Running Free

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For other uses, see Running Free (disambiguation).
"Running Free"
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Iron Maiden
B-side 1980 single
"Burning Ambition"(UK)
"Prowler" (Japan)
1985 live single
"Sanctuary (live)"
"Murders in the Rue Morgue (live)"
Released 8 February 1980
13 September 1985
Recorded February 1980 ("Running Free") December 1979 ("Burning Ambition")
March 1985 ("Running Free" (live) & "Sanctuary" (live)
October 1984 ("Murders in the Rue Morgue" (live)
Genre Heavy metal
Length 3:16
3:28
Label EMI
Writer(s) Steve Harris
Paul Di'Anno
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Running Free"
(1980)
"Sanctuary"
(1980)

"Aces High"
(1984)

"Running Free (live)"
(1985)

"Run to the Hills (live)"
(1985)
Iron Maiden track listing
"Remember Tomorrow"
(3)
"Running Free"
(4)
"Phantom of the Opera"
(5)
1980 Japanese cover
1985 live cover

"Running Free" is the debut single by Iron Maiden, released on 8 February 1980 on the 7" 45 rpm vinyl record format. It was written by Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno. The song appears as the third track on the band's debut album Iron Maiden (and the fourth track on its 1998 re-release). In 1985, a live version of the song was released as the first single from Live After Death (the band's twelfth single).

Background[edit]

According to vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who wrote the song's lyrics, it is "a very autobiographical song, though of course I've never spent the night in an LA jail. It's about being 16 and, like it says, just running wild and running free. It comes from my days as a skinhead."[1] The song is known to be one of the band's more traditional rock numbers, which Mick Wall describes as "Iron Maiden at their punk-metal apotheosis,"[1] and is still performed live to this day.

The single's cover art is famously known as the first official appearance of Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, although his face is obscured as the band did not want him unveiled until the album's release.[2] Several band names (such as Scorpions, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin) are spray painted on the wall behind the youth in the picture, as well as the word "Hammers," a tribute to West Ham United.[2] Ironically, the live single's cover art is the first not to feature Eddie, as it shows a real picture of the band performing on stage.

The B-side "Burning Ambition," recorded in December 1979 with producer Guy Edwards as a 4-piece band just prior to hiring Dennis Stratton & Clive Burr,[3] is one of Harris' earliest compositions written around the time he was in Gypsy's Kiss. It is one of the few recordings to feature Doug Sampson on drums. The guitar solo in this song is played by Dave Murray. The song did not appear on an album until it was included in the Best of the 'B' Sides compilation, released as part of the Eddie's Archive Boxset, and was featured in the soundtrack of The Early Days DVD documentary.

Iron Maiden's first single in Japan featured "Prowler" as the A-side and "Running Free" as the B-side. The cover used was the censored version of the "Sanctuary" single.[4]

Track listing[edit]

1980 single[edit]

  1. "Running Free" (Steve Harris, Paul Di'Anno) - 3:16
  2. "Burning Ambition" (Harris) - 2:42

1980 Japanese single[edit]

  1. "Prowler" (Harris) - 3:55
  2. "Running Free" (Harris, Di'Anno) - 3:16[4]

1985 live single[edit]

  1. "Running Free" (live - Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California 14-17 March 1985) (Harris, Di'Anno) - 3:28
  2. "Sanctuary" (live - Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California 14-17 March 1985) (Iron Maiden) - 4:41
  3. "Murders In The Rue Morgue" (live - Hammersmith Odeon, London 8-12 October 1984) (Harris) - 4:33

Personnel[edit]

1980 single[edit]

Production credits are adapted from the 7 inch vinyl cover,[5] and The First Ten Years CD re-release liner notes.[6]

Production

1985 live single[edit]

Production credits are adapted from the 12 inch vinyl cover.[7]

Iron Maiden
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Single Chart (1980) Peak
position
Album
"Running Free" UK Singles Chart 34[8] Iron Maiden
Single Chart (1985) Peak
position
Album
"Running Free (Live)" Irish Singles Chart 12[9] Live After Death
UK Singles Chart 19[10]
Single Chart (1990) Peak
position
Album
"Running Free / Sanctuary" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 10[11]
"Running Free (Live) / Run to the Hills (Live)" 9[12]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 132. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  2. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  3. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 126. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  4. ^ a b "Iron Maiden - "Prowler"". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Iron Maiden (8 February 1980). "Single credits". 'Running Free' 7 Inch Single Cover. EMI. 
  6. ^ Iron Maiden (24 February 1990). "EP credits". 'Running Free / Sanctuary' The First Ten Years CD. EMI. 
  7. ^ Iron Maiden (13 September 1985). "Single credits". 'Running Free live' 12 Inch Single Cover. EMI. 
  8. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 8 March 1980". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Irish Singles Archive". IRMA. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 12 October 1985". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 24 February 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 7 April 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]