Released today in 1982: Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc)

Dindisc DIN40

Dindisc DIN40

Joan of Arc, born and baptized in 1412 in Domremy, France, had a short life that had a profound effect on the Middle Ages. In her teens, she began to hear voices and claimed that three saints had spoken to her, telling her to free France from the threat of England (the Hundred Years’ War between the two nations was in its second phase). She travelled to Vaucouleurs to join the Dauphin’s forces; initially turned away, she was eventually given command of a small troop and lead them to victory in the battle to free Orleans from the English in April 1429. Although wounded early the following month, Joan lead several further battles in the spring and was instrumental in helping to get the Dauphin crowned King of France in July – without Charles VII on the throne, France might have fallen under the control of English King Henry VI and the course of European history would have been quite different. The King retreated to Loire later in the summer and Joan lead an assault on Paris in September.

When a brief truce with England at the start of 1430 ended, Joan was captured in a battle with Burgandy in May 1430 and attempts to rescue her failed. In January 1431 the famous trial at Rouen (the seat of the English occupation government) began at which she was eventually found guilty of heresy. On 30 May 1431 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, still a teenager. The King ordered an investigation into the trial if for no other reason than the legal process was severely flawed. By the time the declaration of her innocence was made in 1456, the Hundred Years’ War was over.

All of which has very little to do with pop music in the 1980s. Except that Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released two consecutive singles with Joan of Arc as their theme taken from their 1981 album Architecture And Morality, the second of which was released 33 years ago today. Mostly instrumental, Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc) makes the Top 5, just like its predecessor Joan Of Arc.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jan. 15
BOW WOW WOW (Annabella) Go Wild In The Country (RCA RCA175)
The BUGGLES Adventures In Modern Recording (Carrere CAR222)
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc) (Dindisc DIN40)
SPANDAU BALLET She Loved Like Diamond (Reformation CHS2585)
Mari WILSON Beat The Beat (The Compact Organization PINK2)
BAUHAUS (Peter Murphy) Lagartija Nick (Beggars Banquet BEG88)


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