Possessor of one of metal's most valued voices and amiable personalities, renaissance man Paul Bruce Dickinson's 90's career vacillated violently in the course of only four studio records. The finest moments of those disparate recordings naturally veer near the trusty styling of Iron Maiden. But the lion's share of the credit for guiding Dickinson outside of his legendary lineage and into fully-realized solo solidarity must go to backer Roy Z who is identically instrumental in the resurrection of another metal deity, Rob Halford. Z co-wrote eight cuts here, including the riveting centerpiece "Silver Wings," a brand-spanking neutron bomb wherein a farmer boy touches the face of God. Even though Z and Dickinson wandered down an odd byway for the cumbersome Balls to Picasso, the shoe-gazing prog of that disc's "Tears of the Dragon" rules when mixed in amongst such strong surrounding material here. Course who cares what Dickinson gets worked up about as long as it's that voice soaring over heavy trips like "Darkside of Aquarius" (with a cool reference to the Silver Surfer). Whether wailing with his familiar banshee shriek in the beastly number "Road to Hell" or crooning a barroom showoff in the righteous "Born in 58" (just like Nikki Sixx), Dickinson always nails the note. "Laughing in the Hiding Bush" is one of the few live songs to actually use the audience for musical effect. Child is father to the man as both "Accident of Fate" and "Tower" conjure Queensryche. The straight-up "Tattooed Millionaire" and flanged-up "Back from the Edge" measure up to any rock song. Printed lyrics and notes from Bruce himself show thought and care went into this package. As always with compiling, some preferred deep album cut gets left behind. But the Best of Bruce Dickinson stacks up thirteen of the best from one of the best and thus is defiantly worth owning.
-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC