When Two Worlds Collide

Album: Virtual XI (1998)


  • Iron Maiden lead singer Blaze Bayley wrote this song's lyric. The title works on two levels, as it could relate to a collision of cultures, but also to something more celestial.

    "Only a tiny proportion of the asteroids are mapped," Bayley told us. "It's a lot more now, but really, there is no program. Bruce Willis cannot get into a spaceship with movie stars and go blow up an asteroid. It's just not viable at the moment."

    The Bruce Willis reference it to the movie Armageddon, which was released a few months after the Virtual XI album and became the biggest film of 1998 in America. In the film, Willis tries to save the Earth from an asteroid hurtling toward it. (Here's our full Blaze Bayley interview.)
  • There is a 1932 sci-fi novel called When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer that has a similar theme of planets colliding with Earth. Many Iron Maiden songs do have a literary influence, but in this case it was a coincidence. In 1951, a film adaptation of the novel was made, directed by Rudolph Maté.
  • The culture shock aspect of this song was inspired by Blaze Bayley's travels to Japan. He had a hard time adapting to it when he first went there, but his second trip was much better.

    The other place that was an influence on this song was Los Angeles, which Bayley (who is from Birmingham, England) found completely alien, which he didn't think was necessarily a bad thing, just different.
  • Blaze Bayley, who was with Iron Maiden for the albums The X Factor and Virtual XI, wrote this song with bass player Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray.


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