"The X Factor" is Iron Maiden
's 10th studio album, and the first
Maiden album to feature Blaze Bayley
by Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris
, The X Factor was released in 1995
, and shows their mascot Eddie
on the front cover, being tortured
. For some countries the front cover was too disgusting, so on the back of the booklet was an alternate cover, which showed Eddie in an electric chair
, from a distance.
The line-up on this album is as follows:
Blaze Bayley: vocals
Dave Murray: guitars
Janick Gers: Guitars
Steve Harris: Bass guitars
Nicko McBrain: Drums
The X Factor has the following 11 songs:
1. Sign Of The Cross
Written by Steve Harris, this song clocks in at over 11 minutes! It is based on Umberto Eco's novel "The Name Of The Rose", which also is a movie starring Sean Connery. The eleven saintly shrouded men are the holy inquisition of the Catholic church, which was responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of heretics.
2. Lord Of The Flies
Written by Steve Harris and Janick Gers, the song is based on the "Lord Of The Flies" novel by William Golding. The story tells of a group of school boys who are marooned on a tropical island, and who gradually descend into tribal savagery.
3. Man On The Edge
Written by Blaze Bayley and Janick Gers. It is based on the movie "Falling Down" (1993), with Michael Douglas. It's about a normal man who is under a lot of stress, and finally snaps. It depicts the absurdity and frustration of life in a big city very well.
4. Fortunes Of War
Written by Steve Harris, "Fortunes Of War" is a song about war. It describes the mental anguish of a soldier returning from war: the nightmares, the voices and the terrible memories. It makes a good counterpart to 1992's "Afraid To Shoot Strangers" (from the "Fear Of The Dark" album), which is about the anguish of a soldier who is about to go off to war.
5. Look For The Truth
Written by Blaze Bayley, Janick Gers and Steve Harris. It is an introspective song facing and overcoming one's fears.
6. The Aftermath
Written by Steve Harris, Blaze Bayley and Janick Gers. It questions the validity and necessity of war.
7. Judgement Of Heaven
Written by Steve Harris, this song faces the inevitable questions that all people eventually ask at some point in their lives: "what is the meaning of existence?"
8. Blood On The World's Hands
Written by Steve Harris. "Blood On the World Hands" describes the horror, injustice and brutality of the world.
9. The Edge Of Darkness
Written by Steve Harris, Blaze Bayley and Janick Gers. The song is based on Joseph Conrad's book "Heart Of Darkness", on which the movie "Apocalypse Now" also is based. It tells the story of a man's journey up a river into the jungle in search of an insane genius, who has succumbed to the innane savagery that resides inside all of us.
10. 2 A.M.
Written by Blaze Bayley, Janick Gers and Steve Harris. A song to which many can relate, about the meaninglessness and futility of life.
11. The Unbeliever
Written by Steve Harris and Janick Gers. "The Unbeliever" is another introspective and inward-looking song, perhaps the most nonstandard and misunderstood song on the album.