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According to Nicko Mc Brain, commenting on the single in "Listen With Nicko Part VI" (as part of The First Ten Years series), the members of Iron Maiden were friends with members of Beckett.
The band's manager, Rod Smallwood, commented this version: "This was originally done by a band called Beckett who the band liked a lot.
The atomic clock, set at 12 minutes to midnight in 1972, regressed thereafter among US–Soviet tensions, reaching three minutes to midnight in 1984 – the year this track was released – and at that time the most dangerous clock reading since 1953.
The first B-side is a cover of British progressive rock band Beckett's "Rainbow's Gold", which was featured on their self-titled album released in 1974.
The band's first single to exceed five minutes in length, it remained their longest until the release of "Infinite Dreams" in November 1989.
A protest song about nuclear war, "2 Minutes to Midnight" was written by Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson.
Ice breakers facilitate group participation, so they're a great way to get people interested in an event or activity, relax, open up and mingle.The song was written by Terry Slesser and Kenny Mountain, respectively the band's vocalist and guitarist.On the original release, it is titled "A Rainbow's Gold".It was released as the band's tenth single, and first from the album on 6 August 1984.It rose to number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and number 25 on Billboard Top Album Tracks.