Various Artists Spin The Bottle: A Tribute To KISS
Released: 2004, Koch
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Even though I’m one of the biggest KISS fans to have ever walked the earth, even I will admit that the last thing the world needs is ANOTHER KISS tribute album. SPIN THE BOTTLE: A TRIBUTE TO KISS features quite a lineup: Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), Buzz Osbourne (The Melvins), Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Doug Aldrich (Dio), Fred Coury (Cinderella), Jennifer Batten, Samantha Maloney and members of Whitesnake, Dokken, Poison, Journey, Helmet…the list goes on and on The CD was executive produced by long-time KISS collaborator, Bob Kulick, and focuses on the years 1974-1977, which were the glory days of the band.
As always, these tribute discs are a mixed lot. The best of the bunch is Buzz Osbourne’s take on “God of Thunder,” originally from 1976’s DESTROYER. Gene Simmons’ original vocal track was evil incarnate and Osbourne captures it perfectly. Dee Snider does a bang-up job on “Detroit Rock City” and Mark Slaughter’s version of “Cold Gin” puts a different twist on the vocals. Even “I Stole Your Love” with ex-McAuley-Schenker Group frontman Robin McAuley on vocals is pretty good. The real shocker here is Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister and his butchering of “Shout It Out Loud.” Who knew the hard-drinking legend was a KISS fan? Lemmy does his thing well, but this version of the song proves that is possible to both suck and blow at the same time! The only other total abomination is ex-Styx guitarist, Tommy Shaw, wailing over “Love Gun.” This guy was a hack 20 years ago and, unlike a fine wine, he hasn’t improved with age. The rest of the tracks are played safe by sticking true to the originals but with far inferior vocals.
The real standout on these tracks are not the singers, but the backing musicians. Bruce Kulick was in KISS for 12 years and with Doug Aldrich, Carmine Appice, Jeff Pilson and the rest of the big-names playing here, the music is phenomenal. There are ad-libs and slight changes made to the original music, but for the most part, it is played very well. Ace’s solos are not only replicated but in some cases, bettered by the respective guitarists. It’s not difficult to out-drum Peter Criss, but having Appice, Gregg Bissonette, Aynsley Dunbar, Fred Coury and Bobby Rock on here, they make it look even easier.
The CD comes packaged with a limited-edition DVD that chronicles the recording of the album and includes interviews and rehearsal footage. Though I didn’t get this DVD with the promo, I can’t wait to see it!
Unless you’re a KISS die-hard or a fan of any of the musicians here, I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to buy SPIN THE BOTTLE: A TRIBUTE TO KISS. It’s nothing extraordinary and unfortunately falls in with the rest of the slew of tribute albums that have already been released.
1. Detroit Rock City (feat. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister)
2. Love Gun (feat. Tommy Shaw of Styx)
3. Cold Gin (feat. Mark Slaughter of Slaughter)
4. King of the Night Time World (feat. Chris Jericho of Fozzy)
5. I Want You (feat. Kip Winger of Winger)
6. God of Thunder (Feat. Buzz Osbourne of The Melvins)
7. Calling Doctor Love (feat. Page Hamilton of Helmet)
8. Shout It Out Loud (feat. Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead)
9. Parasite (feat. Doug Pinnick of King’s X)
10. Strutter (feat. Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns)
11. I Stole Your Love (feat. Robin McAuley of McAuley-Schenker Group)