When this album was originally released, I was so entrenched in Hardcore that I don't think that Iron Maiden was anywhere close to being on my radar. I can't even remember if I was aware that Dickinson had been replaced with Blaze at the time. It probably took me around 15 years after the release of X Factor before I even bothered to check it out, and as someone that grew up on Iron Maiden through the 80's, my first impression was not that favorable. This is a much darker period for Maiden...hell, most Metal bands were trying to figure out how to survive in a Grunge/Nu Metal world at the time, and Maiden were no exception. Over last couple of years however, I've really grown to appreciate Blaze-era Maiden...much more than I ever expected.
I remember when I first started to get into record collecting, and was chasing Maiden vinyl back in 2005/2006, I figured that Blaze-era vinyl would be a relatively cheap score...I mean no one liked those two albums, so how expensive could they be? Apparently the answer was "holy shitballs" expensive. I quickly backed off, and resigned myself to never owning a copy on vinyl, and at the time I was okay with that since I didn't have a whole lot of love for those two albums anyway.
Well, as I mentioned, I've really come to appreciate X Factor and Virtual XI over the past couple of years, and the itch to own one of these became unbearable, and I added it to my 2015 Top 10 Want List. Once Doug picked up a copy, all bets were fucking off. I couldn't let him show me up, and I was on a mission to grab one too. I bellied up to the discogs marketplace bar, and laid my money down. Hell yeah. There is something oddly satisfying in buying a piece of vinyl that you know the majority of people don't give a shit about.