Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Maid Of Orleans (1982)
- 80's score: 1.99
"Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" is a 1981 song by English electronic band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released ...
"Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)" is a 1981 song by English electronic band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released in 1982 as the third single from their third studio album, Architecture & Morality. To prevent confusion with the group's previous single "Joan of Arc", the song was retitled "Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)" for its single release. Both songs are about the French heroine Joan of Arc and both reached the Top 5 of the UK Singles Chart—although this single was more successful internationally, topping the charts in several countries including Germany, where it was the biggest-selling single of 1982. It also reached number 5 in Ireland and number 7 in New Zealand. The single was the last release on the Dindisc label.
Reception and legacy
Ian Birch of Smash Hits wrote, "Once again the dreamboat duo come up with a scintillating intro before settling into a stately canter which becomes more hypnotic with each listen. It could easily be their 'Mull of Kintyre'." "Maid of Orleans" became Germany's biggest-selling single of 1982, as well as the 33rd-biggest seller in the UK that year.
Ned Raggett of AllMusic retrospectively described the track as "epic", concluding, "With another bravura [Andy] McCluskey lead and a mock-bagpipe lead that's easily more entrancing than the real thing, it's a wrenching ballad like no other before it and little since." Critic Garry Bushell called the song "pop genius".
In 1989, Radio Veronica listeners voted "Maid of Orleans" the 60th greatest song in history. Classic Pop ranked it the 18th-best single of the 1980s, adding that "as soon as you hear this you remember greatness".
"Maid of Orleans" was recorded by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996. It was used during the climax and closing credits to the final episode of the second series of BBC television program Ashes to Ashes.