The track is mentioned in two entries from Ed's Diary:
wednesday, october 6th 1999
Start working on a band loop called ‘Fast Track’ - Thom did a rough arrangement on Cubase last night. Nige and I then do some guitar sounds using my new toy - the first Roland guitar synth, which sounds pretty different. Jonny does a couple of (?) radio tracks. We then do a bit of editing and pruning. Nige is really into this thing of throwing down random shit and then simply keeping the really good stuff. It’s a cool way of writing, if only because you end up with things that you couldn’t possibly contrive to do. Set up sounds for 'Optimistic' – to be played tomorrow. Phil is playing this old jazz kit which used to belong to Plank's great uncle, but it’s ended up here via Coz’s double bass teacher.
monday, march 20th 2000
there's a line drawn.....above which are the names of tracks finished bar mixing.....and below, those nearly completed. for the first time the tracks below and above the line are equal in number. that was the state of play at 5am friday morning. 'knives up' was complete. i was telling a mate over the w/end about 'knives out' and how it was started in copenhagen on 10/3/99.......some 373 days later we finally finished it.............a ridiculously long gestation period for any song..........naturally my mate thought that having taken so long on a piece of music it would be some sort of magnum opus, a kind of paranoid android to the power of ten..................... the song is probably the most straight ahead thing that we've done in years......and that might explain why we took so long on it. i'm a real believer that bands as they become more successful often lose the ability to do straight ahead stuff well...... the need to embellish tracks with melodies and sounds becomes imperative. and often in doing so the song loses its essence especially if it was written on acoustic guitar. but i think we've done alright on 'knives out'.........
thom's got a busy old week this week........most of the finishing touches are vocal things. i'm trying to get my head around some new software called logic which seems to be what all the right programmers are using...........the manual is about the thickness of a hardback edition of 'war and peace'.........he's singing along to 'fastrack'. he's hyperactive as well....it's 1.30am..fantastic..
The "singing along" that Ed mentions above can be heard clearly in this stereo extraction from the released version. It is very subtle in the full mix: