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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Vinnie Vincent Invasion - 1988 All Systems Go
Vinnie Vincent Invasion - 1988 All Systems Go


ARTIST: Vinnie Vincent Invasion
ALBUM: All Systems Go
LABEL: Chrysalis
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Vinnie Vincent - guitar, backing vocals * Mark Slaughter - lead vocals * Dana Strum - bass, backing vocals * Bobby Rock - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ashes To Ashes * 02 Dirty Rhythm * 03 Love Kills * 04 Naughty Naughty * 05 Burn * 06 Star Spangled Banner/Let Freedom Rock * 07 That Time Of Year * 08 Heavy Pettin' * 09 Ecstasy * 10 Deeper And Deeper * 11 Breakout * 12 The Meltdown * 13 Ya Know-I'm Pretty Shot


Coming off the back of only middling success of the debut VVI album, this record saw Robert Fleischman replaced with newcomer Mark Slaughter who, unfortunately (for me anyway) had an even more extravagant vocal style than his predecessor. Stratospheric screeching vocals were very much in vogue back then, but now? well truly horrible. After this release and subsequent tour the band imploded spectacularly, with Slaughter and Strum going off to find success with the band Slaughter and drummer Rock finding gainful employment with Nelson. As for Vincent, it's all been very well documented about promised box sets etc, his subsequent disappearance from the public eye and the many rumours surrounding him and his whereabouts.

The Songs
I must admit I did break out both VVI albums on the back of his much heralded return into the public arena recently. I did, even at the time of release, in truth find them both a fairly difficult listen, but this follow up is definitely the more palatable out of the two. Songs such as 'Ashes To Ashes', 'Love Kills' and 'Ecstasy' are all fine tunes but the real crime here is that these songs and most of the others as well for that matter are just completely lost with the painfully screeching vocals of Slaughter, and the song writing which at times brilliant as it is, is I think overshadowed by this aspect. Yes on occasions the guitar playing does go into overdrive which was par for the course back then, but it is generally kept in check. Vinnie was/is a gifted songwriter of that there is no doubt, but both VVI albums are to these ears at least ruined by the vocal approach. I could never quite understand why Vinnie himself didn't handle the vocals as he's a really good singer too. I make reference to the Warrior demo's to hear what he can do. By the time I was coming to the end of this album the vocals were really starting to make me wince! And the final coupling of 'The Meltdown' and 'Ya Know-I'm Pretty Shot' were just pointless filler anyway.

In Summary
A decent enough album that suffered badly from the wrong vocal style I reckon, but that's just my personal opinion, and I know the two VVI albums are regarded (by some) as classics of the genre. It could be argued that albums such as this paved the way for Grunge some years later in some perverse way, as the market was I believe starting to tire of this type of thing, and the perceived excesses in terms of either the look, the vocals and/or the guitar playing was all a little too much to bear for some. After all these years and listening to this and the debut again, I'm still struck by the talent that Mr Vincent obviously had in spades, but whether it was poor career choices, ego's not being checked who knows? His subsequent disappearance from the scene for what was knocking on 20 years has been a loss. I for one am glad to see him back and in very good spirits it would seem. I look forward to see what he has to offer, (if anything) music wise.

Vinnie Vincent Invasion - 1988 That Time Of Year

Vinnie Vincent Invasion - 1988 Love Kills

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#1 | dtabachn on January 29 2018 15:28:11
Glad to read your review, Malcolm. I think both VVI albums are worth a listen, the debut being my favorite. Yes, there are excesses, and I wonder how subsequent albums would have sounded had Vinnie recorded more after this, besides the 90's demos. The songwriting quality here is not as catchy as on the first album. However, the Queen and Zepp influenced 'Ashes To Ashes' (where Slaughter is a dead ringer for Plant), 'Love Kills', and the AOR on songs like 'That Time Of Year' and 'Ecstasy' are more than worthy. Sometimes I can't stand Mark's highs ('Dirty Rhythm' and 'Naughty Naughty' as examples) as it is the case, to these ears, with most of the material he would release with Slaughter the band. I think Robert Fleischman vocals were more full and suitable, it's a pitty he was let go due to his looks not being so OTT.
#2 | Explorer on January 29 2018 16:27:35
Thanks Dave, from the footage of Vinnie from the recent KISS expo, he was joined on stage by Robert Fleischman and I`ll certainly be interested to hear as to what they come up..if anything.
#3 | reyno-roxx on January 29 2018 19:11:10
I think the VVI would've just wound up sounding like Slaughter anyway in due course had they continued.
#4 | dangerzone on January 29 2018 21:05:01
Terrible album.
#5 | gdazegod on January 29 2018 21:20:40
I don't mind listening to some of these albums, as a trip down memory lane. I'll agree, the vocals can gnaw away at you, but then again, listen to Nitro's Jim Gillette. That is over the top! Shock
#6 | rkbluez on January 30 2018 00:45:23
The high pitched vocals were always the downside of the VVI albums for me...loved the music...but the vocals were a little to OTT.
#7 | mickey on February 08 2018 01:39:30
Vinnie does a great guitar work on this album, and i still love the songs Love Kills, Ecstasy and That Time Of The Year, but i agree that Mark Slaugher´s voice is very annoying too often.
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