Fast Eddie Clarke reveals the 10 albums that changed his life

By Patrick Prince

Fast Eddie Clarke came to prominence in Motörhead, but the guitarist also is known for forming Fastway, an ’80s supergroup that originally featured UFO bassist Pete Way and ex-Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley. Fastway scored a hit with the hard-rockin’ “Say What You Will.”

Eddie Clarke with Fastway. Work Hard Publicity.

Fast Eddie Clarke (at left) with Fastway. Photo courtesy Work Hard Publicity.

In 2012, Clarke got the band back together (this time with vocalist and bassist Toby Jepson) to release “Eat Dog Eat,” Fastway’s first studio album since 1990.

In April 2014, Clarke released the solo LP “Make My Day (Back to Blues)” on Secret Records.

One thing that’s not much of a secret? The blues’ influence on Fast Eddie. Check out the 10 albums that changed his life.

The Yardbirds Five Live YardbirdsThe Yardbirds, Five Live Yardbirds

This was the first album that drew my attention to lead guitar and also Eric Clapton.

I borrowed it off a friend’s older brother. I played most of this album in my first band.

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric ClaptonJohn Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

By the time this came out, I was well on my way with my guitar playing. I was lucky to see John Mayall live many times.

This is how I wanted to play guitar and how I wanted it to sound. I played most of this album in my second band.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced?Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?

I was blown away by this. The guitar playing was out of this world. I was still in the Eric Clapton camp, but you could not help but be influenced by this great album.

I was lucky enough to have seen Jimi live three times in small venues. It really was something.

Cream Fresh CreamCream, Fresh Cream

I had followed Eric Clapton to the ends of the earth with John Mayall, and the first Cream album didn’t disappoint.

I was at their first gig at the Windsor Jazz and Rock Festival and saw them many times.

Jeff Beck TruthJeff Beck, Truth

This had a great lineup and some great moments on it. I think it is his best rock album.

The later solo stuff, like “Blow by Blow,” was a different animal, and you had to be into guitar only, which I was not. I like vocals, so the solos have their place.

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IILed Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II

When I heard this for the first time, I had just been told I had lost my gig. The solo in “Whole Lotta Love” haunts me to this day.

Deep Purple In RockDeep Purple, In Rock

The guitar solos on this album are amazing, and every one of the tracks has its own signature guitar solo. The variation and themes of the solos helped me always try and make each solo unique.

Humble Pie Rockin' The FillmoreHumble Pie, Rockin’ The Fillmore

When I heard this for the first time, I thought to myself, “This is the best album ever,” and whatever anyone may say or think, Peter Frampton is a very fine guitar player.

Santana CaravanseraiSantana, Caravanserai

Now this really surprised me. I loved it from Day One and still play it regularly today. I loved the first two albums, but the third was a disappointment, so this was very welcome.

Joe Walsh So WhatJoe Walsh, So What

I loved the way Joe Walsh found so much space. I was a big fan of the “Yeah” album by the James Gang, but “So What” really struck a chord with me.

Shortly after this, I joined Motörhead and the landscape completely changed. GM



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