First re-release of the third single by the legendary British Heavy Metal band.
"Women in Uniform" is a 1978 song originally recorded by the Australian band Skyhooks. Iron Maiden's cover of the Skyhooks' song was the band's last recorded work to feature guitarist Dennis Stratton. It was released on 27 October 1980 in order to promote the second British leg of their Iron Maiden Tour. 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 label, Zomba Records, who set them up with studio time at Battery Studios with AC/DC producer Tony Platt. 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". 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". As a result, Platt was dismissed and Harris remixed the track himself.
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 f**k around with our music again". 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" was 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 was mark Dennis Stratton's last contribution for the band.
The single cover features an image of Margaret Thatcher with a Sterling submachine gun, preparing to attack the band'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 band of "screaming, chanting, banner-carrying feminists" led a demonstration during Iron Maiden's show at Leeds University on 22 November.
Recorded from the original analogue master tapes.
Parlophone Records Ltd., A Warner Music Group Company, 1981/2014 (2564625177). Made in EU.
1. Women In Uniform