Virus (Iron Maiden song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Best of the Beast
  • "My Generation"
  • "Doctor Doctor"
  • "Prowler"
  • "Invasion"
  • "Sanctuary"
  • "Wrathchild"
Released2 September 1996
RecordedSummer 1996
GenreHeavy metal
3:54 (short version)
Songwriter(s)Blaze Bayley, Dave Murray, Janick Gers, Steve Harris
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Lord of the Flies"
"The Angel and the Gambler"
CD 2 cover
Single30b virus2 a small.jpg
CD 1 cover
Single30a virus1 a small.jpg

"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 Best of the Beast. It is the only Iron Maiden song to be credited to both of the band's guitarists. It has never been performed live by Iron Maiden, but Blaze Bayley performed it several times in his solo career. Lyrically, the song warns of rising business corruption in an increasingly Internet-dependent world.


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 Zero Kanada by instrumental rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the track "BBF3" features a vox pop interview to a person going by the name of Blaise Bailey Finnegan III who recites a poem made from the lyrics from "Virus", written by Blaze Bayley.[1]

The intro riff was re-used by Bristol-based trio Kosheen for their song I Want It All from their 2001 album Resist.

Track listing[edit]

CD 1[edit]

  1. "Virus (Short Version)" (Steve Harris, Janick Gers, Dave Murray, Blaze Bayley) - 3:54
  2. "My Generation" (Pete Townshend; The Who cover) - 3:39
  3. "Doctor Doctor" (Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg; UFO cover) - 4:50

CD 2[edit]

  1. "Virus" (Harris, Gers, Murray, Bayley) - 6:14
  2. "Sanctuary" (Harris; from the 1979 compilation album Metal for Muthas) - 3:33
  3. "Wrathchild" (Harris; from the 1979 compilation album Metal for Muthas) - 3:06

12" vinyl[edit]

  1. "Virus" (Harris, Gers, Murray, Bayley)
  2. "Prowler" (Harris; from the 1978 demo The Soundhouse Tapes)
  3. "Invasion" (Harris; from the 1978 demo The Soundhouse Tapes)

Promotional CD for radio stations[edit]

  1. "Virus" - 3:53
  2. "Man on the Edge" - 4:11
  3. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers (Live in 1995) - 6:48
  4. "2 Minutes to Midnight" - 6:02
  5. "The Trooper" - 4:13
  6. "The Number of the Beast" - 4:52
  7. "Wrathchild" - 2:54
  8. "Strange World" (Unreleased Recording from The Soundhouse Tapes) - 5:22
  9. "Iron Maiden" (from The Soundhouse Tapes) - 4:01


Production credits are adapted from the CD covers.[2][3]

Iron Maiden
  • Nigel Green – producer, mixing
  • Neal Harrison – producer ("Sanctuary", "Wrathchild")

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
Dutch Singles Chart 48[4]
Finnish Singles Chart 3[5]
Swedish Singles Chart 31[6]
UK Singles Chart 16[7]


  1. ^ "Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada". Sputnik Music. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Virus" CD One (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 2 September 1996.
  3. ^ "Virus" CD Two (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 2 September 1996.
  4. ^ "Iron Maiden - 'Virus' (nummer)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Iron Maiden - 'Virus' (song)". Finland's Official List. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Iron Maiden - 'Virus' (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Official UK Singles Archive 21 September 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2011.

External links[edit]