Over the top, in your face, controversial videos, wild clothes and insane guitar antics are just some of the catch phrases that could describe the debut CD by Vinnie Vincent. “Invasion” let it be known that Vincent could be even more extreme on the guitar than Mr. Simmons and Mr. Stanley ever thought or allowed. While he came with instant credibility as the man who replaced Ace Frehley in Kiss, Vincent also came armed with an album that I still consider a relevant masterpiece 17 years later.
Featuring 10 songs and not one dud, the extreme duo of Robert Fleischman and Vinnie Vincent came out screaming. Fleischman’s voice soared into the ozone throughout the whole disc, even on the subdued “Back On The Streets”. “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” featured audio and video flash and fire especially in terms of the controversial video for it when the song was released. (which can still be seen on VH-1 Classic). “Do You Wanna Make Love” is the best song on this CD. I can still remember the first time heard, where I heard it and how blown away I was with the overall song. It is a feeling that rarely occurs but makes you feel most appreciative when it happens. “Animal” has a sleazy stomp to it while “Baby-O” was an intense good time metal tune. “Back On The Streets” would have made an excellent single, but I think radio programmers were scared away by the band after hearing and seeing “Boyz Are Gonna Rock”.
While it is great to see “Invasion” get a proper reissue, this is the case of an album that did not even need to be remastered as the vinyl version sounded better than most CD’s when it was initially released.
“All Systems Go” saw the band change singers, adding in Xcursion drummer and vocalist Mark Slaughter. While Slaughter possessed a similar ozone octave range as Fleischman, fans seemed to take more interest in the band with the new vocalist. Lead track “Ashes To Ashes” was the first single from the disc but it was the second single that garnered all the attention and airplay. “Love Kills” was featured in “Friday The 13th Part IV” and became the breakout song for the band. However, as quick as it seemed the Vinnie Vincent Invasion gained momentum, internal disagreements within the band led to the departure of Dana Strum and Mark Slaughter who would go on to form the even more popular Slaughter.
Regardless of all the hype and extreme behavior and attitude possessed by VVI, these 2 releases are essential adds to anyone’s collection who missed out on them back in the mid 80’s. “Invasion” sounds like no other album you have ever heard and “All Systems Go” was an excellent precursor to the debut Slaughter CD.