“Anthology” by Bruce Dickinson

Artist: Bruce Dickinson
Title: “Anthology”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 6/20/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

When Bruce Dickinson decided to leave Iron Maiden he was not someone whose actions also came with a fading into obscurity. Instead, the singer recorded five studio albums, released some live albums to reflect them and had several videos associated with his work. Sanctuary Records recently remastered and reissued his back catalog and for fans of the singer this would be a real treat. Each release included a bonus CD (in most cases) along with extensive and extended artwork and liner notes. The video release of “Anthology” is just as special, for it takes all of Bruce’s live video concert films and puts them in one place along with a number of other special features. The scope and content of this DVD requires they be commented on individually. Take a look below.

DVD1:
Dive Dive Live (1990)
1. Riding With The Angels, 2. Born In 58, 3. Lickin’ The Gun, 4. Gypsy Road, 5. Dive Dive Dive, 6. Drum Solo, 7. Zulu Lulu, 8. The Ballad Of Mutt, 9. Son Of A Gun, 10. Hell On Wheels, 11. All The Young Dudes, 12. Tattooed Millionaire, 13. No Lies, 14. Fog In The Dark, 15. Winds Of Change, 16. Sin City, 17. Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter, 18. Black Night

Skunkworks Live (1996)
1. Space Race, 2. Back From The Edge, 3. Tattooed Millionaire, 4. Inertia, 5. Faith, 6. Meltdown, 7. I Will Not Accept The Truth, 8. Laughing In The Hiding Bush, 9. Tears Of The Dragon, 10. God’s Not Coming Back, 11. Dreamstate, 12. The Prisoner.
*** Starting off the release is DVD1 which features two full concerts from different points in Bruce’s solo career. They are not recorded immediately in year sequence which makes them a little more interesting to watch back to back and also gives you a more comprehensive scope on how his material changed over the time he was solo. The first part comes from Bruce’s club outing solo efforts and gives fans a first glimpse at Janick Gers on guitar during his “Tattooed Millionaire” tours. The “Skunkworks” show that follows it from 1996 finds a slightly different band but continues the same vibe of Dickinson’s material and fans will be surprised at the limited amount of Iron Maiden material showcased. This was par for the course with Bruce as a soloist as performing songs he did as the Iron Maiden front man was not part of his plan. He would treat you to a couple here and there but that was it. Listening to them in the live setting is pretty cool as when you look back on the material some of it was pretty good Hard Rock and the singer is to be commended for such a productive time outside of a band as legendary as Iron Maiden.

DVD2:
Scream For Me Brazil (1999)
1. The King In Crimson, 2. Gates Of Urizen, 3. Killing Floor, 4. Book Of Thel, 5. Tears Of The Dragon, 6. Laughing In The Hiding Bush, 7. Accident Of Birth, 8. The Tower, 9. Darkside Of Aquarius, 10. The Road To Hell
*** This DVD was filmed during the “Chemical Wedding” tour when it hit Sao Paulo Brazil and is more of a bootleg shoot than anything super professional. The band by this point is very heavy and includes not only Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden but also Roy Z. who is producer on many as well as Dickinson’s writing partner for many years. It’s good to watch for an example of Bruce closing out his solo career as around this time he would return to Iron Maiden bringing Adrian Smith with him as well.

DVD3:
Bruce Dickinson’s Promotional Videos (see list below), “Tyranny Of Souls” EPK, Samson: Biceps Of Steel
*** Collecting all fourteen of Bruce’s videos from the time of these solo albums on one of the DVD’s was a great idea and makes this one of the highlights to watch. MTV would show a number of these performances before moving to a more Seattle based dynamic and limit the presentation of Hard Rock and Metal music to The Headbangers Ball which would eventually be cancelled. I don’t remember many of these films, and there is a chance that a lot of them were unseen by many as well. It takes care of that problem. There is also a track by track explanation of Bruce’s “Tyranny Of Souls” recording which is interesting, and if you don’t own this album it is a recommendation. Very heavy and well-written as it finds Bruce in good form, and uses the talents of Roy Z. once again. The show stopper on this is the archive footage of the band Samson (where Bruce was front man in 1980). The pre-Maiden footage is totally kitsch and fun. Performance footage that was lip synched and had some storyline connecting the two songs together. It was good old Metal fun, and to this day I don’t know why Thundersticks wore a mask but fans can see him without it in this video segment.

All in all, this is one of those releases that give the Metal fan a lot for the money and with so many different things to watch it makes it a worthwhile purchase. Bruce worked hard during his solo years and continually released music and video that compliment any Metal fans video collection.

Video Listing (DVD3)
1. Tattooed Millionaire
2. All The Young Dudes
3. Dive Dive Dive
4. Born In 58
5. Tears Of The Dragon
6. Shoot All The Clowns
7. Back From The Edge
8. Inertia
9. Accident Of Birth
10. Road To Hell
11. Man Of Sorrows
12. Killing Floor
13. The Tower
14. Abduction

Official Website: www.screamforme.com

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