The dispute and debate has finally come to an end for Iron Maiden as they have come to terms with their lawsuit over the 1982 song “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” Former band manager Barry McKay claimed that the band lifted parts from the song “Life Shadow,” a 1974 song by the band Beckett, and used them to complete “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” The two members of Iron Maiden specifically in question were Steve Harris and Dave Murray.
Much of the dispute was over credits and dollars which McKay felt belonged to Brian Quinn and Robert Barton, who both share writing credits on “Life Shadow.” The suit identifies parts of the song were not only used for “Hallowed Be Thy Name” but also for Iron Maiden’s song “The Nomad” from the album Brave New World released in 2000.
An Iron Maiden spokesperson released a statement saying, “We do not believe that Brian Quinn was the one who wrote these six lines in question over 40 years ago as was claimed by Barry McKay. However “due to escalating legal fees and the potential huge costs of a court case it was pragmatic to reluctantly settle this action with McKay for £100,000, a fraction of what he brought the action for. A serial litigant like Mr. McKay would have foreseen this.”
Additionally Iron Maiden’s management issued a statement a year ago admitting, “Six lines from “Life’s Shadow” were referenced in Steve’s song “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” The management company added “this matter was settled some years ago by agreement with Robert Barton.” Fans can listen to the two tracks below to hear the similarities.
Along with the lengthy and costly lawsuit, Iron Maiden removed “Hallowed Be Thy Name” from their set list; but now with a settlement reached, fans can rejoice and perhaps shine a glimmer of hope that the song makes it back into the rotation during the bands Legacy of the Beast Tour starting in May. The band has gained a new respect by being at the forefront of the anti-ticketing piracy and counterfeiting movement bringing news fans to the shows.
Fans can listen to the two songs below.