Wendy O Williams - W.O.W (#1)

edited July 10 in year-1984

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ARTIST: Williams, Wendy O
ALBUM: W.O.W
LABEL: Music For Nations
SERIAL: MFN 24
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2000, Plasmatics Media, WOW103

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Wendy O Willams - vocals * Wes Beech - guitar * Michael Ray - guitar * Reginald Van Helsing - bass * T.C. Tolliver - drums

Additional Musicians: Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Micki Free - guitars * Eric Carr - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Love Sex (And Rock And Roll) * 02 It's My Life * 03 Priestess * 04 Thief In The Night * 05 Opus In Cm7 * 06 Ready To Rock * 07 Bump And Grind * 08 Legends Never Die * 09 Ain't None Of Your Business

Background

Following three albums with The Plasmatics and a ton of controversy along the way, the abrasive Williams recorded her debut solo album, (although Beech and Tolliver were on hand from her old band), along with producer and all round mastermind behind the project, Gene Simmons, going under the assumed name 'Reginald Van Helsing'.

Simmons has admitted himself he was fascinated with Williams reckless nature and decided to undertake his first project as producer. Simmons bought a more mainstream value to Williams more untamed musical efforts with The Plasmatics, writing five songs and adding the talents of Kiss men Frehley, Stanley and Carr.

The results were received indifferently by Plasmatics fans, but Simmons certainly succeeded in helping adapt Williams to a more melodic style of metal.

The Songs

The heavy metal anthem 'I Love Sex (And Rock and Roll)' was tailor made for Williams, with her uncompromising vocal delivery and menacing howls. Some speed of light guitar work add a level of flash, very reminiscent of 'Animalize', and the hook is as blatant as you could hope for.

Simmons and Stanley wrote 'It's My Life', a melodic departure and a typical 'overcome the odds' track from the prolific pair. This would of course end up on the King Kobra's 'III' album of 1988, as would 'Legends Never Die', a co-write by Micki Free.

'Thief In The Night' is another Simmons effort, very mainstream AOR, and handled well by Williams, although the version on Kiss' 'Crazy Nights' is a more acceptable version if you ask me.

Far heavier is 'Priestless', more suited to Williams raucous vocals and Stanley adds some rock solid guitar work to the crunch of 'Ready To Rock'. The raunch of 'Bump And Grind' is right up Wendy's alley, as she suggestively belts out the vocals with Frehley on lead guitar.

The Simmons/Carr/Vinnie Vincent penned 'Ain't None Of Your Business' must have been a reject from 'Lick It Up', but moves at speed with another rebellious effort from Williams.

In Summary

Although this didn't set the world on fire, it is a polished effort, as you'd expect from a pro like Simmons. He did a good job adding another dimension to Wendy's image and perceived reputation as a wild woman, by offering tracks with a commercial edge.

The music still allowed Williams to retain her reputation as metal's premier female vocalist during the era, but sadly sales didn't do the album justice and The Plasmatics were soon back together. Despite Williams sad end to suicide in 1998, this is a great testament to a real pioneer in heavy metal.


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Comments

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    Playing this again for the first time in years. A really good metal album...the lost `KISS` album?
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    I compiled a best-of album list of KISS member's solo work for Fireworks magazine and included this because it has just so many links with the band that it's almost, but not quite a KISS album. I think it might even have aged better than some of the band's albums from that time. Love it.
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    Love this album. Very good review. I'm positive the song "its my Life" was in the track listing for Black N Blues In Heat album printed in Kerrang before the album came out .Along with the Ted Nugent written "Survival of the Fittest". A week or so later the magazine printed a revised track listing and neither song appeared on the finished LP.
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