Purgatory (song)

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Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Killers
B-side"Genghis Khan"
Released15 June 1981
GenreHeavy metal
Songwriter(s)Steve Harris
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Twilight Zone"
"Run to the Hills"

"Purgatory" is Iron Maiden's fifth single, released on 15 June 1981, and would be their last with singer Paul Di'Anno. It served as the second single from Killers, though the preceding single, "Twilight Zone", was not included on the album's original pressings outside from the US. The single was reissued in 1990, on the same CD and 12" vinyl as the EP Maiden Japan, in the First Ten Years box set.


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 the group's least successful single 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Most notably, the single's original cover artwork was withdrawn for use on the band's next studio album, The Number of the Beast.[2] Smallwood recalls that, on being presented with the original cover, "we said, 'No, that's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]

7" single
Side one
1."Purgatory"Steve Harris3:22
Side two
2."Genghis Khan"Harris3:10


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

Iron Maiden

Chart performance[edit]

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


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


  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. ^ "Purgatory" 7 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 15 June 1981.CS1 maint: others (link)
  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.