As part of their 25th anniversary promotion of The Crimson Idol, W.A.S.P re-recorded the entire album. This practice isn’t new, other bands have done it before, and it’s always interesting to listen to the differences between the original and the re-make.
The re-recorded songs sound good for the most part: the drums sounds better mastered to my ears as do the synthesisers. Blackie Lawless has strong vocals on the album too, reaching impressive ranges for a man of his age. They aren’t nearly as powerful as on the original album, but he is also a lot older, so that’s to be expected. A minor niggle that was that the re-recorded voice acted portion of ‘The Idol’ are really weak. It’s not a major criticism, but it make the song less powerful to me.
Beyond the pure re-recording of all the songs from the original Crimson Idol album are a few new tracks. ‘Michael’s Song’ is the first of these, an almost Knopfler-esque solo that bridges the gap between ‘The Gypsy Meets The Boy’ and ‘Doctor Rockter’.
The other new songs all take place in-between ‘Hold On To My Heart’ and ‘The Great Misconceptions Of Me’. ‘Hey Mama’ is another short vignette, which I actually really like: it’s very moving and captures a portion of the Crimson Idol story that was never really touched upon in the original album: Jonathan’s call with his mother.
‘The Lost Boy’ is a fantastic song, and a welcome addition to the Crimson Idol family. ‘The Peace’ is a power ballad; sort of a more upbeat ‘Hold On To My Heart’, while ‘Show Time’ is a voice-acted skit that serves to set up the listener for the final song.
I’m not in love with the new Crimson Idol. I don’t hate it either, I just don’t really know what the point of it is. It is quite nice to hear the song’s sung by a 2017 Blackie Lawless, but apart from that they’re exactly the same. The new songs are a treat to here though, and I’d recommend seeking them out if you can.