Archive for The Last Command

Great Metal Albums of 1987: WASP- Live in the Raw

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2022 by 80smetalman

My initial reaction to WASP’s first live album was one of disappointment when I saw the track listing. How could there be a live album by WASP and it not have the classic “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” on it? I saw them live in 1986 and 87 and they played the track each time. Therefore, I thought putting it on a live album would be a no brainer but it’s not on it. So, I just had to enjoy the tracks that are on “Live in the Raw.”

Since the album was recorded during the “Inside the Electric Circus” Tour, the recordings were from shows in Long Beach and San Diego California, it is no surprise that four songs from the album are on this live one. While I wouldn’t call the song “Inside the Electric Circus” an attention grabbing opener, I can see why they opened with it. It’s still a good song.

What is good about “Live in the Raw” is that it includes a good balance of their first three albums. “Animal” might not be on it but they do include “I Want to Be Somebody” and “L.O.V.E. Machine,” from the first album, both of which are good songs anyway. Furthermore, I never paid much attention to “Sleeping in the Fire” but this live version has got my attention. As for “The Last Command” album, the two best songs from that album, “Wild Child” and my all time second favourite WASP song, “Blind in Texas” get included. In addition, they add two new songs, “Harder, Faster” and “Manimal,” the former is introduced with Blackie ripping on the PMRC, always fun to hear. Oh yes, they close out the album, with “Scream Until You Like It” which is the theme to the “Ghoulies II” movie, though that song was recorded in the studio. So all around, the tracks for the live album are well chosen.

What I like most is that there isn’t much difference between the live recordings and the studio albums. They do prolong some of the songs but they are being played live so there is always scope for extra guitar solos and repeated vocals and audience participation, so it’s all good. All of the songs are played well and I will now officially eat my words on the guitar playing of Chris Holmes. He does shred well, I only wished he did more of that when I saw them at Donnington that year.

Track Listing:

  1. Inside the Electric Circus
  2. I Don’t Need No Doctor
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. 95 Nasty
  5. Wild Child
  6. Sleeping in the Fire
  7. The Manimal
  8. I Want to Be Somebody
  9. Harder Faster
  10. Blind in Texas
  11. Scream Until You Like It
WASP

Blackie Lawless- guitar, lead vocals

Chris Holmes- lead guitar

Johnny Rod- bass, backing vocals

Steve Riley- drums, backing vocals

It has been said that “Live in the Raw” marked the division the band would take the band from the ‘old WASP’ to a more mature sound. I never really thought about that as WASP would continue to sound pretty much the same to me. However, this would be the last album to feature drummer Steve Riley. Still, it’s a decent live album.

Next post: White Lion- Pride

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Great Metal Albums of 1987: WASP- Inside the Electric Circus

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2021 by 80smetalman

Let me start with a debate I unintentionally started on Mike Ledano’s blog a few years back. He posted about a new album from former WASP guitarist Randy Piper. After reading the review and listening to the sample track and then remembering when I saw WASP perform at Donningtion 1987, I was of the mindset that Blackie Lawless fired the wrong guitarist. Believe me, that comment created lots of debate with one person in particular stating that Blackie indeed fired the right guitarist because Randy Piper was a screw up.

The whole debate actually started before the recording of the album, “Inside the Electric Circus.” Prior to recording, Blackie Lawless made the transition from bass to rhythm guitar and consequently fired Piper and in came Johnny Rod on bass. So the big question was for this album, did the transition pay off?

Thinking back to their previous album, “The Last Command,” which I found to be a bit average except for three very kick ass songs, I find “Inside the Electric Circus” to be a big improvement except for the fact that there aren’t any songs which transcend the ionosphere. However, the bulk of this album holds up and there is very little I would call filler. In fact, I have been finding rather difficult to find a standout track. There just seems to be a bit more oomph to the album.

There are a few throwbacks to the better tracks on “The Last Command.” I do get a “Wild Child” vibe on “Restless Gypsy” and though it’s not as phenomenal as its predecessor, “Restless Gypsy” is still a brilliant track. It is on this track where I have to conceded that Blackie didn’t fire the wrong guitarist because Chris Holmes delivers a killer solo on the track. My question is why don’t I remember him playing any solos like that at Donnington? Likewise, I can feel a “Blind in Texas” vibe to “Shoot From the Hip.” Going back to the debut album, I can hear a “I Wanna Be Somebody” vibe on “Easy Living.” On the other hand, the intro on “95-Nasty” has a opening riff that reminds me a little of AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.” And now I can say that I have a favourite track, It’s “I’m Alive” due to its Heart’s “Barracuda” vibe with a couple of killer guitar solos. I think I need to apologize to Chris Holmes.

Track Listing:

  1. The Big Welcome
  2. Inside the Electric Circus
  3. I Don’t Need No Doctor
  4. 95-Nasty
  5. Restless Gypsy
  6. Shoot From the Hip
  7. I’m Alive
  8. Easy Living
  9. Sweet Cheetah
  10. Mantronic
  11. King of Sodom and Gomorrah
  12. The Rock Rolls On
WASP

Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Chris Holmes- lead guitar

Johnny Rod- bass, backing vocals

Steve Riley- drums, backing vocals

To answer the original question, I think that the transition of Blackie to rhythm guitar and the adding of Johnny on bass did pay off on “Inside the Electric Circus.” While they stuck to the formula of their previous album, they did it better on this album. I saw the results at Donnington as I was surprised as to how much better they were than when I had seen them the year before. Even though I can’t remember any great solos from Chris Holmes, he definitely plays them on the album.

Next post: The Smiths- Strangeways, Here We Come

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