W.A.S.P. - The Crimson Idol (1992)

Cosmic Harmony

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1. "The Titanic Overture" – 3:23
2. "The Invisible Boy" – 4:04
3. "Arena of Pleasure" – 4:06
4. "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)" – 7:36
5. "The Gypsy Meets the Boy" – 4:08
6. "Doctor Rockter" – 3:43
7. "I Am One" – 4:27
8. "The Idol" – 5:20
9. "Hold On To My Heart" – 4:14
10. "The Great Misconceptions of Me" – 9:29



Often regarded as W.A.S.P.'s masterpiece, "The Crimson Idol" was intended to be the debut album of Blackie Lawless' solo career as he attempted to branch out from the diabolical antics that brought W.A.S.P. fame earlier in their career. After working on the album for 3 years Blackie gave in to pressure from fans and the record company and released the album under the W.A.S.P. name. As with every W.A.S.P. release the album received very mixed reviews from critics but has since become a favorite among fans and Lawless himself has stated more than once that it is his favorite album of his.
"The Crimson Idol" is a concept album (quite the rarity in non progressive metal bands) and tells the story of Jonathan Steel. Black Lawless has admitted in more recent year that both Jonathon and the album itself is based on his own life.



~~Plot~~
The album revolves around the life of Jonathon Steel. He was born into a very religious family that consisted of his father William, his mother Elisabeth, and his older brother Michael. Michael was very clearly the favorite between the two in their parents' eyes, but he tries to boost Jonathon's self esteem any chance he gets. Jonathon idolizes his older brother for this, though the two were opposite.
It is when Michael is killed in a car accident that Jonathon plunges into decadence and discovers alcohol, drugs, and girls.
One night while wandering the streets he sees a guitar in a store window and in that instant wants to become a rock star. So he steals the guitar and runs away from home.
Jonathan hitchhikes all the way the city and after two years meets "Chainsaw" Charlie, a big time music producer. Charlie tells him that he can make him a star and after learning everything he did and did not want to learn about the music business he is introduced to Alex Rodman, an up and coming manager, and the two take the world by storm.
One night Jonathan meets a gypsy who asks if he would like his fortune read. He had never had it done before so very willingly agrees. He tells her that he wants to become rich and famous and she warns him "Be careful what you wish for - it might come true, for the face of death wears the mask of the King of Mercy."
Over the next three years, which are nothing but a blur to Jonathan, he achieved great fame and success, but one night during one of his parties he get heavily chewed out by his manager Alex. After this he awakens for the first time in years and decides to try and bury the hatchet with his parents after all these years. He calls them before one of his shows and hope that his success would finally make them proud of him. During the phone call less than 50 words are spoken with them ending with "we have no son". before hanging up.
At the concert that night Jonathan realizes that all of his fame means nothing when all he wants his is parents' love. He uses the strings to his guitar as a noose and hangs himself onstage in the middle of the concert....
 

LG

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

Very serious subject matter for an album Cosmic. I didn't know anything about this CD before reading your review, and I was not a big WASP fan back in the day.

Still I am intrigued and a sucker for a well done concept album, so I'll look around and see if I can find a copy of The Crimson Idol and give it a listen.:tup:
 

Cosmic Harmony

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

Very serious subject matter for an album Cosmic. I didn't know anything about this CD before reading your review, and I was not a big WASP fan back in the day. Still I am intrigued and a sucker for a well done concept album, so I'll look around and see if I can find a copy of The Crimson Idol and give it a listen.:tup:

Yeah, I figured this would be the first time most people would be hearing of this album.
Even if you aren't a huge fan of W.A.S.P. this album is probably their more diverse musically, with (I believe) half the songs having acoustic sections to them rather than just straight forward metal like other W.A.S.P. releases. This give the album very low and high dynamics that only build throughout. :grinthumb
 

Magic

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

I had to sample some songs off the album, before I commented. I liked WASP, they were one of the heavier glam bands, and we all know how I feel about glam metal :)

The music is just a tad more complex than most of their other works, but still keeps within the realm of glam...which is a plus for the album.

I think I will pick this album up, to get a better listen. There is some awesome solos, and shredding!
 

Cosmic Harmony

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

I had planned on adding a few songs in my review but it slipped my mind. The final three songs are my favorites personally, but if I need a straight up W.A.S.P. song then I turn to "Chainsaw Charlie" for that.

W.A.S.P. isn't exactly the deepest band musically but I'd say this album takes them to places that no other glam band had ever gone before and hasn't since.

Glad you're interested in it. :)
 

Lynch

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

This is a FANTASTIC album, for WASP fans or otherwise.

Two thumbs, way way up!

And yeah, Chainsaw Charlie is outstanding. One of my favorite tunes by WASP, and I'm a longtime fan.
 

LG

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

I have a copy now Cosmic, just an MP3 but it will do for a test drive.:ty:
 

Cosmic Harmony

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Re: The Crimson Idol~~~W.A.S.P.

This is a FANTASTIC album, for WASP fans or otherwise.

Two thumbs, way way up!

And yeah, Chainsaw Charlie is outstanding. One of my favorite tunes by WASP, and I'm a longtime fan.

Glad I'm not the only one that loves that album Lynch. :cheers:

I have a copy now Cosmic, just an MP3 but it will do for a test drive.:ty:

Awesome. Hope you like it. Feel free to give your own review here if you want.
 

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