First re-release of the second single by the legendary British Heavy Metal band.
Although originally issued as a non-album single, the song was added to the later US release of their debut studio album, "Iron Maiden" (1980). When the album was re-released in 1998, the song was added in all territories. Although the song is credited to Iron Maiden, it was originally written by guitarist Rob Angelo, a member of the band in 1977 who was paid £300 for the song's rights. From 1998 onwards, the song was credited to Murray, bassist Steve Harris and singer Paul Di'Anno.
The original mix of the song was recorded in November 1979 and originally appeared on the 1980 "Metal For Muthas" compilation, featuring several other artists associated with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which the band recorded as a four-piece with Doug Sampson on drums.
Already a regular in the band's live set, the "Sanctuary" single was released on 7" vinyl on 16 May 1980 during the UK leg of the Iron Maiden Tour. This version of the song was recorded during the Iron Maiden album sessions, and, according to guitarist Dave Murray, "was ten times better than the original "Metal For Muthas" version".
The B-side includes two live songs recorded at the Marquee Club in London on 3 April 1980 - "Drifter" (which would feature on the band's next album, "Killers") and a cover of Montrose's "I've Got the Fire". The live version of "Drifter" includes a crowd interaction part where the audience is invited to follow the lead singer as he chants "Yo Yo Yo", which parodies The Police's "Walking on the Moon".
The cover art caused controversy for the band as it depicted their mascot, Eddie, wielding a knife while crouching over the corpse of then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The band's manager, Rod Smallwood, explained the artwork's concept: "The artwork is very tongue in cheek, as usual. At that time, Maggie had visited the old USSR and, following her tough stance with them, had been christened the Iron Maiden. Eddie took offence to this, and even more so when she started taking our posters". It was Smallwood himself who suggested to EMI that the cover be released with Thatcher's face censored "as this would give the tabloids an angle and draw attention to the single". Margaret Thatcher would also appear on the band's next single, "Women in Uniform", in which she is shown seeking revenge on Eddie with a machine gun.
The single performed even better than their debut, "Running Free", entering the UK Singles Chart at # 33 before peaking at # 29 a week later.
Recorded from the original analogue master tapes.
Parlophone Records Ltd., A Warner Music Group Company, 1980/2014 (2564625179). Made in EU.
2. Drifter (live)
3. I've Got The Fire (live)