During a conversation with The Metal Voice, former Iron Maiden vocalist Blaze Bayley – who was a member of the fold between 1994 and 1999, performing on 1995’s “The X Factor” and 1998’s “Virtual XI” – offered a rundown through some of the notable tracks from his time in the band.
The tracks include “Virus,” “The Clansman,” “The Sign of the Cross,” and more. You can check what Mr. Bayley had to say below (transcribed by the source).
“It was very unusual, from all the songs we wrote, that the whole band – all five of us – contributed to the song ‘Virus.’ Everyone in Iron Maiden contributed to the writing of that song and then we recorded it, like, we rehearsed it. However, we never played that song live with Iron Maiden. Today, I do my own version of ‘Virus,’ my own arrangement that suits me and the band and it is on the new ‘Live in France’ album.”
The Sign of the Cross
“That song was a huge challenge at the time because it’s such an involved song that no one could remember how the song went. That was the only song we did together where we said, ‘We are going to have to piece this together.’ We recorded this part and then we recorded the other parts and then we put it all together.
“And it wasn’t until we actually heard all the song put together that we knew the song was completely fantastic. We played that song live with Iron Maiden many times and it was incredible, it just has such a great atmosphere and vibe to it.”
“That’s huge in so many ways because I remember Steve Harris coming into the studio with a bit of paper and he said what do you think of this idea and he just sang it to me very quietly. I said it was amazing, and that was ‘The Clansman.’
“Then we rehearsed it all together and it had a real magic about it. I think because of the subject of the song there were a lot of things against Maiden at that time.
“A lot of promoters had lost confidence, CD sales were down at that time and to be singing that song and the spirit of that song being about freedom and holding on and not knuckling down felt right. Not changing direction.
“We would really stay true to quality. Sort of stay true to yourself and that was really special and you could never predict the impact of that now, I’m now fascinated.”
“Steve came to me and said he had his fast-tempo song idea and if I had any lyrics for it. And I did have these lyrics I had been working on which were based around paranoia, and that’s what the lyrics were about. It was fantastic and it was a set opener on the Iron Maiden set list.”
Man on the Edge
“For ‘Man of the Edge’ I went to [guitarist] Janick Gers’ home studio where we sat down and we were going through things. That song is based on the movie ‘Falling Down’ with Michael Douglas.
“The movie is about a guy pretending to go to work every day because he is ashamed that he’s been fired from his job, that he’s been let go from his job. It was similar to my life when I was a very young man and I had a paper route every day and I was fired.
“I was scared of my stepfather and what he would say if he found out it that I didn’t have my paper route anymore. I was so scared sick of my father that I went every day at 7 a.m. to give the appearance I was still working.
“So when I saw the movie ‘Falling Down,’ it really resonated with me and my life. It was the first single chosen from the album and the video was great. For me, that was the first hit song, Top 10, and it was incredible that I had been a part of it.”