Iron Maiden - The X Factor

NME.COM feature on Iron Maiden - The X Factor album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 02 October 1995

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Iron Maiden - The X Factor: Wikipedia Album Entry

The X Factor is the tenth studio album by Iron Maiden, released in 1995. It is the band's first album to include Blaze Bayley, formerly of Wolfsbane, as vocalist, replacing Bruce Dickinson who left the band following their previous tour to pursue a solo career.

The album title came about in the early part of the recording. According to producer Nigel Green:

"We all felt that the way things were progressing - the songs, Blaze's new involvement, the sound, the commitment - the new album really would have that extra quality, that bit of magic, that X Factor. This became the working title for the album and we liked it, so we kept it. It is also very apt as this is our tenth studio album and "X" can bring up many images."

Supporting the album was the X Factour tour. Much like the tour for their following album, Virtual XI, it was cut short after Blaze suffered a violent allergic reaction to certain elements used on the stages where the band performed.

The X-Factor's cover art depicts the operation which left Eddie's head broken (first seen on the Piece of Mind album cover) and was created by Hugh Syme. In some releases, the cover was replaced with a less graphic alternative, showing Eddie from a distance, with the original artwork on the back of the booklet. The idea to bring Iron Maiden's longtime mascot Eddie, for whom to that point had always been an animated caricature into 'real form' came from band guitarist Dave Murray.

"Man on the Edge" and "Lord of the Flies" were released as singles. Both of these songs, and "Sign of the Cross," remained in Maiden set lists following Bruce Dickinson's return. Live versions of these songs can be found on the single for "The Wicker Man" and the live albums Death on the Road and Rock in Rio respectively.

"The Edge of Darkness" is based on the 1979 movie, Apocalypse Now, "Man on the Edge" is based on the 1993 movie, Falling Down and Lord of the Flies is based on the novel of the same name. Live versions of "Blood on the World's Hands" and "The Aftermath" can be found in Best of the B'Sides compilation album.

User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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