In 2001 I was a young Maiden fan, desperately trying to hunt down Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. After yet another fruitless trip to the records store, the guy behind the counter recommended that I wouldn't leave empty handed but try the brand new Bruce Dickinson compilation instead. I did, and it was a very good decision to make.
Released to raise awareness of Bruce Dickinson's solo career in the wake of the massive success of the reunited Iron Maiden, this compilation is a very basic kind of release with the first disc covering the arguable best pics from his studio albums and a live album, and the second disc presenting some rarities. There's even the obligatory two new tracks to make the old fans buy it as well, and to even things out, the first ever Bruce Dickinson recording called Dracula, by a very short lived band Shots.
The first disc contains the two exceptionally good new tracks, Broken and Silver Wings, the latter of which especially is a high speed masterpiece, and a nice selection of older works, at least one from every album. The often forgotten Skunkworks era is represented by Back from the Edge, a highlight track from that line-up, and the solo debut Tattooed Millionaire gave its two finest songs, the title track and Born in '58, all three of them being the lightest rockers of the collection. Many other tracks from the other albums would've been worthy of inclusion, but with such excellent choices as Tears of the Dragon, Darkside of Aquarius and the wonderful live version of Book of Thel, there's no room for complaining.
Nowadays the second disc has devalued somewhat, because if you get interested enough by the first one to go and get the studio albums, they come with bonus discs that have a much wider selection of rarities. Not all of them, though, some key tracks are missing. But back in the day when I did that, the second disc of the compilation was the only place to hear any of this stuff. Included are for example the original Bring Your Daughter....to the Slaughter from the Nightmare on Elm Street 5 soundtrack, a couple of great pieces of heavy metal, Wicker Man (not to be confused with the Maiden song of the same name, they're completely different tunes) and Real World, some lighter tracks such as the brilliant Acousic Song, some funny stuff like I'm in a Band with an Italian Drummer and a wonderfully atmospheric synth rock song No Way Out...Continued. Followed by an interesting, but after the first listen a skippable interview bit comes Dracula, which proves that Dickinson's voice was there as early as 1977, though it would get better as years went by. It's a nice song too.
As compilations go this is an excellent one, but with most of the rarities nowadays spread around the studio album bonus discs, you might want to go out and get Accident of Birth and Chemical Wedding right away and then work your way backwards if you feel like it. Next to Maiden Dickinson's solo work has been left with way too little attention.