Bruce Dickinson - Tattooed Millionaire
Sony Music
Heavy Metal
15 songs (59'38)
Release year: 1990
Bruce Dickinson, Sony Music
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

I probably should have grabbed one of the several rote, tepid, lukewarm Power Metal cd’s that are on the list, but after reading Al’s review of Number Of The Beast, well I guess you can say I got inspired. Lately I’ve been on a solo era Dickinson kick and have gone front to back and back to front on his career. Yeah, The Chemical Wedding is his obvious crowning jewel and yep, Skunkworks is actually a good alternative rock album. However, Bruce’s first step outside of the Maiden box seems to be relegated to a footnote status that might have a small blurb saying, “Bruce Dickinson’s debut solo album sounds like cock rock.” I might be in the minority but I think that there are several tracks present on Tattooed Millionaire who haven’t received their proper head nod of acknowledgement and should be revisited by the fans.

Tattooed Millionaire was released in 1990 when Bruce still had two more albums in him for Iron Maiden. Also onboard the Millionaire boat was Janick Gers, a person who would later join Bruce’s flagship act and replace the fan adored Adrian Smith. In all fairness to the man, him and Bruce did manage to write some decent songs. Opener Son Of A Gun has an enormously depressive vibe created by the brooding guitars. The vocal section that describes the priest loading bullets with a smile is one of those lines that gets to me every time. It makes the repetitive chorus seem unimportant. Born In 58 is the real winner here with its poignant lyrics and an escalating verse section that really hammers the song home. A cover of David Bowie’s All The Young Dudes is well intentioned but the resulting output is pretty mediocre. Bruce is too rough with the verses and the chorus sounds too tinny with all the piped in backing tracks. Hell On Wheels is designed to be a rocky groovy track to keep the blood flowing after Born In 58 but instead it turns into a filler cut not unlike The Magician off of Accident Of Birth. The cock rock accusations that get tossed over this album probably stems from the title track (the riff does sound a little similar to Def Leppard’s Photograph), but dammit it’s good cock rock. Really, it is. A definite party rock anthem this is even if the lyrics have a bit more to them than “let’s bango tango.”

I find Tattooed Millionaire an album that I come to on a semi regular basis. Even though the sound found here is far removed than anything Bruce has done in the past ten years as a solo artist, those handful of songs that kick ass, really do kick ass. It’s also interesting to look and see how the lyrics have changed over the years and how some elements have remained. While there aren’t any alien abduction tales or William Blake peons, themes of personal conviction and struggle start the example followed by songs such as Tears Of The Dragon and Man Of Sorrows. Tattooed Millionaire is not a release that shook anyone’s world up but it is authentic and honest.

Killing Songs :
Son Of A Gun, Born In 58, Dive! Dive! Dive!
Ben quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Bruce Dickinson that we have reviewed:
Bruce Dickinson - The Mandrake Project reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Bruce Dickinson - Balls To Picasso reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
Bruce Dickinson - Accident of Birth reviewed by Goat and quoted 92 / 100
Bruce Dickinson - Skunkworks reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Bruce Dickinson - Anthology (3 DVDs) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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