Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004)

Gene Simmons - Asshole (2004)

Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004, Sanctuary)

  1. Sweet & Dirty Love
  2. Firestarter
  3. Weapons Of Mass Destruction
  4. Waiting For The Morning Light
  5. Beautiful
  6. Asshole
  7. Now That You’re Gone
  8. Whatever Turns You On
  9. Dog
  10. Black Tongue
  11. Carnival Of Souls
  12. If I Had A Gun
  13. 1,000 Dreams

Gene Simmons (lead vocals; rhythm guitar on track 3; bass on track 1, 3, 7, 10, 11; background vocals on track 3, 4, 6, 7)
Bruce Kulick (guitars on track 1 and 3)
Eric Singer (drums on track 1 and 3)
Ritchie Kotzen (guitars on track 10 and 11)
Frank Zappa (spoken words and rhythm and solo guitars on track 10)
Dweezil Zappa (lead guitar and background vocals on on track 10)
Ahmet Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Moon Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Gayle Zappa (background vocals on on track 10)
Mark Addison (drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and background vocals on track 5)
Nina Singh (drums, vocals, guitar aand percussion track 5)
Frank Tolstrup (drums, bass, rhythm guitar, percussion on track 6)
Thomas Ruud (rhythm and lead guitars on track 6)
Dave Williams (background and harmony vocals on track 8)
Dan Cuprier (drums on track 8)
Holland McRae (lead guitar on track 8)
Brian Lebarton (piano on track 8)
Bag (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, background vocals on track 9, 12 and 13)
Jeff Diehl (keyboards and drum recordings on track 7)
Shannon Tweed (background vocals on track 8)
Nick Tweed Simmons (background vocals on track 11)
Sophie Tweed Simmons (background vocals on track 7)
Louise Tweed (background vocals on track 8)
Zachary Grant  (background vocals on track 7)
Kylie O’Brien (background vocals on track 7)
Michelle Casio (background vocals on track 8)
Nira Weiss (background vocals on track 8)
Steve Parrish (background vocals on track 11)
Chris Parrish (background vocals on track 11)

(*information coutesy of KISS Related Recordings)

Producer: Gene Simmons

Total Time = 44:45

Gene Simmons official website
KISS official website

KISS is my favorite band, so when a member of the band releases a solo album, I run out and buy the new record immeadiately. Back in 2004, KISS was touring the U.S. with Poison on the ROCK THE NATION tour and the only new product was Gene’s record…..released June 8th. Was I psyched for new material from a KISS member? You bet! I ran right out and bought it the day of release…..

The album starts off on a decent note with ‘Sweet & Dirty Love’ that features KISS drummer Eric Singer and former guitarist Bruce Kulick. It’s basically a KISS song that didn’t make an album and was considered for PSYCHO CIRCUS (1998), the reunion album. Typical Gene: big ’70s style guitar, lyrics about chicks, filled with innuendo…..the background vocals sound like KISS with Gene backing himself up. All the promise gets killed by ‘Firestarter’, a cover of the Prodigy track that was huge in Europe back in ’96. Gene doing dance/techno is just plain awful, so was the video!

‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ is another hard rock song featuring Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick and has a REVENGE-era style. Bruce really blazes on guitar but the lyrics are repetitive. Gene does his best re-make of ‘Mr. Make Believe’ from his 1978 solo album on ‘Waiting For The Morning Light’, at least that’s what it sounds like to me. The cool thing is that he co-wrote parts of this with Bob Dylan under a different title “Laughing When I Want To Cry”, which is a main line in the lyrics. Listening to this song now, it’s a decent ballad. ‘Beautiful’ is another cover, originally titled ‘Somebody Beautiful’ by the band Kitty Gordon and originally released in 1999. I’m all for Gene branching out and doing a ballad that sounds like alterna-pop but at least write your own material, don’t license a song from an unknown band. Gene does it again with the title track by getting the song from Norwegian band Shirley’s Temple, who released their original version in 2002. The song is supposed to be a celebration of being an “asshole”/individual going against the grain of society…..or maybe it was calling people out who followed like sheep…..well that’s what Gene said at the time and I’m still confused. Using this as the album’s title killed it right away in retail stores, not that it would have gone gpld or platinum anyway.

‘Now that You’re Gone’ is another ballad and is recycled from writing sessions with Bob Kulick back in the late ’70s, it would have fit decently on Gene’s solo album. ‘Whatever Turns You On’ is another song submitted to Gene via his website that was already released. Basically it was the band’s original music and Gene changing a few lyrics and singing it…..something that he did all over this record. This is basically cover #4 and the notable feature is Shannon Tweed, her mom, and the song’s creator Dave Williams on background vocals. ‘Dog’ is awful, it sounds like a mellow Beck track. Listen for the nursury rhyme “Little Red Riding Hood” based lyrics. I’m calling ‘Black Tongue’ a cover because it’s basis is an unreleased Frank Zappa song that Gene collaborates with Zappa’s kids (Dweezil, Ahmet, Gale, & Moon) on. Frank is in there with the guitar and some spoken word but it’s not really a Gene song except for the references to the black tongue. I admit I like this one though but if the best Gene can do is go to the deceased Zappa for ideas then you know he is tapped out of original ideas… least he went to a visionary for help!

‘Carnival Of Souls’ is another song that’s plain filler, thankfully this wasn’t used on the KISS album of the same name. There’s some decent guitar by Ritchie Kotzen (ex-Poison & Mr. Big) but that’s about it. ‘If I Had A Gun’ is more bad filler that is slow and ballad-ish… the SKIP button. ‘1000 Dreams’ is a country song with a touch of steel guitar and also has this Disney style orchestration…..a waste of time.

Bottom Line:
Why bother?

Seriously, why release something that almost half the songs are covers and the other half are recycled ideas that hadn’t been good enough for Gene to release with KISS. I pull this out only when I’ve forgotten what it sounds like and I stumble on it when I’m looking for something to listen to in the S-section of my collection. Definitely only for diehards…..and even then it’s a terrible listen.

Favorite Songs: I like ‘Sweet & Dirty Love’ and ‘Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ because they are the most KISS-like, although the lyrics to ‘Weapons’ suck. ‘Black Tongue’ is cool only for the Frank Zappa connection and performance.

All-time top posts at Heavy Metal Addiction

When I started this blog back in January 2006, all I wanted to do was talk about albums in my music collection and pass along some Metal memories. Two and a half years later, close to 460,000 people have stopped by to read my album reviews, get some Metal news, and join me out on the Hunt for more music. I thank everyone for stopping by!

One of the things I get asked often is: “What is your most popular post?”.

Today I’m going to list the Top 5 posts and the Top 6 album reviews (with the publish date and stats) at Heavy Metal Addiction from day 1 to right now with a little commentary.

Top 5 Posts at Heavy Metal Addiction

  1. Poison members involved in onstage fight – breakup? – (8/27/06 — 23,732 views)
  2. Journey (with Arnel Pineda) – Festival Vina Del Mar 2008 complete set from Chile (video, 2/21/08) – (2/23/08 — 20,573 views)
  3. First official band picture of the new Journey with Arnel Pineda – (1/8/08 — 19,768 views)
  4. Press Release: Arnel Pineda is the new Journey singer! – (12/6/07 — 12,064 views)
  5. Gene Simmons facelift post-op picture – (4/2/07 — 10,576 views)

The Poison fight post has been the top dog for a long time, the day I posted it I ended up with the best single day ever with close to 17,000 hits! Before that, I think my best day was couple hundred readers. The Poison video is going to get taken out by Journey with their new singer Arnel Pineda. Like them or not, Journey has always been a worldwide band and with Filipino Arnel on the mic, they are now more than ever. If I were to expand this list to the Top 20, there would be four more Journey related posts! A lot of people are getting a chance to see/hear the new Journey from the full video of the Festival Del Mar 2008 in Chile and the two press releases. Personally, I like the fact that Gene Simmons is at #5 not just because my favorite band is KISS but because look at that train wreck! Like I said in the post, too bad they didn’t fix his vocal chords while they were at it!

Top 6 Albums Reviews at Heavy Metal Addiction

  1. Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983) – (1/21/07 — 10,014 views)
  2. Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain (2007) – (6/1/07 — 8904 views)
  3. Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life And Death (2006) – (9/13/06 — 7439 views)
  4. Black Sabbath – Forbidden (1995) – (12/19/06 — 6279 views)
  5. Legs Diamond – Town Bad Girl (1990) – (2/22/07 — 5132 views)
  6. Lita Ford – Out For Blood (1983) – (1/12/07 — 5048 views)

Quiet Riot makes the top spot unfortunately due to the news of Kevin DuBrow’s passing. Unfortunately, the hits for this post picked up when Kevin died…..RIP Kevin. No surprise that Ozzy’s last record made the list because the guy is just popular with all Metal fans. BLACK RAIN made my 5 Worst of 2007 list at #4 and I have had a ton of email pointing out what an idiot I am for calling it a subpar effort. Another no brainer was Iron Maiden’s last album making the list, this album review seems to get a fair amount of hits every week.

The next three surprise me because they are in my Top Posts list everyday. Of all the Tony Martin era posts I did, FORBIDDEN gets a ton of hits everyday. I consider FORBIDDEN the weakest effort of that Sabbath era but people are searching and reading about it. Legs Diamond and Lita Ford are duelling for the #5 spot, that’s why I post six on the list. Everyday I see both of these reviews getting a ton of views, both are definitely “cult” albums but I didn’t think they would get that much attention, especially the Legs Diamond review.

So there you have it, some of the top posts… click the links and check’em out!

Vacation is over! Back to work…..

Well, vacation is over and I’m heading back to work this afternoon. How depressing!

It was a nice quiet 7 days off from work with the family. We went to the shore a couple of times and did a few other things but the main thing was that I got to relax. I did some things around the house and spent time with the kids without being exhausted but the thing I did for myself was catch up on some music.

Here’s a few albums I listened to on vacation, I didn’t keep a list but I pulled out a ton from my collection:

The Who – Tommy (1969): A legendary band, a legendary album. I happened to hear a block of three TOMMY songs on one of the classic rock radio stations so I pulled this out for a few spins.

Billy Joel – The Stranger (1977/2008 deluxe reissue): More Classic Rock! I picked this up last Tuesday when it came out (more on that when I post a Hunt!) and I have been listening ever since. My wife and I went to the Billy Joel concert on July 3rd so I’m still on a bit of a Billy Joel kick.

Judas Priest – Nostradamus (2008): The album that will not go away! I keep listening and finding something new but it’s still a long listen at close to 2 hours over two CDs. I’m trying to get ready for a review but there is so much music, and Priest is my second favorite band, that I want to give the album a lot of time.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): One of the biggest releases of the year and I’m definitely still listening. There’s plenty of good songs here but I’ve had to hit the “skip” button on a few songs.

Avantasia – The Scarecrow (2008): So far, my album of the year. Tobias Sammet has really created a masterpiece project with Avantasia, something that was supposed to be a side project that’s now as big as his main band, Edguy. Best song is the Alice Cooper sung ‘The Toy Master’.

Rogue Male – First Visit (1985) and Animal Man (1986): Both of these are reissues from Metal Mind Productions and I have been giving both CDs some serious time. I haven’t heard FIRST VISIT in about 20 years! Reviews coming…..

TKO – Let It Roll (1979) and In Your Face (1984): These two albums are officially reissued CDs from Tribunal Records with tons of bonus tracks. Another time travel back to my early days because I haven’t heard IN YOUR FACE in over 20 years too! I always meant to pick up the vinyl on Ebay but Tribunal has done a solid job with the reissues. Look for reviews soon…..

Temujin – 1000 Tears (2008): The band was nice enough to pass a copy along for review and I have to admit, I was surprised by the excellent music. I had never heard of Temujin but I know them now! The music is like MANDYLION-era and NIGHTTIME BIRDS-era The Gathering with a little Lacuna Coil in there.

Infernophonic – Spark It Up (2007): Another solid Hard Rock band i missed out on in 2007. Solid album, review soon.

Benedictum – Seasons Of Tragedy (2008): It’s a really good album but I think their frist record, UNCREATION (2006), is better. I’m still enjoying it though.

Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004): I was picking through my KISS related albums and I decided that this deserved it’s annual spin to see if it’s as bad as I remembered. Unfortunately, this is just a bad album with maybe one or two songs I like. This ties with Peter Criss – One For All (2007) as the worst KISS related album ever.

Paul Stanley – Live To Win (2006): I had to pull this out to compare it to Gene’s album…..light years better! I haven’t given this a spin in a while but it’s obvious who the true creative force is behind KISS.

Griffen – Linked In Eternity (2008): Just reviewed this one and I thought it was great. Only a 5 song demo but professionally done and very cool to listen to.

There were so many more albums that I pulled from my collection that I hadn’t heard fro a long time. I started to pull out different albums from Ratt, Dokken, Scorpions, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, UFO, ZZ Top, and Bruce Dickinson solo. I listened to a few live albums as well from KISS, Maiden, Priest, UFO, Sabbath, Royal Hunt, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Triumph because I want to do a “live album week” in the next couple of months.

It was a great week of music!