Stranger in a Strange Land (Iron Maiden song)

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"Stranger in a Strange Land"
Stranger in a Strange Land.jpg
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Somewhere in Time
B-side
  • "That Girl" (FM cover)
  • "Juanita" (Marshall Fury cover)
Released22 November 1986
Recorded1986
Studio
Genre Heavy metal
Length5:42
Label
Songwriter(s) Adrian Smith
Producer(s) Martin Birch
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Wasted Years"
(1986)
"Stranger in a Strange Land"
(1986)
"Can I Play with Madness"
(1988)

"Stranger in a Strange Land" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released as the second single from their sixth studio album, Somewhere in Time (1986). The song is unrelated to Robert A. Heinlein's novel by the same name. [1]

Contents

Synopsis

The lyrics are about an Arctic explorer who dies and is frozen in the ice. After a hundred years his body is found preserved by other people exploring there. [2] Adrian Smith was inspired to write about this song after talking to an explorer who had a similar experience of discovering a frozen body.

The guitar solo in "Stranger in a Strange Land" is played by Smith. In a 2020 interview with eonmusic, the guitarist said that it was one of the first Iron Maiden songs that gave him "space to play in", citing its mid-paced tempo as the reason why; "a lot of the Maiden stuff up until then had been very fast, and aggressive, and heavy, but that actually allowed me a little bit of space to stretch out a bit", he said. [3]

The song is one of only four Iron Maiden songs to fade out; the others being "The Prophecy" from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son , "Women in Uniform", a single included on some pressings of Killers , and "Kill Me Ce Soir", a 1990 B-side. The lyrics "brave new world" were also present in Iron Maiden's 2000 studio release, Brave New World .

Cover details

Eddie's appearance on the single cover is an homage to the Clint Eastwood character "Man with No Name", although it can also be seen as a mixture of Rick Deckard from Blade Runner and the "Man with No Name". This version of Eddie would later be used in the Camp Chaos music video for "Run to the Hills".

B-sides

The B-sides to this single, "That Girl" and "Juanita", were both played during The Entire Population of Hackney secret gig on 19 December 1985, with Adrian Smith on vocals. This is probably where the idea came from to play them as B-sides, especially with Adrian's large presence on this single and the Somewhere in Time album.

"That Girl" was written by Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp and Andy Barnett in an early line-up of the band FM and was one of the demo tracks which secured them a record deal with CBS in 1984. [4] The song was eventually released by both Iron Maiden and FM in 1986. By then the brothers Steve and Chris Overland had joined FM and some parts of the original song (mainly choruses) had been rewritten for its inclusion on FM's debut album Indiscreet , [5] released just three weeks prior to Iron Maiden's Somewhere In Time which featured a cover of the original arrangement. On this Iron Maiden version the first guitar solo is played by Dave Murray, while the ending guitar solo is played by Adrian Smith.

"Juanita" was originally played by Barnett's band, Marshall Fury, in the early 1980s, and it was written by Steve Barnacle and Derek O'Neil. Marshall Fury never recorded a studio version of the song.

Track listing

'7" single

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Stranger in a Strange Land" Adrian Smith 5:42
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."That Girl" (FM cover)Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp, Andy Barnett5:02
12" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Stranger in a Strange Land"Smith5:42
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."That Girl" (FM cover)Goldsworthy, Jupp, Barnett5:02
2."Juanita" (Marshall Fury cover)Steve Barnacle, Derek O'Neil3:45

Personnel

Personnel as listed in the album's liner notes are: [6] [7]

Production

Chart performance

SingleChart (1986)Peak
position
Album
"Stranger in a Strange Land" Irish Singles Chart 18 [9] Somewhere in Time
UK Singles Chart 22 [10]
SingleChart (1990)Peak
position
Album
"Wasted Years/ Stranger in a Strange Land" UK Albums Chart [note 1] 9 [11]

Notes

  1. Re-release of both 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. Huey, Steve. "Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time review". AllMusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  2. Stagno, Mike (2 June 2006). "Review: Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time". Sputnikmusic . Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  3. https://www.eonmusic.co.uk/adrian-smith-iron-maiden-eonmusic-interview-august-2020.html
  4. "FM Biography". FM Official - The Home of British Rock Band FM. Retrieved 31 August 2015. In the summer of 1984...FM was formed... the band wrote six songs. By December of that same year FM had secured a recording contract with the CBS/Portrait label...
  5. "Q&A with Pete Jupp". FM Official - The Home of British Rock Band FM. Retrieved 31 August 2015. Maiden's version was the original arrangement we did in the "Andy Goes to Canada" line-up with Andy Barnett, Dave Lloyd and Dave Colwell before Steve and Chris were in the band. We rewrote the chorus early on after the Overlands came on board. It was one of the four songs that got us the CBS deal.
  6. "Stranger in a Strange Land" 7 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI Records. 22 November 1986.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. "Stranger in a Strange Land" 12 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI Records. 22 November 1986.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. 1 2 Fanelli, Damien; Hart, Josh (9 July 2013). "Synth City: 10 Classic Guitar Synth Songs". Guitar World . Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  9. "Irish singles archive". IRMA . Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  10. "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 29 November 1986". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  11. "Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive 14 April 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 19 September 2011.