80's Rock: Vinnie Vincent Invasion

vinnie_vincent_invasionVinnie Vincent Invasion was an American heavy metal/glam metal band formed in 1984 by former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent.

Initially forming the band in the mid-80's, Vincent recruited bassist Dana Strum, who had also served as a talent scout of sorts in L.A., recruiting band members for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss (in fact, he had been the one responsible for securing Vincent's place in Kiss in the first place). Bobby Rock came on board as the drummer. With this nucleus of the band intact, the search was on for a lead vocalist. Initially, they were very impressed with an audition tape they had received of a male singer, whose vocal style was very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant. Unfortunately, however, this auditionee had neglected to leave a name or any form of identification on the tape. In the meantime, as the band attempted to track down this "mystery singer," they temporarily hired former Journey singer Robert Fleischman, who had also previously played with Vinnie Vincent in the band Warrior and would later sing on some Vinnie Vincent solo music, to provide vocals on VVI's self-titled debut album. This first record included material primarily in the style very au-courant glam metal bands of the era.

vinnie_vincent_invasion_1Very shortly thereafter, the identity of the elusive "mystery singer" was revealed to be Mark Slaughter, when he finally successfully contacted the band. At this point, Fleischman promptly exited the band to make way for the new lead singer. During the Slaughter-Fleischman transition, a video was produced for the song "Boyz Are Gonna Rock" from their debut album, featuring Slaughter as the vocalist, while lipsyncing over Fleischman's vocal track. With Slaughter now on board, the band released their second album, All Systems Go in 1988. This album featured one of the group's best-known hits, "Ashes to Ashes," as well as a song called "Love Kills," which appeared on the A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master soundtrack the same year.

Later in 1988, the band was released from their contract with Chrysalis Records. Having grown annoyed with what they perceived to be Vincent's domination of the project, Slaughter and Strum immediately left to form the band Slaughter, with whom they would have several hits. Bobby Rock has played as a touring drummer for Slaughter, but wasn't in the initial line-up; after VVI broke up, he briefly joined Nitro and later Nelson, then went on to play as a session musician with other bands.

vinnie_vincent_invasion_2Subsequent to the band's release from their Chrysalis contract and the resultant split of Slaughter and Strum to form Slaughter, Vincent reunited with original VVI vocalist Robert Fleischman and recorded the unreleased album "Pyro Messiah" (aka Guitars From Hell).

A tribute album entitled "KISS MY ANKH: A Tribute To Vinnie Vincent" was released by SplitScreen Entertainment on August 27th, 2008. The album consists of new recordings of songs from Vincent's careers with Kiss and the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Featured artists include Steve Brown of Trixter, Troy Patrick Farrell of White Lion, T.J. Racer of Nitro, Sheldon Tarsha of Adler's Appetite, Chris Caffery of Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ryan Roxie from the Alice Cooper band and rock & roll comic C.C. Banana, who performs a parody of the Kiss song "Unholy" (rewritten as a roast of Danger Danger vocalist Ted Poley).

Courtesy of wikipedia.org and Hair Band Rock - 80's Rock

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