Album of the Day

Album of the Day: Vinnie Vincent Invasion

  • Axl Rosenberg

Vinnie Vincent Invasion - Vinnie Vincent Invasion

I honestly can’t remember how it even came up now, but last night, a friend chastised me for not being more familiar with Mark St. John and early-Bruce Kulick-era Kiss, which led me to admit that, save for 1992’s Revenge, I really never cared about any Kiss post-Vinnie Vincent.

Yes, I said Vinnie Vincent, not Ace Frehley. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Ace Frehley was great, he obviously always has been and always will be the one “true” Kiss guitarist.

But the only circumstances under which I would ever go to see Kiss live again would be if they reunited with Vinnie Vincent.

Vincent made his recording debut with Kiss on 1982’s Creature of the Night, although most of the guitars are, for whatever reason, unfairly/incorrectly/dishonestly/whateverly credited to Frehley. Vincent’s real — and only, as it would turn out — chance to shine with Kiss was 1983’s Lick it Up, on which he co-wrote eight of the album’s ten tracks, including the totally killer title song. “Lick it Up” is not just a totally righteous rock anthem, but it provided the world with one of the strangest and most entertaining music videos ever made:

As great as Lick it Up is, though, it’s not even the real reason I love Vinnie Vincent. No no no. The real reason to worship at the Altar of Vincent is his 1986 solo debut, which is usually known as Vinnie Vincent Invasion by Vinnie Vincent Invasion, although I believe it was originally released as Invasion by Vinnie Vincent.

Now, I could try to put into words what makes this album so amazing. But no one will ever sing its praises as eloquently as Chuck Klosterman does in his book Fargo Rock City, wherein Vinnie Vincent Invasion is listed as the sixth greatest hair/glam metal of all time:

“Like a Tasmanian devil whirling toward vaginas and self-destruction, the guitarmageddon unleashed by ex-Kiss wackmobile Vincent on this solo debut is so schlockily stunning that I still have to play this album at least six times every year.”

Klosterman continues:

“Right from track number one, you know what you’re getting: ‘Boys Are Gonna Rock’ has two and a half guitar solos. Singer Robert Fleischman screams about sadomasochism and ejaculations, but—for all practical purposes—this may as well be an instrumental album. At the conclusion of ‘Animal,’ Vincent plays faster and harder and faster and harder and faster and stupider and he’s going nowhere but he’s getting there fast and now your neighbors are banging on the wall and your bookcase speakers are starting to melt and your beagle is in obvious pain and suddenly you suspect that everything in your house is going to IMPLODE. And then Vinnie collapses, and then you hear six seconds of reverb. And then the next song begins (with a guitar solo). It should be also noted that Invasion ultimately ends with 151 seconds of Vincent replicating a car alarm (or perhaps a grain elevator). This is rock ‘n’ roll. This is rock ‘n’ roll? This is rock ‘n’ roll!”

Guys, if that description doesn’t make you wanna drop everything and crank Vinnie Vincent Invasion RIGHT FUCKING NOW, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Vinnie Vincent, you are truly a God amongst worms. I salute you!!!

Vinnie Vincent

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