Fastway – revisiting one cool, Heavy Metal debut album


main-150In 1983, Fastway was the apple of my Metal eye. Today, well, Fastway is an old school Heavy Metal favorite of mine still, with their debut album aptly titled “Fastway”, being what I consider their best material. Man, when I heard the news that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was leaving Motorhead, I was floored like any loyal fan, back in the day. Then, the word broke, that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was forming a new Heavy Metal band called Fastway… my Metal anticipation was climbing by the second. Knowing that Pete Way (formerly of UFO) was to play bass alongside “Fast” Eddie Clarke only made this lineup more potent by the second. (I later found out that Pete Way never did get to actually play bass on the Fastway debut album).

Let’s go back in time now, to a wonderful department store named Caldor. You see, where I grew up, back in the 1980’s, Caldor was the biggest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal album supplier in my town. (It was the greatest place for a Metalhead teenager to go to for tunes, living in expensive nowhere Connecticut). I used to fantasize about Caldor while I was serving time in Parochial School and later High School. My thoughts strayed right into that glorious Caldor, envisioning the very long record aisles, lined with Yes, Iron Maiden, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath… and then one day, in 1983, I remembered that the new Fastway album was to be released. Oh, the surefire Metal joy I would experience if that Fastway album was to be at Caldor! Minutes after I was released from being imprisoned in that High School, I was there… at Caldor. Fastway was also there. You betcha. With my Metal heart beating quickly, I reached for this precious new vinyl pressing, had it in my hands…  what is this? Located on the back of this Fastway debut album was a strange looking little mini record, it was not a 45 rpm, (it was the size of a 45 rpm and had a tiny album hole in the center), nor was it anything that I really saw before. It was supposed to be with this album, for it was the single for the song “Far Far From Home” – this song never made it on the actual album itself, therefore, the record company added it on as a separate single bonus! Man, at this moment, this teenage Metalhead was on Metal cloud nine.

Alright, as for the actual Metal found on this Fastway debut album, it rocked me straight into Heavy Metal bliss for an entire Summer – and Fall and Winter too. The tunes were so catchy, guitar driven and groove laden (courtesy of “Fast” Eddie Clarke), that it was one difficult album for me to put down for a lengthy period of time. “Say What You Will” was the most notoriously recognizable track off of this album. The opening guitar lead by “Fast” Eddie Clarke repeats throughout the entire song, instead of being repetitious, it was (and still is) Metal delicious. The vocals of the underrated Dave King were reminiscent of Robert Plant upon my initial listen to this album. However, back in the ’80’s it seemed to be the trend to point the finger at too many Hard Rock and Metal vocalists – accusing them of ripping off the legendary Robert Plant. “Easy Livin'” is definitely my favorite track on this debut, it is fast, slick and the guitar play of “Fast” Eddie Clarke shines. “You Got Me Runnin'” and “Give It All You Got” are heavy, fast paced – melody makers, providing the maximum Heavy Metal grooves you can possibly get out of three minute songs. 

In a Metal nutshell, the overall enjoyment that this Fastway debut album has provided me, sincerely has lasted a lifetime. This is one of those albums that I bought on CD as quickly as it was available. The efficiency of this album is what makes it a winner, for me. The efficiency of the songs structures, both musically and time wise, coupled with “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar, Dave King on vocals, Jerry Shirley on drums and Mickey Feat on bass, makes the debut Fastway album a Heavy Metal treat for me – to reach for to this very day.

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5 Responses to “Fastway – revisiting one cool, Heavy Metal debut album”

  1. i need to buy this on CD. the only ones i have ever owned were Waiting for the Roar and the Trick or Treat soundtrack, neither of which are very heavy, but I always dug ’em.

    it’s a shame that Dave King doesn’t even acknowledge that he was in Fastway. too busy playing it up to the Flogging Molly fans. i’m happy that he’s still making music, just don’t disown your roots.

  2. metalodyssey Says:

    I actually know of some dudes who will not acknowledge they ever even listened to Metal in the 1980’s and I know for fact they were die hard Metal fans. Now, that is really pathetic. Just know that I do not have contact with these morons… It must be a phobia… I guess I will call it… Metaliphobia. I am so huge on roots of heavy music… without the roots – Metal would never have grown… Man, that sounds real sappy – honestly, I am not listening to any Air Supply.

    – In Metal – Stone

  3. Curt King Says:

    nice!

    my fav. FASTWAY as well.

    Dave King is my uncle too! 😉

    *This is on the flip side to the RATT “Out of the Cellar” that’s stuck in my cars CD + cassette combo player (yes I have one of the last one made). So needless to say I have been listening to these a lot lately due to daily trips to see my mom in the hospital.

    I think my dad is starting to even like some of these. He is a die-hard country fan, but I did see him tapping his foot to a RATT song the other day (cannot remember which one – I think “Lack of Communication”).

    I got to see FASTWAY on this tour and for the 2nd LP too, which was good. After that I wrote them off for whatever reason I dunno!?

    Good one…

    Curt King

    • metalodyssey Says:

      The debut Fastway album is constantly revisited by me… this album is one of those “imbedded” in my psyche from an earlier time. I can never grow tired of listening to this album.

      Fastway didn’t do anything over the top… just straight forward Hard Rockin’ tunes. Fastway is proof… that sometimes “less is more”.

  4. Great to see someone else as into this album as me! I was 12 or 13 when the record came out and I got it on vinyl. It was one of the first albums I bought after being given my first guitar. As a guitarist in a hard rock band now I can hear the influence of Fast Eddie’s rifftasticness in my own playing. I still listen to Fastway to this day, and this particular slab of metal is among my greatest hits of all time.

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