REVIEW: Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986)

The KISS RE-REVIEW SERIES Part 30 Vinnie Vincent solo #1.

VINNIE VINCENT INVASION – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986 Chysalis)

Where oh where did Vinnie Vincent go? The mercurial ex- guitarist with genius level skill resurfaced after 1983’s Lick It Up with his new band, the Invasion.  Ex-Journey singer Robert Fleichman did the self-titled debut album but was quickly replaced for the music videos and tour with an unknown named Mark Slaughter.  Rounding out the band were Dana Strum and Bobby Rock on bass and drums.

As I sat there listening to this album for review, Deke from Stick It In Your Ear told me, “I could never get into VV Invasion.”

My brief response to him is my review:

Dude…it’s comical. Vinnie just goes full shred to the point of stupidity. Like seriously stupid: like some idiot just hammering as fast as he can, like a kid whacking off or playing video games. And then he gets the singer to go as high as possible. It’s shrill. You can hear the songs have good riffs, but virtually every song has something to it that ruins it.

1/5 stars




  1. Oh dear. Obviously we’re not on the same playing field Mike. Absolutely shredtastic. Heavy Metal hair metal gone apeshit. Definitely an acquired taste, but man does he wail. Boys Gonna Rock and Shoot You Full of Love are worth the price of admission alone. Beyond gonzo. God bless his insanely, talented little head. Not for the fainthearted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, I couldn’t take it. His playing was so perfect with Kiss. Flawless. Off the leash, he has no restraint and won’t play for the betterment of the song. Second album is better but I’ll get there.


      1. Sorry but your grasp of the legendary masterpiece that is the ONE AND ONLY VVI debut record seems to be lacking! I’ve read MANY so called reviews with morons who just can’t conceive of this amazing first VVI album. It’s too loud, it’s too hard, it’s too fast, it’s too high-frequency… Blah blah blah. Then you’re NOT a metal fan, so go listen to pop crap!

        Yet these fools seem to overlook that the second album is the one that is toned down for fairweather pop fans’ consumption. It is PRODUCT that was forced on vinnie by Chrysalis at the time. They forced Vinnie to start writing more POP FRIENDLY songs and he reluctantly obliged. Their second album is exactly as I see it, mainstream commercial radio-friendly sellout tripe.

        Even Vinnie denounced it years ago and felt the same way denouncing it again recently with his Trunk interview. He clearly wanted to ABORT the second album (which all the posers seem to take a liking to) and get rid of slaughter on vocals. Of course fleischman was forced out of the band by a poorly run record label Chrysalis and his debilitating relationship with the manager of the band. Vinnie wanted Rob, him, and whoever else was left period. The first album (and lineup) is EXACTLY what vinnie saw as his vision of a band. And obviously the masses agreed for the most part. As the first album outsold the second one by a good amount,

        Coincidentally right after the second album started to sell a little better was when strum and slaughter quit and effectively ended VVI. By the way, if you want the BEST sound/mix of the first VVI album, just seek out the original 1986 Chrysalis cd. Avoid all the reissues and remasters that came afterward…>


        1. Honestly, even the weakest track off the first VVI album, “baby-o”, is heavier and ballsier than
          ANYTHING off the intentionally tame, predictable, homogenized POP sellout second album period…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Hey mike, why even bother? Why reply with inane useless responses when you hold NO conviction or passion in the music you are supposed to be reviewing? Nor any tangible emotional connection to the music? Oh and don’t worry my friend. I can’t call ya names on here, but I sure as hell can do it on facebook ahahahah….> Btw, in the context of what has been going on recently with the reappearance of a “cashing in” vinnie vincent… It makes your totally listless passionless comments even more befuddling…>


        3. What kind of response are you hoping for? I don’t engage with trolls. This isn’t Blabbermouth. Here we respect each other. You posted your comment and I have no idea what you want. You’re not changing any minds. After 30 years of VVI, some random internet troll isn’t changing minds with name calling. Normally I just ignore people who can’t be polite.


        4. Some people take reviews waaaay too serious. It’s just a matter of taste and a review is just one man’s opinion. Get over it. Mike doesn’t like the album, you do, simple as that so chill out.
          How anyone can get so worked up over a review is beyond me.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I could never get into either. However, I did follow Mark Slaughter’s career and have enjoyed Slaughter immensely. I can’t believe Vinnie is going to be at the Kiss Convention in Atlanta in January. I am so interested in going now.


        1. I would think so. Vinnie always struck me as a very confident performer in Kiss, and I don’t think he relied on substances. If he had, Paul and Gene would have made sure we all knew it.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Listen to the solo in “Boyz Are Gonna Rock”. It doesn’t seem to match the song at times. And it sounds like the band is kind of on their own way back in the mix during the solo. That’s the album for me.


  3. The songs on this album are awesome. Not a bad song. But the record sure has it flaws – and then some.
    First, the production is beyond horrendous – flat, thin and without dynamics. Bummer.
    Second, they should have hired a proper producer, someone who could save Vinnie from himself and steer in the right direction. I mean, the guy shreds over everything, all the time, like Yngwie on crack.
    Third, Robert Fleischman is annoying as Hell. Almost unlistenable.
    Still I can’t help digging the album – because the songs are all so damn good. I’d give the album 7/10.

    And last, some curiosities:
    The original verse for Boyz Are Gonna Rock was used for Kiss’ On The 8th Day and the original verse for Baby O was used for Lick It Up albeit a bit rewritten and rearranged.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool cameo appearance Mike….!
    hahaha….If Vinnie could have roped himself him and played within a band concept like he did on the 2 Kiss albums I think the results would have been interesting…
    I see Vinnie’s pre Kiss gig Warrior release is coming out with Vinnie singing and the dudes from New England that were part of it….
    Than Demon came around with his cheque book and Warrior was iced!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Question — is this Warrior the same Warrior that later did Fighting for the Earth?

      I have always said that Vinnie, roped in, is brilliant! You wouldn’t wanna hear Joe Satriani just jizzing away…he’s musical about his jizz. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, not the same Warrior.
        Vinnie’s Warrior / pre-Kiss solo demos are awesome but the songs goes more in a melodic rock / AOR way. Jeff Scott Soto sings on a couple of tracks.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! So agreed. Good songwriting ruined by terrible production and solos that sound like malfunctioning arcade machines. I also don’t know why Vinnie insist Robert sing so high on so much of the album. I think All Systems Go is much better, someone told Vinnie to cool it a little and Mark Slaughter has a more pleasant voice than Fleischman. Stick It To Ya is better than either, Dana Strum gets to write songs too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! When I get to All Systems Go in a few weeks, I think you’ll see we are on a similar wavelength. I’ve always felt That Time of Year was an incredible song! And of course Love Kills! I couldn’t understand why those songs didn’t take off. I thought for sure the exposure from the Freddie movie would do it for them, like it helped put Alice Cooper back on top earlier.


  6. Also, John Norum did Back on the Streets 100× better, which proves the strength of the material. Vinnie’s solos, and the fact that he can’t sing yet insists on singing in the verses make Norum’s version much better. Vinnie himself sings the verses in that song, letting Robert do the stupid high shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hair dos and clothes were something else. And it looks like Bobby Rock has some kind of animal body paint on his lower half, maybe. Really hard to tell and a rabbit hole I don’t want to spend too much time staring at!


  7. It’s funny, because all the reasons that you list for not liking the record are the reasons I love it. It’s just so ridiculously over the top, between the shredding and the vocals, and when you add the look of the band at the time, it’s almost like a parody. But in spite of all of that, the songs are really pretty great. And when you factor in that a lot of these were potential Kiss songs, I just find it really fun and interesting. It’s certainly not my favorite, but it does hold a big place in my musical heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Matthew, thanks for this excellent comment. You underline one thing that is 100% true about music — it’s all subjective to the taste of the listener. Which is one thing that makes reviewing a challenge. But thank you for reading and commenting, it is appreciated.


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