Mott the Dog: Waysted – Heroes Die Young: Waysted Volume Two (2000-2007)

Fin and Pete in all their red glory on stage on the cover of this box set.

Waysted by name, Wasted by nature.

If there is a description for the vagaries of Rock’n’roll, there will be a picture of the band Waysted.

Pete Way one of those larger than life characters of Rock’n’roll, first came to the attention of the Rock’n’roll world in 1968, when he formed UFO with Phil Mogg (Vocals.) Mick Bolton (Lead Guitar.) and Andy Parker (Drums.). When they set off down that road in search of fame and fortune.

In 1982 in Pete Way’s opinion UFO were going soft! So he left the band. After a brief dalliance trying to get it together with Fast Eddie Clarke (Ex Motorhead) to form Fastway. He formed Waysted with Scottish singer Fin Muir. From its beginning the lineup was somewhat fluid, with members, coming and going in what seemed an endless circle. Their first salvo from the recording studio called Vices (Nothing subtle in the title there then Pete?) hit you straight between the lugs. The perfect response to his claims against his former bandmates from another planet. Five or so years of carnage followed with some wild scenes at gigs, plus Fin was at one stage cast aside to allow the band to try their hand at cracking America with a more melodic sound. (It didn’t work.) The band sort of drifted into disrepair in 1987, Pete Way found other sources to fulfill his needs. But in 2003 with interest rising for the band, the cry went out to get the band back together. Who’s heard that rallying call before? Fin was straight back in the ranks, Paul Chapman, Pete’s old running mate from UFO was tried out for a year on lead guitar, before old issues arose, and the amazing Chris George took over. Much more reliable our George. Paul Hasan was discovered and found to have the staying power to keep up with Waysted on and off the stage. Jason Poole was added as Second Guitarist in 2007. This band could bring the roof down. This is where our Box Set starts out.

Back from The Dead. Oh I Say Young Lass.

Are you keeping up?

Five CDs in all are included in this elaborate and well thought out Box Set from HME Recordings.

First up is Wilderness of Mirrors, an album of Demo’s salvaged from the Save Your Prayer sessions in 1986. The album had great critical and commercial success when released, giving the guys the idea to reform. As soon as the riff to Walls Fall Down cracks open, eyebrows are raised, shoulders roll, feet stomp, heads bang. Incredible for a bunch of demos. Excellent playing, excitement and songwriting. There’s even a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son for good measure. Paul Chapman features on guitar.

Boot from The Dead artwork. Art imitating art a real Bootleg style cover here.

They haven’t even started yet.

So, we plunge straight into the first release of the reunited band Back from the Dead. Surely if this had been released in 1984 instead of the ugly Noughties it would have been right up there. The songwriting, particularly the structuring of the songs was excellent. For pure Rock’n’roll the songs were epic in length. Opener Alternativa is almost eight minutes long. It really just means each song, gives you a longer musical kickin’. As soon as Fin calls out “Hey Hombre” you know this is going to rock, and it does. Chris George is given plenty of space to show his chops on the axe, what a find he was. Paul Hasan kicks in with Pete Way’s dexterous bass work. Rock’n’roll Valhalla. Neither the tempo or quality slacken off until the very end. Animal instincts at the ready.

Next, I hear you call. Whilst on the road the band took the opportunity of recording themselves at the Mean Fiddler in London on 18th February 2005. This is where the beast is unleashed. Waysted were to all intents and purposes a live animal, on stage is where they fired up. Four original Waysted songs were released on Boot from the Dead. Added on for this collection are two tracks from the rare Japanese edition of Back from the Dead. Live recording of the band with Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman on lead guitar as they break out two UFO covers in The Wild Willing and the Innocent, No Place to Run. Both of interest, but more for the completists among us.

The Harsh Reality. A Great album.

But then on CD four the action takes a further ramp up. A recording of the band at the Glasgow Club Barfly. Mixed by Robin George. Worth the price of the whole collection for this recording alone. Real Spit’n’Sawdust Rock’n’roll.

The perfect opener in Toy with The Passion, Fin’s opening scream, would scare the dead. From there on it’s all action. You can physically feel the audience bounce. Hang ‘Em High is just so dramatic, Alternativa really opens up the power of Chris George to devastating effect. It’s a great example of why Pete Way was held as one of the finest of his kind. Paul Haslin does his Animal impression.

But it’s not just the playing, it’s also back to the sheer quality of the songs. Many bands would build an entire career around Won’t Get Out Alive. Waysted can afford to chuck it in second up. Bringing the audience into play straight away. The pairing of Dead on your Legs with Heaven Tonight in the middle of the set is genius in motion.

Well for Organized Chaos, the art department seem pretty well to have their act together.

Then to close things up is thirteen minutes of glorious chaos in the Rock’n’roll Medley giving the Glasgow crowd exactly what they want. At Fin’s command the band turn it up to eleven, the crowd go to twelve. If you were there: must have been the night of your life, if you weren’t at least you can imagine. When Fin says right at the end “Thank You. What a Night.” You just know he means it.

Disc Five is the last ever release from Waysted the Harsh Reality, 2007. Criminally underrated, but what can you do? Well go out and get this Box Set for a start. The title track and Keep it Sweet are full of commercial aspirations, perhaps they should have been hit singles. Out Of Control does what it says in the title. While the cover of Mike Dabo’s Handbags and Glad rags (Fin’s original cover of this was used as the theme song for Ricky Gervais’s TV Series the Office.) certainly beefs up proceedings. The album and collection comes to a close with Can’t Live Without Some Pain. Rather poetic.

Pick out your Air Guitar, crank the volume, start at the beginning, work your way through. Far better for you than going to the Gym.

Sadly, after an accident, a heart attack, cancer, life finally gave out on Pete in his 70th year. Rock’n’roll lost one of its largest characters, we won’t see his like again.

Pete Way where he loved to be on that stage.

The Songs you get.
Disc One.
Wilderness Of Mirrors.
Walls Fall Down. Demo.
Fire Under the Wheels. Demo.
Heroes Die Young. Demo.
Singing in the Night. Demo.
Out Of Control. Demo.
Wild Night. Demo.
Terror City. Demo.
Black And Blue. Demo.
Fortunate Son. Demo.
So Long. Demo.

Disc Two.
Back from the Dead.
The Alternativa.
Garden Of Eden.
Must B More 2 It Than This.
The Price of Love.
Breakfast Show.
I’m Gonna Love Ya.
Lost In Cleveland.

Mott the Dog’s own HelsBels with our Pete at High Voltage in 2011.

Disc Three.
Boot from the Dead. Plus Two.
Toy With Passion.
Love Loaded.
Night of the Wolf.
Garden of Eden.
The Wild the Willing and The Innocent.

Disc Four.
Organized Chaos…Live.
Toys With Passion.
Won’t Get Out Alive.
Hang ‘Em High.
The Alternativa.
Dead On Your Legs.
Heaven Tonight.
Love Loaded.
Must B More 2 It Than This.
Night Of the Wolf.
The Rock’n’roll Medley.

Wilderness of Mirrors. The Record company obviously put a bit of thought into promoting Wilderness of Mirrors as Paul Chapman remixed these Demo’s to feature his guitar playing, which it does to stunning effect, and includes his picture on the cover.

Disc Five.
The Harsh Reality.
Samaritan Man.
Rockin’ The Cliché.
Keepin’ It Sweet.
Long Time Dead.
Out Of Control.
It Wasn’t Me.
Song For Steve.
The Harsh Reality.
Handbags And GladRags.
Can’t Live Without Some Pain.

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