Iron Maiden are being sued over their classic hit ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’.
A live version of the song became a Top Ten hit in 1993, but the original version appeared on the band’s 1982 album ‘The Number Of The Beast’. According to Setlist.fm, it’s the metal legends’ third most-performed song in live shows over the years. However, they haven’t been playing the song, written by the band’s bassist Steve Harris, on their latest tour.
Metal Injection reports that this is because Iron Maiden are being sued by the writer of a song called ‘Life’s Shadow’, which is referenced in ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’.
The band said in a statement: “The dispute concerns the song ‘Life’s Shadow,’ a song originally written in the early 1970s, credited to Robert Barton and Brian Ingham, and recorded by the band Beckett. Steve Harris was a fan of Beckett and some six lines from ‘Life’s Shadow’ were referenced in Steve’s song, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name,’ which was recorded by Iron Maiden and appeared on the album ‘The Number of the Beast’ which was released in 1982.
The statement continues: “As far as Steve is concerned, this matter was settled some years ago by agreement with Robert Barton, but there now appears to be a dispute between the two original writers as to their respective shares in ‘Life’s Shadow.’ Further, an individual called Barry McKay in taking this action now claims to publish Robert Barton’s interest in ‘Life’s Shadow,’ despite so far being unable to come up with a publishing agreement and showing little or no evidence in his claim of any interest in Mr. Barton’s songs in approximately 40 years.
“Mr. McKay also states that he entered into a publishing agreement with Brian Quinn (aka Ingham) on 29 March 2017, two days before the claim was served. Mr Barton maintains he was the writer of the lyrics of ‘Life’s Shadow’ and recently said: ‘I wrote the lyrics of ‘Life’s Shadow’ and am happy with how Iron Maiden have, and are, dealing with this matter.’ Any evidence presented by Mr McKay will be looked at very closely and a Defence at court will be submitted in due course.”
Meanwhile, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris recently shared his thoughts on the ‘state of play’ for rock music in 2017.
“It’s very, very tough. I think it’s tougher than ever”, Harris said. “Now there are so many bands and not so many outlets for it. And it’s tougher than ever to earn a crust doing it, too. I sort of feel sorry for bands in a lot of ways.”