Vinnie Vincent Invasion – All Systems Go (2003, Capitol Records)
Original Release: 1988, Chrysalis Records
1. “Ashes to Ashes” … 5:05
2. “Dirty Rhythm” … 3:38
3. “Love Kills” … 5:36
4. “Naughty, Naughty” … 3:30
5. “Burn” … 4:38
6. “Star Spangled Banner” … 5:31
7. “Let Freedom Rock” … 4:44
8. “That Time of Year” … 4:11
9. “Heavy Pettin'” … 4:38
10. “Ecstasy” … 3:56
11. “Deeper and Deeper” … 4:02
12. “Breakout” … 2:01
13. “The Meltdown” … 2:01
14. “‘Ya Know – I’m Pretty Shot” … 4:07
Mark Slaughter – Vocals
Vinnie Vincent – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dana Strum – Bass, Backing Vocals
Bobby Rock – Drums
Producer: Vinnie Vincent
The original VVI album was decent. There were spurts of creativity, but Vinnie failed to check his ego at the door and rein in his own guitar playing. He was playing for himself and not for the songs. With this album, he does a bit of a better job, though there is still some directionless noodling to be heard.
There is one vast improvement on this album though: the original singer Robert Fleischman is out and Mark Slaughter is in. Nothing against Fleischman, but Slaughter is a much better vocalist for an over the top glam metal band like this one. Fleischman’s voice is best suited for the AOR/melodic rock genre, which is where his roots are, having briefly sung for Journey. This band needed a squealer to match the squealing of Vinnie’s guitars and they that found that singer with Mark Slaughter.
The bottom line for this album is that if you love glam & hair metal, this is one of the essentials because it embodies the good and bad of those genres to the fullest. Of course, the band would split up not too long after this album and Dana Strum & Mark Slaughter went off to form the band Slaughter, which was even more successful than VVI.
As for Vinnie himself, barely a peep has been heard from the man in the last 20 years (outside of a lawsuit here or there and some co-writing for KISS’ Revenge album). The planned follow up to this album was Guitars From Hell (which, in demo bootleg form, is floating around) but it was canned by the record company. He did manage to squeeze out an EP called Euphoria in 1996 as a teaser to another album tentatively called Guitarmageddon, but that never arrived either for whatever reason. I guess he’s done with music, which is a true shame, because he’s extremely talented. Maybe he should form a new band with Ace, Bruce and Peter.
“The Meltdown” and “Ya Know – I’m Pretty Shot” are both instrumentals that were exclusive bonus tracks for the CD version.
Highlights: “Ashes to Ashes”, “Dirty Rhythm”, “Love Kills”, “Naughty Naughty”, “Burn”, “That Time of Year”, “Heavy Pettin'”