Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)
|"Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)"|
|Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark|
|from the album Architecture & Morality|
|Released||15 January 1982|
|Format||7" single, 12" single, Mini CD|
|Recorded||The Manor, Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England|
|Genre||synthpop, new wave|
|Producer(s)||OMD and Richard Manwaring|
|Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology|
"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".
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. 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.
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:
|“||The intro was a problem for radio and we did do edited versions where it was shortened.
The idea came about because we actually had the song recorded but thought the track started oddly and needed something else to announce its arrival. At the time of A+M we were making a lot of music that was ambient soundscapes. The natural thing was to give the song an intro that set up the feel for the main themes to resolve out of the noises.
It's not meant to "mean" anything specific, just set up a feeling to let the track grow out of the strange noises. I think that it worked well!
BTW.. for the sound anoraks...most of the noises are melotron [sic] vocal sounds slowed down/sped up and greatly distorted simply by completely overdriving the old Helios desk in The Manor Studio. Pink noise and snare drum in lots of reverb.
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." In 1989, Radio Veronica listeners voted "Maid of Orleans" the 60th greatest song of all time.
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.
7" vinyl single
- UK: DinDisc DIN 40
- "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" (Andy McCluskey) – 4:09
- "Navigation" (Paul Humphreys/McCluskey) – 3:26
12" vinyl single
- UK: DinDisc DIN 40-12
- "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" – 4:09
- "Of All the Things We've Made" (Humphreys/McCluskey) – 3:31
- "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.
3" Mini CD single
- Virgin CDT27 released 5 December 1988
- "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" (12" version) – 4:13
- "Joan of Arc" (12" version) (McCluskey) – 3:51
- "Navigation" – 3:30
- "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.
For the promotional video, the outdoor shots were made at Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey 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. 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.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||78|
|Austrian Singles Chart||2|
|Belgian Singles Chart||1|
|Canadian RPM Singles Chart||32|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1||Gold|
|German Singles Chart||1||Gold|
|Irish Singles Chart||5|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||7|
|South African Singles Chart||19|
|Spanish Singles Chart||1|
|Swiss Singles Chart||4|
|UK Singles Chart||4||BPI: Silver|
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.
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.
The song has been performed at live shows on a regular basis since the Architecture & Morality tour in 1981. 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)  and later on DVD 
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.
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.
In 2009, Maid of Orleans was covered by the German DJ and radio presenter DJ Happy Vibes as a house track.
- Stanley, Bob. How to lose 3 million fans in one easy step. The Guardian. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- McCluskey, Andy (20 September 2007). "Maid of Orleans intro". Retrieved 20 September 2007.
- AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett (8 November 1981). "Architecture & Morality - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- "Rocklist.net...Radio Veronica (Holland) Top 500". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
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- Menu. "Omd Q&A : Videos – Messages". Omd-messages.co.uk. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- Waller, Johnny; Humphreys, Mike (1987). Messages. Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 103. ISBN 0-283-99234-4.
- "Top 100 Music Videos of All Time". MTV Europe. December 1991.
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