Purgatory (song)

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"Purgatory"
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Killers
B-side "Genghis Khan"
Released 15 June 1981
Recorded 1980
Genre Heavy metal
Length 3:20
Writer(s) Steve Harris
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Twilight Zone"
(1981)
"Purgatory"
(1981)
"Run to the Hills"
(1982)

"Purgatory" is Iron Maiden's fifth single, released on 15 June 1981, and would be their last with singer Paul Di'Anno. It is the only single from Killers as the preceding release, "Twilight Zone", was not included on the album's original pressing.

History[edit]

According to drummer Nicko McBrain, the track is a remake of one of the band's earlier songs, entitled "Floating", of which "Purgatory" is a faster re-arrangement.[1] It was one of the group's least successful singles as it failed to break into the Top 50 in the UK charts, although the group's manager, Rod Smallwood, states that this was because "it wasn't really a single, it was just lifted off the album which the fans already had."[2]

Most notably, the single's original cover artwork was withdrawn for use on the band's next studio album, The Number of the Beast.[2] Smallwood recalls that, on being presented with the original cover, "we said, 'No, that's much too good,' so we kept it for the album. We had the artwork months before we had the music."[3] This meant that the band's artist, Derek Riggs, had to come up with a replacement, this time illustrating the Devil's face rotting away to reveal the band's mascot, Eddie's, face underneath.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Purgatory" (Steve Harris)
  2. "Genghis Khan" (Harris)

Personnel[edit]

Production credits are adapted from the 7 inch vinyl cover.[5]

Iron Maiden
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Single Chart (1981) Peak
position
Album
"Purgatory" UK Singles Chart 52[6] Killers
Single Chart (1990) Peak
position
Album
"Purgatory / Maiden Japan" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 5[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Re-release of both singles as part of The First Ten Years box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McBrain, Nicko; Iron Maiden. "Listen with Nicko! Part III". The First Ten Years: Part 3. 
  2. ^ a b Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 100. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  3. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  4. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 101. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  5. ^ Iron Maiden (15 June 1981). "Single credits". 'Purgatory' 7 Inch Single Cover. EMI. 
  6. ^ "Iron Maiden Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 10 March 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2011.