In 1982, Blackie Lawless, Rik Fox, Randy Piper, and Tony Richards came together to form W.A.S.P., one of the heaviest rock bands of the 1980s. The band's debut single, released in 1982, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), caused instant controversy because of the title, content, and the sexual nature of the cover.
|What I'll Never Find||The Neon God, Part 1: The Rise||2008|
|Keep Holding On||Still Not Black Enough||2008|
|D.B. Blues||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|Kill Fuck Die||K.F.D.||2008|
|All My Life||The Neon God, Part 2: The Demise||2008|
|Easy Living||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|Phantoms In The Mirror||The Crimson Idol||2008|
|Never Say Die||The Neon God, Part 2: The Demise||2008|
|Ballcrusher||The Last Command||1997|
|Rebel In The F.D.G.||The Headless Children||1999|
|Harder Faster||Live...In The Raw||1999|
|Widowmaker||The Last Command||1997|
|The Story Of Jonathan||The Crimson Idol||2008|
|I Can't||Still Not Black Enough||2008|
|9.5. - N.A.S.T.Y.||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|Thunderhead||The Headless Children||1999|
|Sweet Cheetah||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|Mississippi Queen||The Last Command||1997|
|Overture||The Neon God, Part 1: The Rise||2008|
|Trail Of Tears||Dying For The World||2008|
|Unholy Terror||Unholy Horror||2008|
|Somebody To Love||Still Not Black Enough||2008|
|Paint It Black||W.A.S.P.||2003|
|Breathe||Still Not Black Enough||2008|
|Flesh And Fire||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|The Raging Storm||The Neon God, Part 1: The Rise||2008|
|The Eulogy||The Crimson Idol||2008|
|War Cry||The Headless Children||1999|
|Shadow Man||Dying For The World||2008|
|Forever Free||The Headless Children||1999|
|Hate To Love Me||Unholy Horror||2008|
|Inside The Electric Circus||The Sting (Live)||2000|
|Lake Of Fools||The Headless Children||1999|
|Still Not Black Enough||Still Not Black Enough||2008|
|Kill Your Pretty Face||K.F.D. (Parental Advisory)||2008|
|My Tortured Eyes||K.F.D.||2008|
|Take The Addiction||K.F.D.||2008|
|I Don't Need No Doctor||Inside The Electric Circus||1999|
|Little Death||K.F.D. (Parental Advisory)||2008|
|Show No Mercy||W.A.S.P. (Bonus Tracks)||2003|
|The Gypsy Meets The Boy||The Crimson Idol||2008|
I think there is no luckier person on the face of the earth. We have a fan base similar to band like the Grateful Dead. Unbelievably dedicated. When you have that kind of fan base.... it's hard to put into words why it is like that... it makes me very humble as opposed to becoming arrogant. I keep thinking "why me?"
The Early Days
In 1982, Blackie Lawless, Rik Fox, Randy Piper, and Tony Richards came together to form W.A.S.P., one of the heaviest rock bands of the 1980s. The band's debut single, released in 1982, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), caused instant controversy because of the title, content, and the sexual nature of the cover. The shock factor of the release gave them instant notoriety.
Shortly after the release, the lineup changed drastically, with many members going in different directions. The band brought in Chris Holmes as their lead singer. They signed with Capitol Records and released their first album, W.A.S.P., in 1984. The album went gold and reached #76 on the Billboard charts.
A Very Successful Decade
The 1980s were a productive decade for W.A.S.P. with four albums, two of which certified gold, and all of which landed in the top 100 on the Billboard charts. The band toured throughout the decade, promoting their releases. Their concerts were infamous for shocking and disturbing behavior. During their shows, they were known for throwing raw meat into the audience and tying half naked models to torture racks.
They were a prime target for the Parents Music Resource Center led by Tipper Gore, who were outraged by the overtly sexual nature of W.A.S.P.'s recordings and performances. As a result of this, concert venues would receive bomb threats prior to performances and the band was receiving death threats. Lawless was even shot at twice, though not hit. Lawless sued PMRC for copyright infringement and won. The controversy caused an enormous increase in record sales.
Out of the Lime Light
While the outrageous nature of their act was a perfect fit for the music scene in the 1980s, eventually the novelty wore off and record sales began to fall. However, W.A.S.P. Continued to record and to tour. The 1990s saw four more albums, although only one, The Crimson Idol in 1992, found a home on the Billboard Top 200. Just before the release of Crimson Idol, Holmes left the band, and returned in 2001. He left again in 2002 to try his hand at playing blues.
Despite a fall from the spotlight, W.A.S.P. still pulls a solid fan base. They have released six albums since 2000 and are currently conducting the Beast of Babylon World Tour, bringing in crowds in venue after venue. While their music no longer appears on Billboard charts, their album, Dominator, reached #72 in Germany, and they were recently invited to perform in the Wacken Open Air tour held in Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Did you know . . .
The song, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), had been intended to be included on the album W.A.S.P., but was omitted to avoid boycott in the stores.
In 2010, frontman Lawless announced that the band would no longer perform their most offensive singles because of his newly found religious beliefs.
Lead singer, Chris Holmes was married to rocker Lita Ford, at the time that he left W.A.S.P. the first time. The marriage lasted thirteen months.