Archive for the Gene Simmons Category

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

Advertisements

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.

KISS logo

I refuse to be a closet KISS fan

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, classic metal, classic rock, concerts, cool album covers, Gene Simmons, Hair Metal, hair metal music, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal concerts, metal music, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150KISS. The makeup, the attitude, the stage show, the costumes, the KISS trading cards from the 1970’s, the marketing machine which throws the KISS logo on just about anything. Wait a minute, there is of course… the music, uh, I mean the Heavy Metal. Since about 5th grade, (a long time ago, in a parochial school, far, far, away), I have been a KISS fan. You betcha. I am not a closet KISS fan either. No way will I disregard to anyone, a lifetime love I have for such a behemoth of a Heavy Metal icon, which is KISS. I will not part with my unopened wax box of KISS trading cards from 1978. No sir. What in the world is there to be ashamed of? KISS is the epitome of Heavy Metal success, both commercially and musically, in my Metal opinion.

I have had the opportunity to see KISS live, albeit without makeup. I unfortunately, never had an opportunity to see them live with makeup. Quite honestly, the only drawback about seeing KISS live was… the venue where the concert was. The New Haven Coliseum, (which no longer exists), was by far, the creepiest, most decrepit, armpit of an arena, ever to exist on planet Earth. I mean, this building was not even cool creepy, it was just a plain nightmare gone wrong. This arena was located in New Haven, Connecticut, of course. Alright, enough about that incompetent structure. The KISS concert was loud, bright, festive, loud again and darn right good. I have seen better live shows in my day, yet I am not complaining about anything that KISS did on that stage. It was a night to celebrate Heavy Metal, with a band that carried the flag for Heavy Music since their introduction to the world. This was the KISS “Asylum” Tour, back in good ol’ 1985. I will tell you this, it is a real Metal treat, to see my daughters revel in the KISS tunes, to know and see how much the music of KISS means to them, as it always has for me. My daughters were extremely excited when they saw KISS on television the other night, (I absolutely refuse to discuss this show on Metal Odyssey, let’s just say it is on the Fox Network and is a Pop music show). Hey, anytime KISS can get exposure to a new generation of fans is fine with me.

I remember being in High School, when all of a sudden, it was uncool to like KISS anymore. Well, that was what was happening in the penitentiary like High School I attended. Metalheads  were abundant, yet KISS became almost taboo to talk about. So, I took advantage of this situation. I asked all the super cool know-it-alls that no longer liked KISS, if they were willing to sell their KISS albums and anything KISS. I made out like a bandit. I had more KISS posters, albums and fanzines than I knew what to do with. Plus, I acquired it all dirt cheap. Then, one day, in 1982, KISS made a loud and triumphant return with their release “Creatures Of The Night”… all of a sudden, these fair weather KISS fans are asking me, if I would sell them any of my extra KISS memorabilia and/or albums. Go figure. Since the mid ’70’s up until present day, I have embraced the Heavy Metal that KISS has created. Even the ballads and Gene Simmons dating Cher I have accepted. Yes, the made for television movie “KISS Meets The Phantom In The Park” I have always accepted too. The changes in the KISS lineup never has made me flinch either, any KISS fan knows that the original four are the best. I am not ashamed to say this, for once a KISS fan, always a KISS fan. What other reason was there not to believe this, back in the day when I joined the “KISS Army”? I enlisted into the KISS Army decades ago, I have never gone awol since.

fullsize

Paranormal reality television and scary Metal music mirror one another

Posted in Alice cooper, Black Metal, Danzig, Death Metal, Extreme Metal, Gene Simmons, ghost hunters, gothic metal, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, Iced Earth, king diamond, Metal, Misfits, Motorhead, Music, paranormal television shows, Power Metal, Punk rock, rob zombie, Rock, rock music, Slipknot, speed metal, Thrash Metal, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

3283538It is an obvious Metal music marriage, the paranormal being put to lyrics in Metal songs. Any King Diamond album supports this statement, that is for certain. Horror and the paranormal rules the Metal world’s lyrics with it’s mystery, shock, and imagery. This to me, is one of the great attributes to Metal music, the paranormal and horror has given personality and life to throngs of Metal bands as: Alice Cooper, Misfits, Kiss (with makeup), Lordi, Rob ZombieSlipknot, Danzig, W.A.S.P., Cannibal Corpse and of course, King Diamond again. The list could go on and on, regarding which Metal bands represent the horror and paranormal subjects best.

I highly recommend taking a listen to Iced Earth – “The Horror Show”, this is an album dedicated to just the legendary horror movie monsters: Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein and The Phantom of the Opera are covered just fine by Matt Barlow’s vocals and the writing and musical genius of Jon Schaffer. I also highly recommend the horror concept album, that for me is now a true Metal classic – “Abigail” from King Diamond, released in 1987. In my opinion, “Abigail” was/is a triumphant representation of Black Metal, even though the music includes heavy duty Speed Metal throughout. This King Diamond lineup on “Abigail” also bestows the talented Mikkey Dee on drums, who has been a mainstay with Motorhead, since 1992.

When I listen to my favorite Metal bands playing tunes about the macabre, horror and the paranormal, I cannot help reflecting on my favorite paranormal television shows. The material that King Diamond covers, for example, mirrors what many of the paranormal shows offer. My favorite scary & spooky television shows are: “Ghost Hunters”, “Penn State Paranormal”, “Most Haunted”, “UFO Hunters” and “Monster Quest”, all delving into the mysteriously unknown, paranormal, the dark side and real life monsters. Any Metal band can get hordes of information and subject matter for their music, just by watching this scary paranormal reality television.

Now, do I believe in all of this paranormal subject matter that these shows discuss/cover? Do I believe in real life monsters like Bigfoot, Moth Man and UFO aliens? Let’s just say, I get entertained and spooked out like anyone else, I really like the unknown aspect of these topics. I am also never going to be one of those, who back when Christopher Columbus sailed the seven seas, thought our planet Earth was square. It is an absolute fact, that new species of any of our known living organisms, (plants, fish, animals, insects), are being discovered on a daily basis. There are many, many, mysteries and dark questions out there that still have to be answered, for me it is great fun delving into these scary topics through Metal music and paranormal reality television. My feeling is that, paranormal reality television and Metal music just seem to go together, both never cease to thrill and entertain me.

Angel – Heavy Metal roots from 1978

Posted in Album Review, Gene Simmons, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Metal, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

1208213In case you are unfamiliar with Angel, (one of the original Glam Rock/Glam Metal bands from the late 1970’s), here are some semi-quick facts that may stir up some interest:

Angel – original band lineup: Frank Dimino – lead vocals, Punky Meadows – lead guitar, Mickie Jones – bass, Gregg Giuffria – keyboards and Barry Brandt on drums.

* Gene Simmons (from Kiss of course), discovered Angel, while Angel was performing in a nightclub. Angel would eventually sign onto Casablanca Records, the record label that Kiss belonged to.

* “White Hot” was released in 1978 and is the 4th album by Angel, featuring their only true Billboard Hot 100 hit – “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore”. This particular hit peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Angel in 1978.

* If my Metal memory serves me correctly, “The Winter Song”, which is also found on the Angel album “White Hot”, received a fair amount of FM radio airplay back in 1978-79. (Do not laugh at this, however, I do remember listening to “The Winter Song” 45 rpm over and over and over again, with my sister, back in 1978) – (Alright, go ahead and laugh now).

* I really recommend Angel – “White Hot”, I just received a copy this past winter as a gift and I do not regret it. Yes, overall, the sound and feel of “White Hot” is definitive late ’70’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Still, the songs are all very catchy and melodic, they are rock solid and will give you a fabulous insight as to how Metal was evolving back in 1978. I find Angel “White Hot” to be still relevant, for this cool album was yet another building block on the evolution and history of Metal.

* I always like to stay true to the Metal roots. Angel is a band that exemplifies early Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, in essence, they are Metal roots.

f47373wfiaq

Greatest Metal album of all time – list #4!

Posted in Alice cooper, Black Metal, Gene Simmons, Guitar, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, james hetfield, Led Zeppelin, Metal, Metallica, Paul Stanley, Rock, Thrash Metal, Vocals, W.A.S.P. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

412770Well, here I am, continuing my research and very own and personal Metal journey of deciding what the greatest Metal album of all time is. As with the past 3 lists that I have compiled, these lists are nominees only, in no particular order. Plus, a point I need to make is, it would be “fun” and “cool” to add every Metallica, every Led Zeppelin album ever released to these lists, wouldn’t it? I just cannot do that, for I need to keep “some” integrity flowing around here! There will be a few entries from respective Metal bands however, only due to their enormous impact on the evolution and culture of Heavy Metal. I should not be too far away from “finishing” these lists, I cannot wait to see what Metal album I choose as the greatest ever! Once I do make that illustrious and personal Metal decision, I will definitely detail the reasons for why I chose that particular Metal album, you bet. Without further delay, here are another 15 classic Metal albums that I nominate for greatest ever:

1.   Led Zeppelin – “ll”

2.   Led Zeppelin – “lV”

3.   Metallica – “Kill ‘Em All”

4.   Quiet Riot – “Metal Health”

5.   Venom – “Black Metal”

6.   Krokus – “Headhunter”

7.   Kiss – “Love Gun”

8.   Mercyful Fate – “Melissa”

9.   Rush – “Moving Pictures”

10. W.A.S.P. – “The Last Command”

11. Twisted Sister – “Under The Blade”

12. Twisted Sister – “Stay Hungy”

13. Accept – “Restless and Wild”

14. Alice Cooper – “Welcome To My Nightmare”

15. Ted Nugent – “Cat Scratch Fever”

I will continue on with the deliberations, I will keep all of you fellow Metalheads worldwide posted on this ongoing personal Metal journey towards the greatest Metal album of all time!

ICED EARTH – “Tribute to the Gods” is a fine Metal tribute indeed.

Posted in Alice cooper, Century Media, Gene Simmons, Guitar, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Reviews, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Metal, Metal Reviews, Music, Paul Stanley, Rock, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Iced Earth released the Metal cover song album – Tribute to the Gods in 2002. This album packs quite the Metal tribute, to some of the most revered bands in the history of Metal. A sampling of some of the songs covered, with their respective legendary Metal band: KissCreatures of the Night & God of Thunder, Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance, AC/DC – Highway To Hell, Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name & Number Of The Beast. There are 11 Metal cover songs in all, with Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult rounding out the tribute list of Metal bands.

Jon Schaffer, founding member, plays rhythm, lead and acoustic guitar. Jon Schaffer is someone I hold in extremely high regard as a musician and song writer. Every song is covered with exceptional Metal brilliance on Tribute to the Gods, the musicianship that is heard here takes nothing away from the original songs. To put it plain and simple, this album is as fine a tribute as you will ever hear for these classic Metal tunes, giving nod of appreciation and a thunderous Metal thanks to all the legendary Metal bands listed earlier. Matthew Barlow on lead vocals is tremendous, I always look to him as the lead singer for Iced Earth. Matthew Barlow has his signature vocals that stand out, he never over reaches on any of these vintage Metal tracks. If you are new to Iced Earth, this is a great starting point for catching up on one of the Metal world’s most underrated bands to ever exist.

%d bloggers like this: