This is part I of the Angel And The Gambler single from the
Virtual XI album. This particular single also contains a poster, with the
"Virtual XI Fixture List 1998" on one side and the band posing in Maiden
football gear with some of their favourite players on the other side. The number 11
seems to have been regarded – by Steve Harris at least – as symbolic
and as a link between Steve's main interests in life: music and football.
The most noticeable thing about this single is that both Part I and Part II contain
a video instead of the usual third audio track we'd been used to so far. It is pompously
called "enhanced multimedia section" and constitutes the first time
that Maiden put material that can be read on a computer on a single. This was probably all
part of the "virtual" theme of the album, but Maiden were one of the first bands
to have those "enhanced multimedia sections" on their CDs, as well as an
official website on the Internet. This is certainly a band that adapts to its time.
Back Row (l to r):
Stuart Pearce (Newcastle Utd & England), Faustino Asprilla (Parma & Columbia),
Steve Harris (Leytonstone, England), Paul Gascoigne (Glasgow Rangers & England),
Blaze Bayley (Tamworth, England), Ian Wright (Arsenal & England).
Front Row (l to r):
Nicko McBrain (Hackney, England), Dave Murray (Clapton, England),
Patrick Viera (Arsenal & France), Janick Gers (Hartlepool, England),
Marc Overmars (Arsenal & Holland).
The Angel And The Gambler (Harris)
This is the same version as the one that appears on the
Virtual XI album.
The original studio version of 'Afraid To Shoot Strangers' appears on the
Fear Of The Dark album, sung by Bruce Dickinson.
This video is a mixture of images taken from the
X Factour and footage of the First Gulf War. The fact that Blaze Bayley is at the helm
highlights that another singer could replace Dickinson without affecting the quality of the song.
The video itself looks a little bit like pro-war propaganda, condoning the useless bloodshed and
misery that was the First Gulf War. It most probably wasn't the intention of Iron Maiden
to pose as supporters of such a ridiculous conflict, whose aim was merely to protect the oil fields
of Kuwait, but the images do not seem to correspond the original depth of the lyrics.
The song deals with the fears of a soldier who is about to go into combat, whereas the video
shows what a great job the allied troops did at wrecking a place for economical reasons
the soldiers were not involved with. As much as can be said about the valour of those who
fought during the conflict, as despicable were the original intentions by the politicians who
started it. And this is certainly valid for either side concerned.