The song has references to the Doomsday Clock, the symbolic clock used by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In September 1953 the clock reached 11:58, the closest the clock ever got to midnight. This occurred when the United States and Soviet Union tested H-bombs within nine months of one another. This song is clearly presenting an anti-war view. The first guitar solo is played by Dave Murray followed by a guitar solo played by Adrian Smith.
The first B-side is a cover of British progressive rock band Beckett’s “Rainbow’s Gold”.
Another B-side, entitled “Mission from ‘Arry”, is a recording of an argument between bassist Steve Harris and drummer Nicko McBrain. The argument happened after a show in Allentown, Pennsylvania during the band’s World Piece Tour, and occurred due to a misunderstanding on stage between the two due to technical issues with Harris’ bass, which had led to McBrain’s drum solo going wrong. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson was recording the argument with a concealed tape recorder.
The video of the song is featured on the 2003 video collection Visions of the Beast.
The song was included in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
United States Ambassador Ryan Crocker has a poster of the album in his office. 
The guitar riff in the beginning has been adapted in many other metal songs including: “Welcome to Hell” by Venom, “Hellbound” by Tygers of Pan Tang, “Flash Rockin’ Man” by Accept and “Live Fast Die Young” by Saxon.
The song was covered by the all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens on their self-titled debut album. It was also covered in 2008 by Glamour Of The Kill on the tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden released by Kerrang! magazine.
The song is 5 minutes and 59 seconds long, which when doubled yields 11:58, just as the time the song describes.
Edited by Scampfarmer on 17 Sep 2010, 19:54
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