Women in Uniform

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"Women in Uniform"
Single by Skyhooks
from the album Guilty Until Proven Insane
B-side "Don't Take Yur Lurex To The Laundromat"
"Do The Hook"
Released 1978
Recorded 1978
Genre Glam rock
Length 4:21
Label Mushroom Records
Writer(s) Greg Macainsh
Skyhooks singles chronology
"Party to End All Parties"
(1977)
"Women in Uniform"
(1978)
"Megalomania"
(1978)

"Women in Uniform" is a 1978 song originally recorded by the Australian band Skyhooks; it was written by the band's bass player, Greg Macainsh. It appeared on their fourth album, Guilty Until Proven Insane, and was a top 10 single in Australia.[1]

The single was released in Australia both in a 7" and 12" format with the non-LP B-sides "Don't Take Yur Lurex To The Laundromat" and "Do The Hook". The international version of the single contained "BBBBBBBBBBBBBBoogie" from the Guilty Until Proven Insane album.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Women in Uniform" (Macainsh)
  2. "Don't Take Yur Lurex To The Laundromat"
  3. "Do The Hook"

Iron Maiden version[edit]

"Women in Uniform"
Single by Iron Maiden
B-side "Invasion" (7" & 12")
"Phantom of the Opera" (live) (12")
"Drifter" (live) (German 12")
Released 27 October 1980
Recorded 1980
Genre Heavy metal
Length 2:58
Label EMI
Writer(s) Greg Macainsh
Producer(s) Tony Platt
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Sanctuary"
(1980)
"Women in Uniform"
(1980)
"Twilight Zone"
(1981)
German 12" Cover

Iron Maiden's cover of the Skyhooks' song "Women in Uniform" was the band's third single and their last recorded work to feature guitarist Dennis Stratton.[2] It was released on 27 October 1980 in order to promote the second British leg of their Iron Maiden Tour.[3] The song was also included on the Australian edition of their 2nd album Killers, as it was originally a No. 8 hit in Australia for Skyhooks in 1978.

The idea to cover the song was suggested by the band's publishing company, Zomba, who set them up with studio time at Battery Studios with AC/DC producer Tony Platt.[4] Although sceptical at first about recording a song that was so different from the band's style, bassist Steve Harris conceded when Platt was hired, surmising that "as he worked with AC/DC and that, I thought, 'Oh, you know, fine. He's not gonna pull us in any commercial direction.'"[4] After trying to create their own "heavy" version of the song, to Harris' dismay he found out that Platt, with help from Stratton, had been tampering with the song's mix as he had been briefed by Zomba to "Try and get a hit single."[4] As a result, Platt was dismissed and Harris remixed the track himself.[5]

Although the intended mix was restored, the band have routinely mentioned their dislike of the single, with Harris vowing "never, ever, ever to allow anyone outside to fuck around with our music again."[6] As a result, its only appearance on CD is as part of The First Ten Years series and a rare 1995 2CD issue of Killers, meaning that the song does not appear remastered. However its B-Side, "Invasion" appears remastered on the Best of the 'B' Sides compilation.

In spite of this, "Women in Uniform" would also be the basis of the band's first music-video, directed by Doug Smith and filmed at the Rainbow Theatre. Considered an unusual project for a band to undertake in the years preceding MTV, the filming would mark Dennis Stratton's last contribution for the band.[5]

The single cover features an image of Margaret Thatcher with a Sterling submachine gun, preparing to attack the group's mascot, Eddie. According to the band, the cover was a joke which was meant to ask whether her motive was through jealousy or revenge (following the infamous "Sanctuary" artwork that featured Eddie killing Thatcher), which managed to cause further controversy as, according to the Liverpool Daily Post, a group of "screaming, chanting, banner-carrying feminists" led a demonstration during Iron Maiden's show at Leeds University on 22 November.[3][5]

The German 12" release featured a live version of "Drifter" (from the "Sanctuary" single) instead of "Invasion" and had a different cover, a cropped version of the band's debut album artwork.[7]

Track listing[edit]

UK 7" & 12"[edit]

  1. "Women in Uniform" (Macainsh; Skyhooks cover) − 3:11
  2. "Invasion" (Steve Harris) − 2:39 (7" & 12")
  3. "Phantom of the Opera" (Live at the Marquee, London 4 July 1980) (Harris) − 7:12 (12")

German 12"[edit]

  1. "Women in Uniform" (Macainsh; Skyhooks cover) − 3:11
  2. "Drifter" (Live at the Marquee, London 3 April 1980) - 6:00[7]
  3. "Phantom of the Opera" (Live at the Marquee, London 4 July 1980) (Harris) − 7:12

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Single Chart (1981) Peak
position
"Women in Uniform" UK Singles Chart 35[8]
Single Chart (1990) Peak
position
"Women in Uniform / Twilight Zone" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 10[9]

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.

Other cover versions[edit]

  • The Whitlams performed this song at the 1998 ARIA Awards and released a limited edition single the following year, which also included "High Ground" and "1999".
  • Paul Di'Anno - who sang for Iron Maiden when they recorded their version - recorded a version for his album "The Classics - The Maiden Years" in 2006.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Skyhooks Biography". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  2. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 162. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  3. ^ a b Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 83. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  4. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  5. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  6. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  7. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – "Women In Uniform"". Discogs. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 15 November 1980". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 3 March 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2011.