Waysted – “Save Your Prayers” (1986)

Here at PLAY IT LOUD! headquarters, we have a real soft spot for Waysted.  Led by ex-UFO bassist Pete Way, this band dished out some high-caliber hard rock from 1983-1986.  Unfortunately, not many people seemed to notice this at the time.  The consensus here at PLAY IT LOUD! is that Waysted deserved better!

Waysted’s last album (before break-up), Save Your Prayers, was quite different from the two full-length LPs and one mini-LP that preceded it.  Original vocalist “Fin” was replaced by youngster Danny Vaughn.  The two singers had completely different voices.  While Fin’s voice was like sandpaper, Vaughn’s voice was smoother than a billiard ball.  Also, Save Your Prayers received a pretty glossed-up sonic bath thanks to producer Simon Hanhart.  By contrast, Waysted’s three records with Fin had a lively, raw sound.  These two huge changes for Waysted weren’t necessarily good things.  I much prefer the rough n’ tumble sound of Waysted’s first three records.  Nevertheless, Pete Way was still writing the tunes, and that was a good thing.  This was a new, different Waysted, but at the same time, it was the same ol’ Waysted.  (Huh?)

Save Your Prayers came out on Parlophone Records.  The label took interest in Waysted thanks to their great tune Heaven Tonight, which appeared on their 1985 LP The Good The Bad The Waysted.  Parlophone wanted Waysted to re-record the tune for Save Your Prayers.  Joining Way and Vaughn in the Waysted line-up was returning guitarist Paul Chapman (ex-UFO), and some other guy on drums.  The album kicks off with its two best cuts up front; Walls Fall Down and Black & Blue.  As per usual, Way showed that he could write quality hard rock tunes that were well-balanced, with strong bridges, and great sing along choruses.  Vaughn possessed a nice voice, too.  Like I said, it was polar opposite to Fin’s, but that’s my problem, not his.  As for Heaven Tonight, the version on Save Your Prayers just couldn’t compare to the original.  But when all is said and done, this is a quality hard rock album that in no way sullied Waysted’s good name.  (Note: Save Your Prayers was released by Capitol Records in North America with the alternate cover art shown below.)  My score: A-


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