Archive for the 1970’s heavy metal albums Category

ANGEL – “THE WINTER SONG” IS MY BLIZZARD OF 2010 THEME SONG!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic rock 1978, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, everyday experiences, everyday people, feel good stories, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock songs, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal bands, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

It is Thursday, February 11, 2010. The cleanup begins. The cleanup after the Blizzard of 2010 that is. This unreal blizzard attacked the East Coast yesterday, with the great state of Pennsylvania directly in it’s angry path. I’ve seen some major winter storms in my life, this one was a monster in it’s own right. Upwards of nearly two feet of snow blanketed Pennsylvania after 24 hours of snow falling from the sky. Ah, the cleanup that will take place up and down the Eastern Seaboard today… patience shall be a virtue for us all.

As I listened to various music yesterday, I was thinking all along about picking out the perfect blizzard song, a winter song… alas, I was reminded of Angel – The Winter Song. This 1978 song sums it up best… about the spirit of Winter and looking upon this cold, stormy and sometimes isolated season in a different light. Once the holiday season comes to a close, the Winter season takes on it’s own ominous and elongated meaning unlike any other time of year. Still, Winter is here, the blizzards will come and life goes on. Winter, I have learned, is what you make of it. As long as I’m alive to experience this season despite the often times chaotic weather events it brings, I should just be happy that it’s a brand new day.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY UNMISTAKABLY LOYAL AND LOVING WIFE TODAY! 15 YEARS! IT’S THE OFFICIAL DAY! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO AND FOR WORKING SO HARD HONEY! THIS SONG IS FOR YOU TOO!

LONG LIVE ANGEL AND MY MARRIAGE!

If you feel like it, you can check out the post I wrote about Angel and their 1978 Angel album – White Hot, by clicking the header below. I wrote this post back on April 4, 2009.

Angel – Heavy Metal roots from 1978

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KISS – 1974 ALBUM “HOTTER THAN HELL” IS STILL JUST THAT IN 2010

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock guitarists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

In 1974 I was only eight years old. In 1974 KISS released their Hotter Than Hell album on Casablanca Records. I had not a clue as to who or what KISS was back in ’74. The heaviest bands I was listening to that year, was my mother’s Everly Brothers album and Josie And The Pussycats, (a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of a female Rock Band). It wasn’t until 1978 that I owned my very first KISS album, KISS Double Platinum, so I was only four years away from becoming a member of the KISS Army. I eventually traded for the vinyl/album copy of Hotter Than Hell, I was in High School at the time, now I can’t even recall the dude’s name who traded it to me. In later years, (sometime in the early to mid 1990’s), I sold this same Hotter Than Hell album to a crusty and shady record dealer. I regret that move… for a good number of years I went without replacing Hotter Than Hell in my Heavy Metal Music collection. Now, it is Metal safe to say, that I do own Hotter Than Hell on CD… and I am not parting with it – not a Metal chance. This is arguably, one of the greatest KISS albums ever created, a 1970’s Vintage Heavy Metal gem. Am I going too far or thick with the accolades here? Not a Metal chance again… just compare this album to a wide array of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal releases, just in the past decade alone, I am then convinced Hotter Than Hell is still just that in 2010 – Hotter Than Hell.

I will not lie to the fact, that this album does sound like it was recorded back in the early 1970’s. Dated? Alright, sure, only how much of a negative impact does that have on Hotter Than Hell as a whole? Not every song on Hotter Than Hell can be construed as dated either. I really can’t stomach the word dated when it comes to Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Music, it is a word that only should be used by archaeologists, who dig up ancient relics and/or artifacts underneath some pyramids or rain forest. Besides, the word dated has been politely replaced with two words that are more Metal politically correct… they are… Classic Rock. Whoever the dude or dudette is out there, that came up with the idea of creating the music genre – Classic Rock, is in my Metal mind… a very cool genius.

Excuse my going off on sort of a Metal tangent in the last paragraph, it has been awhile since my last one, plus it felt really, really good. It did.

When you listen to Strange Ways, the very last song on Hotter Than Hell, I cannot ignore the fact that Ace Frehley plays some unreal licks, all the while the repeated riff is decades worth of relevance. Comin’ Home is a KISS song that easily could have been on any KISS album up to and including their Unmasked album from 1980. Mainline is as authentic of a Hard Rock song from the 1970’s as I can ever point out. This is, (probably), my favorite Peter Criss sung KISS tune ever. Yes, that means I like Peter Criss singing Mainline a whole lot more than the ultra classic ballad… Beth. Hotter Than Hell and Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll are the two most famous songs from this album, they honestly are the top two tracks, only there are the other eight songs that truly shouldn’t take a back seat to them.

This vintage KISS album flows along like a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal dream gone wild… 1974 style. Goin’ Blind is Gene Simmons at his extreme best vocally, (in my Metal opinion), just an amazing KISS song that in Metal hindsight, is a pioneering power ballad. I can listen to Goin’ Blind 20 times in a row and still feel the need to hear it again… and again. No, I am not kidding about that. Regardless if you are a KISS fan or not, Hotter Than Hell belongs in any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal album collection… it’s that genuine.

Hotter Than Hell is an album to uphold, play loud and enjoy for a lifetime. Long Live KISS.

KISS On Hotter Than Hell:

Gene Simmons – bass guitar, vocals

Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals

Ace Frehley – lead guitar

Peter Criss – drums, percussion & vocals

Hey, cut me some Metal slack… I was only 8 years old when I was into Josie And The Pussycats.

I was a toddler… Gee Metal whiz.

HEAVY METAL 101: GREATEST HITS CD’S WORTH OWNING

Posted in 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In striving to make the world a better place, by spreading the blissful two words of Heavy Metal (and any and all Extreme Music), here is a cool list of Greatest Hits CD’s from some very worthy bands and musicians. This list may quite possibly trigger a mad dash to itunes or your nearest record/CD store upon your review. Greatest Hits or Best Of CD’s are sometimes the perfect fix if you do not have any of the respective band’s albums/CD’s already. If you are like me, (a collector and sometimes over excited fan), you may like some or many bands so much, you just need to own everything that is available by such bands, including Greatest Hits. If this list of incredible Greatest Hits CD’s recruits even one new fan to the Heavy/Extreme Music genres, then I have done a fine Metal deed. Please note, I own each Greatest Hits or so named CD on this list… I could never recommend an album/CD without listening to it’s entirety and/or having ownership of. Integrity in Heavy Metal Music recommendations is an ethical must.

The Best Of Ted NugentGreat Gonzos! – Absolutely a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal fusion with The Motor City Madman. Cat Scratch Fever, Stranglehold, Wango Tango, Free For All and Dog Eat Dog are late 1970’s into early 1980’s FM radio Classics. Old School and not a lick here that isn’t memorable for Metal life. Plus, the reissue has 3 bonus tracks too.

IRON MAIDEN – Somewhere Back In Time/The Best Of 1980 – 1989 – An undeniably great assortment of Iron Maiden classics, spanning the unreal Metal ’80’s. 2 Minutes To Midnight and The Trooper are enough to get me psyched out of my Metal mind for at least an hour. In my Metal opinion, Iron Maiden could have/should have released a 2 – disc greatest hits, they have that many incredible songs in their Metal catalog. Yes they do.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix – A Hard Rock evolving into Heavy Metal history lesson is heard here on this album. This album of Jimi Hendrix songs are beyond great… their damn sacred. Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Hey Joe, Foxy Lady, All Along The Watchtower and the Rock historical – Star Spangled Banner… c’mon, these songs are the Metal building blocks of every Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock genre out there today. 20 songs total on this masterful collection, not a must have… a no brainer must own.

DIO – The Very Beast Of DIORonnie James Dio is a living Metal legend. His vocals for me, are the epitome of what Heavy Metal singing is all about. Dio’s solo career takes center stage on this amazing collection of greatest hits. Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, Rock and Roll Children, Mystery and The Last In Line are DIO songs that pack the same potent Metal punch to my ears and senses… as they did back in the 1980’s. 16 songs total on this DIO disc. Metal masterpieces only sound better with age.

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years – I find this collection of Black Sabbath songs to be uncannily irresistible. These are the Black Sabbath songs from the Ronnie James Dio era, with the Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer albums all represented. This same Black Sabbath lineup may be called Heaven and Hell in 2009, yet does it really matter? Their still Black Sabbath to me.

Twisted Sister – Big Hits and Nasty Cuts – Dee Snider made Heavy Metal all the more visible on MTV with the Twisted Sister video We’re Not Gonna Take It, back in 1984. This Twisted Sister greatest hits album is loaded with 6 live bonus tracks as well. This is another band that could easily fill up more than one disc of great songs from their Heavy Metal catalog. Under The Blade and The Kids Are Back are my two favorites on this one.

KISS – Double Platinum – I have proudly owned this album since it’s release back in 1978. I was in seventh grade back then and this was my very first KISS album. My Double Platinum album is still in beautiful condition too. A 2 record set, opening up as a gatefold, this album also included a platinum record certificate to the fan who purchased it. (I wish I kept this piece of KISS memorabilia, it was just made of paper and it hung on my bedroom wall for several years, when I was a kid of course). The important thing is I still have Double Platinum on vinyl… plus I upgraded Double Platinum by buying the CD many years ago too. (It is not a double CD, all the songs are on just one… I don’t know if this ever changed over to a double CD over the years). Just about every important and cool KISS song from the 1970’s is on Double Platinum, with Hard Luck Woman and Calling Dr. Love being my two vintage KISS favorites.

Queensryche – Sign of the Times, The Best Of QueensrycheBuying this CD suited me well since many of my Queensryche “albums” were purchased on cassette years ago. Queensryche has always been a favorite of mine, a high powered – progressive Metal Band that crossed over into Rock and Hard Rock too. Musical diversity is no stranger to Queensryche. My two favorites are Queen of the Reich and Jet City Woman. Yes, those two songs are tops on my list.

Alice Cooper – Alice Coopers Greatest Hits – This album was released back in 1974, it is the Greatest Hits of Alice Cooper (The Band). Man, this is Old School Heavy Metal. Sure, some may argue it is comprised of Old School Hard Rock as well… that is fine by me. The Metal bottom line is this: Alice Cooper (The Band), was just as much as important to the creation of Heavy Metal as any other band of their time or before them. That is my Metal opinion and I have to tell it to the world. Oh, yeah, my favorite songs from this Greatest Hits are – No More Mr. Nice Guy, Under My Wheels and well, just every song on this Greatest Hits is great.

Motorhead – The Best Of Motorhead – This is one great and comprehensive double disc, greatest hits of Motorhead. I bought this Motorhead disc due to my needing any and all of their releases, regardless if I already have the songs. This Best Of was released in 2000, with two live bonus tracks included. There are 40 songs total on this double disc Motorhead bounty! Also found on The Best Of Motorhead are: Hawkwind playing Motorhead, Girlschool covers Bomber and Headgirl covering Please Don’t Touch. The history of Motorhead is covered up to the year 2000, from Ace of Spades to the Motorhead cover version of God Save The Queen. Plus, my favorite Motorhead song of all time is on here too – Killed By Death, from the No Remorse (Greatest Hits album). Long live Lemmy and Motorhead.

I could go on and on with this list of Heavy Metal Greatest Hits CD’s worth owning. Showing and quipping about some of the Greatest Hits CD’s I own, can maybe help out someone who is on the fence about one of these bands or musicians. These CD’s above are all consistently listened to by me, they are perfect for when I’m in the mood to hear the choice songs from these bands/musicians. As Dee Snider has sung, with Heavy Metal pride: You can’t stop Rock and Roll!

NAZARETH “NO MEAN CITY” – 1979 HARD ROCK ALBUM IS A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, hard rock music, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Nazareth "No Mean City" small album picI have owned the vinyl album of No Mean City by Nazareth since 1983. No, I could never part with this album at all over the years, never. For years I could never find No Mean City on CD, it most likely had been out of print for some time. To this day, No Mean City does not seem to be that readily available anywhere, on CD and especially on vinyl. Who knows, maybe there is an independent record store somewhere that has dozens of copies in their inventory… I just never come across this Nazareth classic myself. With the brilliant, Old School, Classic Hard Rock heard on this album, combined with the album cover artwork, makes for a keeper. I actually bought this album as a cut-out, back when Strawberries Records & Tapes was around. Back in the early 1980’s, cut-out bins found in any record store was Rock and Roll Heaven! You could always find cool albums in these cut-out bins at real discounted prices, many times there were hidden heavy gems in them. My copy of No Mean City has a cut in the top right corner of the album jacket – this never bothered me one bit. The enjoyment this album’s music has given me all these years more than makes up for any cosmetic defect on it’s exterior.

Remembering the actual price I paid for No Mean City back in 1983 is a tad gray now… it probably set me back three or four bucks at the most. This is one of those albums that I would hold and stare at the front cover artwork, while my turntable played the tunes. The artwork for No Mean City screams Heavy Metal, still this is a true Hard Rock album from Nazareth. Getting nostalgic about Rock and Roll is something I cannot shake loose, Nazareth is one of those bands that epitomizes Classic Rock and gets my nostalgia adrenaline going. No Mean City takes me back to when I had nothing to worry about other than graduating High School. Whenever I listen to this album, everything feels cool around me, uh, that is real cool.

All eight songs on this great album are terrific, there are a few standout favorites of mine, beginning with Simple Solution Part 1 & 2. This song is loaded with strong grooves, carrying it’s melodic Hard Rock weight due in part to Dan McCafferty on lead vocals, Pete Agnew on bass and backing vocals and Manny Charlton on guitar. Star is a Hard Rock ballad  that maintains it’s heaviness through Dan McCafferty’s raspy, sandpapered vocals. To this very day, I still cannot believe that Star was not a huge hit from this album. The lyrics and music of Star are just as great as the Nazareth cover song Love Hurts from their Hair Of The Dog album, in my Metal opinion. May The Sunshine is a Folk Rock meets Hard Rock song. This song is just a great sing along, upbeat in it’s lyrics and melody, a song I never expected to hear upon my very first listen to No Mean City. Since my first introduction to this album all those years ago, I could not see my music collection being the same without it. If you are into Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock, especially from the late ’70’s, Nazareth and No Mean City is a must listen – Hard Rock treasure.

* The late Darrell Sweet was the drummer and Zal Cleminson was also a guitarist for Nazareth on No Mean City. Both of these musicians were just as important to making this album sound so great to me.

* No Mean City was released on A&M Records, in January of 1979.

* No Mean City was the tenth studio album from Nazareth.

* Nazareth is still Rocking to this day… with original members Dan McCafferty on lead vocals and Pete Agnew on bass. Pete Agnew’s son, Lee Agnew, plays drums and Jimmy Murrison plays guitar. This Nazareth lineup released a new studio album – The Newz, in 2008… and it is damn cool and good. I will leave The Newz album for another post in the future.

Nazareth "No Mean City" large album pic

MY SUPER WALMART FINALLY PUT OUT KISS “SONIC BOOM” TODAY, OCTOBER 6, 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current heavy metal albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock and roll, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyIt’s always great to vent. Vent I did in my last post – where I needed over 1,100 words to express my disappointment in not being able to purchase the new KISS CD – Sonic Boom at my local Super Walmart on October 6, 2009, (the release date for it). Just as I hoped for and predicted, at 4:00 p.m. EST, I entered the Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, Super Walmart and took hold of my very own copy of Sonic Boom. (Phew). I can now say I bought this new KISS CD on it’s release date… yes, it means something to me. I have my core Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Bands that I have followed for decades, when they release a new album I try my very best to buy it on the release day. Metal case closed. I went to this Super Walmart twice during the morning of October 6, (the release date), my last visit was at 9;30 a.m. EST, as I left empty handed. I will say this much… the packaging for this Sonic Boom CD is INCREDIBLE!  Once I get to crank up Sonic Boom for a couple of listens, I will post my Metal jubilation. Here are some quick tidbits about my Sonic Boom shopping experience at Super Walmart, plus other related notes:

* I give credit where credit is due – Sonic Boom, is being sold (exclusively) at Walmart for a cool $12! The credit is the price of $12 – not the “exclusive” part.

* As a 3 disc set, Sonic Boom is: disc 1 – is 11 new KISS songs! disc 2 – is 15 KISS Klassics! (re-recorded with the current KISS lineup and disc 3 – is a DVD of KISS live in Buenos Aires! Not too shabby for $12!

* The Sonic Boom digipak opens up four times across – 4 panels! With each KISS member having his own image on a panel. Cool.

* The liner notes are a Metal kick! 20 pages of complete lyrics! A center photo spread of the entire KISS Band! Facsimile autographs of each KISS member are on the center spread photo as well. (They aren’t real autographs just to make it very clear). Cool enough for me. These liner notes are like a Sonic Boom mini-book.

* There is a KISS KORNER after all! (It did not exist at my Super Walmart the morning of October 6th). My daughters actually found it… up in front of the store, just in front of one register lane. It is not as big as I anticipated, still it is cool enough for me. You can buy a complete set of KISS cards, (33 card set), that are inside a very cool box. I bought the Gene Simmons box version… it has the classic Gene Simmons “The Demon” face all over it. There are also some crazy looking KISS character dolls, blankets and tee shirts too. The blankets and tee shirts have the Sonic Boom album cover artwork all over them! I was unfortunately pressed for time on my third trip to Super Walmart today, therefore on my next visit there I will inspect the KISS KORNER thoroughly, making certain I know of every little KISS goodie that is available to buy.

* The Sonic Boom CD was in the front rack of the CD aisle – filed under new releases. Sonic Boom also was found in the area of CD’s which housed the re-issued Beatles CD’s for the last couple of weeks. Sorry, Beatles. (And I do revere the Beatles). Again, this was not the case at this Super Walmart on my first two trips there that morning. No Sonic Boom CD’s were in sight between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. EST.

* Another credit goes to Walmart – you can buy KISS CD’s from their 1970’s catalog for – $5!!! You read that right… five bucks man! I did not see or find any 1980’s KISS CD’s for this price. That is cool, for the CD’s priced at $5 that I did see were: Dressed To Kill, Hotter Than Hell and Rock and Roll Over. These KISS CD’s might have been the first batch or whatever to get into this Super Walmart, the selection hopefully will grow into the whole catalog of KISS CD’s. Again, these were the only KISS CD’s that I for certain identified and were there for $5.

Am I still upset with Super Walmart for not having Sonic Boom stocked at 8:00 and then 9:30 a.m. EST – the morning of it’s release? You bet I am. This is not the first time I have gone to this Super Walmart on a new release Tuesday… several times in the past few years I have had to make a return trip later in the day, (or go to Best Buy, Target or f.y.e. instead), to get a newly released CD that I wanted to initially buy at Super Walmart. This instance where it involved the new KISS Sonic Boom, well, it just was the Metal straw that broke the donkey’s back for me. The service or vendor that Walmart uses to stock their CD’s should be held accountable for failing to get new releases on the shelves before the doors open to the public. I still hope Gene Simmons would somehow get wind of this blunder that has occurred at Super Walmart in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania… it’s the fans that get screwed out of enjoying Sonic Boom for the whole first day of it’s release like I did.  I guess you just can’t get between, (or mess with), a middle aged, (male), Metalhead and his adoration and loyalty to KISS.

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

Gene Simmons – My third favorite KISS solo album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Gene Simmons, Hard Rock, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1978, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Kiss - Gene Simmons solo album small picGene Simmons, The Demon, bass guitarist for KISS, music producer and actor. (The many hats this legend has worn are numerous, quite the achiever is Gene Simmons, in my Metal opinion). Gene Simmons always seems to stay in the public eye, the limelight follows this Heavy Metal icon everywhere he goes… with “Celebrity Apprentice” and his very own family reality series “The Family Jewels” making his presence seen and known while KISS is idle. A short while back, I started writing about my favorite KISS solo albums, in preferential order, no less. Why am I doing this? First, I am celebrating the four original members of KISS, their solo albums being what I consider to be quite a historical achievement in Heavy Metal and Rock history. The quality across the board is apparent in the music that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter created with their solo albums… my reminding and/or informing anyone who is interested in these great KISS solo albums makes for a fine Metal deed. For me to list in order, my favorite KISS solo albums, (it is not etched in Metal stone here), deciding the sequence of which album ranks 1 thru 4, is based on which album has given me the biggest Metal listening thrill over the decades.

As for the songs on this album, the best interpretation for me, as a whole, is Hard Rock and Rock Music that showcases the diversity in the vocals of Gene Simmons and the talent of his being a highly respectable guitarist. Gene Simmons plays electric and acoustic guitar throughout his solo album, he does not play bass guitar here. While with KISS, there are not many moments where Gene Simmons diversifies with his vocals, (that has always been fine with me), plus Gene Simmons plays bass guitar exclusively while with KISS. Looking back, this album was a great opportunity for Gene Simmons to eradicate the expected, delivering on the unexpected… “When You Wish Upon A Star” is the finest example that I could possibly point out. Now, do I like listening to Gene Simmons sing this song? As a teenager, back in the late 70’s into the ’80’s… no, I could never understand why Gene Simmons would have done this song. I actually would deliberately not listen to it after I heard it the first time. Fast forward to 2009, well, I now like this rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, the softer side of Gene Simmons is rather a relaxing listen… (I guess I am getting softer as I get older). Plus, as a Metal bonus, my nine year old twin daughters really dig this song… and Gene Simmons too.

My favorite song is the album opener “Radioactive”, it just glistens with Old School KISS, courtesy of Gene Simmons, of course. His vocals are exactly what you would expect on this song, the commanding and sinister tone that is part of the Gene Simmons persona. I really like the vibe I get from “See You Tonite”, just a solid Rock song that has swirls of late ’70’s sound. “True Confessions” is another Classic Rock song that standouts with the background vocals of Helen Reddy… yes, Helen Reddy. This Gene Simmons solo album was the strongest seller out of the four KISS solo albums, I can honestly understand why, after owning and listening to these songs for years. This Gene Simmons album may not be my favorite out of the four KISS solo albums, yet it does not mean squat when I look at the big Metal picture… this Gene Simmons album is a Rock Classic.

Some of the guest musicians on this Gene Simmons solo KISS album: Rick Nielsen, guitarist of Cheap Trick appears on “See You In Your Dreams”, (Rick Nielsen’s name is spelled incorrectly, by the way, in this albums liner notes, Neilson), Bob Seger – background vocals on “Living In Sin” and “Radioactive”, Joe Perry of Aerosmith plays guitar on “Radioactive” and “Tunnel Of Love”, Donna Summer – background vocals on “Burning Up With Fever” and Cher – voice on phone call during “Living In Sin”. These guest music celebrities that appeared on this album make for excellent Rock Music trivia… not every Metalhead in the world is going to know that Donna Summer appeared on the Gene Simmons solo KISS album.

KISS Gene Simmons - solo album large pic

Why I feel KISS gave Rock n’ Roll back to America and other KISS points too

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's classic rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, current heavy metal music, essential classic rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, Gene Simmons, glam metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal this decade, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame complaints, rock music, rock music commentary, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

KISS logoKISS gave Rock n’ Roll back to America. This legendary Heavy Metal band did this in 1974 with the release of their debut album – “Kiss”. Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Chubby Checker, The Big Bopper, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and a throng of other American Rock bands and musicians created a sound that took over the planet… Rock n’ Roll. Let’s not forget the Country, Blues and Soul musicians and bands that played a key role in creating American Rock n’ Roll, expanding it’s identity, look and genres. Rock n’ Roll was born in America. Then, fast forward to the British Invasion… along came The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Moody Blues, The Animals, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and many, many more Rock bands and musicians who crossed over the Atlantic Ocean to introduce an entire new sound, look and attitude to American Rock n’ Roll fans, as well as the world. (I use all of the bands as mentioned, to provide more clarity with my point,). I am an undisputed huge fan of the British Invasion of Rock and Roll, I am only pointing out that Rock and Roll started here in America and Kiss re-established this fact with their emergence and might. After this British Invasion of Rock n’ Roll, Kiss made the impact statement like none other, here was a loud, confident, group of musicians living in America, playing their brand of heavy music – in costumes and makeup no less.

Kiss being introduced to the world in 1974 may have had more of an impact than some Rock historians think… The Grateful Dead, with their extremely loyal and abundant following with unmatched touring was American – I will never disagree with this bands unique impact on Rock Music history. However, Kiss was not about peace and love… this was the loudest band in the land Dressed To killsinging about girls that are Hotter Than Hell, partying, Makin’ Love, God of Thunder, a Love Gun and all things against the norm in ways that were not quite presented before in Rock Music history. What Rock Band from the 1960’s used Pyrotechnics like Kiss? How many Rock musicians could spit up blood and still play the bass and sing? Who used such an elaborate and eye defying stage show before Kiss? Kiss not only made Rock n’ Roll powerful, they (gasp) made it fun and entertaining too. The marketing blitz of items that portrayed the Kiss logo and band were everywhere during the 1970’s… if you look around today, these same items plus new products bearing Kiss are around us. Any Kiss tour during the 1970’s was nothing to ignore, the Kiss Army was never just a fictitious entity… it was and still is real.

After Kiss broke all the Rock n’ Roll rules, more Rock bands than I could ever mention here took their lead and emulated Kiss either musically, with make-up, through stage shows and/or marketing. When I stop to think about it, what other Rock or Heavy Metal Band garnered more media attention during the 1970’s than Kiss? With their all around power of Rock, Kiss let it be known, through their albums, that they were not fooling themselves or the fans all along. Kiss is setting the stage again, ready to unleash their brand new album Sonic Boom onto the masses… October of 2009 should be quite the month in the life of this middle aged Metalhead, for Kiss shall return… giving back their brand of Rock n’ Roll to us all again. That is why, in my Metal opinion, Kiss gave back Rock n’ Roll to America back in 1974, they are now only going to remind us as to why their music lives on.

It is high time for the so called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, to stop playing nonsensical games and induct an American Rock Band that redefined American Rock n’ Roll history through their music and pop culture impact, Kiss over the decades has become an American institution. Since I am on the topic, I could care less about the voting process or who votes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, all I know is that the ignorance is growing by leaps and bounds over there in each passing year of it’s existence. I do have one word of advice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, (if you can consider this an actual word), DUH? I would guarantee this… more fans will go to this Hall of Fame to see Kiss than than anyone could ever imagine. Once again, this is my Metal opinion and I am steadfast about it.

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