Bruce Dickinson is the lead singer of my favorite band, Iron Maiden. He joined the band in 1981 and left it 1993. He rejoined it in 1999, and has been with them ever since. Iron Maiden was the first concert I’ve ever been too (back in 1991) and since then I have seen them a total of eight times. And if the come around again, I will see them again. To me, it comes to him and Freddy Mercury as the two best front men in rock history.
And he’s better than your favorite lead singer. Why?
5. He Actually Sings
Now I understand that there are a lot of singers out there who can sing, but in the world of heavy metal, you’ll find there are a lot more who scream, growl, snarl, or just plane shriek. There are a bunch of bands that have powerful lead singers with strong voices – but to me, most of them are just doing their best impression of Mr. Bruce Dickinson.
And okay, you may be thinking – it’s heavy metal music, so my definition of “singing” might be slightly jaded. But when I tell you the man can sing – he can sing – anything.
Still need proof? Listen to the power of his voice – without using a microphone – at the 900-year-old Canterbury Cathedral back in 2011.
Plain and simple. The man can flat out sing – and more than likely he’s better at it than your lead singer.
4. He Has Better Stage Presence
There are a lot of great bands out there that I enjoy – with a lot of great singers. And those singers do really nice job of sining. Just standing there. And signing. Maybe sometimes they move around and get into it a little. Sometimes they wave the crowd on. Sometimes they may even dive into the crowd (Bruce is far a far too dignified Englishman to do that).
Bruce is like a giant ball of energy. He never seems to stop. Whether he’s running from end of the stage to the other, jumping seemingly out at you on the front of the stage (I got to witness that from the 4th row once) or – as you’ll see in this video – he gets into the theatrics of things, the man has move charisma, more balls, and is more of showman than any other heavy metal lead singer. Ever.
This past August, Bruce Dickinson turned 56 years old – and he’s still running around like a crazy man.
3. He is a Renaissance Man
You already know that Bruce Dickinson is a singer. But, what you may not know is:
When he was younger, he almost become a professional fencer. And he still loves to do it.
And outside of that, he founded his own aviation company and often gives talks at business conventions. Yes, the lead singer of Iron Maiden buts on a suit and tie and actually gives talks at functions.
Seriouly, I would love to see your favorite lead singer try and do THIS.
Oh and technically, he’s a doctor….Just saying….
2. He’s A Frigging Pilot
Why else would he start his own aviation company? I could’ve fit this into #3, but I think this one is worth it’s own number – and it made it easier for me to come up with 5. Okay, there are a lot of people out there who have their pilot’s license and can fly an plane. But how many of them actually worked as a commercial pilot flying those big-ass 757 air crafts?
And how many singers actually were the pilot – for the jumbo jet – of the band, flying the band and its crew and it’s equipment all over the world?
They even made a movie about it back in 2009.
And when a travel company collapsed, and passengers were stranded all over the world, guess who one of the pilots was?
Yes – it was Bruce Dickinson. Obviously.
Oh man, he’s just so much better than your favorite lead singer. It’s not even close.
1. He Has Been Doing It For Over Thirty (Forty Now) Years, And He Still Doesn’t Need His Band To Tune Down a Step
With all the different waters that Bruce dips his toes in – the most important one to me is his time with Iron Maiden. He’s been singing Maiden songs for over 30 years, and my favorite thing about him is – if you see him live today – you will basically get the same experience as you will if you saw him 30 years ago.
I recently saw Judas Priest. I loved it, but I could tell that the instruments were tuned down a step. The reason they do that is so it’s easier for the lead singer to hit the notes. He doesn’t have to go that high. You see it all the time, especially with bands that rely on singers hitting certain notes. If you listen to a live Ozzy/Sabbath song from 15 or 20 years ago, hell maybe even 10 years ago, and you listen to him now – the music is way lower allowing Ozzy to hit those notes. When you listen to a studio album over and over, and then you hear the tuned down live version, it does bother me a bit – but it’s not as big of a deal when you’re actually there live and in the moment.
That being said. Bruce frigging Dickinson does not need to tune down a damn thing.
Exhibit A – Iron Maiden performing Revelations (a version of which he sang in that Cathedral video) back in 1985:
Exhibit B – Iron Maiden performing Revelations WAY back in June 2014:
29 years separate those videos. The man is older, grayer, and has more wrinkles – but he still sings his ass off on every album and every live show and THAT is the number 1 reason why Bruce Dickinson, my favorite lead singer, is better than your favorite lead singer.