Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 2 of 15 – Disk 1)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are starting with Disk 1, naturally, and I will try and keep some consistency between each disk.  I will go through each song and mention who wrote, who played on it and what I think about the song. I won’t go through all the stories as you should get the vault to get all the information.  I will grade each song (ranking 1 to 5, 5 being best) and then take an average of the grades for the score of the disk.  I know most of these are demos, so I won’t be taking quality of the sound in to play that much because I know what I am getting and I am more interested in the overall song.

At the end of all the reviews, we will average the score of each review and come up with an overall ‘The Vault’ score which I hope will be a fair representation of the whole package.  I am going to do my best to do one a week, but as I said before, life sometimes gets in the way so I am not going to promise one a week.  Plus, this is 11 disks to digest and that is a lot as I am also doing the David Coverdale Series at the same time.  That is a bunch of music to go through.

The songs aren’t in chronological order.  Gene states they are more of a mood or vibe.  The first three or four discs appear to be pretty much the Rock selections and I am quite happy to start with those.

Well, are you ready?  Then let’s get right to it.

The first disc is housed in a picture of Gene with a lot of Platinum albums behind him…

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Tuesday’s Memes – Gene Simmons #2

I know I poked fun at Gene last year, but with getting the Vault, I thought we should poke fun at Gene again as there a plenty of memes out there around the internet doing just that. So, why wait any longer…here we go…

The Vault…

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Gene loves money…

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Whitesnake – ‘Saints & Sinners’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After the album ‘Come an’ Get It’, the band was starting to crack.  Issues were developing, tensions were rising.  They started to work on the album during 1981, but it wasn’t a smooth ride.  In December 1981, Micky Moody left the band.  Then in early 1982, David Coverdale put the band on the back burner and took some time off to be with his daughter who had become ill.

The sick daughter wasn’t the only reason Coverdale put things on hold.  The band was having financial troubles and he couldn’t understand where the money was going.  During the hiatus, he parted with his management and Coverdale started to handle the business side of things.  Also during this time, three other members left the band (or were fired). They would be Ian Paice, Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray.  Jon Lord was the only one to stay in the band with David. And of course Martin Birch still produced. He hadn’t left yet either.

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As a result, David needed a new band.  Not to finish the album because it was basically done, but to tour with.  David found guitarist Mel Galley from Trapeze and Cozy Powell on drums from Rainbow and lastly, Colin Hodgkinson on bass.  The band was complete.  However, the album still had some backing vocals needed so Micky came back briefly to finish the backing vocals along with Galley.  Galley is the only new player to appear on the album.

 

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My Sunday Song – “Them Blues” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #177, we are discussing a new song from Collective Soul called “Them Blues” from the 2019 album ‘Blood’.  The album finds the band still hitting on all cylinders even after over 25 years together.  “Them Blues” is a mature band with serious topics still showing they can pull brilliance out when most bands are passed their prime.

Musically, the song was inspired by Prince’s album “Purple Rain” as Ed Roland loved the chord progression and when he was tinkering around with it on the piano while listening to that song,  “Them Blues” developed from there. Lyrically, the theme is about life and what was going on in his families life as his wife was going through some hard times.  The song was for her and to let her know that this too shall pass and though it is hard now, it will get better.  A rather touching song.

The song turned into a piano-based song that is very blues influenced and takes a more serious tone.  I love the slow opening piano notes and then a really cool and short guitar riff.  Ed’s (or E as he likes to be called…WTF??) vocals are great, the style switch is a nice change of pace and it seems to take the band into a more serious realm as they captured the emotions nicely.  The best part is the super long guitar solo by Jesse Triplett to end the album…it is killer.  It lifts the song when it needing lifting and it made you feel all was going to be right with the world.  It is a time where lyrically and musically, everything that they wanted you to take away from the song comes across loud and clear.

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Motley Crue – “Helter Skelter” (12″ Picture Disc)

With Motley Crue back in the news and announcing a return to touring with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, I thought it perfect time to discuss this really cool 12″ Picture Disc I recently found of the band’s cover of the Beatles classic “Helter Skelter”.  It is a thing of beauty.  It is a promotional copy and it was in mint condition.

How beautiful?  Well look at the picture above.  And if that isn’t enough, look at the picture on the B-Side…

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Stunning pictures on both side.  You also get an insert with the lyrics on one side showing a refrigerator with bloody handprints on it…

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Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 1 of 15 – The Grand Opening)

I have actually been wanting this since the day it was announced back at the end of 2017 or early 2018, I can’t remember.  However, at the time, the price was the hinderance.  Then at the beginning of 2019, they offered a less pricey Vault that didn’t include the Gene Simmons Vault Experience.  You only received The Vault.  Still, I didn’t pull the trigger.  I always thought, if it ever a hit a certain price, I would pull the trigger.  Lo and behold almost two years later, there was Black Friday Sale and it hit that price. It didn’t take much convincing then, I pulled the trigger!  Bang!!

And to make it even better, 2 days before Christmas it arrived!!  And if you didn’t know, my birthday is Christmas…so it was a Big Early Present to myself!!  My kids poked fun at me because I have been chomping at the bit for it to arrive.  Two weeks after ordering, I had heard nothing, not a word.  I emailed the company and asked if I would get a tracking number and they replied back pretty quick with a tracking number.  The item shipped 4 days earlier and I didn’t know.  I checked that tracking often, to an obsessive level as I wanted my Vault.  I guess they weren’t going to send it until I said something. I am glad I got, because it did calm me down…a little.

On day of arrival, I received box 2 of 2 first.  A smaller box that I figured contained the contents of the vault, but it only contained the book and the CDs which if I am going to get a box early, at least it was that box. And if I didn’t have that tracking number I would have freaked not knowing it was shipped in two boxes.  I would have also been freaked if I received the Vault first with no book or CDs inside!!  Tracking number told me that so it wasn’t unexpected.  About 4 hours later, I received The Vault itself.  In a massive box inside another box…

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What to Expect for Music in 2020?

2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year.  There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet.  From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue.  The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post.  The list is building up nicely!!

  • Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol. 2
  • Alicia Keys – A.L.I.C.I.A.
  • Angels & Airwaves
  • Bon Jovi
  • Bush – The Mind Plays Tricks On You
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Cardi B – Tiger Woods
  • A Day to Remember – You’re Welcome
  • Deep Purple
  • Deftones
  • Dixie Chicks – Gaslighter
  • Dokken
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • Evanescence
  • FM
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • Harem Scarem
  • Iron Maiden (rumor)
  • J. Cole – The Fall Off
  • Jeff Scott Soto
  • Kid Cudi – Entergalactic
  • Lana Del Rey – White Hot Forever
  • Megadeth
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Niall Horan
  • One Desire
  • OneRepublic
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith
  • Sanctuary
  • Scorpions
  • Skid Row
  • Static-X – Project Regeneration
  • Steven Wilson
  • Stryper
  • The Airborne Toxic Event
  • The Cure
  • The Killers
  • The Offspring
  • Winger

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December Purchases (& Gifts) – Vinyl (2019)

First off, December is a little light compared to the last two months of purchases  December was a more normal month of purchases mainly because it is the month for Christmas and my Birthday.  For that reason, I have to leave things for people to buy for me as gifts.

The month started out actually on Black Friday and yes, I know that is November. The problem is I couldn’t get these purchases into last months post due to timing issues and Thanksgiving and all.  I am sure you won’t mind.

Record Store Black Friday was on November 29th and I got up bright and early to pick up are few things and I got exactly what I was going for and nothing more…I stuck to the plan for once.

First up is the RSD Exclusive Release of Pearl Jam’s MTV Unplugged and you saw that one already at THIS POST!!!!

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The Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019

Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2019.  These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts.  They just moved me in some way good or bad!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2019 or the Top Albums of 2019 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

It is time to start the list so here we go…

#20 -“Chase the Feeling (feat. Chris Cester)” by Wolfmother – Single:

No album, just a single and anything they put out will probably end up on my list.  It is full of the distorted guitar sound that is reminiscent of Wolfmother and don’t forget that voice os Andrew Stockdale.  The drum fills are great and that groove keeps the song driving forward.  I hope this is a sign of things to come.

#19 – “All Animal” by Through Fire off the album ‘All Animal’:

I like it loud and I like it heavy at times and this does both.  Pounding drums, blistering guitars and vocals that can scream it out or sing with such great melodies.  A modern rock sound that rips it from the opening notes until the very end.  Perfect for driving down the road at 100mph as it wakes up the beast in you!!

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My Sunday Song – “Contagious” by Collective Soul

For My Sunday Song #175, we are discussing the song “Contagious” off Collective Soul’s 2015 album ‘See What You Started by Continuing’.  The song was the fourth single off the album, but I don’t believe it charted anywhere.

After doing a slow Collective Song last week, I felt we needed a swift kick in the ass and this song does that.  The song grabs me because of one thing.  The guitar!  This is a heavy, hard-driving, guitar screaming guitar song.  The quick tempo, the killer riff that sounds like Collective Soul.  Jesse Triplett and Dean Roland’s guitar work is spectacular.  It has all the energy, the sonics, the vibes that scream Collective Soul. This might be one of the funnest songs they have done in years.

I have to talk about the song’s lyrics as well and this one is quite simple, not like some of their songs.  It is about a long love. I love that has been through a lot and come out the other side still together.  I love the opening line…’Together here we stand / Covered in our rust”.  That shouts a long relationship with that one word…”rust”.  It hasn’t been an easy ride as no relationship ever is.  They have had their struggles, but all is okay.

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