In this month’s edition of Stripped Down Sundays, we’re greeted by the heavy metal creature himself, Blackie Lawless of WASP. Today Blackie is almost unrecognizable without blood drooling from his mouth, the saw blade cod piece, motorcycle mic stand or those pesky Ghoulies running about.

Sans the gimmicks, these solo acoustic performances further defend our testament that Lawless was one of the greatest signers and songwriters of the decade.

These songs come from WASP’s fifth studio album The Crimson Idol, a concept album about the rise and fall of a fictional rock star named Jonathan Steel. The album marked a revolutionary turn for the band with songwriting taking a far more serious approach than their previous work. The Crimson Idol was originally recorded as a Blackie Lawless solo album but apparently the bandleader was pressured to release it under the WASP name.

Unfortunately WASP were already four albums deep and the general consensus about the band from mainstream media had been established. While the “glam shock rockers” had a nice little run on MTV which earned them a few hits, they weren’t to be taken as “serious songwriters”. WASP also never fit in with the poppy glam metal groups, nor did they mesh well with the straight up metal bands.

While Blackie & Co. will mostly be remembered for their violent theatrics, spitting blood and chewing raw meat on stage, there was a depth to this band that still to this day goes right over some people’s heads.

Time to pour yourself a bloody mary on this easy Sunday and crank up these stripped down hymns courtesy of Blackie Lawless! 

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