The Headless Children
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|The Headless Children|
|Studio album by W.A.S.P.|
|Released||April 15, 1989|
|Recorded||Late 1988 - Early 1989|
|Ultimate Metal Reviews||(8.1/10)|
The Headless Children is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band W.A.S.P., released by Capitol Records in 1989. It is now the highest selling W.A.S.P. album to date, producing 3 UK Top 40 hit singles, with 'Mean Man' missing the top 20 by one spot (#21). 'The Real Me' (a Who cover) made it to #23 and 'Forever Free' to #25.
The album demonstrates a certain maturity from the band, with lyrics of a political and social nature. Track 6 in particular "The Neutron Bomber" is about the late US President Ronald Reagan. "Mean Man" is however a song written by lead singer/bassist Blackie Lawless about and dedicated to guitarist Chris Holmes and his wild lifestyle. Ironically, Holmes left the band shortly after the album release.
The cover shows a string of historical figures, such as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Benito Mussolini, Charles Manson, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Al Capone and the Ku Klux Klan. The prominent front figures features a picture of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Later pressings have replaced among others Ayatollah Khomeini with additional Ku Klux Klan members.
This was the first W.A.S.P. album to feature ex-Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and the last studio album to feature guitarist Chris Holmes for nearly a decade when he rejoined W.A.S.P. in late 1997 to record Kill Fuck Die.
- All songs written by Blackie Lawless, unless otherwise indicated.
- "The Heretic (The Lost Child)" (Blackie Lawless, Chris Holmes) – 7:22
- "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
1998 CD reissue bonus tracks
- "Locomotive Breath" (Ian Anderson) – 2:59
- "For Whom the Bell Tolls" – 3:47
- "Lake of Fools" – 5:29
- "War Cry" – 5:33
- "L.O.V.E. Machine (Live)" – 4:47
- "Blind in Texas (Live)" – 6:23
Although not rare for a W.A.S.P. show, Blind in Texas features an audience member plucked out of the crowd by Blackie Lawless and singing with the band onstage. The man's name was Andy. This is the only recording released wherein W.A.S.P. have an audience member participating in the show onstage.
"The Heretic (The Lost Child)" on the 1998 reissue has been edited to remove a small portion of a guitar riff, due mainly to running time on a CD to allow all the bonus material.
- Blackie Lawless – lead vocals, guitar
- Chris Holmes – guitar
- Johnny Rod – bass guitar, vocals
- Frankie Banali - drums
- Ken Hensley – keyboards
- Diana Fennel – background vocals
- Lita Ford – background vocals
- Mark Humphreys – background vocals
- Jimi Image – background vocals
- Minka Kelly – background vocals
- Thomas Nellen – background vocals
- Cathi Paige – background vocals
- Mike Solan – background vocals
- Kevin Wallace – background vocals
- Melba Wallace – background vocals
- Ron Wallace – background vocals
- Produced by Blackie Lawless
- Engineered and mixed by Mikey Davis
- Assistant engineer: Tom Nellen
- Design and art direction by Kosh
- Photography by Dick Zimmerman
- Mastered by Steve Hall at Future Disc, Hollywood, CA
- Additional mastering by George Marino at Sterling Sound, New York, NY
- Editing engineer: Rhonda Schoen
- "The Real Me"
- The UK Picture CD Single features two new songs not included on the original album release, but subsequently included on the 1998 expanded re-release. Track 2 "Lake of Fools, Track 3 "War Song"
- "Mean Man"
- "Forever Free"
|1989||BPI Top 40 UK||8|
|1989||The Billboard 200 United States||48|
Singles - BPI (UK)
|1989||BPI Top 40||Mean Man||21|
|1989||BPI Top 40||The Real Me||23|
|1989||BPI Top 40||Forever Free||25|
- Prato, Greg. "W.A.S.P. - The Headless Children". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- Griffin, Larry. "Review: W.A.S.P. - The Headless Children". Metal Crypt. Michel Renaud/The Metal Crypt. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- Kaiser, Boris. "Review Album". Rock Hard. Hi-Media. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "W.A.S.P.--The Headless Children (1989/Capitol)". Ultimate Metal Reviews. UMR. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- "UK TOP 40 HIT DATABASE - WASP". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.