So there it is. The mix CD I’ve been so hyped to talk about. Not very surprising that it features a heavy Blaze presence now, is it? The impetus for creating this disc came twofold. The first was that I was finding a lot of rare Maiden tracks on YouTube (and naughtily downloading them) and I wanted a physical home for them. The second was that I was getting into both Blaze and Paul’s post-Maiden solo careers (at the time I was more into Paul’s, but nowadays Blaze’s is definitely my preference).
So I curated ten songs from each singer’s whole career and set about sequencing them to alternate between singer. It was a very fun task, and an even more enjoyable listen. So let’s get into that very tracklist that brings me so much joy.
The Track Listing
Iron Maiden- Doctor Doctor
And we’re off to a great start. This is actually my favorite version of the song. Blaze nails it vocally, and the song with its melodic guitar intro is the perfect way to kick-start the disc.
Paul Di’Anno- Play That Funky Music
Ok, that was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. I forgot I put it on here, but I’m glad I did. I genuinely enjoy this cover, odd as it is for the metal icon to be covering this sort of song.
Iron Maiden- Judgement Day
And here we are with another one of the many rare tracks to make this disc. I really love the three The X Factor off-cuts, with the aggressive and energetic “Judgement Day” being my favorite at the moment.
Iron Maiden- Prowler (The Soundhouse Tapes version)
And, of course, while I had half of The Soundhouse Tapes on my deluxe Best of the Beast, I was still missing two songs. And this is probably my favorite rendition of “Prowler”. The studio rendition is just a tad too slick and speedy, and the scream at the midpoint here really completes the song.
Iron Maiden- I Live My Way
Another great song. All the off-cuts were in contention for making my top Maiden deep cuts list but I resolved to only pick one in order to allow for song variety.
Iron Maiden- Invasion (The Soundhouse Tapes version)
Naturally, this was the other track from The Soundhouse Tapes that I didn’t have physically. And I like the song. It’s definitely the punkest song they’ve ever done, but it still has some ‘woahoahs’ and guitar harmonies in there for good measure.
Iron Maiden- Justice of the Peace
At the time this was my favorite of the off-cuts, hence why it appears third. I still like it a lot, but I do wish the song could have kept up the intensity that the first verse established. The chorus is never not epic though. I also wish Blaze could have put one of these three songs into his live set. He breathed new life into “Virus” when he did it with that song.
Iron Maiden- Wrathchild (Metal For Muthas version)
Another one of the rare Maiden tracks, it’s not a surprise to see this here. I really like this version. Di’Anno’s singing on the verses definitely gives me some heavy Ian Gillan vibes with the studio effect on them.
Blaze Bayley- Dark Energy 256
A bit of an oddball on this disc as it’s from Blaze’s solo career (and a late album at that), but it 100% earns its spot on this disc. It’s a kickass song. I really need to get into the rest of the Infinite Entanglement trilogy sooner rather than later.
Iron Maiden- Sanctuary (Metal For Muthas version)
Easily my favorite version of the song. I absolutely adore the ghostly guitar sound present in this version.
Iron Maiden- Wrathchild (live, Chile 1996)
Blaze does the song great, but it’s a little static-ey. Not only have I found better quality versions of the show, I’ve also found slightly better renditions of the song from this tour. This version still smokes though.
Paul Di’Anno- Ain’t Talkin ’bout Love
Another great cover from Paul. It’s my favorite Van Halen song and I’m impressed with Paul’s ability to give the chorus oomph without the need for a tonne of backing harmonies.
Iron Maiden- The Clairvoyant (live, who knows where but definitely 1995 or 1996)
Meh quality recording. It even cuts out for half a second. Blaze does a pretty good job. He takes some risks with the delivery but I think it works. But it is my least favorite song on the disc.
Paul Di’Anno- Running Free (live, from The Beast in the East)
Another meh quality recording. And this time I know for certain I could have gotten a version with better sound quality. Di’Anno kicks major butt on it though, with a very high intensity rendition of the classic song.
Blaze Bayley- Waiting For My Life To Begin
Another Blaze solo track, this time from 2008’s The Man Who Would Not Die. This is a wicked song, crushingly heavy at some times and articulately slick at others. The lyrics might hit a bit too close to home for some though.
Iron Maiden- Burning Ambition
It sounds a tad out of place this late into the disc, but I still love the song. It’s definitely happier sounding than a lot of Maiden’s songs from that era, so a hodgepodge mix CD is probably the best place for it.
Blaze Bayley- Futureal (live, from Alive in Poland)
Still the best version of the song. An absolutely smashing rendition that redefines what it means to be the definitive version of something.
Paul Di’Anno- Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (live, from Live in London)
Holy cow! I totally forgot this one was on here. But how could I? It’s such a great version of the song. Sped up and with the liberal use of a guitar harmony, this one’s going straight on my Nigel Tufnel Top 10 Covers list (tells you when I took the notes for this issue).
Iron Maiden- The Evil That Men Do (live, Sao Paolo 1996)
Easily my favorite version of the song. Blaze’s voice brings a darkness to the verses that definitely suits the song, and he manages to muster some convincing power for the chorus. The version on the disc is from the TV broadcast, but I have since managed to source a soundboard version of the track.
Paul Di’Anno- Purgatory (live, from The Beast Arises)
The Beast Arises wasn’t the best live album, but it has the only official live version of one of my favorite songs from the Di’Anno era. And I do like this version a lot, even if it’s far from a perfect rendition.
So now you know why I was peeved to find some of the songs on here were on the previous mix CDs. But it didn’t end up spoiling much because no one really could have anticipated this. This is definitely the most ‘Harrison’ list I’ve given you guys so far (a dubious honor that Buried On Mars actually bestowed on last month’s disc. If only he knew what was in store). Anyway, this disc is my favorite mix CD so far. It’s an absolute blast all the way through, and a well-sequenced blast at that, if I do say so myself.
This was actually the first mix CD I considered ‘remastering/reissuing’, in a sense. Along with creating proper cover art and track listings, I wanted to replace some of the songs of lesser audio quality with better versions (and in the case of one song, replace it completely with another). I got as far as mocking up both a front and back cover for the disc (complete with name coined by the great Lebrain) but I never burned the disc. My mind drifted to a sequel and both ventures stalled in development hell. It’s not that I didn’t want to or didn’t enjoy doing it, more just that it wasn’t a priority as I was discovering tonnes of new music from other bands. I don’t just crank out mix CDs willy nilly. I need time to absorb them, and BlazePaul 2 ended up on the back burner. But you can check out the liner notes and other stuff I made for the ‘remaster’ below.
I’ve been looking forward to this disc ever since I started the series, and it didn’t disappoint upon returning to listen to it. But what’s next in the mix CDs? Well I do believe I just went back to doing regular mixed tracklist stuff, so you’ll get to see one of those in August.