As much as I enjoy X Factor and Virtual XI, it was tough call to include the original vinyl pressing on my Want List. Trying to collect mid to late 90's Metal vinyl could break the strongest of record collectors. Vinyl was damn near extinct at the time, and if you want to chase anything from that era, you better be bringing stacks of cash...for a popular band like Iron Maiden, you better bring double.
The original 1995 pressing of X Factor was a bit steep, but it was manageable for me, but when it came to Virtual XI, with an average price of $300, things got a bit more serious. Earlier this year, I finally said "Fuck it", and I decided to step up and show that I was a serious player in the Maiden game. I had the record on my Top 10 Wants for 2017 list, I was getting ready to make a move and check it off...and then Iron Maiden announced that they were even repressing every album from 1990's No Prayer For The Dying through their latest picture disc release 2012's En Vivo. Unbelievably, Maiden were repressing the Blaze Bayley albums.
This put my thoughts into a spin. Did I save loads of money and go for the repress, or did I stick to my guns with the original press? I tossed the question around in my head over and over again. Taking the cheap way out felt dirty, but in the end $300 is a ridiculous amount of money to ask for what may be the weakest release in the Maiden catalog, so I put the money back in my wallet for another day, and I took the reissue for $30.