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Review: W.A.S.P. - Live... In the Raw
Live... In the Raw

Label: Capitol Records
Year released: 1997
Originally released in: 1987
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: January 26, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
Live... In the Raw

Rated 3.84/5 (76.84%) (19 Votes)

This is W.A.S.P.'s first live album, recorded in Long Beach at the end of the Inside of the Electric Circus World Tour. Not surprisingly, there is a chunk of songs from that album present here and they are an improvement over the studio counterparts. In fact, that statement can be applied to most tracks here, as the band is top shape (more on that below). The concert has a lot of energy (still a staple of this band) and the crowd feels alive and enjoying the show.

Live... In the Raw has no overdubs, the album doesn't feel overproduced or polished, instead it sounds exactly how it is supposed to be if you had been there. The band members are on fire here, Blackie Lawless has a great stage presence and his over the top comments are very funny. The rest of the band doesn't take a backseat either as they provide the necessary punch to the songs (although I would have preferred a louder bass). Tracks like "L.O.V.E. Machine", "I Wanna be Somebody" and "Sleeping (In the Fire)" confirm that they are a great live band.

The only real drawback is their song selection. I know that W.A.S.P. were relatively early in their career and some of their best songs came on future albums, however the set list is questionable at best. Also included here are two original songs "Manimal" and "Harder Faster", both are classic period W.A.S.P. and I am surprised that they haven't been released in proper studio versions. I am not a big fan of Inside the Electric Circus but the songs from that album that are here are good, but where the hell is "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)", "Running Wild in the Streets" and "Tormentor", oh and the studio song "Scream Until You Like It" is just a waste of time. I got the re-mastered version, the songs present truly complete the show, and while it contains some songs from ...Circus, they're entertaining enough to warrant a listen.

With this live recording, W.A.S.P. signals the end of an era. From here on, Blackie Lawless transforms his band to the Heavy Metal beast that they are today. Live... In the Raw isn't the best live album out there but if you want to hear W.A.S.P. at their primal best, then by all means get this.

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