"Speed Of Sound" is a song from the British rock band Coldplay.
The song was written by Chris Martin, Johnny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman. They wrote it in 2004 and released it on May 23rd, 2005.
It had 2 B-Sides: "Proof" and "Things I Don't Understand". In the United States, it was released on April 18th, 2005. Regarding the composition it features a piano riff and a synthesiser-heavy chorus. A mixture of alternative rock and post-Britpop.
The radio edit version of the song has a duration of 4.23 minutes while the album version runs 4:49 minutes. According to Chris Martin the idea of the song came after they listened to art rock singer Kate Bush. Therefor, the drum beat in "Speed Of Sound" is very similar to the one in Bush's "Running Up That Hill".
The piano-based song in written in the key of A Mixolydian and it has an upbeat tempo. The lyrics have faith and concerns regarding one's place in the world as main theme:
"How Long Am I Gonna Stand
With My Head Stuck Under The Sand?"
"If You Could See It Then You's Understand,
ah, when you'll see it then you'll understand".
The song has been compared to Jeff Buckley's "Last Goodbye" and Keane's "Everybody's Changing".
"Speed Of Sound" was produced by Guy Berryman, Will Champion, Johnny Buckland, Chris Martin and Danton Supple.
It received generally positive feedback from the music critics. The Village Voice described it as being a fresh song that express powerful emotions.
Paste magazine stated that the instruments combine express strong feelings.
"Speed Of Sound" was nominated at the Grammy Awards for "Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or A Group With Vocals" and for "Best Rock Song". They won for "Best British Single" at the BRIT Awards and it was named "Song Of The Year" by the American Society Of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
The song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, number 8 on Billboard Hot 100, number 3 on US Adult Pop Songs, number 5 on US Alternative Songs and number one in Poland. It was also present in most of the important foreign markets.
The music video for "Speed Of Sound" was directed by Mark Romanek and released in May 23rd, 2005. It received four MTV Video Music Awards for "Best Special Effects", "Best Editing", "Video Of The Year" and "Best Cinematography".