Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)

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"Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)"
MaidofNewOrleans.gif
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Architecture & Morality
B-side
  • "Navigation"
  • "Of All the Things We've Made"
Released15 January 1982 (1982-01-15)
Format7" single, 12" single, Mini CD
RecordedThe Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England
Genresynthpop, new wave
Length4:09
LabelDindisc
Songwriter(s)Andy McCluskey
Producer(s)OMD and Richard Manwaring
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Joan of Arc"
(1981)
"Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)"
(1982)
"Genetic Engineering"
(1983)

"Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" is a song by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and was the third single released from their third studio album Architecture & Morality. The track has been described by OMD frontman Andy McCluskey as the group's "Mull of Kintyre".[1]

To prevent confusion with their previous single "Joan of Arc", the song was retitled "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" for its single release. Both songs are about the French heroine Joan of Arc and both reached the Top 5 of the UK Singles Chart—although this single was more successful internationally, topping the charts in several countries including Germany, where it was the biggest-selling single of 1982.[1] It also reached number 5 in Ireland and number 7 in New Zealand. The single was the last release on the Dindisc label.

"Maid of Orleans" has been recorded by various artists including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Third Bass and DJ Quicksilver. It was used during the climax and closing credits to the final episode of the second series of BBC television program Ashes to Ashes.

Background[edit]

Maid of Orleans had originally been written by Andy McCluskey on 30 May 1981, the 550th anniversary of Joan of Arc's death. The song is in 6/8 time. The main theme is played on the Mellotron (using its "3-Violins" sound). The intro is made of strange noises and was added later:[2]

Reception[edit]

Ned Raggett in AllMusic described the track as "epic", concluding: "With another bravura [Andy] McCluskey lead and a mock-bagpipe lead that's easily more entrancing than the real thing, it's a wrenching ballad like no other before it and little since."[3] In 1989, Radio Veronica listeners voted "Maid of Orleans" the 60th greatest song of all time.[4]

The B-sides[edit]

The songs on the B-sides are "Navigation" and "Of All the Things We've Made" (12" and CD single only). Both songs can be found as bonus tracks on the remastered versions of Architecture & Morality. "Of All the Things We've Made" was added to their next album Dazzle Ships, released in 1983. "Navigation" was the title track for the 2001 B-sides compilation album Navigation: The OMD B-Sides. The early 12" single sleeves list the track "Experiments in Vertical Take Off", but this song was never written.

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl single[edit]

  • UK: DinDisc DIN 40

Side one

  1. "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" (Andy McCluskey) – 4:09

Side two

  1. "Navigation" (Paul Humphreys/McCluskey) – 3:26

12" vinyl single[edit]

  • UK: DinDisc DIN 40-12

Side one

  1. "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" – 4:09

Side two

  1. "Of All the Things We've Made" (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 3:31
  2. "Navigation" – 3:26

Two different sleeve designs were issued, firstly a silver coin design, and a stained-glass design (similar to the 7" picture sleeve) with three different variations.[5]

3" Mini CD single[edit]

  • Virgin CDT27 released 5 December 1988
  1. "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" (12" version) – 4:13
  2. "Joan of Arc" (12" version) (McCluskey) – 3:51
  3. "Navigation" – 3:30
  4. "Of All the Things We've Made" – 3:27

The sleeve erroneously states that there are 12" versions of "Maid of Orleans" and "Joan of Arc" on the CD single.

Promotional video[edit]

For the promotional video, the outdoor shots were made at Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey[6] near Aldfield, North Yorkshire in December 1981 during the snowy winter and the indoor shots at The Manor Studio. The video was directed by Steve Barron and featured Julia Tobin, an actress from the Royal Shakespeare Company as Joan of Arc.[7] The promo video is included on the video version of The Best of OMD and on the bonus DVD of the 2007 reissue of Architecture & Morality.

In 1991, MTV Europe named the video as the 37th best ever made.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 78
Austrian Singles Chart[10] 2
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[11] 32
Dutch Singles Chart[12] 1 Gold[13]
German Singles Chart[14] 1 Gold[15]
Irish Singles Chart[16] 5
New Zealand Singles Chart[17] 7
South African Singles Chart 19
Spanish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart[10] 4
UK Singles Chart[18] 4 BPI: Silver[19]

Sleeves[edit]

The cover was designed by Peter Saville, Carol Wilson and Brett Wickens and was inspired by a stained glass design by Anton Wolff.

There are more than one sleeve designs for the 12" version. The original sleeve design featured an embossed coin motif on a silver foil. It was only released for a limited time, because the band didn't like this design. It was replaced with a similar stained glass sleeve as the 7" version in several variations.

Alternative versions[edit]

There is only one studio recording of the song, identical for both the album and single releases. A remix entitled Maid of Orleans (Afterhours Mix) by Mulu was released on the remix disc which accompanied the French edition of The OMD Singles compilation album in 2003.

Live performances[edit]

The song has been performed at live shows on a regular basis since the Architecture & Morality tour in 1981.[20] A live performance from 1981 was filmed for the Live at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane concert in December 1981, initially released on VHS (1982) and laserdisc (1984) [21] and later on DVD [22]

Maid of Orleans was chosen as one of the songs to be performed with an orchestra for the Night of the Proms concert tour in December 2006, effectively McCluskey and Humphreys' first live performances together since the pair had split in 1988. The performances of Maid of Orleans and Sailing on the Seven Seas were issued on CD.[23]

Live recordings have been made available on the Walking on the Milky Way CD single (1996), the Architecture & Morality & More album (2008), Dazzle Ships at The Museum of Liverpool CD/DVD (2015) and on Architecture & Morality / Dazzle Ships – Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2016). The song was also performed with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in June 2009 as documented by the Electricity DVD release.[24]

Covers[edit]

In 1993 Flemish band Leopold 3 scored a top 10 hit in Flanders with "Volle maan", a version of "Maid of Orleans" with Dutch lyrics.[25]

The song was recorded by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996.[26]

Watergate (aka DJ Quicksilver) recorded a cover version as "Maid of Orleans (The Battle II)" in 1999.[27]

In 2009, Maid of Orleans was covered by the German DJ and radio presenter DJ Happy Vibes as a house track.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stanley, Bob. How to lose 3 million fans in one easy step. The Guardian. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. ^ McCluskey, Andy (20 September 2007). "Maid of Orleans intro". Retrieved 20 September 2007.
  3. ^ AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett (8 November 1981). "Architecture & Morality - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Rocklist.net...Radio Veronica (Holland) Top 500". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. ^ "OMD - Maid of Orleans". discogs.com. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  6. ^ Menu. "Omd Q&A : Videos – Messages". Omd-messages.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  7. ^ Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike (1987). Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 103. ISBN 0-283-99234-4.
  8. ^ "Top 100 Music Videos of All Time". MTV Europe. December 1991.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 224. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ a b "Austrian Charts". Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  11. ^ "RPM - Library and Archives Canada | RPM - Bibliothèque et Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  12. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 10, 1982". Radio538.nl. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  13. ^ "NVPI.nl, Dutch certification database". Nvpi.nl. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  14. ^ "Charts-surfer.de". Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Orchestral Manoeuvr. In The Dark; 'Maid Of Orleans')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  17. ^ "charts.org.nz - Discography Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". © 2006-2010 Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Chartstats.com". Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  19. ^ "British certificates: searchable database". bpi.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans) by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". setlist.fm. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Live at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane". discogs.com. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Architecture & Morality (Collector's Edition CD & DVD)". discogs.com. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Release - Night of the Proms 2006". musicbrainz.com. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Joan of Arc song". musicbrainz.com. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  25. ^ "ultratop.be - Leopold 3 - Volle maan". Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  26. ^ "Rock Dreams: Purple Rain". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Maid Of Orleans (The Battle II)". Watergate. 1999 (Germany). Underdog Records.

External links[edit]