musicians, including the distinctive guitar work of Adrian Smith and Roy Z. The album’s production, led by Roy Z, captures the dense, layered soundscapes that complement the album’s thematic content.

The album’s cover art, derived from Blake’s painting The Ghost of a Flea, further ties the visual aesthetic to the album’s literary and thematic inspirations. This choice of artwork underscores the deep interconnections between the visual, literary, and musical components of the project.

The Chemical Wedding received widespread critical acclaim for its ambitious fusion of heavy metal with literary and historical themes. Critics praised the album for its innovative approach and the depth of its content, with many considering it a high point in Dickinson’s solo career and one of the standout metal albums of the late 1990s. The album’s success and acclaim further cemented Dickinson’s reputation as an artist capable of blending diverse influences into his music, offering listeners a rich and immersive experience that goes beyond the conventional boundaries of heavy metal.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “King in Crimson” – 4:56
  2. “Chemical Wedding” – 4:33
  3. “The Tower” – 7:45
  4. “Killing Floor” – 4:30
  5. “Book of Thel” – 8:14
  6. “Gates of Urizen” – 4:20
  7. “Jerusalem” – 6:43
  8. “Trumpets of Jericho” – 6:24
  9. “Machine Men” – 5:41
  10. “The Alchemist” – 6:03

Tyranny of Souls

Released 2005

Tyranny of Souls, released on 23 May 2005, marks Bruce Dickinson’s sixth studio album and his first solo venture following his 1999 reunion with Iron Maiden. The album’s cover art, derived from Hans Memling’s renaissance piece Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation, sets a thematic tone of introspection and historical depth, aligning with the album’s lyrical and musical exploration.

The creative process for Tyranny of Souls was notably collaborative, with Roy Z and Dickinson sharing songwriting duties. Roy Z’s role extended beyond guitar work to include production, bass guitar on select tracks, and even piano contributions. The duo’s long-distance songwriting process involved Roy sending riff recordings to Dickinson, who, amidst his Iron Maiden tour commitments, crafted corresponding lyrics and melodies. This method of composition allowed for a seamless integration of musical and lyrical elements, despite the physical distance between the collaborators.

The album’s title track, “A Tyranny of Souls,” delves into Shakespearean tragedy, weaving in direct quotations and thematic elements from Macbeth to enrich its narrative depth. This literary infusion adds a layer of complexity to the album, inviting listeners to explore the connections between the lyrics and one of Shakespeare’s most profound works.

The album features a diverse array of musicians, all linked through their association with Roy Z. This includes Ray “Geezer” Burke and Maestro Mistheria, who both worked on Rob Rock’s Eyes of Eternity, as well as Dave Moreno and Juan Perez from Roy Z’s Tribe of Gypsies. This assembly of talent contributed to the rich sonic landscape of the album, from the driving rhythms of “Kill Devil Hill,” inspired by the Wright brothers’ pioneering flight, to the contemplative “Navigate the Seas of the Sun,” which draws from Erich Von Däniken’s theories of extraterrestrial influence on early human civilization.

The rhythm section on the albumn features Dave Moreno on drums, providing the dynamic beats that drive the album’s energy. Bass duties are divided among Roy Z for tracks 7 and 9, Ray “Geezer” Burke for tracks 1, 4-6, 8, and 10, and Juan Perez, who lays down the bass lines for tracks 2 and 3, showcasing a versatile foundation that adapts to the album’s varied tones and themes. Maestro Mistheria’s keyboard work adds layers of atmosphere and depth, enriching the album’s sonic landscape.

The production team behind Tyranny of Souls further contributed to the album’s polished and dynamic sound. Hatch Inagaki served as the second engineer, playing a crucial role in the technical aspects of recording. Stan Katayama’s mixing expertise ensured that each track was balanced and harmonized, with Jeff Wakolbinger assisting in the mixing process to fine-tune the album’s sound. The final touch was provided by Tom Baker, who mastered the album at Precision Mastering in Los Angeles, giving it the clarity and power that fans have come to expect from Dickinson’s work.

Upon its release in 2005, Tyranny of Souls by Bruce Dickinson made its mark on various music charts, demonstrating its international appeal and impact. In Austria, the album reached a peak position of 58 on the Austrian Albums chart. In Belgium, it secured the 76th spot on the Ultratop Flanders chart. The Netherlands’ Album Top 100 welcomed the album at a position of 96. Tyranny of Souls achieved significant success in Finland, where it climbed to an impressive 10th position on the Suomen virallinen lista (Finnish Albums) chart.

The album’s presence extended to France, where it reached the 101st position on the SNEP (Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique) chart. In Germany, a notable market for heavy metal music, Tyranny of Souls secured the 39th spot on the Offizielle Top 100 chart. Hungary saw the album rise to the 24th position on the MAHASZ (Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége) chart. Tyranny of Souls also left its mark on the Italian Albums chart (FIMI), where it reached the 34th position.

In Japan, a country with a strong affinity for metal music, the album made its presence felt, attaining the 75th position on the Oricon chart. Sweden welcomed the album warmly, as it secured the 10th position on the Sverigetopplistan (Swedish Albums) chart. Switzerland also embraced Tyranny of Souls, with the album reaching the 73rd position on the Schweizer Hitparade (Swiss Albums) chart. In the United States, the album made its appearance on the prestigious Billboard 200 chart, peaking at the 180th position. The United Kingdom’s OCC (Official Charts Company) chart welcomed the album at the 65th position.

CD Track Listings:

  1. “Mars Within” (Intro) – 1:30
  2. “Abduction” – 3:51
  3. “Soul Intruders” – 3:53
  4. “Kill Devil Hill” – 5:08
  5. “Navigate the Seas of the Sun” – 5:52
  6. “River of No Return” – 5:13
  7. “Power of the Sun” – 3:30
  8. “Devil on a Hog” – 4:01
  9. “Believil” – 4:50
  10. “A Tyranny of Souls” – 5:48

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To be released March 2024

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