Iron Maiden’s only number one single…

Can you remember that time when Iron Maiden almost had a Christmas Number One single?

In 1989, while Iron Maiden were taking a break from touring, Bruce Dickinson was asked if he could write a song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Teaming up with former Gillan (and future Iron Maiden) guitarist Janick Gers, Dickinson wrote and recorded the song during the sessions for the album, Tattooed Millionaire. Upon hearing the song, Steve Harris decided that it would be “great for Maiden” and convinced Dickinson not to put it on his debut solo release.

The original version of the song, which won a Golden Raspberry Award for “Worst Original Song” in 1989, is substantially different to the Maiden version but with the an identical arrangement. Althought it was never released as a solo single effort, it did have a promotional CD in America and was featured on his Best Of double compilation.

Bruce Dickinson said “We’re going to release this as a single on Christmas Eve to scare the living daylights out of Cliff Richard”. This led to the song competing with Cliff Richard’s “Saviour’s Day” for the 1990 Christmas No. 1, but due to not being officially released until the week after Christmas, went straight to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart on 30 December 1990. This was in spite of a ban by the BBC, who refused to play the song on Radio 1 and only showed a 90-second live clip for Top of the Pops. The B-side features cover versions of “I’m a Mover” (originally by Free) and Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown”.

In addition to the standard 7″ and 12″ (with fold out calendar) editions, the single was also released as a special edition 7″ flip-top “brain pack” edition and 12″ Picture Disc.

UK Special Edition one sided 7″ vinyl single, also including I’m A Mover with an Autograph Etching on the b-side, housed in a glossy card picture sleeve displaying The Reaper ‘Eddie’ artwork.

UK limited edition 3-track 12″ vinyl single featuring their only number one single, also including I’m A Mover and a great cover version of the Led Zeppelin classic Communication Breakdown; glossy picturesleeve featuring a great Derek Riggs image, comes with the Exclusive 5′ x 10″ 1991 Fold-out Banner / Calendar.
UK limited edition 3-track 12″ Picture Disc single, also including a version of Free’s ‘I’m A Mover’ and a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic ‘Communication Breakdown’, die-cut picture sleeve with Eddie Paradise Club illustrations to marry up with the A-side picture and a scythe wielding Grim Reaper Eddie on the other side.
UK limited edition 7″ Picture Disc single, their only number one hit single to date, also including I’m A Mover, top-opening ‘brain pack’ picture sleeve.

The promo video clip released features footage from The City of the Dead/Horror Hotel, 1960 movie along with live footage of the band (see below).

Like most songs from the No Prayer for the Dying album, “Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter” was rarely played live following the supporting tour, No Prayer on the Road, with the band only performing it on selected dates in 1992, 1993 and 2003.

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