NWoBHM • United Kingdom
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Speed were formed in 1979, by Paul White, in the Southend area of London.

They are notable in that Bruce Dickinson (later Samson then Iron Maiden) was their vocalist.
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SPEED Man in the Street album cover 2.17 | 2 ratings
Man in the Street
NWoBHM 1980

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SPEED Man in the Street

Demo · 1980 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Man on the street...

Genre: hard rock

Speed was the name of Bruce Dickinson's college band, and, by their contemporary standards, they did live up to their name - at least in the case of the two tracks on this demo - as their played sped up hard rocking music.

"Man on the Street" is an almost punky fast rocker which contain a couple of interesting moments, the most salient one probably being Dickinson's air raid siren scream just before the noisy organ and guitar solos. I also like the chorus-line which is quite catchy and sing-along-friendly (it also contains some Dickinson vocal acrobatics). Other than that, the song is, while energetic, quite bland and unoriginal.

"Down the Road" is slightly sped-up (literaly, the tempo gets faster, probably because of a non-tight drummer) but still generic boogie-rocker. Dickinson sounds a bit like a second-rate Gillan-clone, but does break from this a couple of time into a couple of typical Dickinson-screams. The guitar solo is a fast and chaotic blues-based one, offering more kitsch value than actual musical quality.

This release will doubtlessly be of interest to Iron Maiden and Bruce Dickinson fans, and if you are a collector of rare 1970s rock releases, you might be interested in this release, too.

SPEED Man in the Street

Demo · 1980 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Air-Raid siren has landed!

Legend has it that Bruce Dickinson actually forgot that he had made this recording - and on hearing it, it's not too hard to understand why.

Of course, it's Bruce's vocals that gain this single any kind of NWoBHM credibility - these are completely unmistakable, with all his awesome trademark stylisations sounding somewhat superimposed;

Man In The Street is a slightly embarrassing chugger, in a kind of late 1960s Garage psych style, with the keys, rhythm and bass in loose synch, with no interesting harmony ideas at all, and a fuzzed-out lead sharing the instrumental solo with the keys.

The flip-side fares no better, being based largely on Skynyrd's epic, Free Bird, with virtually no hiding that fact - even the solo has extremely similar chops.

What's to say in its favour?

It's not a bad demo, really - a couple of average sounding songs, performed averagely, with average lyrics sung by an extraordinary vocalist.

But I wouldn't fork out a coupla hundred quid for a copy - especially when you can hear the songs right here - enjoy!.

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