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Tattooed Millionaire

Bruce Dickinson

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Album Review

In 1990, Bruce Dickinson launched his solo career with Tattooed Millionaire, which is far from a carbon copy of his work with Iron Maiden. Many of the fans who knew him as Maiden's lead vocalist assumed that this solo debut would be Maiden-like — they expected an album of aggressive yet melodic fantasy metal in the Maiden/Ronnie James Dio/Black Sabbath vein. But Tattooed Millionaire found Dickinson favoring more of a hard rock/pop-metal approach. This album is full of glossy and lighthearted pop-metal that wouldn't be out of place on an album by Winger, Bon Jovi, or Def Leppard. "Lickin' the Gun" is more Aerosmith than King Diamond, and "Son of a Gun" is more Bad Company than Candlemass. And while some Maiden worshipers might prefer to hear Dickinson singing fantasy metal, the fact is that Tattooed Millionaire is excellent. With this album, Dickinson did what fellow Brit Rob Halford did on some of Judas Priest's more commercial and pop-influenced releases — he showed listeners another side of himself and demonstrated that he wasn't obligated to embrace fantasy metal 100 percent of the time. For Dickinson, coming out with something more pop-minded didn't mean being contrived or unimaginative. Tattooed Millionaire, for all its pop-metal gloss, has a lot of guts, and Dickinson is consistently inspired whether he is embracing original material or providing a memorable remake of David Bowie's "All the Young Dudes." On subsequent solo efforts like 1994's Balls to Picasso and 1998's The Chemical Wedding, the British vocalist got back to fantasy metal. But he seemed to need a break from it in 1990, and Tattooed Millionaire turned out to be a most pleasant surprise.

Biography

Born: 07 August 1958 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Perhaps second only to Rob Halford, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson was the most acclaimed and instantly recognizable vocalist to emerge from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement of the early-'80s. Born Paul Dickinson on August 7, 1958, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, he adopted the first name Bruce as a youngster for reasons unknown. Shortly after relocating to Sheffield as a teenager, Dickinson became enamored of such '70s heavy metal bands as Deep Purple, and after an attempt at becoming a...
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