Bruce Dickinson - 'Anthology' (3 disc DVD)

Disc 1:

I.) 'Dive Dive Live'
Set List:
1.) "Riding With The Angels" - Sampson
2.) "Born In 58"
3.) "Lickin' The Gun"
4.) "Gypsy Road"
5.) "Dive Dive Dive"
6.) "Zulu Lulu"
7.) "The Ballad Of Mutt"
8.) "Son Of A Gun"
9.) "Hell On Wheels"
10.) "All The Young Dudes" - Mott The Hoople
11.) "Tattooed Millionaire"
12.) "No Lies"
13.) "Fog On The Tyne"
14.) "Winds Of Change"
15.) "Sin City" - AC/DC
16.) "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" - Iron Maiden
17.) "Black Night" - Deep Purple
Concert Highlights:
    'Dive Dive Live' was recorded live at the Town and Country Club in Los Angeles California, on the Tattooed Millionaire Tour, August 14th 1990.
The concert opens with "Ride With The Angels" an old song Bruce wrote when he was with the band Sampson.  The song was taken off of Sampson's second L.P. titled, 'Shock Tactics' released in May 1981.  For the first couple of songs Bruce sounded out of breath.  Once his vocal chords warm up his vocal strength really shows.  The four band members, which includes future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, are some of the most energetic musicians I believe I have ever seen perform live.  At one point before the song "Dive Dive Dive" Bruce is trying his best to get the crowd into the show when he has technical microphone problems and has to change mics.  Like a true professional he laughs it off.  After the song there is a drum solo.  Even though I had never heard the song "Hell On Wheels" I can tell you the extended the guitar solo section of the song to give Janick a lead guitar solo section.  "Fog On The Tyne" and "Winds Of Change"  are old folk songs the band performed acoustically.  Not only due you get several cover songs but the set list included every track that was released on 'Tattooed Millionaire'.
II.) 'Skunkworks Live'
Set List:
1.) "Space Race"
2.) "Back From The Edge"
3.) "Tattooed Millionaire"
4.) "Inertia"
5.) "Faith"
6.) "Meltdown"
7.) "I Will Not Accept The Truth"
8.) "Laughing In The Hiding Bush"
9.) "Tears Of The Dragon"
10.) "God's Not Coming Back"
11.) "Dreamstate"
12.) "The Prisoner" - Iron Maiden
Concert Highlights:
    'Skunkworks Live' was recorded live over two nights in Pamplona and Girona Spain, on May 31 and June 1st, 1996.  The set list opens with "Space Race" which is also the opening track from 'Skunkworks'.  Bruce's vocals are a lot better on 'Skunkworks Live' than they are on 'Dive Dive Dive Live'.  Like with most live performances the backing vocals could have been turned up considerably.  The set list Bruce designed has a definite darker feel to it than the one he used on 'Dive Dive Dive Live'.  Bruce is not nearly as animated in between the songs as the previous performance.  Unlike 'Dive Dive Dive Live' there are no instrument solos.  Alessandro Elena the drummer of the band is painted up in glow in the dark paint which gives his performance a psychedelic sixties look.  For a supposed heavy metal band I found this too be a little out of place.  Outside of that one factor the band was very good.
Disc 2:
III.) 'Scream For Me Brazil'
1.) "King In Crimson"
2.) "Gates Of Urizen"
3.) "Killing Floor"
4.) "Book Of Thel"
5.) "Tears Of The Dragon"
6.) "Laughing In The Hiding Bush"
7.) "Accident Of Birth"
8.) "The Tower"
9.) "Darkside Of Aquarius"
10.) "The Road To Hell"
    This live performance consisted of Iron Maiden band mate Adrian Smith on rhythm & lead guitar.  The sound quality of this concert was horrible!  With sound quality being this bad it is very difficult to believe it was recorded in 1999.       

Disc 3:
1V.) 'Promotional videos'
1.) "Tattooed Millionaire'
2.) "All The Young Dudes"
3.) "Dive Dive Dive"
4.) "Born In 58"
5.) "Tears Of The Dragon"
6.) "Shoot All The Clowns"
7.) "Back From The Edge"
8.) "Inertia"
9.) "Accident Of Birth"
10.) "Road To Hell"
11.) "Man Of Sorrows"
12.) "Killing Floor"
13.) "The Tower"
14.) "Abduction"
V.) 'bonus material'
1.) A track by track breakdown of the concept behind the songs from Bruce's latest release, 'Tyranny Of Souls.'
2.) Bruce's debut video with the band Sampson in 1980.

    In the small mining town of Worksop, Nottinghamshire on August 7, 1958 Paul Bruce Dickinson was born.  From his earliest memory everyone outside of his parents and grand-parents has called him Bruce. . "I was a bit of an accident", he reflects. "Mum was sixteen or seventeen when she became pregnant and my dad was seventeen or eighteen." By the time Bruce was about to start school his parents moved from Workshop to Sheffield, the nearest big city, where jobs then were plentiful. "I didn't really feel like I had a mum and dad. My Granddad was the closest thing I had to a dad. He was great. In many ways, I think, I was the son that he never had. But to my grandmother, I was always going to be the little bastard that had taken her daughter away from her."  Bruce's first school was Manton Primary, a notoriously tough place in a fairly run-down area. He remembers his granddad teaching him to stick up for himself and don't let anybody push him around. "I grew up in an environment where it struck me that the world was never gonna do me any favors. And I had very few close friends, because we were always moving. I think that's partly why I grew up feeling like such an outsider. I didn't have an unhappy childhood, but it was unconventional, to say the least." A positive side of this unconventional upbringing was that Bruce grew up very independent and self reliant. 
While in collage Bruce got involved in the Entertainment’s Committee. . "One day you'd be a roadie for The Jam, the next you'd be putting up the Stonehenge backdrop for Hawkwind or whatever."   In the winter of ’77 Bruce met Paul ‘Noddy’ White who was a multi-musician.  Bruce suggested that they'd form a band together, which they did, and this would eventually evolve into the band Speed, described by Bruce himself, as sounding like a crossover between Judas Priest and The Stranglers with a Hammond organ on top of it. "It had nothing to do with taking speed, we were a completely drug-free band, we just used to play everything ridiculously fast. Like Speed Metal, but ten years too early." Bruce was the vocalist and, occasionally, played a bit of guitar. "I got Noddy to give me a few guitar lessons and I just started writing stuff straight away. He showed me three chords and I'd write stuff just from those three chords."   Though ‘Speed’ went absolutely nowhere it would gradually give Bruce the onstage experience that he will need in a few short years.  One day Bruce spotted an ad in Melody Maker saying "Singer wanted for recording project". Since he had never been near a recording studio he replied immediately. He "wailed, wolfed, hollered and made noises" onto a tape and with it went a note that read; "By the way, if you think the singing's crap, there's some John Cleese stuff recorded on the other side you might find amusing." They liked what they heard and Bruce came down to the studio. The band was called “Shots” and was formed by two brothers, Phil and Doug Siviter.  The band ‘Shots’ opened the door for ‘Samson.’  Since he was not sure of what to expect from a professional rock band - Samson had a record deal and a management - he decided just to jump in and make the best of it. "In fact, the first rehearsals I went down to with Samson pretty much set the scene for my entire time in the band. I left my girlfriend who I had been with for three years at University. I told her I was gonna turn into a complete arsehole. I thought it was what I was gonna have to do, frankly. Because it was not at all what I expected. In my naivety I thought people who were in rock 'n' roll bands were great artists, and it was a huge shock to the system to realize that they weren't, that they didn't even aspire to be, really. Some of them did, maybe, but some of them, like Samson, were very frightened of the idea, some of them just wanted to have a good drink, a good shag and take some drugs, and I found that really, really difficult to relate to. I thought 'I've got to find out if I'm gonna work with these guys and we're gonna make music'. And as soon as I sort of accepted that, I thought 'Right, I'd better go down and find out what all this drug-taking and shagging's all about then'.  He did smoke a bit already and he had even tried dope at college. And in Samson it was more of a habit. "I discovered quickly that if you were straight you couldn't actually communicate with anybody. It was impossible. So I just thought I'd have to smoke a joint, otherwise I wouldn't be able to write anything, and that's pretty much how it went. I more or less resigned myself to it. I thought it was just part of the price that had to be paid. To be honest, every single thing I ever did at that time, I believed it was just a step towards my goal, of just wanting to be a singer in a rock 'n' roll band."  Bruce nowadays refers to his time in the band as "a blur of chemicals". But he was never into the hard stuff. When it came to illegal highs, marijuana was his biggest personal vice.  Iron Maiden had began considering change of vocalist due to of increasing problems with Paul DiAnno. Steve Harris says: "Right from the very first time I heard Bruce singing on stage with Samson, I remember thinking, 'Blimey, that singer's fucking great!'" So Steve Harris and manager Rod Smallwood came to Reading to check Bruce out for the job. Samson went down by storm and Bruce was asked to come down to auditions for the band.  From 1982 to 1990 Bruce with front one of the hardest heavy metal bands of the eighties.  After releasing seven albums with the band, including live releases,  Bruce made the decision to leave Iron Maiden. 

    This DVD package is a detailed look at Bruce's solo work after leaving Iron Maiden.  Though all three concerts have there high points, I could not get over the audio quality.  What makes this DVD worth buying is disc III.  If you are not a die-hard Iron Maiden or Bruce Dickinson fan such as I you will be very let down.  An unless you fall in that category I would subject you just rent this release.