Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – ‘Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)’ (Dindisc DIN40-12), 1982 – ‘Coin’ sleeve version

Back in January 2013 I first posted about the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ‘Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc)’ 12″ single with the foil finish ‘stained glass’ artwork version, with the note that I would follow-up with the foil-finish ‘coin’ artwork version at a later date. Well, some years later on than I had imaged, here we are!

'Maid of Orleans' front cover design 2 - 'coin' sleeve version - detail

^ ‘Maid of Orleans’ front cover design 2 – ‘coin’ sleeve version

Unlike the ‘stained glass’ versions, the rear of this variant does not contain any text – just a continuation of the fine vertical lines that you can see on the front of the cover. So, there aren’t several variations available on this design, unlike the other. In fact, it appears that the ‘coin’ sleeve was the original design and that the band rejected it – nevertheless, copies were issued. So, it lists ‘Experiments In Vertical Take Off’ as one of the tracks. The OMD ‘Messages’ fan site has a good discography entry on the ‘Maid of Orleans’ 12″ single that covers this release in detail. The period advertising clearly states ‘available in 2 special silver foil sleeves’, as seen on the ‘Like Punk Never Happened’ Flickr site. The advert seems to be hedging its bets by listing the extra track as ‘Experiments In Vertical Take Off (Of All The Things We’ve Made)’.

'Maid of Orleans' front cover design 2 - 'coin' sleeve version

^ ‘Maid of Orleans’ front cover design 2 – ‘coin’ sleeve version

It is only the sleeves that differ between the releases – the 12″ singles themselves are the same as those included in the ‘stained glass’ sleeve version. The ‘coin’ sleeve seems to be the rarer of the variants and even more so finding a copy in mint condition – every time I see one for sale, they are always affected to a greater or lesser degree by some wear and tear.

'Maid of Orleans' rear cover design 2 - 'coin' sleeve version

^ ‘Maid of Orleans’ rear cover design 2 – ‘coin’ sleeve version

Whichever version you come by, without a doubt this single, including its B sides, is definitely a high water mark for OMitD.

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