Release date
1996
Running length
3 tracks
Running time
12:22

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Virus 6:12 65,303
2 Sanctuary 3:15 169,501
3 Wrathchild 2:55 257,002

About this album

“Virus” is a single from Iron Maiden, released in 1996. It is the first single since 1980’s “Women in Uniform” ‘that does not appear on any official Iron Maiden studio album. It was, however, featured as a brand new track on the band’s first ever career retrospective — 1996’s double-disc The Best of the Beast. It is the only Iron Maiden song to be credited to both of the band’s guitarists. It has yet to be performed in Iron Maiden concerts featuring Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Along with “Sign of the Cross” from The X Factor, and “The Clansman” from Virtual XI, Virus is widely considered one of the best Iron Maiden songs with Blaze Bayley as the frontman.

In order to celebrate the band’s 21 years, the single was released in three different formats. The first format features the same B-sides as the Lord of the Flies single from 1996, which included covers from The Who and UFO. The second features songs from the 1979 compilation album Metal for Muthas, which marks the only studio recordings to feature former guitarist Tony Parsons. The third features two songs from Maiden’s legendary 1978 demo recordings, The Soundhouse Tapes.

On the EP Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada by Post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the track “Blaise Bailey Finnegan III” features the eponymous vox pop performer reciting a poem made from the lyrics from “Virus”, written by Blaze Bailey (no relation).

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