An '80s British hard-rock/heavy metal band originally formed by ex-Motorhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and UFO bassist Pete Way, thus the name FAST-WAY. Unfortunately Pete left before the first recording for what turned out to be a very short stint with Ozzy Osbourne. Fastway also featured ex-Humble Pie drummer, Jerry Shirley and a young singer, David King. King went on to form Katmandu.
Fastway (Columbia) 1983
1. "Easy Living"
Excellent debut album from Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke. Their sound is not quite as heavy and harsh as Motorhead, but it's not exactly pop rock either. Actually Fastway fit in neatly with the NWOBHM invasion that was beginning to take over the world in 1983. Fastway brings in a lot of the classic 70's hard rock sound.
Add to the mix the soulful singing and harmonica playing of David King and you've got a monster album. King at times sounds very close to Robert Plant, but I would not label him a clone. His voice fits perfectly the bluesy heavy metal and boogie that Fastway pumps out. This particular album spawned two singles, "Easy Living" and the song with the simplest bass riff ever written "Say What You Will." The fact is though, that the whole disc is quite contagious. I wore the grooves off my original vinyl copy. Thank God for compact discs!
According to Eddie, "I don't think Fastwy are in any way a heavy metal band really. The whole emphasis of our band is dynmacs and vocals and the songs should have some meaning. HM bands don't do that. They go woaaarrrggghhh...the whole idea of building this band was to make it a rock and roll band, but a heavy rock and roll band." -Creem Magazine, p. 61, Dec. 1983
1. Easy Living (2:48)
2. Feel Me, Touch Me (Do Anything You Want) (3:28)
3. All I Need Is Your Love (2:33)
4. Another Day (4:42)
5. Heft! (5:39)
6. We Become One (3:59)
7. Give It All You Got (3:02)
8. Say What You Will (3:21)
9. You Got Me Runnin' (3:05)
10. Give It Some Action (4:12)
All Fired Up
11. All Fired Up (2:44)
12. Misunderstood (3:35)
13. Steal the Show (2:58)
14. Station (3:55)
15. Non Stop Love (4:34)
16. Hurtin' Me (3:52)
17.Tell Me (3:28)
18. Hung Up on Love (
19. The Strange (4:16)
20. Telephone (4:20)
21. If You Could See (4:33)
This is a 2-on-1 package of Fastway's first two albums. The music sounds as if it were remastered as the two albums flow together pretty seamlessly. Fastway was formed by "Fast" Eddie Clark after he left Motorhead. UFO bassist Pete Way was also one of the founding members of the band, thus the name Fast-Way, though for whatever reason it didn't work out. Ex-Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley was added to the bill as well as Robert Plant prodigy Dave King. The debut album was released in '83 and became an instant hit with the ever growing metal fans. The first album generated two hits, "Easy Living" and the song with the simplest bass riff ever written "Say What You Will." Simplicity doesn't mean bad though, as the song was hard driving and catchy, which also sums up the sound of the album. King's soulful voice really fit the style well. Not included on this re-issue is the CD bonus track "Gar Far from Home"
The follow-up to the debut came only a year later and followed in similar tracks to the original. Like the debut, Kiss/Jimi Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer was brought in to produce. Together they created an album with just a bit more depth than the debut. Some songs had a strong blues-rock vibe, such as "Telephone" and Station". Others have hard driving Led Zeppelin vibe. "Hurtin Me" in particular had a very Zeppelin-esque sound. The title track kicks things off and is a heavy slab of blues-based heavy metal. (Unless I'm mistaken, this song was co-written by Pat Bentar, Jerry Shirley and "Fast" Eddie Clark.) Fast Eddie's guitar playing is outstanding throughout and King sounds as soulful as he did on the debut. Oddly enough, Fastway were lumped in with the hair bands of the day, most likely due to the fact they were touring with bands like Ratt and The Scorpions. However, pop metal this is not. Rather, "All Fired Up" is straight-forward, hard-driving, heavy rock and roll.
This BGO Records release contains a booklet featuring a short bio by Mark Chatterton and all the lyrics. There is little in the way of photos, which would have been a nice addition. (Thanks Vexer6)
Fastway - Waiting for the Roar (Columbia) 1985
1. "The World Waits
For You" (6:24)
It's amazing how much a band can change in just three albums. "Waiting For the Roar," despite it's heavy title, is no where near as heavy, as British, or as original as the band's debut. Where that album was pure British heavy metal, this album sounds more like keyboard saturated American AOR. Imagine that Fast Eddie Clark's guitars are barely audible under the presence of the keyboards. Even Dave King's Plant like howl seems to be harnessed. Several tracks seem like they were tailor made for hard rock radio in 1985. Just check out the sing-along chorus of "Tired Of Your Love" or the syrupy ballad "Change". "Little By Little" is probably the closest to their original sound as the guitars are more out front, the keys toned down and the vocals wail. "Rock On" also rocks a bit harder sounding a bit like some of the more radio friendly metal bands of the mid-80's. "Waiting for the Roar" is not Fastway's finest moment, although it's far from being a bad album. Even though the heavy metal thunder is no longer present, the band still knows how to write a hook and hold a listeners interest. So, while I would never claim this as my favorite Fastway release, it's also not one that collects dust on the CD shelf. This disc seems to be out of print, but was given to me as a gift from a fellow Fastway fan. (thanks James)
Fastway - Trick or Treat (Columbia) 1986
1. "Trick or Treat"
"Trick or Treat" is the soundtrack to the movie of the same name that starred Kiss' Gene Simmons as "Nuke" and a guest appearance by Ozzy Osbourne. The last two tracks on this disc were from the first two Fastway discs respectively. However, tracks 1 - 7 were new originals written specifically for this movie, although sparingly used as I recall. Can't say that these tracks hold up to the debut or follow-up, but they certainly are not as bad as I expected them to be. Stripped down power rock 'n roll, that is thankfully devoid of keyboards. Fast Eddie Clark letting loose a few choice solos, but really nothing matching his work with Motorhead or, as I already stated, the band's first two CDs.
Fastway - On Target (Enigma) 1989
Fastway's debut album and the follow-up "All Fired Up" are both fantastic, English, hard rock albums with a NWOBHM bend. The band had a raw edge, mixed with those insane, charismatic vocals of Dave King that really gave them charisma and a clear identity. The first time I heard "Waiting for the Roar", I was shocked at how different the band sounded than those classic debut albums. The band had headed into a more commercial direction.
Fastway - Bad Bad Girls (Enigma) 1990
Fastway - Live 'Say What You Will' (Receiver Records) 1991
1. "Easy Living"
Live 'Say What You Will' was recorded on Fastway's 1986 tour to support their "The World Waits for You" album. The material on that album is so different from the band's first two heavy metal classics. Three songs are featured from that album including "The World Waits for You","Waiting For The Roar" and "Kill Me With Your Heart". Personally I prefer the simplistic approach of songs like "Easy Living " and "Say What You Will" to the more melodic, pop metal approach of the aforementioned tracks. Still the overall feel of this live album is quite nice. This live album features extraordinary vocalist Dave King, although it was released after he had left the band. His voice, coupled with Fast Eddie Clark's riffs, were the heart and soul of this band, as is so obvious by listening to this raw live recording. The recording here is far from perfect, but is better than some of the bootlegs I have heard over the years. Personally, I don't mind the raw sound, but can understand how some might be disappointed by it.
1. "Trick Or Treat"
"On Target Reworked" freatures re-recorded versions of all eight cuts from the original 1989 Fastway release "On Target". Apparently during the recording of the original "On Target" Eddie Clark became extremely disenchanted with the band due to the sound the label was forcing the band into. I can certainly understand why. "On Target" was a keyboard saturated album with slick production that robbed the songs of any ca-hones whatsoever. Many years later Eddie secured the rights to the album and reunited Fastway to re-record "On Target", along with some other Fastway classics including 'Say What You Will', 'Trick Or Treat', 'Station', 'Make My Day' and 'Easy Livin''. The new recordings of the "On Target" songs are guitar-driven and far superior to the cuts that appeared on the '89 release. I'm not sure what the point was of re-recording the other tracks, except to showcase Hart's vocals on them. Lea Hart does have an excellent voice, but those original tracks were perfect with original vocalist Dave King. Regardless, the retooled "On Target" tracks are a good listen. Without the gloss and tinkling 80's keys, the song are more of what a Fastway fan would want to hear from "Fast" Eddie and company; simple, straight-forward, lean 'n' mean, rock 'n' roll.
1. Deliver Me
2. Fade Out
3. Leave the Light On
4. Loving Food
5. Dead and Gone
6. Sick As a Dog
7. Freedom Song
8. Do You Believe
9. Love I Need
10. On and On
11. Only If You Want It
"Fast" Eddie Clarke returns with the first new material from Fastway since 1990's "Bad Bad Girls". To be quite honest, I don't think Fastway has released a great album since "All Fired Up" (1984). Since that time their albums have tended towards pop radio-friendly AOR, devoid of the grind and grit of those early Fastway album, or even Clarke's former band Motorhead. However, even the albums like "On Target" could be appreciated for the solid hooks and the smooth vocals of Lea Hart. I was hoping the vicious album cover and title might be an indicator of the music within. However, the album is built around very clean, bright guitars from Clarke and the soaring vocals from new singer Toby Jepson. As a whole this album just seems to fall flat. The songs still don't have the heavy rock and roll grit that I want to hear from Fastway, nor do they have the memorable hooks of the more pop-oriented stuff from the mid-1980's. That's not to say all is bad here. "Deliver Me" was a poor choice for an opening track as it's a bit bland. However, "Leave the Light On" has a some solid riffs and is a good hard rocker. Too bad the entire album doesn't sound more like this. "Sick As a Dog" is another solid number from this album. (This is not an Aerosmith cover, though that would have been cool to hear.) It's an upbeat song built around another solid riff. It's a shame that Fastway didn't really go for the gusto and release an album packed full of meaty, heavy, rock and roll. It's not a bad album, but it's not a particularly memorable one either.