Background: in an interview, Chris Martin revealed that the song was written in the summer of 2004 and was inspired by Kate Bush and Martin’s daughter, Apple: “That’s a song where we were listening to a lot of Kate Bush last summer, and we wanted a song which had a lot of tom-toms in it, as Martin explained, I just had my daughter up also, and was kind of feeling in a sense of awe and wonderment, so the song is kind of a Kate Bush song about miracles.”The drumbeat of the song was inspired by Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill“. “Speed of Sound” is a piano rock song. Its built around a piano riff, which the song builds into a huge drum beat and a synthesizer-heavy chorus, which also includes an upbeat tempo. The lyrics in the song are cryptic; the ending lines of the third verse emphasize in belief and faith: “If you could see it then you’d understand/ah when you see it then you’ll understand,” and “Some things you have to believe/others are puzzles puzzling me.”The fourth verse in the second verse alludes to discovering your place in the world: “How long am I gonna stand/with my head stuck under the sand,” and “If you never try then you’ll never know”.“The background as given explains the manner in which the song has come to be performed at the speed of victory. The last verses in the song prove the rule: to determine what the artist is trying to express, listen to the *melody* – then check out the lyrics. Ask any attorney: the truth is in the melody. Or, Shakespeare, lawyer-hater extraordinaire: “”False face doth hide what the false heart doth know.” Macbeth‘s exit line in Act I, scene 7. ” Or applied to contemporary music, “false lyrics doth hide what true tempo doth know,” or ““False lyrics doth hide what the true [attitude in performance] doth know.”
song=Speed of Sound
studio version=’X & Y’
mean speed/average tempo/median velocity/average beat length=0.487 seconds
emotion probability according to meanspeed music theory=victory
live version=Austin City Limits
average beat length=0.480 seconds
mean speed/average standard tempo=125.1
mean-emotion according to meanspeed music theory=victory
The music video has a two-story-high LED display in the background
The video promo for “Speed of Sound” was shot on a Los Angeles sound stage over 22–23 April 2005. Shooting took place on large sets backed by large LED displays developed by Element Labs. The performance-based video was directed by Mark Romanek. The video opens in pitch–black, followed by a light framing Martin as he reaches skyward out of the shadows. The scene then shifts to the band, as they play the song. As Martin spread his hands, the two-story-high LED lights erupt in a color of rainbow hues. The video ends with the band lined up and the LED background with a white light.
The video debuted on 23 May 2005 and proved successful on video-chart programs. It debuted on 11 June 2005 on Fuse‘s No. 1 Countdown Rock, at number six, and retired on 5 August at number seven of the countdown. It also reached number 16 in MuchMusic‘s Countdown a month after its debut.
At the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for four nominations in the categories of Video of the Year, Best Special Effects, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography. The video ranked number ten on VH1‘s Top 40 of 2005.
/Ian Andrew Schneider/
revised and extended
May 18, 2015