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Vinnie Vincent Invasion - 1986 Vinnie Vincent Invasion

ARTIST: Vinnie Vincent Invasion
ALBUM: Vinnie Vincent Invasion
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: VK 41529
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 1993, Chrysalis (Japan), TOCP-7972 * 2003, Capitol, 72435-81493-2-6


LINEUP: Robert Fleischman - vocals * Vinnie Vincent - guitar * Dana Strum - bass * Bobby Rock - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Boyz Are Gonna Rock * 02 Shoot You Full Of My Love * 03 No Substitute * 04 Animal * 05 Twisted * 06 Do You Wanna Make Love * 07 Back On The Streets * 08 I Wanna Be Your Victim * 09 Baby-O * 10 Invasion

When it was pointed out to me that this album hadn't been reviewed on Glory Daze as yet I have to admit to being slightly surprised. Especially given its notorious reputation for all things excessive in the 80's hard rock circuit. The circumstances surrounding this album are well known, with Vincent looking to prove a point after his removal from Kiss a couple of years earlier. To achieve this end state he hired Dana Strum and Bobby Rock, who definitely had the bombast and silicone image to compliment Vincent's over the top ambitions. Someone who didn't however was vocalist Fleischman, who was recruited after Vincent was unable to locate a singer who had sent in a promising demo tape. The former Journey and Channel man didn't mesh well with the big hair image of Vincent and co and was sent packing after recording his vocals. Regardless the album itself came off spectacularly, with Vincent's guitar pyrotechnics quite astounding, resulting in a hard rock masterpiece for the ages. Of course much of the album had been recorded in demo form by Vincent with most of New England in 1982, but I highly doubt they sounded as formidable as they do here.

The Songs
The agenda is set from the opening track 'Boys Are Gonna Rock' with Fleischman's shrieking vocal style and Vincent's stunning display of guitar virtuosity. There's no doubt it's excessive, but that's what this album's whole premise is based on. The anthem was showcased in a video with Mark Slaughter appearing as vocalist, with the band destroying their equipment in a furious climax that has to be seen. The rest of the album follows suit, every track a melodic treat, with primal levels of aggression displayed. All the songs are winners and in a nice twist there are no ballads. The likes of 'No Substitute' have a tasty AOR edge to them, easily up there with Ratt, The Scorpions or Van Hagar. Then there's the more metal based material like 'Animal' which belies the accusations this is a 'glam' album. Yes the image veered towards that, but the music was too heavy to be considered identical to Poison. If anything this is Racer X type metal, especially with faster paced tracks like 'Twisted' and Vincent riffing and soloing like a mad man. To be honest I'd rather have heard this as a Kiss album in 1987 instead of 'Crazy Nights'. The moody 'Back on the Streets' has been often covered, most notably by John Norum a year later of course, but as pointed out in the review here of 'Total Control' the Vincent version is a tad heavier. There's a ton more six string and vocal heroics on 'I Wanna Be Your Victim', with Vincent shredding like nobody's business. The AOR chorus of 'Baby-O' is the most obvious of the album and it has to be stressed what a brilliant display Fleischman delivers here, even amidst Vincent's gratuitous solos. 'Invasion' is a perfect finale, with another faultless hook and Vincent saving his quickest guitar work for last, really unbelievable stuff on another level. If his intent was to insert himself as the master shredder of the 80's then he gave it a good shot. The endless loop of guitar feedback at the conclusion would be a recipe for insanity if exposed to it for hours on end.

In Summary
With Slaughter taking the place of Fleischman permanently it looked like the Invasion had the world at their feet, but of course it didn't happen despite the success of the debut. 1988's 'All Systems Go' was a major letdown and after accusations of Vincent being a control freak the band imploded. It's a shame the momentum of the debut wasn't maintained, but it was a one off spectacular that couldn't be repeated. It's one of the best representations of the mid to late 80's scene, with the showmanship and musical ability above the norm.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 16 2013 14:07:08
This is pretty outrageous stuff.. lol! The demolition job at the end of the video is priceless. For me, one of the most entertaining vids of the hair metal era. Somehow I couldn't see Robert Fleischman doing a vid this crazy!
#2 | Nick C on April 16 2013 15:17:16
At times I sometimes think I'm going off the old big hair rock scene, getting older and chilling a bit maybe - but when I hear stuff like this it makes me realise it's still flowing in my veins. I'm gonna give the vinyl a spin in a minute, I'm sure I've still got the second album on CD upstairs somewhere too.
I thought and still think Baby-o is a great track off this.
#3 | englandashes on April 16 2013 22:03:46
Great review for a great album, one of my favourites from this era. Only recently brought a retro t-shirt of this album on ebay, so I wear it with pride!
#4 | sabace on April 17 2013 14:58:16
I loved this when it came out full of great tunes - but vinnie's solo's are a bit grating on the ears today! still the actual songs are very strong .
#5 | super80boy on March 22 2015 16:33:46
The chorus in 'Shoot U Full Of Love' is quite catchy. Even know they didn't crank a ballad, 'No Substitute' slows things down a bit and it's a solid offering as well. The closer 'Invasion' is another favorite.
#6 | Explorer on March 22 2015 19:10:30
The Genesis of this album lies with Vinnie/Hirsh Gardner (and Warrior), pretty much the whole album was recorded by the two of them, but Vinnie upped and left with the tapes and got in the guys credited on the album to overdub all of Hirshs` work. Hirsh later successfully sued Vinnie (who hasn't) and got VVI`s gear impounded at their gig in Boston over non payment of royalties etc.
#7 | Explorer on January 23 2018 19:51:09
With Vinnie making his much heralded return at the recent Atlanta KISS expo, I decided to get both VVI albums out of storage and give them a spin again. Verdict?, honestly I found this debut to be virtually unlistenable now, guitars out of control, and the vocals just grating on the senses, and the most depressing aspect is great tunes totally ruined by (it seems) egos that were on the rampage and as for the follow up?, I've got it lined up for a review.

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