Running Free

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"Running Free"
Running Free (Iron Maiden album - cover art).jpg
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Iron Maiden
B-side "Burning Ambition"
Released8 February 1980
RecordedJanuary 1980 ("Running Free") [1] November 1979 ("Burning Ambition") [2]
March 1985 ("Running Free" (live) & "Sanctuary" (live)
October 1984 ("Murders in the Rue Morgue" (live)
Genre Heavy metal
Length3:04
3:26 [3]
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Steve Harris
Paul Di'Anno
Producer(s) Will Malone [4]
Martin Birch (1985 live single) [3]
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Running Free"
(1980)
"Sanctuary"
(1980)

"Aces High"
(1984)

"Running Free (Live in 1985)"
(1985)

"Run to the Hills (Live in 1985)"
(1985)
1980 Japanese cover
Running Free Japan.jpeg
1985 live cover
Iron Maiden - Running Free (1985 live cover).jpg

"Running Free" is the debut single by Iron Maiden, released on 8 February 1980 on the 7" 45 rpm vinyl record format. It was written by Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno. The song appears as the third track on the band's debut album Iron Maiden (and the fourth track on its 1998 re-release). The song was performed on an episode of The Muppet Show in 1980 but was never aired at the request of bassist Steve Harris. [5] In 1985, a live version of the song was released as the first single from Live After Death (the band's twelfth single). In 1990, the original single was reissued on CD and 12" vinyl as part of The First Ten Years box, in which it was combined with the band's next single, "Sanctuary". The 1985 live single was also released as part of this box set, combined with 1985's "Run to the Hills".

Contents

Background

According to vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who wrote the song's lyrics, it is "a very autobiographical song, though of course I've never spent the night in an LA jail. It's about being 16 and, like it says, just running wild and running free. It comes from my days as a skinhead." [6] The song is known to be one of the band's more traditional rock numbers, which Mick Wall describes as "Iron Maiden at their punk-metal apotheosis," [6] and is still performed live to this day.

The single's cover art is famously known as the first official appearance of Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, although his face is obscured as the band did not want him unveiled until the album's release. [7] Several band names (such as Scorpions, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin) are spray painted on the wall behind the youth in the picture, as well as the word "Hammers", a tribute to West Ham United. [7]

The B-side "Burning Ambition", recorded in November 1979 at Wessex Studios with producer Guy Edwards as a 4-piece band just prior to hiring Dennis Stratton & Clive Burr, [2] is one of Harris' earliest compositions written around the time he was in Gypsy's Kiss. It is one of the few recordings to feature Doug Sampson on drums, and the only one released by the band (demo versions of "Wrathchild" and "Sanctuary" with Sampson on drums were released on the NWOBHM compilation album Metal for Muthas). The guitar solo in this song is played by Dave Murray. The song did not appear on an album until it was included in the Best of the 'B' Sides compilation, released as part of the Eddie's Archive Boxset, and was featured in the soundtrack of The History of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Days DVD documentary.

As an accident, the German and French pressings of the "Running Free" 7" contain the Running Free track from the Wessex Studio sessions with Doug Sampson on drums and only Dave Murray on guitar. That same version of "Running Free" also appeared on early pressings of the Axe Attack compilation album.

Iron Maiden's first single in Japan featured "Prowler" as the A-side and "Running Free" as the B-side. The cover used was the censored version of the "Sanctuary" single. [8]

Track listing

1980 7" UK single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Running Free" Steve Harris, Paul Di'Anno 3:04
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Burning Ambition"Harris2:39
7" Japanese single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Prowler"Harris3:55
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Running Free"Harris, Di'Anno3:16
1985 7" Live single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Running Free" (Live at Long Beach Arena, California, America, 14–17 March 1985)Harris, Di'Anno3:26
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Sanctuary" (Live at Long Beach Arena, California, America, 14–17 March 1985)Harris, Dave Murray, Di'Anno,4:38
1985 12" Live single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Running Free" (Live at Long Beach Arena, California, America, 14–17 March 1985)Harris, Di'Anno3:26
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Sanctuary" (Live at Long Beach Arena, California, America, 14–17 March 1985)Harris, Murray, Di'Anno4:38
2."Murders in the Rue Morgue" (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, 12 October 1984)Harris4:30

Personnel

1980 single

Production credits are adapted from the 7-inch vinyl cover, [4] and The First Ten Years CD re-release liner notes. [9]

Production

1985 live single

Production credits are adapted from the 12-inch vinyl cover. [3]

Iron Maiden
Production

Chart performance

SingleChart (1980)Peak
position
Album
"Running Free" UK Singles Chart 34 [10] Iron Maiden
SingleChart (1985)Peak
position
Album
"Running Free (Live)" Irish Singles Chart 12 [11] Live After Death
UK Singles Chart19 [12]
SingleChart (1990)Peak
position
Album
"Running Free / Sanctuary" UK Albums Chart [note 1] 10 [13]
"Running Free (Live) / Run to the Hills (Live)"9 [14]

Notes

  1. Re-release of all four singles as part of The First Ten Years box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.

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References

  1. Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 129. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  2. 1 2 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 126. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  3. 1 2 3 "Running Free live" 12 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 13 September 1985.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. 1 2 "Running Free" 7 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 8 February 1980.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebClKN60Jbc
  6. 1 2 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 132. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  7. 1 2 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 133. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  8. "Iron Maiden – "Prowler"". Discogs . Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  9. "Running Free / Sanctuary" The First Ten Years CD (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 24 February 1990.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 8 March 1980". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  11. "Irish Singles Archive". IRMA . Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  12. "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 12 October 1985". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  13. "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 24 February 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  14. "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 7 April 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 15 October 2011.