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I can’t stress enough how much I hate it when good songs get chopped up into shadows of their former selves in the name of getting radio play. Such efforts can only result in sub par versions of songs that still won’t appeal to the vapid tastes of people too cheap to spend money on Cds and too slavish to try and regulate their listening habits without the assistance of a disk jockey. But this single essentially does all of that without any accounting for how it robs the listening experience of its original power.
“Virus” is a good song when heard in its entirety, sort of like a lost track that just missed making it onto “The X Factor”. It’s written in the progressive/epic style of said album with an elongated quiet intro, though a bit more droning and less developed, and then climaxes suddenly with a jump in tempo and volume. But the shortened version on here slices off the entire intro and just cuts right to the climax, essentially changing what is supposed to be a drawn out song into an incredibly uneven, up tempo song in the same vain as “Futureal”. When things finally settle down to that finale that recaps the opening drone, a listener who hasn’t heard the full version of this can only find himself in a state of pure perplexity.
The pointlessness of things is further aggravated by the inclusion of two songs that were already heard on the “Lord Of The Flies” single. They are solid cover songs with a good performance out of Bayley, but if you follow this era of the band then there is little point in getting this. I particularly find the inclusion of “Doctor, Doctor” interesting because when you compare the instrumental intro with guitar solo, there is a level of commonality to the intro of “Virus”, but again that only applies with that intro actually being on the version of the song being heard.
If someone is in the market and sees a copy of the “Virus” single, do not buy it if it is this version. The other two versions contain the song in its entirety and actually have unique b-sides that aren’t seen on any other previous singles. The ideal one to get would be the “UK part 2” version as the Metal For Muthas versions of “Sanctuary” and “Wrathchild” are the most unique, and also because Blaze pulls off the Di’Anno era better than Bruce usually does.
So you're riding low off of a boring album with a tepidly received singer and you decide to release a limited edition single that ranks among your worst material... can somebody say bad idea? I can. Bad idea. There are Maiden fans who consider "Virus" a triumph, some even call it Blaze's shining moment. I don't... it's a boring, unimaginative song with a 6 minute running time... hey just like the entire X Factor album!!!
Basically... there is a really dull acoustic guitar part/bass line that would be better suited for a stoner rock song that drags on for 2 minutes before an incredibly 3 note "chorus" comes in. 4 minutes later a painfully generic melodic bit comes in that sucks harder than several newborns and a transvestite crackwhore.
This pile of steaming horse hockey was on Best of the Beast and has very little worth to anybody but extremely hardcore Maiden fans. Scratch it out of the cd with a quarter or something