W.A.S.P. – Best of the Best Vol. One 1984-2000 – Review


Best of the Best Vol. One 1984-2000 (Snapper)
by Chaz Thorndike

I think what’s scariest of all is that this is only part one… Only a year or so after the double live album called, appropriately enough, Double Live Assassins, this is kind of a lot of W.A.S.P. in a reasonably short amount of time. And while Best of the Best is supposed to be remastered by Mr. Lawless, it, um, sounds just as flat as it ever did. Not that it mattered much then, but it matters now. How many times have you said, “Man, these Marilyn Manson fellers are just a Gothed-out version of those goofy metal guys, W.A.S.P.?” What about, for you metal cretins, when you get all nostalgic for the “good ol’ days of metal” and you dig up an old Priest LP, only to realize how thinly it’s produced and how much “open space” there is? It’s whispered between close friends that covers of Priest songs are almost always more “fleshed out” and sound better than the originals, but if someone says it too loudly, well, they must be pummeled… Some things are sacred and no one bags the Priest. (I mean classic Priest, jab away at the “Ripper”-era all ya want.)

The point here is that W.A.S.P. wrote hard rock, basically heavy metal but with its ’70s rock influences dangling dangerously beside the buzzsaw codpiece, and while, sure, any metalhead worth spit oughtta know and appreciate them (at least the first two records, and then maybe a couple of the broody later releases if yer so inclined), there’s really no need to rehash this stuff, seeing as it has nothing to do with what’s going on now. If, for some reason, you don’t have most of this material on dust-collecting vinyl and you’ve got the bucks to invest in yer archives, feel free. For my money (well, figuratively – I got it for free, just like this one), I’d go with the double live record, simply cuz it’s got more songs spanning the years (both good and bad), and it sounds a lot meatier.