The X Factor

Label
SANCTUARY/METAL-IS
Release date
1995
Running length
11 tracks
Running time
70:57

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Sign of the Cross 11:17 122,926
2 Lord of the Flies 5:03 83,444
3 Man On the Edge 4:12 171,334
4 Fortunes of War 7:24 66,624
5 Look for the Truth 5:09 62,358
6 The Aftermath 6:20 62,627
7 Judgement of Heaven 5:11 59,454
8 Blood On the World's Hands 5:56 48,122
9 The Edge of Darkness 6:38 62,940
10 2 A.M. 5:36 58,874
11 The Unbeliever 8:11 54,906

About this album

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.

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  • MyMediaMusic

    There is definitely better songwriting on this album than on the previous two albums, which, to be frank, only had a handful of above average Maiden songs. This is definitely the album where Steve Harris started writing with a more progressive brush stroke, which isn't shocking when you look at the proggy songs from their early albums, and that Steve Harris is a HUGE Dream Theater fan. What hurts this album the most is that Blaze's vocals could have been better, it seems that he just coasted through the entire process. At least the production is a lot better than it was on Virtual XI, something that really bogs down that album. Overall, a great, under appreciated album from Maiden, but one that lacks the energy that Bruce Dickinson brought to the table on Brave New World, which is oddly similar to this one.

    27 May 8:20pm Reply
  • crimson_caravan

    such an underrated album. love it's grim melody.

    22 May 8:29pm Reply
  • Peace_Sells86

    Really good album. Dark and I thought Blaze did great here. Way better than Virtual XI.

    18 May 6:49am Reply
  • kereealazer

    An amazing release!

    22 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Zamorano102

    Most underrated heavy metal album ever [2] Very melancholy, very progressive. Remarkable climate. Perfect repertoire for Blaze.

    14 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Megadieftw

    Killer album. Better than NPFTD. Love the vibe on this. Blaze is an incredible singer as well.

    29 Apr 2014 Reply
  • HIBICK

    Judgement in Heaven, Look for the Truth, Fortunes of War, Lord of the Flies... goddamnit, epic content here!

    21 Apr 2014 Reply
  • nlventura93

    Epic! One of Maiden's best abums.

    30 Mar 2014 Reply
  • FelipeWylde

    What and underrated masterpiece! So many epic songs , "Sign of the Croos,, Lord of the Flies,Look for the Truth, 2 A.M...

    22 Feb 2014 Reply
  • skoch85

    10/10

    13 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Dajefmustejn

    Most underrated heavy metal album ever

    29 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Yodogimi

    the best one!

    26 Oct 2013 Reply
  • DarkVictim

    bruce can never sing man on the edge like blaze does.[4] No. he would sing better.

    2 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Elowson

    Maiden's darkest album, i love it! So much better than the 2 albums that came before

    22 Jul 2013 Reply
  • EpicGeeza36

    Very good album, great dark atmosphere on such tracks as 'Sign Of The Cross', 'Fortunes Of war' and 'Edge Of Darkness'. The sound of the the guitar solos and Blazes voice really take this album to another level

    27 May 2013 Reply
  • viva__hate

    bruce can never sing man on the edge like blaze does. [3]

    13 May 2013 Reply
  • LeandroPaz

    Awesome album!!!

    17 Apr 2013 Reply
  • GWB201092

    I like this album but it really sounds like it was recorded on a budget. There are a few moments where I think Blaze could've done a better vocal if they'd done a few more takes or put some effects on his vocals, and overall the record just has quite a 'dry' sound. It could do to be a bit more lively (like the sound on Brave New World, for example). I think that's the main reason why the songs often sound better on live albums (not just those with Bruce, Blaze's solo live albums are really good too).

    8 Feb 2013 Reply
  • ImpotentGod

    My fave after AMOLAD

    20 Jan 2013 Reply
  • WhatABoringName

    Better songwriting on this one compared to NPFTD and FOTD, if this album would just sound different (more lively) it would probably rank amongst their best.

    17 Jan 2013 Reply
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