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GENE SIMMONS – Gene Simmons Vault (Disc 8, Album Review)

*Past reviews*

Click here for Disc 1

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Click here for Disc 3

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Click here for Disc 6

Click here for Disc 7

Unbelievable opportunity of a lifetime presented itself and I had the honor of meeting the powerful and attractive…. The Demon himself…. Gene Simmons during the Los Angeles Gene Simmons Vault Experience.  Over several installments, I will be sharing parts of my incredible story and reviewing all 11 discs from the newly released Gene Simmons Vault.  Some reviews will be on Decibelgeek.com and some on GrowinUpRock.com (since I am a staff writer for both, wanted to share the love).

*FAQ*

Question: I am thinking of having my Vault shipped to my home prior to my Vault Experience.  What do you think?  Rumor is… you traveled from California to Wisconsin with your Vault.  How did you do that?

Answer:  Shipping it to your home is definitely an option.  Just connect with customer service and they can help you.  The downside is that you won’t be able to get it personalized by Gene.  At your Vault Experience, Gene signs the top of every Vault.  The upside (of shipping it) is that you would have the book and songs ahead of time for your listening pleasure.  The rumor is correct, I did travel with my Vault for 2000 miles.  The incredible customer service folks at the L.A. Experience were kind enough to give me the box that the Vault originally shipped in.  I added some additional bubble wrap, taped all corners down, put the book (w/the CDs) in my carry-on and checked the rest in as luggage with Southwest Airlines.  When I landed in Wisconsin, I claimed it at baggage claim…. No damage.  Southwest rocks!

Question: How is The Vault book set up?

Answer:  It is an AMAZING book.  Each section starts with a thick cardboard page that holds the cd, followed by several pages explaining each track.  There are stories, exclusive photos, pictures of handwritten lyrics, drawings, etc.  It has a coffee table book type feel.  You will not be disappointed.

Gene Simmons Vault (disc 8) by Gene Simmons (Released Jan 2018, Rhino Records)

Executive producers: Gene Simmons, Gino Gargiulo, and Sienna Hernandez

*Template*

To have some consistency in all 11 reviews, I will be reviewing each song per the following template:

Grades

A: Should be on a Kiss album

B: One change and it could be a great song

C: Could be used as album filler

D: Needs serious help.  Call Desmond Child, Ron Nevison, Adam Mitchell, Bryan Adams, Vinnie Vincent

F: Belongs in an actual vault.  Lock it up and throw away the key.

Each track will be set up as:

Song Title (Grade)

Songwriters

Players

Comments

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We Rocked It All Night” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, the book does not credit any other musicians

This song is “Rock and Roll all nite’s” little brother.  Circa 2007-2008, this anthemic track has catchy verses but the chorus seems a bit unfinished.  Also, it’s a little more blues based than big brother.  “I was born in New York land, I played guitar in a rock and roll band….”

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She’s Rotten to the Core” (A)

Simmons, Bruce Kulick

Simmons, Bruce Kulick

The earliest versions of this song dates to the 70s.  It’s a fun, up-tempo track that could’ve easily ended up on a Kiss album.  Elements of it did end up on other Kiss songs, but I’ll let the book explain that.  I’m hecka confused….

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S & M Love” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer

S & M Love” is actually “Sweet and Dirty Love”.  The title is different to distinguish the many different versions of the song in this boxset.  This version sounds a little slower than what ended up on AssholeBruce Kulick and Eric Singer play on the Asshole version and Bruce’s solo is better than the one Tommy did on this demo.

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Sweet & Dirty Love” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer

This version was the guide track that was used for the finalized Asshole version.  Bruce’s final solo is still better 😊 Have you ever noticed that the riff sounds like “Tie Your Mother Down” by QueenEric thought the same thing…. What did Gene say about that?  It’s in the book….

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Jelly Roll” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, the book does not credit any other musicians

Here is the original version of “Sweet & Dirty Love” written in the mid-70s.  I like the lyrics, “She gonna make your jelly roll, she’ll suck your very soul…” and the guitar riffing is really done well.  No guitar solo on this one.

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Just Gimme Love #2” (A)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer

This is a different version of “You Wanted the Best” with same melody and music but different lyrics.  Gene sings the entire song.  It’s MUCH better than what ended up on Psycho Circus.  That being said, Ace’s solo on the album is better than Tommy’s on this demo.

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You Wanted the Best” (C)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer

I think it is a great idea to have all 4 sing lead vocals on a song, but this song feels forced.  This demo is Gene tracking the parts each member would sing.  He’s scatting because the new lyrics weren’t complete yet.  This filler track is hated by 3 of 4 members.  I’ll let you guess which 3….

********************************************************************************************************************************************

Just Gimme Love #1” (A)

Simmons

Simmons

This late 70s demo was the first version of what later became “You Wanted the Best”.  Again, MUCH better than what ended up on Psycho Circus.  It’s amazing that this stripped-down version later morphed into something completely different.

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Hit the Ground” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer

The official title of this 2-minute demo is “Hit the Ground (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is)”.  The lyrics were never finished so Gene is scatting the melody throughout the song.  It has potential and would be worth finishing off.

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Who Said So” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer

This demo is in the infancy stages.  No lyrics, no melody… just a great riff, a little scatting that provides a guide track to finish off later.  It sounds like it could turn into a great song.  Maybe get the Gene Simmons Band guys in a studio to finish this off??  You never know, it could be magic.

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Bad Bad Lovin’” (B)

Simmons

Simmons

Bad Bad Lovin’”, the original version, morphed into “Calling Dr. Love”.  This song is a different version with a Lou Reed type talking vocal with the same title.  Ultimately a promising idea, but it needs some work to be catchy.

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I’m Paralyzed” (C)

Simmons, Bob Ezrin

Simmons, Bob Ezrin

Gene plays all the instruments and Ezrin helped supply background vocals on this demo.  Not sure who prompted the changes but the final recording (that ended up on Revenge) is a much better version.  Supposedly there is a demo (not this one) with a rapper doing a rap during the bridge.  Yikes!

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Chrome Heart” (C)

Simmons, Bruce Kulick

Simmons, Bruce Kulick

Written around 1988, don’t get too excited, this song is NOTHING like “Heart of Chrome”.  Gene mentions this song sounds more pop vs. rock but I disagree.  This demo sounds much heavier than any pop song I’ve ever heard.  Isn’t it amazing how a song can sound very different to each individual listener?

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Till the End of Time” (B)

Simmons

Simmons, the book does not credit any other musicians

This mid-90s demo is the littler sister to “Goin’ Blind”.  The song has a Carnival of Souls feel.  Lyrics weren’t finished but the melody sounds great.  Worth finishing in my opinion.

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Thou Shalt Not” (A)

Simmons, Jesse Damon

Simmons, the book does not credit any other musicians

This is the demo of what later ended up on Revenge.  No lyrics or melody yet.  Just a guide rhythm track with the beginnings of a great chorus.  Sounds AWESOME!!!!

GENE SIMMONS – Gene Simmons Vault – Disc 8 Final Thoughts

So, we meet the little brother of “Rock and Roll All Nite”, the little sister of “Goin’ Blind” and get a bunch of demo versions that later became Kiss songs.  Pretty cool disc.

Thanks for reading.  Pooni out!

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