When Bruce Dickinson launched his solo career with 1990's Tattooed Millionaire, it was clear that not everything he did on his own would resemble his work with Iron Maiden. Some of the British headbanger's solo output has been very forceful and Maiden-like, but some of it is has been lighthearted, glossy pop-metal that wouldn't be out of place on an album by Bon Jovi, Winger, or Def Leppard. Assembled in 2001, this excellent, well-rounded collection reflects Dickinson's diversity as a solo artist. The Best of Bruce Dickinson is full of the type of intense and aggressive, yet melodic fantasy metal that put Maiden on the map; headbangers who hold Dickinson's work with Maiden in high regard should have no problem getting into fantasy metal gems like "Tears of the Dragon" (a single from 1994's Balls to Picasso), "Silver Wings," and the title song of 1998's The Chemical Wedding. Meanwhile, Dickinson's pop-metal side is nicely represented by "Born in '58" and Tattooed Millionaire's title song. Is The Best of Bruce Dickinson the last word on his solo career? Definitely not. For one thing, it's missing the singer's inspired cover of David Bowie's "All the Young Dudes," which was one of the best things on Tattooed Millionaire. Also missing is "Shoot All the Clowns," an important single from Balls to Picasso. But while this 63-minute CD falls short of ideal, it is consistently exciting nonetheless -- and it is the most logical starting point for those exploring Dickinson's solo output for the first time.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson