GENE SIMMONS – The Vault [11-CD / 166 unreleased songs] (2018) *EXCLUSIVE*
THE VAULT is Kiss’ founder GENE SIMMONS “Mother of all Box Sets”, with 166 unreleased songs on 10 CD plus 1 Bonus CD from Gene Simmons recordings over the Years 1966 -2016.
In special designed Flight-Case, the numbered, limited-edition VAULT Includes:
* 10 CD / 151 never-released-before songs written and performed by Simmons, and featuring notable rock and roll artists including members of KISS past and present such as Eric Carr, Bruce Kulick, Ace Frehley, and others like Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Eddie Van Halen, and more.
* All packaged in a massive 12” x 12” x 1.5” (thick) cloth-bound with embossed gold foil commemorative book featuring dozens of never-seen-before images of Simmons over his 50-year career.
* Limited-edition collectibles, including a Gene Simmons businessman action figure and an “In Gene We Trust” oversized coin. A one-of-a-kind, hand-selected original piece of memorabilia from Gene’s personal collection.
… and if that’s not enough, you get a bonus disc with more 15 unreleased tracks.
For the $2,000 price tag, the purchaser of THE VAULT gets the following:
Gene Meet & Greet: You and a guest will spend one-on-one time with Gene in your area.
“Songs & Stories” Playback Session and Q&A: You and a guest will attend an intimate Vault preview
Gene photo/video/autograph session.
Gene hand delivers your limited-edition personalized Vault
As any KISS or Gene Simmons fan will tell you, what matters most is the music. It’s a pity that Gene, so far, has chosen to only make this music available to those that can afford to spend $2,000.
But meet Gene at the ‘Vault Experience’, by all accounts, is excellent.
I listened to every song on all 11 CDs numerous times, and I’ve graded them as either “great” or “decent.” If a song is “great,” that means I’m willing to listen to is over and over again. If a song is “decent,” it’s just OK.
I’m not going to tell you my grade for each individual song because then this article would never end. Instead, I’m going to provide the ratio for each disc and let that determine whether or not a particular CD is “great” or “decent.”
The first CD kicks off with the best and most polished song on the entire box set: “Are You Ready.” However, in my opinion, many of the following are just “decent.” I’m shocked that Gene would put so many so-so songs on the first CD, especially when there are many terrific ones to follow.
Disc 2 on The Vault features multiple versions of several songs, which is an interesting way to see how they evolved over time. A mix of “great” and “decent.” My favorite is “Bells Of Freedom.”
The third CD is where business starts to pick up. There are at least 10 “great” tracks here. This is where we finally hear the songs featuring Eddie and Alex Van Halen: “Christine Sixteen,” “Tunnel Of Love,” and “Got Love For Sale.” Hearing these songs, along with some of the demos from the ’80s is a pleasure.
The greatness continues on the fourth CD with more excellent KISS and Gene solo demos. Highlights on this CD for me include “It’s My Life,” “Charisma,” and “Radioactive,” among others.
The first six songs on Disc 5 are winners, but then it sags in the middle. However, “We Are One” and the fascinating “Bob Dylan and Gene Simmons Writing Session” push this CD into “great” territory. The Bob Dylan track is a real treat because Bob Dylan is to Gene Simmons what Gene Simmons is to us. So, listening in on their interaction provides us with a glimpse of how Gene is when he assumes the role of a fan speaking to one of his idols.
On Disc 6 we find another mix of “great” and “decent.” I enjoy the A$$hole demos on this CD, probably because I think that album is underrated. My favorite track on is “Hold On.”
The weakest CD in the The Vault should be number 7. Anyway, “If I Had A Gun” and “Pride” are quite good.
The eighth CD makes up for the previous by featuring 10 “great” songs. The first eight songs are winners, but the highlight for me is the instrumental demo of “Thou Shalt Not,” a phenomenal song from the KISS album Revenge.
The consistency continues on the ninth CD, with only five songs being “decent” and 10 being “great.” My only complaint is why didn’t Gene include the Psycho Circus demo of “I Wanna Rule The World”? It’s widely available and it sounds vastly superior to the two versions on this CD. Maybe KISS is saving it for a deluxe edition of Psycho Circus.
Speaking of that KISS album, my favorite song on this CD is “Kids With Painted Faces,” a demo that was considered for Psycho Circus. It’s a wonderful song, with great lyrics, a cool Beatles vibe, and a terrific guitar riff.
Disc 10 is a mixed bag, but half of the tracks are “great.” In my opinion, the best are “We Won’t Take It Anymore,” “Howling For Your Love,” and, the best of the three, “Love Came To Me.”
Here we are – the final CD, Bonus Disc 11. there’s very interesting stuff on it. It’s fascinating to hear “Mina-San, Mina-San” because it’s the song Gene submitted for KISS to record with Momoiro Clover Z. Paul Stanley’s “Samurai Son” beat it out, so this is the first time it’s seeing the light of day, and it’s pretty damn good. I also love “Gypsy Nights,” which is incredibly infectious. And it’s nice that the first song Gene ever recorded closes out The Vault: “My Uncle Is A Raft.”
It’s also worth noting that the audio quality of the tracks on The Vault vary significantly. Some sound excellent, while others seems being captured with a cassette recorder. But overall, the quality is very good.
One can only hope that, down the road, Gene releases a pared-down version of this box set at a reasonable price.
Only at 0dayrox
Gene Simmons (bass / vocals; guitars on Disc 03 – Track 08, 10, 11)
Tommy Thayer (guitar / vocals on Disc 01 – Track 01, 08, 10, 12, 13; Disc 02 – Track 15;)
Eric Singer (drums / vocals on Disc 01 – Track 01 and 08; Disc 02 – Track 02, 07)
Eric Carr (drums on Disc 01 – Track 06, 09, 12)
Bruce Kulick (lead guitar on Disc 01 – Track 07, guitar on Disc 01 Track 09; guitar on Disc 02 Track 02, 03, 06, 07; Disc 03 – Track 04,11)
Ace Frehley (guitar Disc 02 – Track 09 / vocals on Disc 02 – Track 02, 09; guitar Disc 03 – Track 06)
Ken Tamplin (guitar on Disc 01 – Track 03, 04, 05; vocals on Disc 01 Track 03)
Micki Free (guitar Disc 01 – Track 06)
Joe Perry (guitar Disc 01 – Track 14)
Scott Van Zen (guitar Disc 02 – Track 04; bass Disc 02 – Track 04)
Michael des Barres (background vocals Disc 01 – Track 14)
J.R. Smalling (drums Disc 03 – Track 06, 10)
Disc 02 Track 12, 13, 14 and Disc 03 Track 05 recorded with SILENT RAGE
Eddie Van Halen (guitars on Disc 03 – Track 01, 02, 03)
Alex Van Halen (drums on Disc 03 – Track 01, 02, 03)
Katey Segal (background vocals Disc 03 – Track 08)
Carolyn Ray (background vocals Disc 03 – Track 08)
Franny Eisenberg (background vocals Disc 03 – Track 08)
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