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W.A.S.P. COVERS CHUCK BERRY CLASSIC – “PROMISED LAND” ON “BABYLON” ALBUM

Posted in 1960's rock and roll albums, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, current heavy metal songs, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential rock and roll albums, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, independent metal music record labels, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, vintage rock and roll songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Chuck Berry "St. Louis to Liverpool" small album picW.A.S.P. has brought the Chuck Berry 1964 Rock and Roll Classic Promised Land to the Heavy Metal forefront. Promised Land is from the Chuck Berry album from 1964, St. Louis To Liverpool. Appearing on their new studio album Babylon, Promised Land is the last song, closing out a tremendously catchy and hook laden, Old School Heavy Metal album. W.A.S.P.’s Heavy Metal lays down the riffs, leads and solos that resonates power and electrifies this song. The rhythm section of W.A.S.P. sets and maintains the Metal pulse of Promised Land, balancing out a groovy ride. When an early 1960’s Rock and Roll Classic like Promised Land can be covered with the passion and intensity that W.A.S.P. brings, it is the Old School Heavy Metal balance and basics that makes this song come to life. W.A.S.P. makes this song crush with heaviness without sacrificing any early 1960’s Rock guitar sound and energy.

Nothing is overdone with W.A.S.P. covering Promised Land. This is not a cover song that is a filler for this Babylon album. I always feel, that if you are going to cover a Rock and Roll Classic, there better be plenty of emotional integrity with the music and vocals combined. A cover song has to really convey the original song’s essence and fire. Blackie Lawless does live up to my expectations with covering Promised Land vocally, he really sings the lyrics as if he penned them himself. Blackie Lawless sings the lyrics of Promised Land as if he truly was the poor boy, (in this song), traveling across the country to California. To camouflage oneself within a song’s lyrics, to make the song sound so believable as Blackie Lawless does with his vocals, is worth taking a bow. In my Metal opinion, listening to Blackie Lawless sing Promised Land makes me believe that he would have owned an enormous crowd of frenzied Rock and Roll fans back in 1964. This same sentiment goes to the entire W.A.S.P. band here, based on how authentic Promised Land plays out on Babylon. W.A.S.P. would have torn the roof down, (literally), at any given theater that catered to Rock and Roll concerts – back in the early 1960’s.

Anytime a band of any Rock or Heavy Metal genre pays tribute to such an icon such as Chuck Berry, it makes for quite the Rock and Roll history lesson. Younger bands should take notice, saluting a Rock and Roll originator such as Chuck Berry, through a high quality cover song such as W.A.S.P. has done, is of the highest compliment to this Rock and Roll legend. This cover version of Promised Land had me hooked from the opening note, it is the Heavy Metal of W.A.S.P. taking over a soda hop from 1964 and bringing it into 2009.

W.A.S.P. is not the first band in Rock and Roll history to cover Promised Land. This song is too great for it not to have been previously covered. The late and unreal legendary Elvis Presley covered this song, found on his 1975 album Promised Land. Rock icon The Grateful Dead have covered this song, (it was a staple in their live sets), plus other Rock luminaries such as Meat Loaf, James Taylor and Dave Edmunds have covered Promised Land on album too.

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

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W.A.S.P. “CRAZY” FROM “BABYLON” ALBUM IS WOVEN WITH HEAVY METAL MATURITY

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

W.A.S.P. Babylon small album picThank you Blackie Lawless. Thank you for not going away, taking an extended leave of absence or selling out. There are too many 1980’s Heavy Metal Bands that did just those things, now they are scrambling to make their triumphant comeback or best album ever. Some are doing just that, only Blackie Lawless does not belong to that club. The Heavy Metal membership card that Blackie Lawless holds says two words… for life. Why shouldn’t it say just that? The true fans of Heavy Metal and/or W.A.S.P. are in it for life. While the 1990’s ushered in the Grunge genre and scores of pretentious bands (being mistakenly labeled) Heavy Metal, all the while lining up at Hollywood’s red carpet gala’s for accolades, W.A.S.P. was too busy making real Heavy Metal albums of integrity. The politically correct mainstream press was not a necessity for W.A.S.P.’s survival then, it certainly is not now. There is no return of or part ll theme happening with W.A.S.P., just a band that is a Heavy Metal mainstay, due to the perseverance and creativity of Blackie Lawless. To take a quote from Blackie Lawless, (as stated in the liner notes from Babylon)… If it is not the truth, it will not stand.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be writing a series of reviews on the new W.A.S.P. studio album, Babylon. Concentrating on individual songs, musical elements and lyrics from Babylon makes for a more enlightening Metal experience for me, hopefully visitors to Metal Odyssey will agree. When an album of Heavy Metal has such a powerful impact on me, as does Babylon, a generalized review is about as fulfilling as a stale beer sitting in the hot sun. Could I have predicted Babylon would have impacted me in such a fantastic way? Of course not, yet the surprise is more expected than unexpected.

W.A.S.P. "The Last Command" small album pic #1Crazy is the opening song on Babylon. The weight of the world always seems to be put on the opening track of any album. The first song sets the table for the remainder of the album, good or bad, this all important track can either be the demise or exclamation point for the songs that follow. With Crazy, this song kicks and extends it’s Heavy Metal tentacles like a giant sea squid on a caffeine rush. Crazy is the prelude to nine Heavy Metal songs of substance, this song alone foretells that W.A.S.P. connects in 2009. Blackie Lawless borrowed some of his Old School Heavy Metal and fused it with a more mature presentation, both with lyrics and tempo. Sure, Crazy is a fast moving song, only it’s the streamlined sound of it’s speed that makes it so appreciable. The consistency of Heavy Metal muscle is what I have come to expect from W.A.S.P., Crazy illuminates and flexes it from the opening note. My best Metal buddy Scott cued me into the comparison of Crazy to Wild Child, from the 1985 W.A.S.P. classic, The Last Command. (This was well before I owned a copy of Babylon, Scott was a lucky one who nailed Babylon on it’s import release date of October 13th). The opening guitar intro to both Crazy and Wild Child are very similar, still not a mirror image note for note.

The vocals of Blackie Lawless during Crazy extends maturity, not a voice that needs a stretcher… Blackie Lawless is not fooling anyone or pulling any high tech tricks. Doug Blair on lead guitar sounds like a rising star that Ozzy Osbourne would have plucked out of the bushel to call his own, decades ago. Instead, Blackie Lawless has a guitarist that doesn’t just play… emotion is emanated from the guitar of Doug Blair. Listening to the guitar solo on Crazy reminds me as to why I love Heavy Metal in the first place. Crazy is as commercially viable as any song from the storied Heavy Metal history of W.A.S.P., (only it has never been about accessibility with this band)… thank God for that. This is absolutely not an accusation that Blackie Lawless has set out to make a hit single, rather it is a Heavy Metal song that is so melodically driven that it is awe inspiring.

Lyrics, as with music itself, is art. One persons interpretation of a songs lyrics will differ far and wide against another’s. My interpretation of the lyrics for Crazy is – don’t fall in love with anyone or anything that cannot love you back. The symbolic person or thing that won’t accept love in Crazy sends a deep message of steering clear from personal hurt. Human emotion is a very volatile subject and Blackie Lawless has penned some intriguing lyrics with this song. You cannot draw love from drugs, alcohol or hate. These are things that will make anyone look crazy for loving. Inanimate objects are never going to love anyone. A tremendous Heavy Metal song is Crazy, this is the one song I have listened to the most from Babylon thus far… isn’t that crazy?

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

W.A.S.P. COVERS THE DEEP PURPLE CLASSIC “BURN” WITH HEAVY METAL PRIDE ON BABYLON ALBUM!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic rock cover songs, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current heavy metal songs, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Blackie Lawless Image #1W.A.S.P. has me burning up with an extreme Heavy Metal fever. Their new studio album, Babylon, is the total Old School Heavy Metal package. I am so excited about this new W.A.S.P. album, I need to calm down. Alright, if you have never purchased a W.A.S.P. album in your life and you are into Metal, do the right thing and buy Babylon. Veteran W.A.S.P. fans should understand why I am pumped up about Babylon… it is the quintessential Heavy Metal album for 2009. Am I saying it is the best Heavy Metal album of 2009? I am sure leaning in that direction for certain. Remember, this is Heavy Metal, no strings attached. Blackie Lawless has proven once again he is not about to back down, cow tow or change for anyone. Blackie Lawless has my total Metal support and praise for his convictions, which he so eloquently states within the liner notes of Babylon.

In a perfect Heavy Metal world, Blackie Lawless would be my choice for President and Chief Commanding Officer. For now, I can live with Blackie Lawless being the living Heavy Metal legend he is. I now hereby declare, that it is very difficult to hide my appreciation for the Heavy Metal of W.A.S.P., I am damn proud of it too. I have been listening to and enjoying the Heavy Metal of  W.A.S.P. for too many years now, to give a hoot about what anyone thinks of my admitting my adoration for Blackie Lawless and his band. Hey, it is light years better than admitting to being a follower of an uptight dude, named Keith Olberman, who whines all night on MSNBC.

Get ready – for this will be the first in a series of rave Metal reviews I will be doing regarding this W.A.S.P. Babylon album. It is that unreal great. Oh well, I have to listen to the boss at Metal Odyssey and he says I have to do it this way… that boss is me. Isolating songs from a great Heavy Metal album like Babylon and writing about them, is more of a deserving tribute to a Metal accomplishment by Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P., in my Metal opinion. The only song I will comment on, in this first edition of W.A.S.P. Babylon reviews, is the cover song Burn. This 1974 Classic Hard Rock song from the ultra incredible Deep Purple, is now also an unbelievable Heavy Metal classic, courtesy of Blackie Lawless and his band. I listened to this W.A.S.P. cover of Burn at least six times repeatedly… it blew my Metal mind. Blackie Lawless on vocals is Metal mesmerizing, I can hear the love and passion he truly has for this song… very loud and very clear. W.A.S.P. signs, seals and delivers Burn in powerful Heavy Metal style, nothing formal, no black tie required.

Deep Purple "Burn" small album picI will always believe, that it is extremely hard to cover a song of this magnitude, without tripping up somewhere along the way. Nothing beats a Hard Rock Classic, especially one from Deep Purple. David Coverdale will forever have the notoriety of originally vocalizing Burn with Deep Purple. David Coverdale’s  vocal signature on the original version of Burn, plus his historical importance to Heavy Metal is immeasurable, in my most honest Metal opinion. Fast forward to 2009 and Burn is resurrected from the archives of Hard Rock history, thanks to W.A.S.P.. Blackie Lawless maintains the signature keyboards of Burn, reestablishing the importance this instrument has within this song. Doug Blair on lead guitar, cements himself as an asset, to the Heavy Metal identity that is W.A.S.P., on this amazing cover song. Burn returns and rises like a flaming phoenix, with Blackie Lawless unleashing this song’s power and exposing it’s grandeur for all Heavy Metal time.

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

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