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Virtual XI CD

60 customer reviews

Price: £5.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£5.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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30 years, 80 million album sales, close to 2000 live performances, countless satisfied customers and now 15 studio albums of unerring quality and power: Iron Maiden have more than earned their proudly-held status as undisputed heavy metal champions of the world.

Founded by bassist Steve Harris in the mid ‘70s, Iron Maiden were already firmly established as heavy metal’s ... Read more in Amazon's Iron Maiden Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Mar. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000024Y9L
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,369 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Futureal
2. The Angel And The Gambler
3. Lightning Strikes Twice
4. The Clansman
5. When Two Worlds Collide
6. The Educated Fool
7. Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger
8. Como Estais Amigos

Product Description

Product Description

IRON MAIDEN Virtual XI (1998 UK 8-track Picture printed CD the eleventh studio album by the British heavy metal band and their second with Blaze Bayley on vocals including the singles Futureal and The Angel And The Gambler lyric booklet picture sleeve with illustration by Melvyn Grant)

Amazon.co.uk

Virtual XI was Iron Maiden's second album with singer Blaze Bayley and was a marked improvement on his 1995 debut, The X Factor. Bringing with him some of the earthiness and street-wisdom of his former outfit, Wolfsbane, Bayley now injected the sound with an invigorating punkiness missing since the departure of original vocalist Paul DiAnno. Yet, sharing his predecessor Bruce Dickinson's grandiloquence and sense of high romance, he also managed (with the likes of "The Angel And The Gambler" and "The Clansman") to continue the band's famous tradition of narrative lyrics. Noticeable also, in "Como Estais Amigos", was their purposeful chumminess with their fans. Musically, the progression was slighter, Iron Maiden still dealing in their well-known, complex and idiosyncratic riffology. But improved technology had made them harder, sharper, allowing them to enter their third decade with a reputation for uncompromising power that few rock bands enjoy in their first. --Dominic Wills

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While being grouped in the category of less successful and obviously less interesting Maiden albums, Virtual XI is not the worst they have written. The X-Factor, despite what I read in the reviews on these pages, is a bad album. Musically it is bland and feels like it has been stuck permanently in the 80's. No Prayer for the Dying was also not great but at least Bruce was singing. The inclusion of Blaze Bayley was, I'm afraid, one of the deciding factors in forming my opinion on the new material from the band. But I must say that although he started off badly, he found his footing with album no. 2 (or 11, whichever).

As a whole, Maiden seem to have gelled nicely. It feels as though they enjoy playing again, which is one of the reasons why their first 7 albums were all so good. Music should be enjoyed not only by the audience. Maiden make you feel as if they have returned from a long sabatical with Virtual XI.

Futureal is a classic Maiden track, as good and as exciting as The Trooper, Can I Play With Madness and The Prisoner all rolled into one. Possibly one of their best ever tracks. That is what was missing from post 7th son recordings, any sign of a true Maiden classic. It is short for a Maiden track, only 3 minutes, but it is a great opener to an album that is dotted with good songs although it does falter towards the middle. The Angel & the Gambler is far too long but, somehow, does not get tedious. Lightning Strikes Twice is a worthy track but is missing something. The Clansman is actually rather good, very overblown but a true Maiden saga track that just about ticks all the boxes. When Maiden do an epic, they usually do a good one. Just take Dream of Mirrors and The Nomad from Brave New World (a much more exhilarating return to form).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nibblet on 19 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD
The second album with Blaze on vocals, and his last.

Virtual XI, the bands eleventh release, was a commercial and critical failure when released in 1998 (it peaked at number 124 in the USA and number 16 in the UK). Needless to say, it would prove to be the last album the band would record with Blaze Bayley as he was replaced by a returning Bruce Dickinson in 1999.

The fact is, that by any measure, Blaze was not a good enough singer for this iconic band and its demanding style of music. Though, as the per the X-Factor, he is only half the problem as the other issue with this album is the truly terrible production (by founding member and bassist Steve Harris).

However, there are additional issues with Virtual XI when compared to even the X-Factor.

Notably, there is a very real and serious issue with the drumming. It has been questioned (by internet rumour) whether or not long time drummer Nicko McBrain is actually playing on this album. This may be a bizarre conspiracy theory, but certainly one can see why his particaption on the album is questioned. The acclaimed drummer is known for his placement of 'drum-fills', but, here, the drumming is awfully simplistic and weak.

And finally, where as the X-Factor had numerous songs of a good potential, Virtual XI has less going for it. Opener 'Futureal' is a short sharp rocker of some merit and the epic 'Clansman' is majestic and stunning even with Blaze's limited vocals. There is also the closing track, 'Comos Estais Amigos' which is a fine emotional track co-written by Blaze and delivered with conviction.

However, the flop lead single, 'The Angel And The Gambler' is shockingly repitiive and with a terrible chorus. Indeed, this is true of many of the remaining album tracks - and this is only an 8 track album!

All in all, the weakest entry in Maiden's mostly fine back catalogue of albums.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Schwarz on 30 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Well, if you're just beginning with the band, I'd recommend getting their 80s work first, then their 2000's albums - the 90's ones aren't their best. However, as someone who loves Iron Maiden, I found this one pretty enjoyable - in fact it's probably their 90s album I listen to most. To me it sounds more "Iron Maiden" than anything else they put out in that decade - the early 90s Bruce albums were drifting towards more of a rockish metal (as opposed to the grand, epic speed metal of their 80s heyday), and "The X Factor" was rather dirgy. Virtual XI is a little more fast and upbeat than it's predecessor. I kind of liked Blaze's singing - not as great as Bruce in the 80s, but Blaze had a dark, rich voice that was good in a different way (and Bruce's singing on the early 90's Maiden albums wasn't his best, either - and, if you check out Blaze's post-Maiden solo stuff, he sounds even better than he did with Maiden).
The biggest complaint about this album, which others have mentioned, is that some of the choruses (mainly on "Angel and the Gambler") are too repetitive. I rather like the song, but it's a rather Who-ish/classic 70s rock vibe, and they did this thing where they took it down and built it up while repeating the chorus over and over, so I can see why some metal fans don't like it. Musically it's kind of cool, but they probably should've written more lyrics! Honestly, it's probably something that would've been best saved for the live performance and a shorter, tighter arrangement would've suited the studio album better. "Don't Look To The Eyes of A Stranger" does a similar thing, but I think it works a little better.
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