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  BRUCE DICKINSON'S 'SKUNKWORKS': UNDERRATED?
Nando Souza

10th August 2011

nando souza



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Fernando Souza discusses the qualities that constitute a 'good album', and why Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunkworks' is one of the most underrated albums of all time.

How do we define a good album? The Oxford Dictionary of English defines 'good' as an adjective to describe something pleasant, enjoyable or satisfying. The definition of 'album' is a single collection of recordings on CD, record or cassette.

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For me, a good album is much more than that. It is not only a collection of songs that follow a natural progression, sit well with one another, are all worth listening to and shouldn't have you reaching for the fastforward button. A good album is capable of cementing itself in your life's history, so that whenever you hear a song from that album, you will always remember a particular, special time and place, great friends, great times, bad times and sad times.

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The year was 1996 and I was an eighteen-year-old kid full of dreams. Some were fulfilled, some will never be, and some still have the potential to be. That year, an album was released that inspired some of those dreams. A 'good album'? No, a great album.

The album is Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunkworks'. It makes me sad that most people don't understand this album and that it has become, in my opinion, one of the most underrated albums in the history of music.



'Skunkworks' is a space-themed album with amazing, beautifully written lyrics that transport you through space and time, sung to perfection by Bruce (his best vocal performance ever!), fantastic guitar work by Alex Dickson, top-notch production by Jack Endino and last but not least, competent and consistent work by bassista (inhouse joke!) Chris Dale and Alessandro Elena on drums.

Whenever I'm happy, sad, depressed or feeling emotional, I can hear this album in my head. It's now been a week since I last listened to it repeatedly, in order to totally immerse myself in those trips back and forth through space and time. Why are there not more people listening to, and understanding the timeless quality of the lyrics of 'Octavia', 'Solar Confinement', 'Inside The Machine' and 'Space Race'? They are as relevant today as they were fifteen years ago.



On a final note, the other day I was with two friends in a car, and 'Skunkworks' started to play. After the first chords of 'Space Race', my friend in the back seat said: "Nando! I can't believe you still have 'The Final Frontier' in your car!" My other friend and I looked at each other, laughed and both replied: "Come on! This album is light years ahead of 'The Final Frontier'!"



WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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