Brave New World was the first Iron Maiden album I heard, and as such it inevitably holds a special place for me. As with every single Iron Maiden album, it has some absolutely world-beating songs – but also a few moments that let the overall quality down. Songs like ‘The Wickerman’ and ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ are superb, and made obvious singles – but then there’s a song like ‘Nomad’ that never really goes anywhere, and the generally weak choruses. Even so, Brave New World is a great album, and one that I return to almost every summer.
In hindsight, it’s clear how important an album this was for Iron Maiden. Following the Blaze Bayley years, the return of Bruce Dickinson on vocals inevitably caught interest, and compared with The X Factor and Virtual XI there’s a greater sense of energy and purpose on the whole. It also hinted at the direction the band would take in the new millennium, with prog rock becoming a growing influence on their sound. As such, Brave New World is arguably the bridge between the classic Iron Maiden sound and their more modern records, where the band found a new identity and direction – one they’re obviously quite taken with, and so are the fans.
Brave New World can be brought for about a fiver from most record stores. It can also be streamed on Spotify.