May 23, 1980: Iron Maiden seek “Sanctuary”

Maidensanctuary“Sanctuary” is the second single released by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, reaching No 29 in the UK. Although originally issued as a non-album single, the song was added to the later US release of their debut studio record, Iron Maiden (1980). When the album was re-released in 1998, the song was added in all territories.

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. [Wikipedia]

Listen to “Sanctuary” and the b-side tracks “Drifter (Live)” and “I’ve Got The Fire (Live)” on the Iron Maiden YouTube Channel.


On the single were (l-r): Clive Burr – drums; Dave Murray – guitar; Steve Harris – bass guitar; Paul Di’Anno – lead vocals; Dennis Stratton – guitar.


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