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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Randy Pie - 1977 Fast Forward
Randy Pie - 1977 Fast Forward

ARTIST: Randy Pie
ALBUM: Fast Forward
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6113
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Peter French - lead vocals * Frank Diez - guitars * Manfred Tissy Thiers - bass, backing vocals * Jean-Jacques Kravetz - clavinet, synthesizers, organ, electric and acoustic piano * Dicky Tarrach - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Trust Me * 02 Hijacked * 03 Stand Up * 04 Star Attraction * 05 Back Street Boy * 06 Work It Out * 07 Hot Afternoon * 08 Name Of The Game * 09 Fast Forward

Like Jethro Tull and Max Webster before them, there is no one named Randy in this band - confounding record store owners around the world who agonized if the albums should be stocked under 'R' or 'P'. Formed in Germany in 1972 at the height of the 'Krautrock' era, Randy Pie were more interested in American soft rock sounds ala The Doobie Brothers, rather than tripping out on the cosmic vibrations of Amon Duul and Can. That's not to say they abandoned progressive rock entirely. Randy Pie and their California rock fixation also flirted with jazz rock on their early albums which found them on the road supporting a diverse range of acts from Deep Purple to Alexis Korner and selling a fair amount of albums as a result. Despite their successes, all good things must come to an end and for a variety of reasons; cracks began to appear in Randy Pie during their 1975 tour. Following the aftermath of three band members jumping ship in 1976, 'Fast Forward', produced by Spencer Proffer, featured former Atomic Rooster and Cactus vocalist Peter French and guitarist Frank Diez, who had already made a name for himself with popular German bands Atlantis and Emergency.

The Songs
With Proffer at the helm, 'Fast Forward' set it sights on the American market. I suppose watching their follow countrymen Lake making strides in the land of milk and honey, Randy Pie wanted a piece of the.. Oh never mind! In some respects, comparisons can be made to Lake on songs like 'Star Attraction' which is the most progressive tune here, and the ballad 'Work It Out', but Steely Dan, Pablo Cruise and the Average White Band are emulated here as well. The problem I have with this record is nothing really sticks. The songs, despite the immaculate production, really don't jump out at the listener due to a serious lack of hooks and the vocals are at times are over the top. Perhaps a hard rock vocalist in Randy Pie's pop and jazz rock setting might not have been the best choice?

In Summary
I am not sure how much promotion went into 'Fast Forward', or if the band ever made it to American shores to support the record. Shame if they didn't considering they were a hot live act. A 1986 Randy Pie reunion disc 'Magic Ferry' sort of came and went without much attention and little has been heard from the band since. I suggest hunting down the early albums and picking up 'Fast Forward' last, although it's probably the easiest to find with its very cool cover art!

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#1 | gdazegod on August 21 2007 02:58:10
Peter French's 1978 solo album 'Ducks In Flight' can be downloaded from
#2 | vinyldinosaurus on February 20 2008 17:53:57
Don't forget that Peter French was also the lead singer on the Leafhound classic Growers Of Mushroom.
#3 | Eric on February 20 2008 22:27:28
Good catch. I never drew a connection between the two and I have the Leafhound album!helpless
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