Heavy Metal Bands From 1983
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator
Fastway and Kingdom Come were vying to fill the heavy blues rock void left by Led Zeppelin. Fastway released their debut album in May of 1983.
After reading about this super group in Hit Parader magazine and seeing their video on MTV I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this album and it did not disappoint. I just wish I could remember if it was the video for ‘We Become One’ or ‘Say What You Will’.
Fastway’s self titled debut album on Columbia records featured a checkered flag front and back cover with the band’s logo on the front and the band members pictures on the back. On paper this was a hell of a super group. The new kid was singer Dave King who possessed a mighty set of vocals with just the right amount of Robert Plant sound. Pete Way from UFO and Fast Eddie Clark from Motorhead were also on board along with Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley. Had they been able to stay together they could have been huge. The record label and production was top notch and the album flat out rocked. For an 18 year old boy still mourning the death of Led Zeppelin, Fastway was a welcome addition to my album collection. The legendary Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and more) was on board handling production and assisting in songwriting.
Easy Livin’ kicks this album off with a borderline speed metal pace. There is nothing about this track that I do not like. While the title brings back memories of Uriah Heep, the music is pure Led Zeppelin. The lyrics are as good as anything Page and Plant could have come up with at the time and the drums, guitar and bass were almost as powerful and tight as Led Zeppelin.
“Feel me, touch me, I’ll do anything you want”. These amazing lyrics are accompanied by some slamming good rock and roll Montrose style. “Take her out side and show her things a woman should know”. Dave King’s vocals are smooth as glass and just seem to float on top of this rocking track.
All I Need is Love is another fast paced heavy rock song with Zeppelin sounding guitars and drums.
Another Day starts off sounding like Fastway is taking a stab at the heavy metal ballad. The lyrics are moving and beautiful “I fly to where the wind’s calling me. Remember when we had the good times, the good times, take me away to another day. ” Of course the song switches gears and gets hard and heavy which makes this song sound too much like the previous three tracks. They should have just made this one a heavy metal ballad. It would have broken up side one perfectly. Instead by the time you get to the end of this song you begin suffering hard rock fatigue.
The fatigue goes away the second Heft! begins and you hear the John Bonham sounding drums and the bluesiest sounding guitar on the whole album. Heft! is Fastways attempt at a song in the style of Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”. It works and it is an excellent way to end side one.
Side two starts with a slower more bluesy paced song with a heavy Led Zeppelin influence entitled “We Become One”. Dave King really channels his inner Robert Plant on this one.
Give It All You Got continues the Zeppelin influenced bluesy rock on this tasty little rock and roller.
A really cool chorus highlights “Say What You Will”. Listen to this song a couple of times and the infectious guitar riff and perfectly harmonized chorus is liable to randomly pop into your head for decades to come. You have been warned.
You got me running takes the blues based hard rock sound and puts a swinging twist to it. Another classic hard rock song that every heavy metal head should be familiar with.
The album ends with another fast paced blues rock track entitled “Give It Some Action”
I highly recommend this album. In the history of rock and roll there’s always an album or two that is as good as anything else released in that decade. In the seventies it was albums by the legendary heavy metal bands such as Montrose. In the eighties it was this album by Fastway. These albums didn’t make rich mega stars out of these heavy metal bands, the music stands the test of time. Like a fine wine, just gets better with age.
Fate denied Fastway the huge fame and fortune they sought. In the end nobody ascended to the thrones vacated by Led Zeppelin and The Who. Many heavy metal bands have tried and most have failed. This album and the follow up “All Fired Up” stand up to the challenge, too bad the band couldn’t do the same.
P.S. The “Trick or Treat” movie soundtrack by Fastway is excellent as well.