waspmeanW.A.S.P. – Mean Man (Lawless) b/w Locomotive Breath (Anderson) 1989

The lead single from classic album The Headless Children, this typically urgent slab of straight ahead metal from Blackie Lawless and the boys was brilliantly simple and just a bit catchy.

Featuring guitarist Chris Holmes astride a motorcycle frame on the cover, it’s the reverse image which is slightly more disturbing with all three band members appearing like wax works – heavily made up and pulling the most ridiculous faces.

One of three singles from a record which hit 48 in the Billboard charts, Mean Man is representative of an era when W.A.S.P. were finally afforded the critical acclaim to go alongside their shock rock crown. Sadly Holmes’ marriage to ex-Runaway Lita Ford didn’t sit well with main man Lawless and divisions became apparent.

Lawless enjoyed an even higher chart entry with follow-up The Crimson Idol three years later but many fans still hark back to the late 80s era when W.A.S.P. were oh so close to leaving behind their gimmick-band image and breaking into metal’s big league.

Now signed to Tyneside-based Global Music, Lawless continues to deliver cutting edge social commentary and remains a firm favourite on the live circuit producing some of the most relevant records of his career.