First Blood....Last Cuts by W.A.S.P. - Hype! Music Review


First Blood....Last Cuts

Released: 1993

In the fine tradition of shock theater, created in the early seventies by Alice Cooper, Blackie Lawless came on the scene in 1984 with a band called W.A.S.P. Armed with a stage show, that involved chainsaws, fire, torture rack and raw meat being thrown into the audience, took the shock theater idea a little further, into what he referred to as psycho drama. Most importantly, he got everyone's attention with a song called Animal (Fuck Like A Beast), an independent release that his record company refused to put out. This song remains to this day the best selling independent release.

Unfortunately with this song, his questionable stage antics involving half dressed women and the band's name, which he said meant We Are Sexual Perverts, got the attention of the PMRC. This "wonderful" organization launched a censorship campaign, using as one of their exhibits the cover of Animal, which depicts a man's crotch being sawed in half. Amidst all the controversy Blackie and his band kept making great music, with infectious melodies, driving rhythm and Blackie's vocals that sounded somewhat like a chainsaw. In 1984 they put out a self titled CD, of which the three singles included here are remixed giving a fuller, meaner sound. They followed up with The Last Command ('85), Inside The Electric Circus ('86) and Live...In The Raw ('87), generating six singles, but it seemed that the PMRC was catching up with them.

After a few personnel changes, they came back in 1989 with a critically acclaimed CD, with the misleading title, The Headless Children. This represented a change in the lyrical content, dealing mostly with war, because Blackie was apparently tired of singing about his crotch. The album contained a great cover of The Who's The Real Me and three other singles. More internal problems followed, leaving only Blackie to continue, therefore it took three years for the next album The Crimson Idol to come out. This is a rock opera, with a story and all the songs written by Blackie. With a few ballads, like Hold On To My Heart and The Idol and a hard hitting Chainsaw Charlie that takes a direct stab at the recording industry, this the best W.A.S.P. album to date.

This compilation covers all the singles released by them since the beginning plus two new tracks, Sunset And Babylon and Rock And Roll To Death and shows that W.A.S.P. are not only about sex and abuse, but mostly about great melodic heavy metal. I hope, that Blackie will go on, keep making great music and prove the PMRC wrong.

Rating: 8

Sun Valley, 12 July, 1995


1. Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)            9. The Headless Children
2. L.O.V.E. Machine                     10. Mean Man
3. I Wanna Be Somebody                  11. Forever Free
4. On Your Knees                        12. Chainsaw Charlie
5. Blind In Texas                       13. The Idol
6. Wild Child                           14. Sunset And Babylon
7. I Don't Need No Doctor               15. Hold On To My Heart
8. The Real Me                          16. Rock And Roll To Death         

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