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British Lion [Enhanced CD] Enhanced

3.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Enhanced, September 25, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris' debut solo/side project album. British Lion is comprised of ten songs that Harris and his collaborators have been working on for the past few years between Iron Maiden tours and releases, and is an album that will surprise and delight music fans the world over.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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30
4:57
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2
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4:58
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5:29
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4
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4:12
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5
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6:27
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6
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7:02
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7
30
4:58
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8
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5:25
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4:28
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: UMe
  • ASIN: B008N5UX9M
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Anyone who is as big of a Maiden fan as I am would naturally be excited upon hearing that Steve Harris is releasing a solo album. However, before listening to a single note and researching how it all came to be, it becomes immediately clear that Steve Harris has a very different definition of 'solo album' than, well, anybody else.

Steve has spoken of the already established band "British Lion" as early as 1992. Look for the interview on the Maidenfans site. It's a band he discovered and was looking to help. Now, 20 years later, the band's debut album has finally seen the light of day. Yes, Steve Harris has joined the band, and supposedly co-wrote all the songs (but as in Maiden, this could simply mean he helped with arrangements and/or perhaps added a little section to a pre-existing song, etc). I have no doubt the plan is to use Steve's name to get the album exposure. But make no mistake; this is by no means a true solo album.

All that aside, if it's good, it's good. Unfortunately, it really isn't. Much has been made about the poor vocals on this album. Really, they are indeed pretty thin, lack power, and have a certain amateurish quality. Additionally, the production of the album is pretty weak. The guitars and drums are underneath the bass (even much more so than on recent Maiden albums), and the album has a demo sounding quality to it. But most importantly, I find the songs rather dull. I can honestly say I find none of it very catchy, and it's mostly generic rock that never gets too adventurous.

I am just glad we live in an age where music can be streamed legally before deciding to purchase it. Wanting to give the CD a fair chance, I have listened to it about 5 times, and I do believe I have reached my limit.
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The early reviews of this album are a bit harsh IMO. First off, its true that the lead vocals are not that strong but they are not exactly garbage either. I mean, the leader singer definitely has his shortcomings and I cant imagine him producing a strong live performance but at least on the album its ok. If you expected a Bruce Dicksinson like singer here then you will be disappointed. They just dont have Bruce Dickinson like singers growing on trees. Steve should have done Blaze Bayley a proper here and let him sing lead on this project.

Personally I'm just going to assume that maybe Steve Harris just wanted to make a 70s/80s style hard rock album and get away from making a Maiden like project. Some good rock tunes on this album. A World Without Heaven sticks out as a strong, almost progressive rock type song. Us Against the World is a solid ballad. Eyes of the Young definitely has a bit of an 80s vibe to it.

My major complaint is the production of the album. It just sounds muddy and bland.

Now while this album doesn't break any new ground I find it an enjoyable hard rock album. Better production and maybe stronger vocals would have made it even more enjoyable. Personally I see this album as something that grows on you as you get past the Maiden expectation.
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Steve Harris is and always will be the God of Bass; I'm a huge Iron Maiden fan. However, I truly hate this album on multiple levels. The lead singer is just awful. I mean no offense to him, but he can't sing (in my opinion) and I also hate his singing voice (really really hate it). I was constantly in shock at how much I truly disliked his voice and vocal style. Putting that aside, the album is more of a rock album than anything metal or hard rock. Polar opposite of Maiden, which is fine; I just hate it. The songs don't go anywhere or do anything for me, even ignoring my hatred of the singer's voice. To be totally honest here, I actually ejected it from my tray around song 7. I normally never do that and I never would write reviews on half listened to albums, except for this one. I mean nothing against Harris or the band, but for God's sake stay far away from this effort. Way cool album cover and title though.
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There's a lot of confusion and mixed reviews for this album due to the fact that it's marketed to sell, rather than for accuracy. This is NOT a Steve Harris solo album (in the same way Iommi's "Seventh Star" wasn't a Black Sabbath album!) - it's a band called British Lion that Steve Harris is playing with, which is released under Harris's name because that will increase exposure and sales. He shares songwriting credits and plays bass on it, but his presence in the overall musical product is not very prominent - for the most part, what we have here is a modern-sounding hard rock band. There are a few instrumental sections that hint at Iron Maiden, but if I heard this album not knowing Steve Harris was involved, I wouldn't really think they were Iron Maidenish! A number of people have mentioned it sounding like classic 70s rock, but to my ears it just reminds me of modern hard rock (with some classic hard rock/metal influences). People have also mentioned the "weak vocals" - they're certainly not up to par with a full-throated classic metal (or power metal) singer, but they're pretty decent for modern rock vocals. Overall, even though I haven't bothered with modern mainstream music since the 80s (I listen to modern bands who are as good as Maiden was in the 80s, not the heirs to the pop-metal scene), I rather like this album - it's not in the league or style of Iron Maiden, but it's a pretty good rock album.
So, don't expect anything Iron Maidenish - fans of Iron Maiden solo projects could compare this to Bruce's "Tattooed Millionaire" and Skunkworks or Adrian Smith's side projects ASAP and Psycho Motel's "Welcome to the World" as an example of an Iron Maiden member trying something a little more mainstream and modern outside Iron Maiden. Listen to the song samples before buying!
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