W.A.S.P. will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its classic fifth album, "The Crimson Idol", by releasing a re-recorded version of the LP along with a 50-minute DVD film of the album's story. In addition, the band will perform "The Crimson Idol" in its entirety — on a tour dubbed "Re-Idolized: The 25th Anniversary Of The Crimson Idol" — along with three missing songs originally intended to be part of the recordings. The show will be done in two parts, with the first being "The Crimson Idol", and part two being a collection of greatest hits.
A full list of currently confirmed tour dates can be found at WaspNation.com.
Released in 1992, "The Crimson Idol" is a full-length conceptual album that tells the twisted tale of a suicidal rock and roll icon and the perils that come with fame. With guitarist Chris Holmes no longer a member of W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless recorded "The Crimson Idol" with guitarist Bob Kulick and drummers Stet Howland and Frankie Banali. Voted one of the Top 20 conceptual albums of all-time by Metal Hammer magazine, "The Crimson Idol" is obviously more of a soundtrack than, say, a straight rock 'n' roll album.
Issued internationally in 1992, "The Crimson Idol" was not made available in the United States until 1993 and it gave W.A.S.P. the band's first U.S. radio hit single with "Hold On To My Heart". Ironcally enough, it was the way Capitol Records handled the push (or lack thereof) on "Hold On To My Heart" that made Blackie decide to leave the label.
"The main theme of 'The Crimson Idol' which is a haunting acoustic guitar riff was in a [pre-W.A.S.P. band] SISTER song called 'What I Am'," Blackie said. "I've always been very economical with my songwriting. If something wasn't working out I'd scrap it. But if something was a good idea but not ready, or didn't quite fit what we were doing at the time, I'd go back to it later and re-work it."
During an interview with RIP magazine, Lawless had this to say about the album: "'The Crimson Idol' is an enormously complicated story. There are ten songs on it and each one is a euphenism for something else. Nothing on this album is really what it appears to be at first glance. Everything is a symbol for something else. The story was written from a satirical point of view. That means that wherever a person is at their life and whoever's viewpoint they're listening to in the story are going to determine the story they're going to get. If you're 18 and you listen to it, you're going to see one thing. If you go back and listen to it five or ten years later, you're going to get a completely different story. I didn't want to create fast food for the ears. I wanted something that I thought was going to have longevity."
Blackie also spoke about "The Crimson Idol" in a 2010 chat with Metal Asylum. He stated at the time: "'The Crimson Idol' was about a kid who was a musician and gets famous and all this stuff, and he finds out fame really isn't what he is looking for, but, really, 'Crimson Idol' is about love. It's a real simple story, and at the time when I did it, I thought it was more complex than it was. But looking back on it, you can see what it really boils down to, and I'm not diminishing the value of the album because it is real powerful. Part of the reason it worked is because its something everyone can relate to. Especially that whole idea of not getting what you want from your parents, or being loved in general; that's what struck a nerve in people. And at the time, I was almost writing it as a footnote, but when I look back, it was much bigger in the story than I gave it credit for."