Man On The Edge

Album: The X Factor (1995)
Charted: 10
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is based on the 1993 Michael Douglas film Falling Down. The film tells the story of William Foster (played by Douglas), a defense industry engineer who becomes overly agitated with everyday interactions after he loses his job. As the movie goes on, Foster becomes psychotic and violent as he begins to lash out.

    Iron Maiden lead singer Blaze Bayley wrote they lyric; he saw the film as a parable for the frustrations that can come with losing a job, even if that job is just a paper route. In our interview with Bayley, he explained: "When I was a kid I used to have a paper route, delivering papers. A basic job that hundreds of teenagers have when they're in school. But I lost that job, and I was so scared of my stepfather, that he would beat me, that I kept leaving the house at the same time pretending I was going to do my paper route."
  • The X Factor was the first Iron Maiden album with Blaze Bayley as lead singer. The former Wolfsbane frontman replaced Bruce Dickinson, who would return to the band after Bayley's departure in 1999.

    Bayley was thrilled to see a song with his lyric chosen as the album's first single. In our interview, he said that writing with the band boosted his confidence and taught him to trust his instincts. "There's not a lot of second guessing with Iron Maiden," he said. "It's, 'Does this feel good? Does this make sense? Does this move you?' Then 'It's good, that's it.' We don't think about it anymore, we'll do it."
  • A theme in this song is the loss of identity which can come from unemployment. Blaze Bayley told us: "One of the key lyrics is 'cannibal state,' where the system of government consumes the individual and the materialistic society consumes the individual and digests him and spits him out, so his identity is completely gone."
  • This was the only song on The X Factor that Maiden mainstay Steve Harris had no part in writing. "Man On The Edge" was composed by Bayley and guitarist Janick Gers.

Comments: 2

  • Jordan from St.catharines, OnI myself never really enjoyed Blaze Bayleys time in Maiden but he did do some very good performances and this song is I believe his best work with Maiden all around a very good tune
  • Ringgo from Montclair, CaAh...yes...the best song Blaze Bayley ever done with Maiden, IMHO. I hated the movie that inspired it, but love this song. I even wrote a parody version of this, but based on the movie "Office space". I called the song "Burning down"..pretty funny. Anyways, awesome tune, and showed Bayley can belong with the Maiden boys.
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