Tag Archives: donna summer

KISS’ “Gene Simmons” Solo Album Is 35 Years Old (1978-2013)

I’ve really been enjoying sharing these “Music Milestones” with you and well, to be honest anything in the “Milestone” category brings a smile to my face because it’s fun to reflect upon something that I remember buying way back in the day or have looked upon fondly for many years. Today’s “Milestone” is actually the first of four related topics because we are at the 35th Anniversary of the KISS Solo Albums – Lifelong KISS fans of a certain age might recall how in 1978 on this very day, four distinct albums were released to the public that showcased the creative side of each of the bands members. I’ll start with Gene Simmons since he has long been my favorite member of the band but as far as deep analysis of the album goes I am going to leave that to the Official Wikipedia entry which is at the bottom. You don’t need me to repeat what is already documented.
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The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2013 Nominees Are….

Yep. It’s that time of the year again when the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame informs the world of their nominees for the honor to be in their esteemed institution. If you caught my not too subtle sarcasm, you can stop laughing now please so we can continue along in this post.

rock and roll hall of fame

I decided to bring this up once again because so many of the big wigs in music media like to complain about it publicly so why not follow suit and let our own site readers toss in their views into the mix as a result of my bringing it up. Yeah the Rock Hall is not all that Metal and I think that I will have grand children by the time we see groups like Judas Priest, Slayer and Iron Maiden being added but I digress. Let’s go over the criteria for inclusion once more for those who might not yet be aware:
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Please Dim The Disco Ball; Donna Summer & Robin Gibb Have Passed Away

It was a sad couple of days for many music fans and while we are primarily known for being a Hard Rock and Metal focused site here at the PiercingMetal Command Center; it was hard to ignore the dimming of the Disco ball when both Donna Summer and Barry Gibb passed away within mere days of each other. Donna Summer was the undisputed “Queen Of Disco” and with songs like “Love To Love You Baby”, “MacArthur Park”, “Dim All The Lights” and “Hot Stuff” helped keep her label Casablanca Records afloat. This little bit of information is important for Hard Rock fans because Casablanca Records was the home of KISS and kept their fans in release after release. Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, was a Mezzo-Soprano vocalist and had won five Grammy Awards over the course of her career. There is so much more to tell about her but I will leave that to your own discovery. Our post is just a simple tip of the finely coiffed head. In the end it would be lung cancer that took Donna away from us on May 17th of this year – she was 63 and was not a smoker. According to reports, she believed that her illness stemmed from fumes and particles inhaled after the 9-11 attacks on New York City.

Donna Summer (1948-2012)

Then three days later we all learned of the passing of the second Bee Gee’s member Robin Gibb. He was the brother to Maurice (who had passed away in 2003) and it was without question that his contributions to modern music were exemplary. As a member of the BeeGees, Robin, Maurice and Barry were formed in 1958 but really grew to their largest prominence and acclaim with their work on the soundtrack for the Disco film “Saturday Night Fever”. I’ll admit now that even though I was a growing Rocker at the time of this release that even I owned a copy of it. Hey. Everyone owned one and sometimes you fear the peer pressure as a youth. It was in middle April that the news about Robin being critically ill hit the channels and it was reported that he was pretty much on death’s door and on watch with his close family at that time. The singer would hold on for awhile and during that span of time we would lose both actor Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) and musician Levon Helm (from The Band). It would be complications from colon cancer and its affecting his liver and kidneys that would cause him to pass on. He was just 62 years old.

Robin Gibb (1949-2012)

That being said I wish to express sincere condolences to the families, friends and worldwide fans of both Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. No matter what your musical preference actually is, it is without question that these peoples offerings helped to sustain the industry and their legacy is somewhat astounding when you come to think about it. To say that you were only a fan of the hits that the BeeGees had would translate into your owning no less than four full albums worth of songs. They had nine Grammy Awards for their musical accomplishments. Donna had five but her work was no less extraordinary. Thank you both for the music that you have given us. Your songs are that of legend and forever mark a part of Pop Culture history. May you both rest in peace.

Read more about these performers illustrious careers via their Wikipedia entries below:

Donna Summer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Summer
Robin Gibb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Gibb

Indulge your auditory senses with some of their music if you were a fan or are young enough to need some education:

“Gene Simmons Solo” (remaster) by KISS

Artist: KISS: Gene Simmons
Title: “Gene Simmons Solo” (remaster)
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 9/18/1978
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3/5

In 1978, KISS did the unthinkable and released solo albums for each individual member of the group. It allowed the band to showcase what drove them musically on an individual level. Gene’s album would be the most diverse of the four recordings and would have a wide varity of musical guest stars offering up their help to be a part of the recording and I think this is what makes it “the biggest” in terms of the overall production in comparison to his other KISS peers. The guest stars included Michael Des Barres, Cher, Donna Summer and an at the time unknown Katey Sagal (you know her as Peg from “Married With Children of course). There were even members of “Beatlemania” and the legendary Bob Seger. Whew what a roster but what kind of album would this become with that kind of roster? Simply put a very “different” one from that which you might expect.
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