Women in Uniform

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"Women in Uniform"
Skyhooks Women in Uniform single cover 1978.jpg
Single by Skyhooks
from the album Guilty Until Proven Insane
B-side
  • "Don't Take Yur Lurex To The Laundromat"
  • "Do The Hook"
Released1978
Recorded1978
Genre Glam rock [1]
Length4:21
Label Mushroom Records
Songwriter(s) Greg Macainsh
Skyhooks singles chronology
"Party to End All Parties"
(1977)
"Women in Uniform"
(1978)
"Megalomania"
(1978)

"Women in Uniform" is a 1978 song originally recorded by the Australian band Skyhooks; it was written by the band's bass guitar player, Greg Macainsh. It appeared on their fourth album, Guilty Until Proven Insane , and was a top 10 single in Australia [2] and reached 73 in the UK. [3]

Contents

The single was released in Australia both in a 7" and 12" format with the non-LP B-sides "Don't Take Yur Lurex to the Laundromat" and "Do The Hook". Several international versions of the single contained "BBBBBBBBBBBBBBoogie" [4] ("B. B. B. Boogie" in the UK version) [5] from the Guilty Until Proven Insane album.

Reception

Sounds said, "Australian pre-New Wavers try to stay up to date and succeed far enough. So far, so neat, but the beat is matched only by the girl(?) vocalist and not by any traces of lyrical/tuneful dexterity." [6] Rip It Up claimed the song benefited from the "hard rock" production from new producer Leonetti and, "would almost certainly have been a hit single if radio-land could have heard it through 18-inch speakers." [7]

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Women in Uniform" Greg Macainsh  
Side two
No.TitleLength
1."Don't Take Yur Lurex to the Laundromat" 
2."Do The Hook" 

Iron Maiden version

"Women in Uniform"
MaidenForm.jpeg
Single by Iron Maiden
B-side
  • "Invasion"
  • "Phantom of the Opera" (live)
  • "Drifter" (live)
Released27 October 1980 (1980-10-27)
Recorded1980
Genre Heavy metal
Length3:08
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Greg Macainsh
Producer(s) Tony Platt
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Sanctuary"
(1980)
"Women in Uniform"
(1980)
"Twilight Zone" / "Wrathchild"
(1981)

Iron Maiden's cover version of the song was the band's third single and their last recorded work with the guitarist Dennis Stratton. [8] It was released on 27 October 1980 in order to promote the second British leg of their Iron Maiden Tour. [9] The song was also included on the Australian edition of their second album, Killers , as it was originally a number eight hit in Australia for Skyhooks in 1978. In 1990, the 12" version was reissued on CD and 12" vinyl as part of The First Ten Years box set, in which it was combined with their following single, "Twilight Zone".

The idea to cover the song was suggested by the band's publishing company, Zomba, who arranged studio time at Battery Studios with AC/DC producer Tony Platt. [10] Although sceptical at first about recording a song that was so different from the band's style, the bass guitarist, 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.'" [10] 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". [10] As a result, Platt was dismissed and Harris remixed the track himself. [11]

Although the intended mix was restored, the band has routinely mentioned their dislike of the single, with Harris vowing "never, ever, ever to allow anyone outside to fuck around with our music again". [12] 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.

"Women in Uniform" was also 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 before MTV, the filming was Stratton's last contribution for the band. [11]

The single's cover has an image of Margaret Thatcher with a Sterling submachine gun, preparing to attack the group's mascot, Eddie, as he walks the streets with two young women. 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 showed Eddie killing Thatcher), which managed to cause further controversy as, according to the Liverpool Daily Post , a group of "screaming, chanting, banner-carrying feminists" led a demonstration during Iron Maiden's show at Leeds University on 22 November 1980. [9] [11]

The song is one of only four Iron Maiden songs to fade out, the others being "Stranger in a Strange Land" from Somewhere in Time , "The Prophecy" from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son , and "Kill Me Ce Soir", a cover version of a Golden Earring song that was released as the B-side to the "Holy Smoke" single in 1990. The German 12" release of the single included a live version of "Drifter" (from the "Sanctuary" single) instead of "Invasion" and had a different cover, a cropped version of the band's Iron Maiden album artwork. [13]

Track listing

7" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Women in Uniform" (Skyhooks cover) Greg Macainsh 3:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Invasion" Steve Harris 2:38
12" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Women in Uniform" (Skyhooks cover)Macainsh3:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Invasion"Harris2:38
3."Phantom of the Opera" (Live at the Marquee, London, England, 4 July 1980)Harris7:12
German 12" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Women in Uniform" (Skyhooks cover)Macainsh3:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Drifter" (Live at the Marquee, London, England, 3 April 1980)Harris6:00
3."Phantom of the Opera" (Live at the Marquee, London, England, 4 July 1980)Harris7:12

Personnel

Chart performance

SingleChart (1981)Peak
position
"Women in Uniform" UK Singles Chart 35 [14]
SingleChart (1990)Peak
position
"Women in Uniform / Twilight Zone" UK Albums Chart [note 1] 10 [15]

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.

Other cover versions

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References

  1. Rivadavia, Eduardo (17 March 2013). "Top 10 '70s Glam Rock Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  2. Nimmervoll, Ed. "Skyhooks Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  3. David Roberts, ed. (2006). Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  4. Skyhooks – Women In Uniform (Netherlands, 1978) on Discogs
  5. Skyhooks – Women In Uniform (UK, 1978) on Discogs
  6. "Singles". Sounds. 12 March 1979.
  7. Jeremy Templer (1 August 1978). "Ocker Rockers". Rip It Up . No. 14.
  8. Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 162. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  9. 1 2 Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p.  83. ISBN   0-946391-84-X.
  10. 1 2 3 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 175. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  11. 1 2 3 Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 176. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  12. Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 177. ISBN   1-86074-542-3.
  13. "Iron Maiden – "Women in Uniform"". Discogs . Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  14. "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive 15 November 1980". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  15. "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive 3 March 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 10 October 2011.