Accident of Birth

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For the song, see Accident of Birth (song).
Accident of Birth
Studio album by Bruce Dickinson
Released 14 May 1997
Genre Heavy metal
Label CMC International, Duellist Enterprises Ltd., Abril Music
Producer Roy Z
Bruce Dickinson chronology
Skunkworks Live EP
(1996)
Accident of Birth
(1997)
The Chemical Wedding
(1998)
Alternative Covers
America Release cover
2005 Reissue cover
Extended edition cover

Accident of Birth is a heavy metal album released in 1997 by Bruce Dickinson. It was published by Zomba Music.

This is the second album made in collaboration with guitarist/producer Roy Z and is therefore much different from Bruce's previous Skunkworks album. He was also assisted by another former Iron Maiden member Adrian Smith and the two would later return to the band in early 1999. Thanks to the slightly bigger success of this album, Bruce would work with Roy Z in the future on his solo albums (including his latest, Tyranny of Souls).

The cover art was done by Derek Riggs, best known for being the creator of Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie and the artwork on all Iron Maiden albums/singles/posters/tour brochures throughout 1980–1990 (and sporadically afterwards up until 2000's Brave New World other than one additional Eddie drawing for the cover of his book Run for Cover). Four versions of the album cover exist. The regular European release had Edison (as the jester was jokingly named as "Eddie's Son") bursting out of a man's stomach. The regular cover only shows the stomach, but the poster that came with the limited edition of the album made it clear that the stomach belongs to a man. This was deemed too explicit for the US market, where the album was released with a frontal view of the puppet. The 2005 re-release also has a different cover. The outer cardboard sleeve features the puppet nailed to a cross, while the cover art on the CD booklet itself is the one showing the jester bursting out of a man's stomach. The extended edition of the album features the same cover as the original, but re-scaled so as to make the man visible.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rock Hard (de) 9.5/10[2]

In 2005, Accident of Birth was ranked number 338 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Freak" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:15
  2. "Toltec 7 Arrival" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 0:37
  3. "Starchildren" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:17
  4. "Taking the Queen" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:49
  5. "Darkside of Aquarius" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 6:42
  6. "Road to Hell" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 3:57
  7. "Man of Sorrows" (Dickinson)  – 5:20
  8. "Accident of Birth" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:23
  9. "The Magician" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 3:54
  10. "Welcome to the Pit" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 4:43
  11. "Omega" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 6:23
  12. "Arc of Space" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:18

US Version – CMC International Records[edit]

  1. "Freak" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:15
  2. "Toltec 7 Arrival" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 0:37
  3. "Starchildren" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:17
  4. "Taking the Queen" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:49
  5. "Darkside of Aquarius" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 6:42
  6. "Road to Hell" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 3:57
  7. "Man of Sorrows" (Dickinson)  – 5:20
  8. "Accident of Birth" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:23
  9. "The Magician" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 3:54
  10. "Welcome to the Pit" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 4:43
  11. "The Ghost of Cain" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 4:12
  12. "Omega" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 6:23
  13. "Arc of Space" (Dickinson, Roy Z.)  – 4:18

2005 Extended Edition Disc 2[edit]

An extended edition of the album was released with the following tracks on CD 2. Tracks 1–4 appear on the CD single of "Man of Sorrows". Tracks 5–9 also feature on the Japanese CD release of "Man of Sorrows".

  1. "The Ghost of Cain" (Dickinson, Smith)  – 4:12
  2. "Accident of Birth (Demo)"  – 4:15
  3. "Starchildren (Demo)"  – 5:01
  4. "Taking the Queen (Demo)"  – 4:30
  5. "Man of Sorrows (Radio Edit)"  – 3:55
  6. "Man of Sorrows (Orchestral Version) – 5:17
  7. "Hombre Triste" (Spanish version of "Man of Sorrows")  – 3:53
  8. "Darkside of Aquarius (Demo)"  – 6:20
  9. "Arc of Space (Demo)"  – 4:02

Personnel[edit]

Principals[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Silvia Tsai – Violin ("Taking the Queen", "Man of Sorrows", "Arc of Space")
  • Rebecca Yeh  – Cello ("Taking the Queen", "Man of Sorrows", "Arc of Space")
  • Richard Baker  – Piano ("Man of Sorrows")

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r277266
  2. ^ Kühnemund, Götz. "Rock Hard review". issue 120. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  3. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 75. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.