Great Metal Albums of 1983: Fastway

220px-fastwaylp

Fastway first came to my attention in 1983, when I discovered they were supporting AC/DC on their “Flick of the Switch” tour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to that concert, I was in between jobs at the time and had been to see the mighty Black Sabbath with Quiet Riot the week before, so I couldn’t afford to go. Shame because I would have to wait another two years before I saw AC/DC live and although, they had a great support act then, (Yngwie Malmsteen), it would have been nice to see Fastway as well. Besides, it’s not greedy wanting to see AC/DC twice in your lifetime.

Their debut album is one reason I wished I could have seen Fastway live. In a past post, I used the phrase rockabilly. No, Fastway aren’t that, instead I would upgrade their sound from this to metalabilly. There, I just invented a new word, I think. Their is a catchy country type vibe with some of the songs but that vibe is enhanced by some great hard crunching guitars. Then again, the guitarist is none other than Fast Eddie Clarke from Motorhead fame. The best example of this is on the track, “All I Need is Your Love.” It is definitely metalabilly, (I’m going to try to use that word as much as possible in this post), but Clarke does hammer out a good guitar solo.

For the most part, there isn’t much I can say about the debut album from Fastway that hasn’t probably been said before or I’ve said about other albums from other bands. All the elements of a good album are present here. “Easy Livin'” is a good attention grabbing opener, especially with the metalabilly sound coming through almost straight away. There are some more harder metal sounding tracks on the album in the form of “Another Day” but even on that one, Fastway put their mark on it. One track that is certainly different is “Heft.” That song is what some would call “way out there.” There is the hard bluesier hippy feel to the song. One that you would listen to in the same vein as you would listen to a Pink Floyd album, but Clarke’s hard crashing guitars on it remind you who is actually playing the song.

With “We Become One,” since it was released as a single, one might be inclined to think it would be some sort of metal anthem. That song doesn’t quite come up to anthem status but it’s still a cool song. There is a little left over from “Heft” in it and while it’s still a cool metal song, I can see why commercial radio would have ignored it. More fools them I say. If any song comes anywhere to being an anthem, it’s got to be the next track, “Give it All You Got.” I think that one would have fared better on radio and I like how the song ends. It leads perfectly to my favourite track on the album, “Say What You Will.” The best was to describe it is even more metal metalabilly, (there I used it again). I like the little lead guitar bits during the verses, which lead to another killer solo before all coming together for a great metal climax.  The penultimate track is okay but nothing to get over excited about. It keeps things ticking over nicely for the more memorable closer, “Give it Some Action.” That is unless you own the original vinyl or later CD pressings which include the bonus track, “Far Far From Home.” Having it on cassette, I didn’t get the bonus track but no matter, I enjoyed the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Easy Livin’
  2. Feel Me, Touch Me (Do Anything You Want)
  3. All I Need is Your Love
  4. Another Day
  5. Heft!
  6. We Become One
  7. Give it All You Got
  8. Say What You Will
  9. You Got Me Runnin’
  10. Give it Some Action
  11. Bonus track, not available on all releases: Far Far From Home
Fastway

Fastway

Dave King- vocals, harmonica

Fast Eddie Clarke- guitars

Jerry Shirley- drums

Mickey Feat- bass (uncredited)

While I’ve been singing the praises of Fast Eddie Clarke on the album and it’s deserved, I have been ignoring the other two members of Fastway and that’s unfair because both of them deserve their share of the credit on why their debut album is so good. King’s vocals are impressive, especially as I finally got around to listening to the missing bonus track. Had it been included on all copies of the album, it might have done better in the sales department. Jerry Shirley proves he’s a tidy drummer and deserves as much praise as well. With all three coming together, Fastway created a very cool first album.

Next post: Savatage- Sirens

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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18 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Fastway”

  1. Metalabilly! I like it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great debut….I always wondered on Way felt that his name was still used even though he was gone…to play with Ozzy for about a week at the time…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I’m happy to say that I DID get to see Fastway in concert promoting this album as a matter of fact! They were phenomenal! I bought the tee shirt that matched the album cover and wore it to the mall the next day. This is one of my favorite albums from the 80’s – excellent band!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Been wanting this one a while. I’ll go for a CD with the extra song.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I picked this one up in 1983 as well and deemed it worthy from the get-go. I only learned of the Motörhead connection years later as I hadn’t signed on with the ‘head yet in ’83. This is a great “lost” album in my experience, as it seems to have been unfairly forgotten by many aging headbangers. For what it’s worth, I enthusiastically recommend Fast Eddie’s 2012 Fastway comeback album Eat Dog Eat if you haven’t yet checked it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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