Fast as a Shark

Album: Restless and Wild (1982)

Songfacts®:

  • Was this the first ever Speed Metal song? Accept lead singer Udo Dirkschneider thinks so, as do a legion of other Metal musicians who followed, including Charlie Benante, who got his gig drumming for Anthrax by playing this song in audition.

    While The Scorpions were the most popular German Rock band, Accept was probably the most influential. Led by frontman Udo Dirkschneider, they broke new ground with their blistering tempo. "Stefan Kaufmann [Accept's drummer] came up with just a fast song," Udo told us. "The really funny thing was in the beginning, we said, 'Bah! No, we cannot play songs like this.' But we didn't know that we were exasperating "Speed Metal." So that was completely new." (Here's our full Udo Dirkschneider interview.)
  • Part of a quirky German folk song "Ein Heller und ein Batzen" (English translation: "A Farthing and a Penny") was incorporated into this track, providing quite a contrast of styles. Since the Speed Metal rule book had yet to be written, there was no reason you couldn't incorporate a folk song into it. "Sometimes you have crazy ideas, and in the end it works out very good," Udo told us.

Comments: 1

  • Lionel Ulloa from Panama, Panama"Fire Down Under" is the third album by New York City (later relocated in Texas) heavy metal band Riot, released in 1981, the title track was written somewhere touring Japan or Middlewest US Continent during 1979 and 1980. So the seminal sound "speed metal" was defined earlier than Accept when they release the Restless & Wild album in 1982. So, easily the term in its formative years can be credited to this outstanding American metal band and sometimes underrated at the same time.
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