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Waysted: Heroes Die Young:Waysted Volume 2 (2000-2007)

There’s no doubt that the much missed bassist Pete Way will be remembered best for his incendiary time with UK rock legends UFO. However, across two stints - 1982 to 1987 and then 2003 to 2020 when he sadly died - Way was also the band leader of Waysted. Initially the idea was to form an outfit with ex-Motorhead man ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke but the latter would instead take Fastway in his own direction, leaving the four-string master to come up with Waysted, a band completed by singer Fin Muir, fellow ex-UFO man Paul Raymond on keys and guitar, and early Def Leppard drummer Frank Noon. Withstanding numerous line-up changes the band would release two excellent albums and an EP before Fin was replaced by young singer Danny Vaughn. The resultant album, Save Your Prayers, saw Waysted add a more commercial sheen to their earlier hard rocking roots, and as with so many bands that tried the same trick, didn’t receive much enthusiasm from critics or existing fans. Way would eventually wend his way back to UFO, while Vaughn would form the underground heroes Tyketto - and with that, it appeared that the Waysted story was done.

Hindsight, however, showed Save Your Prayers to be an excellent melodic hard rock outing that was wrongly misunderstood and when demos from those sessions were released in 2000 under the name Wilderness Of Mirrors, Way wondered if the time wasn’t ripe for a Waysted reunion. It is those reformation days that this second Waysted box set from Cherry Red/HNE focuses on, bringing together the aforementioned Wilderness… alongside the two studio albums that followed with Fin Muir back behind the mic, a band recorded live ‘bootleg’ and a full on live release.

Wilderness, while clearly polished up demos, proves to be a great listen. Vaughn and Way sound perfect together and with Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman (also ex-UFO) on guitars and John Dee on drums there’s no denying this line-up really clicked. That said, other than an excellent cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”, nearly everything here turned up on the Save Your Prayers album in full recorded fashion in one shape or another. Hence, as a stand alone release it would be difficult to call this album essential, but as part of this five disc set it becomes an interesting chapter of the story.

Having joined forces once more with Fin Muir, Waysted returned proper with Back From The Dead, although with only eight songs and a forty minute running time, they certainly weren’t outstaying their welcome. In all honest, the majesty and power that so infused the first three Fin fronted releases never really came close to being recaptured on BFTD, but if a slightly less refined version of the UFO approach sounds appealing then you’ll still enjoy the likes of “The Alternativa”, “Must Be More 2 It Than This” and “Back From The Dead”. In truth, I can’t pretend that these songs were even in the same realms as the pre-split albums, and it has to be said that while he’s a talented chap, the guitar work from Chris George never quite came alive.

Next up came the lo-fi four track ‘bootleg’, Boot From The Dead, which as you’d expect isn’t exactly cutting edge in terms of its sound, but lively versions of “Love Loaded” and “Garden Of Eden” are still good fun. Two studio tracks round out this short (around 30 minutes) disc, with the covers of UFO favourites “The Wild, The Willing And The Innocent” and “No Place To Run” with ‘Tonka’ Chapman on guitars proving to be among the highlights of this entire 5 disc set.

Thankfully the Organized Chaos Live album fares much better, an improved sound, longer selection of songs and Fin Muir in exuberant form in front of a home (for him) Glasgow audience, finding the band really hitting their stride. It’s not quite a classic live album in the long tradition but there’s certainly a ‘wish I’d been there’ vibe as Chris George puts in a mighty stint on guitar and drummer Paul Haslin matches him on every step of the journey. With Way himself also firing on all six the likes of “Toy With Passion”, “Won’t Get Out Alive” and “Night Of The Wolf” hit hard and live long in the memory. Admittedly I could have done without the longer covers-medley and jam sequences in the set, and would have preferred a punchier version of the early classic “Heaven Tonight”, but these are minor quibbles.

And thankfully, we end on a high, the band’s 2007 and final album The Harsh Reality proving the Waysed rehabilitation was pretty much complete. Suddenly George comes alive and reveals himself to be a mighty six-string force and with Fin revitalised, the results really are excellent. “Propaganda” opens with real intent and a memorable chorus before Way’s bass thrums “Samaritan Man” into life and reveals a low slung attitude that goes onto serve the whole album well. “It Wasn’t Me” possesses the kind of sliding blues shuffle that AC/DC’s “Ride On” thrived upon, while “Long Time Dead” becomes an excellent melodic hard rock anthem that should have been massive. Add in a more than passable cover of “Handbags And Gladrags” (a song that Fin had sung the vocals on when it was used for the theme tune of the UK version of The Office) and even the less exciting moments on this album show up really well.

A compilation album aside, sadly this was the last we would hear from Waysted, with a 2015 online feud between Way and Fin effectively consigning them to the history books, although they never officially split. Way would, of course, sadly pass away in 2020 and while it would be a stretch to suggest that the music contained on this set comes even near to the best work he was involved with, there are moments across at least four of the five discs it houses that deserve more recognition than they received on their initial release.

Track Listing
DISC ONE Wilderness Of Mirrors

1. Walls Fall Down
 2. Fire Under The Wheels
 3. Heroes Die Young
 4. Singing To The Night
 5. Out Of Control
 6. Wild Night
 7. Terror City
 8. Black And Blue
 9. Fortunate Son
 10. So Long

DISC TWO Back From The Dead

1. The Alternativa
 2. Garden Of Eden
 3. Dreams
 4. Must B More 2 It Than This
 5. The Price Of Love
 6. Breakfast Show
 7. I’m Gonna Love Ya 
8. Lost In Cleveland

DISC THREE Boot From The Dead

1. Toy With The Passion
 2. Love Loaded
 3. Night Of The Wolf
 4. Garden Of Eden
 5. The Wild The Willing And The Innocent
 6. No Place To Run

DISC FOUR Organized Chaos Live

1. Toy With The Passion
 2. Won’t Get Out Alive
 3. Hang ’Em High
 4. The Alternativa
 5. Dead On Your Legs
 6. Heaven Tonight
 7. Love Loaded
 8. Must Be More 2 It Than This
 9. Night Of The Wolf

DISC FIVE Harsh Reality

1. Propaganda 
2. Samaritan Man
 3. Rockin’ The Cliché
 4. Keepin’ It Sweet
 5. Long Time Dead 
6. Out Of Control 
7. It Wasn’t Me
 8. Song For Steve
 9. The Harsh Reality
 10. Handbags And Gladrags
 11. Can’t Live Without Some Pain

Added: July 18th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Waysted @ Cherry Red
Hits: 683
Language: english

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