This was OMD's second successive single to be about the French heroine "Joan of Arc."
According to the Guardian newspaper March 7, 2008, when "Joan of Arc" got good reviews ahead of the album's release, OMD's Andy McCluskey told Smash Hits magazine: "That's nothing. Wait until you hear the next single - it's our Mull Of Kintyre."
The single release was titled "Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc)." However on the Architecture and Morality album the song was named "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)."
This was Germany's best-selling single of 1982. It also topped the charts in Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Andy McCluskey wrote on the official OMD website: "The intro was a problem for radio and we did do edited versions where it was shortened. The idea came about because we actually had the song recorded but thought the track started oddly and needed something else to announce it's arrival. At the time of A+M we were making a lot of music that was ambient soundscapes. The natural thing was to give the song an intro that set up the feel for the main themes to resolve out of the noises.It's not meant to 'mean' anything specific, just set up a feeling to let the track grow out of the strange noises. I think that it worked well! BTW.. for the sound anoraks... most of the noises are melotron vocal sounds slowed down/sped up and greatly distorted simply by completely overdriving the old Helios desk in The Manor Studio. Pink noise and snare drum in lots of reverb."