Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : W.A.S.P.
Album : The Headless Children
Released : April 15, 1989
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 4.5/5 (One Of The Best Metal Albums Of The Late 1980s)
Since today was the 28th anniversary of this excellent record, I played it from beginning to end for the first time in more than fifteen years. Well I won’t make that mistake again. “The Headless Children is an album that deserves to be heard frequently. After all these years it sounds as relevant and fresh as ever, which shouldn’t be surprising. This was Blackie Lawless looking for respect, and succeeding with flying colors. It was obvious by 1989 that he was personally tired of the whole Rock And Roll “Sex, Drugs & R&R lifestyle. Especially with Chris Holmes still in the band who had just turned into pathetic example of someone who just embraced that type of lifestyle much longer than he should’ve (just watch the movie The Decline Of Western Civilization II The Metal Years). That being said, this record contains some of his best guitar playing ever, proving he could survive without Randy Piper, even though he would leave the band after the completion of this record.
Blackie would also bring back bass player Johnny Rod, and two new musicians that would make his band stronger than ever. Former Uriah Heap Keyboard player Ken Hensley, and last but certainly not least the great Quiet Riot Drummer Frankie Banali, who may have done his greatest drumming ever in this record. Having Frankie in the band had to have a huge influence on Blackie too. He was also done with the whole party scene of the 1980s. Working on any projects that he could because he needed money to pay his mother’s doctor bills who was dying of cancer. This record, and tour to follow was all business for him.
So many highlights in this album from the excellent cover of the Who’s “The Real Me” one of the few times someone has done justice to covering a Who classic. The song “Mean Man” written about guitarist Chris Holmes, and his destructible lifestyle. The excellent ballad “Forever Free” that someone like Kid Rock wished he wrote. The lyrics were much deeper than in any other W.A.S.P. Record dealing with figures from history both good and bad.
This would be the only record this excellent lineup would make . And was a high note for the band to end the 1980s. As a whole W.A.S.P. Would never achieve a record this good from front to back again. A great overall piece of work from a band who gets more attention for the way they look more than for the music they made. Some purposely tend to try and overlook this album since it’s not from the original lineup, but don’t let that Deter you This is a record that’s about the music. Play it loud !!!!
“The Real Me” (Pete Townshend) – 3:20
“The Headless Children” – 5:46
“Thunderhead” (Lawless, Holmes) – 6:49
“Mean Man” – 4:47
“The Neutron Bomber” – 4:10
“Mephisto Waltz” – 1:28
“Forever Free” – 5:08
“Maneater” – 4:46
“Rebel in the F.D.G.” – 5:08