As we discussed back in the 1991 timeline, Eric Carr passed away on November 24, 1991 due to an aneurysm that probably stemmed from the numerous surgeries he had to remove tumors related to his heart cancer. Before his death, Eric was always writing songs as he was a very creative soul. He could write, he could sing and he could play more than just the drums. ‘Rockology’ is a collection of the songs he had been working on prior to his death. These are demos and not necessarily full fledge songs in some cases so keep that in mind. Think of this as his ‘Vault’ because it is very similar in the type of songs you get. You get some fully fleshed out songs, you get some where lyrics are being scatted because their aren’t any yet and you get some straight-up instrumentals.
The album was put together by one of Eric’s great friends and former Kiss bandmate, Bruce Kulick. With the help of Adam Mitchell (co-writer of numerous Kiss songs), they pieced together a collection of songs from old cassettes or where ever they could find them. They would clean them up the best they could, add some backing vocals where appropriate and even Bruce overdubbed some killer solos in a few songs to help complete them. Bruce produced the album and I think this was a wonderful tribute to his old friend and bandmate.
Sadly, a lot of Eric’s songs that he had written for Kiss albums were refused by Gene and Paul. I think they were being short-sighted in their decisions because during the late 80’s, Kiss could’ve used the songs and have Eric sing to help give the band some fresh blood. There are two really good songs that Kiss missed and first up is the opening track “Eyes of Love”. Eric wrote this one in 1989 and it is Eric on drums, bass and vocals. Bruce is on guitar. This is one of the ver few fully fleshed out songs and I have to say it is fantastic. It would’ve fit nicely on Hot in the Shade or even Revenge. It is catchy as hell and has a great chorus. It has an 80’s hard rock feel and is an all around stellar song. I agree with Bruce on this and that this could’ve been a hit.
The next track Kiss passed on was another 1989 demo called “Somebody’s Waiting”. The song is a ballad and has Eric again on bass, drums and vocals with Bruce on acoustic guitar this time around. It is another song that showcases his vocal talent. It is not as strong as “Eyes of Love’, but still a solid track. I know why Paul turned it down because Paul probably thought he was the only one to do ballads for the band and didn’t want to be upstaged by another drummer.
“Heavy Metal Baby” is one of those songs where the lyrics are non-existent but he some idea of how he wants it go so he scats the lyrics. He probably picked this up from Gene as Gene does that on so many Vault Demos. It was recorded in 1989 and is a heavy rocking track musically. Some cool distorted riffs from Bruce and Eric is actually on the drum machine. Too bad this never got worked out in more detail because the bones are there for a great song.
The next track is from 1987, “Just Can’t Wait”, and one Eric, Bruce and Adam all worked on. For this version, Bruce and Adam added some keyboards and an acoustic guitar to help finish out the track a little more. It is an all instrumental track and it was almost fully complete musically. It is only missing the lyrics which were never recorded with Eric singing which is a shame as this another one with good bones.
“Mad Dog” is up next and not to be confused with Gene’s “Mad Dog” on ‘The Vault’ even though it sounds like it could a Gene song and even Eric’s scatting sounds a little like Gene. It is a darker, heavier track. I love this type of song where we get to see them working on the lyrics as they are playing. You start to get a taste of where the song is heading and this one was heading in the right direction. Prior to this, the only version was on cassette so I am glad they were able to save this track. Bruce says in his notes that there were supposed to be some dog barks added to the chorus and the fade out of the song.
The next track, “You Make Me Crazy”, was originally called “Van Halen” due to its influence and you can hear that influence. It is a pure 80’s track, uptempo and a lot of fun. No lyrics and you can hear Eric scatting again. Eric is on drums and bass as usual with Bruce on guitar and having fun with the solo.
Then we get two versions of the song “Nightmare”. The first is an early 1987 demo that is more developed with Eric scatting the lyrics and the guitar playing is sensational. The second is the demo of a live take of the song with Eric on guitar, tapping out the beat of the song and Bruce on electric guitar. I actually like the second demo a little better due to the rawness of it and it sounded like a cooler song overall.
I had mentioned earlier that Eric was very creative. So much so in fact that he was working on a developing a children’s cartoon called The Rockheads. The cartoon was a parody of rock & roll with four band members who are all very different. This set includes a couple songs that were for the cartoon and the first is “Too Cool for School”. It is a full fledged song that and it sounds like it is a little kiddie to fit for the show. Very simple school related lyrics and not a bad track, but you can tell the song was written for a kid show.
“Tiara” is another ballad by Eric with him on keyboards playing to a drum loop. It is a very soft side of Eric. Bruce says with the way Eric played the song, there is a hypnotic feel to it and he is write. It is almost a lullaby in its current form. It is a very sweet song.
Eric also wrote songs for some other artists and one was Bryan Adams. After getting to know Bryan during the ‘Creature of the Night’ sessions as Bryan helped write a couple tracks. Eric returned the favor with the song “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” off Adams 1983 album ‘Cuts Like a Knife’. This next track “Can You Feel It” Eric wrote and it sounds like they were hoping Bryan would play this one as well, but that never happened. I can see why as it has a Byran Adams vibe to it. It is more in that softer rock sound of Adams and I think it is a pretty cool track. Eric sounds great it, the song is catchy and is a fun track that would’ve been right up Bryan’s alley.
The last track is another song for the ‘Rockheads’ Cartoon called “Nasty Boys”. This song was meant to show the characters more wild side and the song definitely conveys that attitude. Bruce lays down a great solo in this one. It rocks out and is great for the cartoon, but might be a little cliche and cheesy in any other context.
And that is the album. I am not going to do a Track Listing Score as this is all demos and some aren’t even close to being finished. The album is for pure Kiss fans and Eric fans and you can’t really rate the songs since there is still some work to be done on a lot of them. I don’t think it is fair to judge them by the Keep/Delete method. I personally enjoy going through demos as I love to see what the artist are working on this fit that bill nicely. I enjoyed seeing a different side of Eric and I am glad Bruce put this together. The production isn’t always great due to the source of the material for some songs, but it is still well done and sounds great for what it is. For all that, I am going to give it a healthy 3.5 out 5.0 Stars only because I really have fun with these type of albums. My guess is most people would probably find this to be a 2.5 or maybe a 3.0 if they are being generous. I will stick with my 3.5 though.
Next Up: Mark St. John – Mark St. John Project – E.P. (1999)
Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!
The Kiss Review Series:
- Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
- Kiss – Kiss (1974)
- Kiss – Hotter Than Hell (1974)
- Kiss – Dressed to Kill (1975)
- Kiss – Alive! (1975)
- Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
- Kiss – “Flaming Youth” 45 Promo Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
- Kiss – Special Kiss Album For Their Summer Tour (1976)
- Kiss – The Originals (1976)
- Kiss – Rock & Roll Over (1976)
- Kiss – Love Gun (1977)
- Kiss – Alive II (1977)
- Kiss – Double Platinum (1978)
- Kiss – Paul Stanley (1978)
- Kiss – Gene Simmons (1978)
- Kiss – Peter Criss (1978)
- Kiss – Ace Frehley (1978)
- Kiss – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Movie (1978)
- Kiss – Dynasty (1979)
- Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition)
- Kiss – Unmasked (1980)
- Peter Criss – Out of Control (1980)
- Kiss – Music From The Elder (1981)
- Kiss – Killers (1982)
- Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1982)
- Kiss – Lick It Up (1983)
- Kiss – Animalize (1984)
- Wendy O. Williams – WOW (1984) (Bonus Edition)
- Kiss – Animalize Live Uncensored (1985)
- Kiss – Asylum (1985)
- Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” 7″ Single (Bonus Edition) (1985)
- Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1985 Re-Issue)
- Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986)
- Black N’ Blue – Nasty Nasty (1986)
- Ace Frehley – Frehley’s Comet (1987)
- Kiss – Exposed VHS (1987)
- Kiss – Crazy Nights (1987)
- Kiss – “Crazy Crazy Nights” – 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Kiss – “Reason To Live” – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition)
- Kiss – Chikara (1988)
- Kiss – Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (1988)
- Kiss – Hot In The Shade (1989)
- Kiss – “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II” (1991) – 12″ Picture Disc
- Kiss – Revenge (1992)
- Kiss – Alive III (1993)
- Kiss – Konfidential VHS (1993)
- Kiss – Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved (1994)
- Kiss – MTV Unplugged (1996)
- Kiss – You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! (1996)
- Kiss – Greatest Kiss (1997)
- Kiss – Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
- Kiss – Psycho Circus (1998)
- Kiss – The Second Coming Documentary (1998)
- Eric Carr – Rockology (1999)
The Bootleg Series:
- Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
- Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
- Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
- Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
- Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
- Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
- Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
- Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
- Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
- Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
- Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
- Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
- Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
- Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
- Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
Kiss – The Box Set:
- The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Three 1976-1982 (Part 4 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Four 1983-1989 (Part 5 of 6)
- The Box Set – Disc Five 1992-1999 (Part 6 of 6)
Gene Simmons – The Vault:
- Part 1 – The Grand Opening
- Part 2 – Disk 1
- Part 3 – Disk 2
- Part 4 – Disk 3
- Part 5 – Disk 4
- Part 6 – Disk 5
- Part 7 – Disk 6
- Part 8 – Disk 7
- Part 9 – Disk 8
- Part 10 – Disk 9
- Part 11 – Disk 10
- Part 12 – The Bonus Disk
- Part 13 – The Best Songs of the Vault
- Part 14 – The Worst Songs of the Vault
- Part 15 – The Final Verdict