Fastway

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 Fastway (Columbia) 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)
11. "Far Far from Home" (5:30)

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

Fastway Fastway - Fastway/All Fired Up (BGO) 1983/1984/2000

Fastway
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)

Waiting for the Roar Fastway - Waiting for the Roar (Columbia) 1985

1. "The World Waits For You" (6:24)
2. "Kill Me With Your Heart" (4:49)
3. "Tired Of Your Love" (3:57)
4. "Change" (4:52)
5. "Move Over" (4:05)
6. "Little By Little" (5:47)
7. "Rock On" (3:21)
8. "Waiting for the Roar" (4:01)
9. "Girl" (4:04)
10. "Back Door Man" (3:17)

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)

Trick Or Treat Fastway - Trick or Treat (Columbia) 1986

1. "Trick or Treat" (2:47)
2. "After Midnight" (3:39)
3. "Don't Stop the Fight" (4:21)
4. "Stand Up" (4:04)
5. "Tear Down the Walls" (2:07)
6. "Get Tough" (3:30)
7. "Hold On To The Night" (3:22)
8. "Heft" (5:20)
9. "If You Could See" (4:36)

"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.

On Target Fastway - On Target (Enigma) 1989

1.      Dead or Alive (3:50)
2.      Change of Heart  (3:39)
3.      A Fine Line (4:52)
4.      Two Hearts (4:00)
5.      You (3:30)
6.      Let Him Rock (4:31)
7.      She is Danger (5:11)
8.      Show Some Emotion (5:03)
9.      These Dreams (4:18)
10.     Close Your Eyes (4:06)

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.

"On Target" is continues in a very similar mode to "Waiting for the Sun" but goes even further into that direction. "On Target" is the first Fastway album to feature new vocalist Lea Hart, who replaces original vocalist Dave King. The music here is saturated in 80's sounding keyboards, to the point of overkill. We're not talking hammond organ keyboards, like in Uriah Heep or Deep Purple, but rather happy-slappy-80's pop-rock style keys. The guitars are mixed way back with the keyboards and Hart's elegant voice becoming the stars of the show. The recording is crystal clear, squeaky clean and polished to a sheen, but lacks any real power and robs the rock and roll right out of the songs. It's no wonder that Eddie became disenchanted with the band at this point. He's barely even audible in the mix. It's a shame really because some of the songs are quite catchy and would be so much more enjoyable without the studio trickery and some crunchy guitars. Songs like "Dead or Alive" and "She Is Danger" are ultra-catchy. "She Is Danger" could have been recorded for Ted Nugent's "Penetrator" LP, another album ruined by a slick production and keyboard overkill. The songs are so polished and sappy, that Whitesnake's "Slip of the Tongue" sounds like tough heavy metal in contrast. Many years later Fastway would get back together and re-record the song from "On Target", giving them a more lean, mean rock and roll sound. It's almost hard to believe they are the same songs as what was recorded originally.

Bad Bad Girls Fastway - Bad Bad Girls (Enigma) 1990

1. I've Had Enough (4:04)
2. Bad Bad Girls (4:07)
3. All Shook Up (4:03)
4. Body Rock (3:51)
5. Miles Away (4:10)
6. She Won't Rock (3:48)
7. No Repair (3:43)
8. Death of Me (4:26)
9. Cut Loose (4:06)
10. Lucky to Lose (4:00)
11. Big Beat, No Heart (4:53)

With "Bad Bad Girls" Fastway moved even further away from their classic sound of those first two NWOBHM albums. For the most part, this album isn't the travesty many fans make it out to be, but it lacks a whole lot of character and chemistry. There are a handful of successful hard rockers like "I've Had Enough" and "All Shook Up". Both are enjoyable tracks, even if they sound like they could have been recorded by any number of 1980's hair metal bands. Others songs such as the melodic, sing-along "Big Beat, No Heart" and the upbeat pop rocker "She Won't Rock" have big pop hooks. Then there are songs such as the keyboard-laced, pop rocker "Body Rock" which are completely abysmal. This album is chock full of bubblegum pop rock which is rather disappointing. After all, this is Fast Eddie Clarke, the guitarist that gave us such heavy classics as "Overkill" and "Ace of Spades". Of course, a quick view of the credits reveals how little input that Clarke actually had on this project, with nearly every song written by vocalist Lea Hart. In reality, "Bad Bad Girls" is really a Fastway album in name only. This is really a Lea Hart solo album with Fast Eddie Clarke on guitars. Oddly enough, just about all the songs on this were later recorded by Paul Di'Anno (ex-Iron Maiden) as Hart became Di'Anno's manager.

Live Fastway - Live 'Say What You Will' (Receiver Records) 1991

1. "Easy Living" (3:08)
2. "Say What You Will" (3:35)
3. "The World Waits For You" (4:50)
4. "Waiting For The Roar" (4:13)
5. "Girl" (4:07)
6. "Steal The Show" (3:32)
7. "All Fired Up" (2:40)
8. "Kill Me With Your Heart" (4:49)
9. "Feel Me Touch Me" (4:24)
10. "Sex Booze & Rock & Roll" (5:45)

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.

On Target Reworked Fastway - On Target Reworked (Receiver) 1998

1. "Trick Or Treat" (2:40)
2. "The Answer Is You" (3:32)
3. "These Dreams" (4:28)
4. "Station" (2:54)
5. "Change Of Heart" (3:32)
6. "Two Hearts" (4:10)
7. "Make My Day" (3:20)
8. "She Is Danger" (4:39)
9. "Dead Or Alive" (3:48)
10. "Easy Livin'" (2:46)
11. "Let Him Rock" (3:53)
12. "Show Some Emotion" (4:55)
13. "Say What You Will" (3:16)

"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.

Related Collections:
Katmandu | Motorhead | Fast Eddie Clarke

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