W.A.S.P. – “ReIdolized (The Soundtrack to the Crimson Idol)” 2 CD / DVD (Napalm Records)
Still regarded by many as the best W.A.S.P. album, even though it was originally intended as a Blackie Lawless solo record, “The Crimson Idol” has gone much further in becoming one of rocks greatest concept albums, very much in the vein of The Who’s “Tommy” at least in my opinion. Taking nearly 3 years to complete, it was an introspective written by Lawless under the alter ego character Jonathan Steele, and dealt with dark and heavy issues ranging from being outcast by family to the pressures of fame and ultimately, the search for elusive love. Telling the tale of the aforementioned Steele who runs away from an abusive home to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol before climbing his way off the streets to achieve rock stardom, the final tragedy is played prior to a concert when he attempts one final act of reconciliation with his parents and upon dismal rejection, hangs himself while onstage. Now marking the 25th anniversary of the original release, the album was originally intended to be accompanied by a movie, with several hundred hours of film that were shot to create approximately 60 minutes of movie footage. Now, after years, this film has finally been released! Accompanying the 16 tracks spread across 2 CDs is an hour long film montage that is the final missing piece to this dark, splendiferous release whose power and emotional impact still resonates even to this day thanks to incredible tracks like ‘The Invisible Boy’, ‘I Am One’ and ‘The Idol’. Bringing Lawless’s stellar compositions to life is the awesome talent of Bob Kulick and Doug Aldrich on guitars, Frankie Banali’s thundering drums and not in the least, Lawless himself through his crunching bass and heart felt vocals. Unmissable the first time, now, as originally intended with film and soundtrack united the cult of Jonathan Steele can be once again powerfully felt in all its magnificence of darkness and tragedy.