About a fugitive who needs "Sanctuary from the law." This is also the theme of Maiden songs like "Running Free," "Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fugitive" and "Innocent Exile."
The only song from Iron Maiden's debut album released as a single.
First appeared on a 1979 compilation album called Metal for Muthas along with another Maiden song, "Wrathchild."
The single was a far better quality version of the song than that included on the album. It was the band's second single after "Running Free." The cover art of "Running Free" introduced the shock-haired, skeletal zombie known as Eddie, and the cover art for this song depicted him killing Margaret Thatcher, who was known as the "Iron Maiden." On the cover, she had been tearing down an "Iron Maiden- Live" poster off a wall before Eddie drew his knife and did the deed. The cover art for the single was actually the first installation of a story which was continued in the cover art of the next two singles. On the cover for "Women in Uniform," Margaret Thatcher is alive again, dressed as a soldier and carrying a gun. She has torn down another Iron Maiden poster and is waiting for Eddie, who is just around the corner with two young girls. On the cover art for "Twilight Zone," Eddie is a ghost attacking a girl in her bedroom.
Most of the singles had a black bar over the face of Margaret Thatcher as a response to controversy over it. According to Derek Riggs, who designed the cover, "the 'flak'... was invented by the band's management. They 'banned' it and they put the black square over her face and then they showed it to the press and cried 'censorship,' but there really wasn't any. The flak was all imaginary and self-generated for publicity. It's an old trick and it nearly always sells records... go and ask all the rappers who swear on their records all the time, if it depressed the record sales they would soon stop doing it." He also claims that the cover art was inspired by the lyric "Never killed a woman but I know how it feels," and remarks dryly, "Lovely state of mind..."
This was kept off the UK/European version of Iron Maiden until it was re-released in 1998.
Contained a startlingly realistic sound effect of a police siren, which appeared midway through the song. It was missing from Metal for Muthas.
Dennis Stratton (then the band's guitarist) performed a slightly different solo on the Iron Maiden version of this song than on the Metal for Muthas one.
There is an Iron Maiden tribute band from New York City called Sanctuary. Their logo uses the same font ("Metal Lord") as Maiden, and perform many songs from the Bruce Dickinson ("golden") era.
This was covered by Abattoir and included on the album Call to Irons II. The album is a tribute to Iron Maiden.
"Sanctuary" is also the name of a Madonna song. The band are not fans of the pop star.
Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above