Be Quick or Be Dead

Last updated
"Be Quick or Be Dead"
Iron Maiden - Be Quick or Be Dead.jpg
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Fear of the Dark
B-side
  • "Nodding Donkey Blues"
  • "Space Station #5"
  • "Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be"
Released13 April 1992
Recorded1992
Genre Heavy metal
Length3:24 [1]
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Bruce Dickinson
Janick Gers
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"
(1990)
"Be Quick or Be Dead"
(1992)
"From Here to Eternity"
(1992)

"Be Quick or Be Dead" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released as the first single release from their ninth studio album Fear of the Dark , released in 1992. The single peaked at No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and in Finland while reaching the top 10 in Denmark, Ireland and Norway.

Contents

Synopsis

The song is about several political scandals taking place at the time of its release, including the Robert Maxwell banking scandal, European stock market crashes, and the BCCI case. It was released a month prior to the album and reached No. 2 on the UK singles chart. The song is faster and heavier than most Iron Maiden songs, and is the band's first single co-written by Janick Gers.

The B-side features two official songs and one hidden track, including an original blues number ("Nodding Donkey Blues") and Montrose cover ("Space Station No. 5"), and the unlisted "Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be". The last is a spoken word comedy piece by Bruce Dickinson (along with acoustic guitar accompaniment from Janick Gers) in which he imitates and makes fun of Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. A similar mockery of Smallwood was released before, as a B-side titled "Sheriff of Huddersfield", which was available on the "Wasted Years" single.

Track listings

7" single

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead" Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers 3:24
Side Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Nodding Donkey Blues" Steve Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Dave Murray, Nicko McBrain 3:11

12" single

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers3:24
Side Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Nodding Donkey Blues"Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Murray, McBrain3:11
3."Space Station No. 5" (Montrose Cover) Ronnie Montrose, Sammy Hagar 3:47

UK 12" single

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers3:24
2."Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Hidden Track)Dickinson, Gers8:05
Side Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
3."Nodding Donkey Blues"Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Murray, McBrain3:11
4."Space Station No. 5" (Montrose Cover)Montrose, Hagar3:47

CD single

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers3:24
2."Nodding Donkey Blues"Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Murray, McBrain3:11
3."Space Station No. 5" (Montrose Cover)Montrose, Hagar3:47

UK CD single

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers3:24
2."Nodding Donkey Blues"Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Murray, McBrain3:11
3."Space Station No. 5" (Montrose Cover; includes hidden track "Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be")Montrose, Hagar11:57

French CD maxi-single

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Be Quick or Be Dead"Dickinson, Gers3:24
2."Nodding Donkey Blues"Harris, Dickinson, Gers, Murray, McBrain3:11
3."Space Station No. 5" (Montrose Cover)Montrose, Hagar3:47
4."The French Message From Bruce Dickinson"Dickinson1:02

Personnel

Production credits are adapted from the 7 inch single, [1] and picture disc covers. [2] Iron Maiden

Production

Charts

Chart (1992)Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) [3] 47
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [4] 47
Denmark (IFPI) [5] 5
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) [6] 12
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) [7] 2
Germany (Official German Charts) [8] 32
Ireland (IRMA) [9] 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) [10] 27
Netherlands (Single Top 100) [11] 26
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [12] 12
Norway (VG-lista) [13] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [14] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) [15] 15
UK Singles (OCC) [16] 2

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References

  1. 1 2 "Be Quick or Be Dead" 7 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 13 April 1992.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. "Be Quick or Be Dead" Picture Disc Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 13 April 1992.CS1 maint: others (link)
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