Jeff Scott Soto – ‘LA Rocks Demo / Vinnie Vincent Demo 1988’ Bootleg (2008) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

I was scouring eBay for a few of the remaining Soto albums I don’t have, and sadly, none were for sale at the time. However, I cam across something I had never seen before. It was a bootleg of Jeff Scott Soto demos. And to top it off, it was actually signed by Jeff Scott Soto. The person I bought it from lives in Germany and his name was Stefan. It turns out, Stefan is the lead singer of the band Speed Limit (check them out, they are pretty cool) and he had opened for Soto on a tour and actually met Jeff and got him to sign the CD. I thought all that was pretty cool and I love having a story behind my purchase.


So, what is this CD? It is a bootleg, mostly of demos from Jeff’s early years with LA Rocks and with Vinnie Vincent. We never got any albums out of those two projects, but at least we have some demos. The first set of songs say they are from his band LA Rocks. Back in 1986, Aldy Damian approached Jeff about joining the band. Jeff was busy with his own band called L’amour at the time and so he wasn’t really interested in joining LA Rocks. However, he did agree to do a couple demos for them and they paid him, so how could he say no. After Jeff, turned it down, they went after James Christian and he agreed. James became known for his other band House of Lords later.

The project didn’t end up going anywhere and the band later on became known as something you are more familiar with as we have discussed them in this series and that is the band Eyes of which Jeff sang on a couple of their albums. It all comes around full circle in the end. These set of songs here under the LA Rock Demos section, are a mixture of LA Rocks and Eyes demos and some aren’t even either band. The tracks “Hands of Time” and “Heart of the Fire” were demos for songs used on the movie ‘Rich Girl’. The songs “For You”, “Till the End of Time” and “Nobody Said it was Easy” are all demos for the band Eyes. And the song “Hold On”, not really sure where that is from but maybe it is from LA Rocks.

The album kicks off with “Till The End of Time”, which is a piano based power ballad. Jeff sang this one on his 2nd solo album ‘Prism’, but here is the demo. Not much difference, a little rough sounding but still just as catchy as the studio track. The biggest problem on here is the song just stops when it isn’t even finished. It is like the tape they got it from broke or just ended. The next track is the song “For You” and if it sounds familiar that is because it is the song “4U” off Jeff’s debut ‘Love Parade’. The song is an R&B, Prince infused soulful track and it sounds pretty darn good here. Part of me thinks this bootleg is a bootleg of a bootleg, because I have read the actual demo of this song is not ‘4U’ and a totally different animal. An Eyes demo, but maybe it is and Jeff just ended up using it.

“Love Stops the Hands of Time” is another ballad, this one starts out as acoustic, some nice bass work and when it gets going, the drums coming roaring in and Jeff’s vocals rise to the occasion. The production is a little rough, but it is probably a copy of a copy of a copy, regardless, it is a catchy, cool song. “Heart of the Fire” is up next and this us such an 80’s song. It could be Survivor or any band with a great singer and keyboards with the obligatory solo. Not a bad track.

Next up is “Hold On” and a little bad news here. “Hold On” is actually “Love Stops the Hand of Time”…there is no difference…none. Oops, I think someone messed up. The final so-called LA Rocks Demo is “Nobody Said it Was Easy”. This is an Eyes demo as they released this song as a single (which I have) and this is a rough, rough demo. There is tape drag and all. It is really stripped down, mostly piano and Jeff doesn’t sound as perfect as he does on the final version. It has a different feel to it, but still a great song. They definitely cleaned this one up for the final version and made some improvements, but you can hear that it is still a little special in this form.


Now, how did Jeff Scott Soto end up working with Vinnie Vincent? It all started thanks to Dana Strum who was producing an album for Rated X. Jeff was hired to do some backing vocals. Dana introduced him to Vinnie and along with Jimmy Waldo, they recorded some songs for Vinnie. It wasn’t actually for a band, but for Vinnie to shop around songs for a publishing deal. It is also thought the songs served a second purpose of being used for a movie, quite possibly the movie ‘Young Bloods’ with Rob Lowe as one of the songs is called Young Blood.. What is really interesting about these songs is that Vinnie’s guitar is held back. This isn’t a show off, see what I can do guitar-fest. Nope. This was about the songs. Believe it or not, Vinnie’s ego took a backseat as he was hoping to sell the songs. But I am sure Vinnie has the hand-written lyric sheet somewhere that he would sell it to you for $1,000,000 or some crazy-ass price.

“Gypsy In Your Eyes” would be classified as a ballad. It is a little dramatic, like maybe it was being shopped for a movie. It has the vibe. The recording is a rough production and for sure a demo. Jeff’s vocals are a little piercing in the mix, the music is a little lacking and dull and the focus was definitely the vocals. It has the keyboards and a guitar solo, but you’d never know it was Vinnie as the guitar is very restrained. “I’m On Fire For You” is a very dated sounding 80’s song. And if this is around 1988, it is dated even then. It sounds like early 80’s material. Very poppy, very AOR, radio-friendly stuff. Jeff sings really high and is too high in the mix again. But this was the time I guess.

The song “Young Blood, Young Fire” was recorded on a 12-track recorder and gives us a little less than stellar sound and at times, I swear it feels like the tape is dragging. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact it is a pretty good pop/rock song. It might have fit with the movie, “Young Blood”, but we will never know as it is was never used. “Forbidden” actually has a drum sound that sounds like Aldo Nova’s drums. The song though is such a pop song and Jeff’s vocals don’t sound like Jeff. He is almost crooning and going through the motions. Again, these songs don’t sound like late 80’s. This is early 80’s pop.

Now, the strangest thing on there is that we get a demo of Jeff doing the Vinnie Vincent Invasion song “Back on the Streets” and for the life of me don’t know why he would’ve done that in these sessions. It is the most rocking track of the bunch, even though it is a slowed down version and Jeff sings it in a low tone…if it is even Jeff at all as it doesn’t sound like him all that much. This one is a mystery to me. I’ll need to ask Jeff about this one when he finally agrees to do an interview. The last demo is “My Love Goes With You” which is another non rock song. No denying it is a demo on this one either. Vinnie definitely was focusing on non-rock songs for other people as this is another ballad, another pop song and trying to hard to be dramatic and epic, but not that good.


The remaining tracks are covers, well except for the last one. First is a Queen cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This one is the actual Queen backing track of the song with Jeff singing. We know the song, we love the song, but Jeff isn’t Freddie so can’t really compare. He does a great job on it, it just isn’t Freddie. The next track is an acoustic live performance of Prince’s “Purple Rain”. I had never heard this one before from Jeff and holy crap it is fantastic. They slow it down and Gary Schutt does some killer guitar work on it. One of my favorite surprises on this album. There is a woman singing with him, but i have no info on who it is or when this song was done, all I know is I really do like it. I think it was recorded in Germany because he says thank you in German at the end. Other than that, I know nothing.

The next song is a Madonna cover of the song “Frozen” which Talisman did on their 1998 album ‘Truth’. A great cover, but we’ve already talked about it in our review. And the final track is a song from the Biker Mice from Mars soundtrack and I have said enough about this song when I painstakingly reviewed that album and no need wasting any more time on it.

And that is the end of this strange beast. A really cool collectors piece, but really only for the diehard fans or even the diehard Vinnie Vincent fans as it is cool to have those demos. The prize is the fact it is actually signed by Jeff Scott Soto and is now my 7th or 8th album signed by him. Only need to get the other 70+ signed now. With this one, you are getting mostly demos and they production is not always good and the songs aren’t that great. I do have a lot of these in final version which is great, but the prize is those I didn’t have. The Vinnie ones for sure and that “Purple Rain” cover is totally awesome. My Overall Score is 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars for production value, cheapness of packaging and overall is a subpar product, but the stuff on it is pretty damn cool.



  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – LA Rocks Demo / Vinnie Vincent Demo 1988 (2008)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  57. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  58. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  59. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  61. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘Rise Up’ (2013)
  63. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  64. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  65. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  66. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  67. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  68. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  69. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  70. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  71. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  72. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  74. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  75. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  76. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  77. Talisman – “Never Say Die (A Song For Marcel)” – 7″ Single (2020)
  78. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  79. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  81. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  82. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

11 thoughts on “Jeff Scott Soto – ‘LA Rocks Demo / Vinnie Vincent Demo 1988’ Bootleg (2008) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

    1. Please check. I’d be interested to know if you have them. I tried burning it to my computer but it is being stubborn and won’t let me do but only the first four songs (which aren’t Vinnie’s demos).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great back story Johnny and amazing how all these guys are intertwined together. Jimmy Waldo from New England, Vinnie and his signed million dollar lyric sheet lol and of course the man with a 1000 albums…… Soto.
    Great writeup

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no clue he was involved with Vinnie Vincent at all. There’s so much lore behind what was a two album project, it’s kind of nuts. These kinds of unofficial releases are definitely for the die hard collector, they always wind up being mislabeled and of not the best quality.

    Liked by 1 person

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