W.A.S.P. – Inside the Electric Circus (Review)

The animals are all insane... and badly dressed. God help us.
The animals are all insane… and badly dressed. God help us.

Normally I would base a review of an album on more than three listens but after listening to W.A.S.P’s Inside the Electric Circus that many times this week, I’ve heard enough. The first three proper tracks on it (the title track, I Don’t Need No Doctor and 95-N.A.S.T.Y.) are the only ones worth writing home about. Fantastic howling, raunchy metal that makes you feel like this could be one of the most fun metal albums ever. The problem is, the rest of this album is mundane. It doesn’t do anything wrong exactly: this is no “hope you like our new direction” misfire. I love what W.A.S.P. did with their first two albums and this continues in that vein but it’s the sound of a band on autopilot. W.A.S.P. knew it too. After the supporting tour and live album (guess which songs from this made it onto that?) they changed tack, releasing the more serious and ambitious The Headless Children. If further proof of Inside the Electric Circus‘ mediocrity is needed: that cover. If you paid money to see an “Electric Circus” and got a dude in a cage wearing a tiger-print leotard and fake claws… you’d ask for a refund. Demand better.

65 thoughts on “W.A.S.P. – Inside the Electric Circus (Review)”

  1. I’m totally with U on this one! I bought the first two albums but not This one as I heard it and did not like what I heard! Haha…
    This is a great idea HMO…look forward to other Retro Thingys!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I found that one sterile sounding. Having said that I have not heard it since 1987 on cassette tape! Ha…
        I did really like Headless Childern but after that I just left the Lawless express…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think the live one still holds up. It’s pretty good… Headless Children is as far as I got with them too. I’ve got Crimson Idol though and I’ll give it another go soon (I’m a bit burned out by WASP at the moment now though!)


      1. Now that you mention that, I think it was! A reunion but also a dramatic switch of directions. As Deke would say, Blackie read the Nikki Sixx book “Following Trends” on that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I went to Donington and there was teasers kept coming up on the big screens about a big upcoming reunion announcement later in the day. It was like Zeppelin were getting back together the way it was coming across. When Lawless and Holmes finally appeared… Haha lots of laughing in that audience! Bear in mind everyone was there to see the KISS reunion! We’re supposed to be excited about WASP?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hooray! HMO content!! And it’s… a band I know nothing about except from reading what you guys put up here!! IT DOESN’T MATTER!! HMO content!

    I really like your succinct take on this record. A band on autopilot is a terrible thing. At least there were a few songs to love!

    Also, r.e. dude in tiger suit: Rule 34 of the internet, Dude. Somebody somewhere is getting off with that picture. Or dressed as the dude in the picture. Or with a dude dressed like the dude in the picture…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m thinking succinct is going to be the name of the game around here for a while. See how it works out!

      Yeah, who needs a band on autopilot? There are good songs but that just makes it even more frustrating! And Rule 34… That had not occurred to me… ewww


      1. I’ve been trying for (and largely failing but hey) succinctness in my own blog. It’s a challenge to whittle things down and make them still say everything you want it to say! I applaud your ease and skill with the format!

        Haha Rule 34… not ewwww… HOTNESS!! (for someone somewhere!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my favorite albums…when I was 14. Like you said, three good rockers to start things out then it just fizzles. As a teen I could overlook the lousiness of the record as a whole and just concentrate on the title track and “95 Nasty”(in Industrial Arts class I even made a light box with “95 Nasty” stenciled on it.) But I couldn’t get past song two nowadays. ‘The Headless Children’ was and still is a great album. Lawless put the saw blade codpiece away and decided to make a serious rock record(even getting Ken Hensley to play keys.)

    Thanks for bringing back those teenage memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your welcome dude! That’s really interesting that you liked it back then. I think I’d have felt the same but I never caught this one when I was younger. The Last Command was the one I grew up with. And totally agree on The Headless Children too! Still a great album. Forgot Hensley played on it… and they covered Easy Livin’ on this album too. Connection! Thanks for commenting!


  4. I love this album, never understood the not-as-good claims. I like it more than Headless Children. Such fun. ‘Shoot From The Hit’ is fun as anything. The lyrics are all pants but the choruses, solos and melodies are diamond.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. YES. Yes exactly. Those two albums (plus a greatest hits so you can get Wild Child) are all any fan needs. The essentials. I love both albums. Funny how that first album ended up with staying power when it really shouldn’t have.

        There are some later songs very similar to 95-NASTY. Dirty Balls for example. Blacky just kept re-writing them. 95-Nasty, Dirty Balls, Helldorado…they’re all the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kudos for that “hope you like our new direction” reference πŸ™‚

    I agree on this album. Songs like 95-Nasty are fun. But I think most fans would be happy with a good greatest hits CD.

    I Don’t Need No Doctor was a funny choice to cover don’t you think?

    And of course ALL HAIL the greatest bass player in the world slightly under Alec John Such…JOHNNY ROD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’d be happy if they just chopped the whole of side two off! That would have made a great EP! I thought Doctor was fairly inspired as a cover… via the Humble Pie version anyway. I doubt Lawless was thinking of Ray Charles when they did it!


      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you HMO. The first 5 tracks of this album are great, the rest…. meh. Now ‘Live…In The Raw’? There’s an album. Classic after calssic on that one. Although it should really be called ‘Live (Drums Only)… In The Raw’.

    That live album, Headless and Crimson are my WASP picks, with Crimson being #1. Love that album in all it’s overblown, self-important pomposity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey John, how’s it going? Glad you agree on this one and I’m with you on Live… In the Raw. I think it’s an incredible “live” album. I could never find decent info on how live it was though… I always just assumed it wasn’t fully recorded live cause it was so good! But it’s like a cracking best of. And the new tracks on it were great too.

      And another vote for Crimson Idol! I do need to get round to that one. No love for the first two?


      1. Going good Sir. Thanks for asking. You?

        Now you mention it I’ve no idea where I got the idea that it’s a studio “live” album. I must have read that somewhere…… it might be that the vocals suffer from Kiss Alive 2-itis in that there is clearly more than one Blackie singing… I’ll have to go back and re-listen, it’s been a while!

        CI is an acquired taste insomuch as the story is pretty hokey (small town boy makes it big and finds that fame doesn’t fill the holes inside him like his parent’s love would have….) but I just love the balls of Blackie to take on and execute such a move in the early 90s!!! Plus I think, musically, it’s a strong album. Although I could do with Stet Howland’s barrage of drum fills every 42 seconds.

        As for the first 2 WASP albums…. yeah I dig em but my first proper album was ‘Live….’ so I kinda went forwards rather than back. Plus I figured all the best songs were on the live album so….. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not too shabby thanks! Enjoying getting back into the blogging swing-of-things after a little break.

        Oh yeah, the Alive 2-itis! That’s always a giveaway… but I never seem to be all that good at noticing that kind of stuff for some reason. I think I’m a bit naive with live albums sometimes!

        I get you on the first two, there are definitely a few tracks that aren’t aging well. Live… in the Raw is a great selection. If it had Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) on it, it would have been near perfect!

        Your CI story summary sounds hilarious. I’m going to have a hard time keeping a straight face when I listen to that now! I do remember it coming out and being pretty impressed and intrigued that he was being so ambitious. Looking forward to giving that bonus Donington disc a listen too. I remember hearing it on the radio at the time and thinking it was a pretty good set, am I right?


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