Balls to Picasso

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Balls to Picasso
Studio album by Bruce Dickinson
Released3 June 1994[1]
GenreHeavy metal, hard rock
LabelMercury (US original)
Sanctuary (US re-release)
ProducerShay Baby
Bruce Dickinson chronology
Tattooed Millionaire
Balls to Picasso
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]

Balls to Picasso is a Hard rock album by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, released in 1994. It is the second effort in Dickinson's solo career and the first released after he had officially left Iron Maiden.

This record marked the beginning of Dickinson's collaborations with Roy Z, who would work on many of Dickinson's later albums including Accident of Birth, The Chemical Wedding and Tyranny of Souls. Stylistically it departs from Tattooed Millionaire but is still more traditional-sounding than the follow-up album Skunkworks released in 1996. Later, Dickinson said that he and Roy Z were talked into making the album less heavy than it should have been.[3]

Dickinson started working on his second solo album while still in Iron Maiden. For the very first recording sessions he recruited the British band Skin. Not satisfied with the style of the effort, Dickinson aborted the recording. His next attempt at a second solo album was a collaboration with producer Keith Olsen. Dickinson decided to scrap this project as well and teamed up with guitarist Roy Z and his band Tribe of Gypsies to write and record Balls to Picasso. Songs from the previous recording sessions later resurfaced as b-sides on singles from Balls to Picasso and subsequently also as bonus tracks on the album's 2005 extended edition (see below).

In the Anthology DVD, Dickinson said that he regrets not naming the album "Laughing in the Hiding Bush" after one the song of the same name. The song itself is dedicated to his son, Austin, who penned the title.

Balls to Picasso was also released in DVD-Audio 5.1 mix and DualDisc (CD/DVD-Audio 5.1 mix) versions.

Cover Artwork[edit]

In a 1996 interview with Tom Russell of Glasgow-based Radio Clyde 1, Bruce revealed that the album was originally to be titled "Laughing In The Hiding Bush". The artwork was designed by Storm Thorgerson - but they couldn't afford it. His album's title was changed and he drew two squares on a toilet wall for the cover, and Thorgerson's artwork later ended up as the cover for the Anthrax album Stomp 442.

Thorgerson later did the artwork for Bruce's Skunkworks album.

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by Bruce Dickinson and Roy Z (except where noted).

  1. "Cyclops" - 7:58
  2. "Hell No" - 5:11
  3. "Gods of War" - 5:02
  4. "1000 Points of Light" - 4:25
  5. "Laughing in the Hiding Bush" - 4:20 (Bruce Dickinson, Roy Z, Austin Dickinson)
  6. "Change of Heart" - 4:58
  7. "Shoot All the Clowns" - 4:24 - #37 UK
  8. "Fire" - 4:30 (Bruce Dickinson, Roy Z, Eddie Casillas)
  9. "Sacred Cowboys" - 3:53
  10. "Tears of the Dragon" - 6:24 (Bruce Dickinson) - #28 UK, #36 US

Track listing for the 2005 Extended Edition (Bonus CD)[edit]

All songs composed by Bruce Dickinson, except where noted.

  1. "Fire Child" - 6:24
  2. "Elvis Has Left the Building" - 3:23
  3. "The Breeding House" - 5:18
  4. "No Way Out...To Be Continued" - 7:31
  5. "Tears of the Dragon (Acoustic Chillout)" - 4:32
  6. "Winds of Change" - 4:14 (Dickinson, Janick Gers)
  7. "Spirit of Joy" - 3:13 (Arthur Brown cover) (Arthur Brown, Michael Harris)
  8. "Over and Out" - 4:32 (Dickinson, Jim Crichton, R. Baker)
  9. "Shoot All the Clowns (12" Extended Remix)" - 5:39 (Dickinson, Roy Z)
  10. "Laughing in the Hiding Bush (live)" - 4:17 (Dickinson, Austin Dickinson, Roy Z)
  11. "The Post Alternative Seattle Fall Out (live)" - 5:04 (Dickinson, Alex Dickson, Chris Dale, Alessandro Elena)
  12. "Shoot All the Clowns (7" Remix)" - 4:17 (Dickinson, Roy Z)
  13. "Tibet" - 3:02
  14. "Tears of the Dragon (First Bit, Long Bit, Last Bit)" - 8:20
  15. "Cadillac Gas Mask" - 4:09
  16. "No Way Out...Continued" - 5:21 (Dickinson, Crichton, Baker)


Tribe of Gypsies[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]



  • The song "Change of Heart" was originally written and demoed by Roy Z and vocalist Rob Rock with their band Driver. Dickinson changed the lyrics for the version that was recorded for Balls to Picasso. Z and Rock finally recorded and released their version when Driver reunited for their 2008 debut album, Sons of Thunder.
  • "Over and Out", "Tibet", "Tears of the Dragon (First Bit, Long Bit, Last Bit)", "Cadillac Gas Mask", and "No Way Out...Continued" are all songs recorded with producer Keith Olsen and set for inclusion on the second, aborted version of Balls to Picasso, also referred to by insiders as "The Peter Gabriel Album". Other songs from these sessions that have yet to surface on any Dickinson release include "Man of Sorrows" (re-recorded for Accident of Birth; an older demo version from 1990 appears on The Best of Bruce Dickinson), "Original Sin" and "Thank Heaven".