Blaze Bailey Admits His First Iron Maiden Album Was Too Heavy For Some Fans To Handle

During a recent interview with Tony Webster of The Metal Command, former Iron Maiden vocalist Blaze Bayley reflected on the reception of his debut album with the band, acknowledging that its intensity and production style made it a challenging listen for some fans.

The singer discussed the distinctive qualities of ‘The X Factor,’ his first album with Iron Maiden, noting its darker tone and less accessible sound compared to the band’s other works:

“‘The X Factor’s got some incredible music on it, but the sound of it is so dark, and the way it was produced, it’s not accessible like some of the other Maiden albums. You’ve gotta live with that for quite a few spins until you’re tuned into what things are doing. Then you can get to the music. I think that was maybe a problem with it at the time.”

Cultural Reception Varied By Region

Reflecting on the varied reactions from the band’s global audience, Bayley added:

“It’s so dark and the sounds of things were quite different to what came before. People who did live with it, managed to find it. And it’s different cultures as well, different countries. In Sweden and Spain, those albums, people loved them as much as every other [Maiden] album. But in other places, people didn’t. It’s a different thing.”

Bayley’s Journey With Iron Maiden

Blaze joined Iron Maiden in 1994, stepping in for Bruce Dickinson. He departed from the band in 1999, paving the way for Dickinson’s return. Bayley opened up about the personal and professional impact of his exit from the band, describing the period as ‘horrific’ to Metal Hammer last year:

“It was horrific. I’d be making all these plans for my solo career: ‘I’m going to come back with a new project, I’m going to use everything I learned from Maiden and from songwriting with those guys, it’ll be incredible.’ And then, a couple of hours later, I’d be sobbing. I couldn’t say so at the time, but I was destroyed.”

He also discussed how challenging it was to take over from Dickinson as the lead singer of Iron Maiden. He acknowledged the high expectations and intense pressure, given Dickinson’s iconic status in heavy metal music. Bayley showed respect and humility towards Dickinson, understanding his tough position during his time with the band.

Watch his entire conversation below.