Like his solo career song “Born in ’58” say, Bruce Dickinson was born in 1958 and was only a teenager when Heavy Metal was created. Living in England, he had the chance to see up close that music genre evolving and the whole music scene changing, although he didn’t had the chance to see many classic bands playing live.
But just by hearing those albums he was inspired, deciding to become a musician. He first wanted to be a drummer but then discovered he could really sing well. The rest is history, Dickinson first started with Samson and then successfully joined Iron Maiden, becoming one of the most influential singers of all time. In an interview with Gastão Moreira for MTV back in 1998, he listed three albums from the early 70s that he loves. Rock and Roll Garage recovered what the musician said about those records over the years and his connection with some of the bands.
The 3 albums from the early 70s Bruce Dickinson said he loves
Black Sabbath “Black Sabbath” (1970)
Without Black Sabbath Heavy Metal certainly wouldn’t have been the same and their self-titled debut album released in 1970 is one of Bruce’s favorites. During the conversation with Gastão Moreira he recalled how great it was to listen to that album back then.
(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “Oh awesome, the rain in the beginning and stuff, and it was (released on) Vertigo (Records) as well. Because it was on a record you looked to the middle of the (LP) and you would go ‘Wow’. I used to play it when my parents were out because I used to blow up their… In the old days they used to have these pieces of furniture called a stereogram.”
“It was like a fucking couch, it was six-feet long and it had two pathetic speakers. They used to have drink babinets in it and it had the record player hidden somewhere. So you would go there and was like ‘Ok, they’re gone’, put the record and cranked the thing up the speakers would (not work properly anymore),” Bruce Dickinson said.
It’s hard to believe but Black Sabbath recorded that album in just one day, back in October 16, 1969 and released the record three months later in February, 1970. Besides the title-track, that album had other classic songs like “The Wizard”, “N.I.B.” and “Wicked World”. It peaked at number 8 on the United Kingdom charts at the time and number 23 on the United States Billboard 200. It was recorded by the band’s original line-up formed by Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward.
Deep Purple “Deep Purple In Rock” (1970)
Another early 70s album, Bruce Dickinson mentioned as one of his favorites was “Deep Purple In Rock”, released in 1970. It was the album that really put Deep Purple on the map as a Hard Rock band, since it changed their sound, exploring their heavier side. The band’s classic singer Ian Gillan has always been one of Dickinson’s biggest heroes. But he also loved the drummer Ian Paice, who was the musician that inspired him to try to become a drummer.
He recalled that in the interview with Gastão Moreira, saying (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). “I don’t know what I was thinking back then. But I was just really, really, fired up by these bands. When I used to see gigs I used to look on stage and go ‘Oh, I wanted to be up there, you know. I wanted to be up there, doing that’. I wanted to be a drummer. Actually, I wanted to be Ian Paice from Deep Purple. He was like (the) God of drums to me.”
Bruce Dickinson continued:
“I had this idea that I was going to be like Ian Paice but the personality of Keith Moon. So I was like: ‘Yeah, I would be like this big crazy guy behind the drums. But I would be able to play drums really, really good as well’. Then reality came crashing in. I thought ‘I can’t afford a drum kit and I can’t drive a car. So how I’m gonna get my drums around? (I was depressed) and then I found out I could sing. So I thought ‘Wow, that’s the answer’,” Bruce Dickinson said.
“Deep Purple in Rock” was the band’s fourth album and really set the tone for their next records. It was the first studio record to feature Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. It had classic tracks like “Child In Time”, “Speed King” and “Bloodsucker”.
He had the chance to meet all the Deep Purple classic members over the decades. He sang with most of them live and even was part of the charity version of “Smoke on The Water”, made back in 1988. That cover was made to help people affected by an earthquake in Armenia.
Bruce recently toured with an orchestra, created to pay tribute to the band’s late keyboardist Jon Lord. They only performed songs which Lord helped to create, mainly from Deep Purple.
Jethro Tull “Aqualung” (1971)
The classic Jethro Tull album “Aqualung” is another early 70s classic album that Bruce Dickinson loved. As he said in the interview with Gastão Moreira for MTV in 1998, that he still listened to those albums when he needs some inspiration. “My roots are actually from the very beginnings of what I call Metal. So my roots go back to the first Black Sabbath album, ‘Deep Purple In Rock,’ ‘Aqualung’ by Jethro Tull, Arthur Brown, all that stuff back then.”
“The early 70s, that’s when I was a kid, I was 12, 13 years-old. It was right then that those records just came out. I still go back to those guys and it’s a feeling you get when you are a kid and you listen to your first bands.”
Bruce Dickinson continued:
“All I do is, I go back and I say: ‘Ok, I want that feeling when I make my new record. I just go back and listen, you know, to the first Black Sabbath album and I’m back to being 13 years-old,” Bruce Dickinson said.
He also said that he borrowed a lot from Ian Anderson in terms of songwriting. “Arthur Brown, he has gotten the most amazing voice and I borrowed a lot of Arthur Brown. Also a few things lyrically probably from Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull,” Bruce Dickinson said.
Released in 1971, “Aqualung” still is Jethro Tull’s best-selling album. Besides the title-track, it has famous songs like “Locomotive Breath”, “Mother Goose” and “Cross-Eyed Mary”. That last one was even covered by Maiden in the 80s.
The Iron Maiden vocalist and Ian Anderson already met each other and performed together in 2011. The Jethro Tull frontman invited Bruce to perform at Canterbury Cathedral. Talking with The Metal Voice in 2021, Anderson praised him. “At one occasion Bruce was a guest of mine at Canterbury Cathedral’s performance I did in 2011. He is a great person to work with, very professional, very straightforward. Easy going guy we learnt his couple of songs and he sang on one of ours.” Ian Anderson said.
I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG