This was the first single to be released prior to the release of the
Brave New World album that marked Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith's return
in Iron Maiden. The front cover shows a photograph by
Dean Karr of the newly re-united band, with Bruce holding a torch, presumably to set
alight the giant wicker man that can be seen in the background. The back cover shows a
photograph of the wicker man itself burning in the night.
An interesting feature of this single
is that the European release contains a beermat, would you believe! Now, I personally
don't see the point in adding this particular kind of item to the single. I am a beer-drinker
but I would never use this very special mat as I would be worried to damage it, as it is
after all a collector's item and should be treated as such with the care it deserves
(there are also Iron Maiden condoms and I wouldn't use those either!). One side of the mat
Mark Wilkinson, who had also done the cover of the
Donington '92 live album of Iron Maiden and who has done cover art for many bands,
including Judas Priest and Marillion. The illustration itself represents a burning wicker man
Eddie several feet tall in front of a crowd wearing animal masks like in the
film, and depicting the ancient pagan ceremonial of the burning of the wicker man.
The reverse side shows the yellow smiley-looking Eddie face as could be seen on the
official website at the time.
This is the same version as the one that appears on the
Brave New World album.
Futureal (live) (Harris, Bayley)
Recorded during the
Ed Hunter Tour, this is the first live recording of
this song with Bruce Dickinson at the helm. Some may argue that this is a way
of getting definitely rid of Blaze Bayley and wiping off his memory. It may also be seen
as some sort of insult to Blaze, as he also wrote the song. Those who think this kind
of nonsense are wrong. Blaze and Iron Maiden parted in amicable terms and
I personally see this as a tribute from the band to their former singer, selecting for the single
two songs co-written by him and subsequently sung by Bruce in concert. The band has no
resentment whatsoever towards Blaze – otherwise they wouldn't have linked his website
to the official Maiden site anyway. The song itself is quite good live, but I found it strange
to hear Bruce's voice instead of Blaze's. Although Bruce does a great job, I was more used
to Blaze's darker singing.
Man On The Edge (live) (Bayley, Gers)
This live version of
On The Edge' was also recorded during the
Ed Hunter Tour and features on the single as what I see as a tribute to Blaze Bayley.
Except for Bruce's vocals, it sounds basically the same as on the original studio album
and admirably showcases the band's energy and musicianship.
The Wicker Man (video) (Smith, Harris, Dickinson)
This video was made by
Dean Karr, who is also famous for the videos he made with Marilyn Manson. It portrays a
suit-and-tie-wearing man (a banker, a politician, a lawyer?) whose car is stopped by an eight-foot
tall Eddie as he's driving along a deserted road
(David Vincent anyone?).
Eddie seems to cast some kind of spell on him and he leaves the car to intrude on a very small
Iron Maiden venue after much stumbling and falling. The audience of the concert doesn't seem
to be too pleased by this sudden invasion of their gig and every single member transforms
into a normal-sized Eddie. They then drag him to a wicker man who is subsequently set
ablaze, presumably with the suit-and-tie man inside. The video clip closes on Eddie driving
away in the man's car, or is it the man himself who transformed into Eddie after his ordeal?
In any case, a decent video.