When I first started to get into collecting records around 2005, I got it into my head to try to collect all the Iron Maiden 7 inch singles. I made a pretty good run at them but eventually let it incomplete and focused on records that were more important to me at the time. Given my obsession with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal this year, and especially targeting some early singles from that scene, I figured that it was a good time to get back to Maiden.
Outside of the self released Soundhouse Tapes, the first Maiden single with EMI was for Running Free b/w Burning Ambition. With the b-side a non-LP track, I've never really been that familiar with it, so it was great to give Burning Ambition a spin.
Everything about this single is perfect. The single cover art, the black and white live photo with Eddie the 'ead as the stage prop, plus those custom center labels. Damn. If you were a metalhead back in 1980, even then you had to know that Iron Maiden were destined for big things.
I'm still missing some of the early Maiden singles, but it feels good to get Running Free into the collection.