Kiss – ‘Gene Simmons’ – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

The second Kiss solo album in the review series is none other than the Demon himself, Gene Simmons.  Gene’s album was released on the same day as all the other band members on September 18, 1978.  And Gene had the distinction of being the highest ranked album on the Billboard charts at #22, however, that doesn’t mean it was the best of the bunch.

Gene approached his album a little different than the other members.  Gene wanted as many people as he could possibly get to appear on his album.  And he delivered a smorgasbord of guest including Joe Perry from Aerosmith, his current girlfriend Cher, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Bob Seger, Helen Reddy, Donna Summer, Michael Des Barres and an unknown artist at the time Katy Sagal (you know her as Peg Bundy from Married with Children). And an interesting note on the album is that Gene did not play bass on it at all, that was handled by Neil Jason.

IMG_2355 Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Gene Simmons’ – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 15 of 15 – The Final Verdict)

We are finally to The End of the Road.  No, not the End of the Road Tour, but the end of our journey of Gene Simmons – The Vault!  We are on Part 15 of our 15 Part series.  We have spent numerous hours listening, reading, researching and writing up these posts and I have to say, it is the most fun I have had on this site maybe ever.  I wanted to deliver a very detailed breakdown of The Vault so maybe you would see whether or not it is worth buying.  For me, it was a no brainer, even though it took me two years to do it.  The price was finally right.

Let’s mention a little on the production of this album.  The production and mix were stellar.  They all had the same volume level and even the worst quality recording still sounded great.  They put a lot of time and effort in that and they hit it out of the park.

And I don’t want to forget to mention the people on this album.  I won’t go through all of them as you should read each review, but you get Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Bob Kulick and even Paul Stanley.  And then there is Bob Dylan, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, but that is only a small portion…you get members of Black & Blue, of Silent Rage and even someone from Steel Panther. You get some songwriters, producers that helped write some songs and even Katey Sagal from Married With Children does some background vocals.  It is so cool to see all the different people involved.  That was one of my favorite parts.

IMG_1624 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 15 of 15 – The Final Verdict)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 14 of 15 – The Worst Songs of the Vault)

I can’t believe I am done going through all the disks in detail.  It took 10 solid weeks to get through all 11 disks.  I read the entire Vault Book and researched more details online.  I dived into it like I have never done before for any release.  It was time consuming and it was a total and utter blast.

And to keep the fun going, I thought I would compile what I found to be the 20 Worst Songs in The Vault.  There are a 164 songs in The Vault to go through.  I know you get 166, but one song is in there twice (oops on someone’s part) and the Bob Dylan 15 minute track with Gene at a writing session doesn’t really count.

To determine the songs, I picked all the songs that scored a 1 or 2 and placed them in a playlist.  That gave me around 40 songs to choose from.  From there, I played the playlist and easily determined some of the songs weren’t as bad as originally thought and some were worst or just as bad.  That made it easy to narrow down and it didn’t take me long to determine the 20 Worst Songs of The Vault.

IMG_1626

This time, no song was off limit.  If it was a Kiss song originally, it could be included in this list unlike The Best of where I excluded any demos of previous Kiss or Gene songs as that seemed unfair.  Not here.  If it sucked, it sucked…plain and simple.  Again, the order is subjective and could move around at any time depending on my mood, but generally speaking these songs didn’t cut the mustard.  Let’s get started. Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 14 of 15 – The Worst Songs of the Vault)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 13 of 15 – The Best Songs of the Vault)

I can’t believe I am done going through all the disks in detail.  It took 10 solid weeks to get through all 11 disks.  I read the entire Vault Book and researched more details online.  I dived into it like I have never done before for any release.  It was time consuming and it was a total and utter blast.

And to keep the fun going, I thought I would compile what I found to be the 20 Best Songs in The Vault.  There are a 164 songs in The Vault to go through.  I know you get 166, but one song is in there twice (oops on someone’s part) and the Bob Dylan 15 minute track with Gene at a writing session doesn’t really count.

To determine the songs, I picked all the songs that scored a 4 or 5 and placed them in a playlist.  That gave me around 60 songs to choose from.  From there I thought, if the song is just a demo of a Kiss song or a Gene Simmons song that was actually released, I want to exclude those as well.  In the end I think I started with about 30-34 songs.

IMG_1624 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 13 of 15 – The Best Songs of the Vault)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 12 of 15 – The Bonus Disk)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on the Bonus Disk and the final disk in the set.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be one of celebration.  Not with all the music being upbeat and party, no not at all.  But a celebration of Gene’s writing.  There are some of his earliest songs on here and Gene is giving us a taste of everything style he has done…almost.

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

The CD comes with one of Gene standing with The Vault.  Plain and simple, yet effective.

IMG_1613 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 12 of 15 – The Bonus Disk)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 11 of 15 – Disk 10)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 10.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be a little all over the place.  I had a hard time getting in to this one.  Let’s see what the result was.

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

The CD comes with a picture of one of Gene’s very first bands…

IMG_1816 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 11 of 15 – Disk 10)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 10 of 15 – Disk 9)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 9.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be a little all over the place.  However, there are only a handful of songs that ended up on Kiss albums or solo albums which is nice.  It is an interesting set of tracks.

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

The CD comes in a picture of Gene in full make-up with his Axe…

IMG_1796 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 10 of 15 – Disk 9)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 9 of 15 – Disk 8)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 8.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be Rock & Roll.  These are Gene songs plain and simple.  When you think of the Demon, you would imagine him singing these type of songs.

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

The CD comes with a picture of Gene’s rendering of the lights on an early 80’s tour.  It is pretty cool…

IMG_1780 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 9 of 15 – Disk 8)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 8 of 15 – Disk 7)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 7.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one is hard to pinpoint. It is a little all over the place with rock and some R&B vibes.

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

The CD comes in sleeve with my least favorite picture of Gene…I hope that is not a sign…

IMG_1766 Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 8 of 15 – Disk 7)”

Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 7 of 15 – Disk 6)

Welcome back to the Gene Simmons The Vault review.  We are now on Disk 6.  Below are the rules I am trying to follow with each review.

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 each disk is more of a mood or vibe.  The vibe of this one appears to be a little pop, a little R&B and nothing real rock like.  Plus, it is a lot of demos from the ‘Asshole’ album which isn’t a good thing.

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

The CD comes with a picture of Gene in front of a lot of Kiss memorabilia…

IMG_1712

Continue reading “Gene Simmons – ‘The Vault’ – Album Review (Part 7 of 15 – Disk 6)”