Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gene Simmons - Asshole (2004)

Gene Simmons (born Chaim Witz [חיים ויץ pronounced /ˈxɑː.iːm/] on August 25, 1949) is an Israeli American hard rock bassist, vocalist, and actor. He is best known as "The Demon", the blood-spitting, fire-breathing, and tongue-wagging bassist and vocalist in the hard rock band Kiss, an act he co-founded in the early 1970s. Simmons also contends that he has "never been high, drunk, or smoked in his life."

Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel, and immigrated to New York City at the age of eight, with his mother Florence Klein—a Jewish Hungarian immigrant. Florence and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only two members of her family to survive the Holocaust. His father, Feri Witz, did not accompany them to the U.S. When Simmons was young, his mother's long absences while working two jobs in order to make ends meet left emotional scars that gave him a strong desire for wealth. After arriving in the U.S., he took the name Eugene Klein (later Gene Klein), Klein being his mother's maiden name. In the late 1960s, he changed his name to Gene Simmons to honor legendary rockabilly performer Jumpin' Gene Simmons.

Simmons became involved with his first band, Lynx, then renamed The Missing Links, when he was a teenager. Eventually, he disbanded The Missing Links to form The Long Island Sounds. While he played in these bands, he kept up odd jobs on the side to make more money, including making fanzines and trading used comic books. Simmons attended Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. He then joined a new band, Bullfrog Bheer, and the band recorded a demo, "Leeta"; later included on the Kiss box set.
The Demon

Simmons formed the rock band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Stanley Harvey Eisen (now known as Paul Stanley) and recorded one album, which was never released. Dissatisfied with Wicked Lester's sound and look, Simmons and Stanley attempted to fire their band members; they were met with resistance, and they quit Wicked Lester, walking away from their record deal with Epic Records. They decided to form the ultimate rock band, and started looking for a drummer. Simmons and Stanley found an ad placed by Peter Criss, who was playing clubs in Brooklyn at the time; they joined and started out as a trio. Paul Frehley responded to an ad they put in the Village Voice for a lead guitar player, and soon joined them. Kiss released its self-titled debut album in February 1974. Stanley quickly took on the role of lead performer on stage, while Simmons became the driving force behind what became an extensive Kiss merchandising franchise.

In 1983, while Kiss' fame was waning, the members took off their trademark make-up and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity that continued into the 1990s. The band hosted their own fan conventions throughout 1995, and fan feedback about the original Kiss members reunion influenced the highly successful 1996-1997 Alive Worldwide reunion tour. In 1998, the band released Psycho Circus, its first album in almost 20 years by the original line-up. Since then, the original line-up has once again dissolved, with Tommy Thayer replacing Ace Frehley on lead guitar and Eric Singer (who performed with Kiss from 1992 up through 1996) replacing Peter Criss on drums.

Gene Simmons - Asshole (2004)
Asshole is the second solo album release by KISS member Gene Simmons. It was released in 2004 on the Sanctuary Records Label. Due to its controversial anatomical nature, the album's title does not appear on the front cover of the album. On the side of the CD case the title reads "***hole". Dave Navarro plays guitar on the Prodigy cover Firestarter.

Tracks: (download for study) [updated links Sept.2011]
01 Sweet & Dirty Love (Simmons)
02 I'm the Firestarter (Liam Howlett)
03 Weapons Of Mass Destruction (Simmons)
04 Waiting for the Morning Light (Bob Dylan, Simmons)
05 Beautiful (Mark Addison, Nina Singh)
06 Asshole (Frank Tolstrup)
07 Now That You're Gone (Bruce Kulick, Simmons)
08 Whatever Turns You On (Simmons, Dave Williams)
09 Dog (Simmons, Bag)
10 Black Tongue (Simmons, Frank Zappa)
11 Carnival of Souls (Simmons, Scott VanZen)
12 If I Had a Gun (Simmons, Bag)
13 I dream a 1000 Dreams (Simmons)
14 You're my Reason For Livin' (Simmons) (Bonus track in Japanese edition)
15 Everybody Knows (Simmons) (Bonus track in Japanese edition)

Tracks 14 & 15 were previously released on Gene's "Sex Money KISS" audio lunchbox bonus CD, and will only be included on the Japanese release. The DualDisc reissue includes 5.1 surround sound and stereo album mixes, the "Firestarter" music video, photos, lyrics, and weblinks.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *