The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

The Demon Advocates: Gene Simmons' Favourite Albums
Valerie Siebert , March 3rd, 2015 12:53

The Kiss man picks a giants-of-rock top 13 albums for Val Siebert (and finally gives drum machines the talking to they deserve)


Chubby Checker - Chubby Checker's Greatest Hits
One of the first records I ever bought was Chubby Checker's 'Twistin Round The World'. He was a cultural phenomenon because the twist in those early days was a really big thing. He had an afternoon TV show every day called where he would show people how to do the twist. All it was was a green screen in those days and him doing all that stuff. I studied him, like anything else. Ernest Evans was his real name, and Kal Mann wrote those records, but the irony is that 'The Twist' was not originally recorded by Chubby Checker. It was recorded by Hank Ballard And The Midnighters, that was the original and he sounds just like Chubby. Chubby changed his name from Ernest Evans to Chubby Checker after Dick Clark's wife says, 'He reminds me of a young Fats Domino'. Fats, Chubby. Checker, Domino.

Again, 'Twistin Round The World', with the globe behind it and everything, it showed me that this was a global phenomenon. That told me something. That's when I started to be aware that there are songs, then there are artists, and then there is the informational gathering of how you tell people how big you are, how famous you are. I remember later on that I saw an advertisement for Sabbath in Rolling Stone, and the ad said: 'Black Sabbath: Louder Than Led Zeppelin', I thought that was genius. It didn't say it was better, just louder. Chubby Checker had so many hits. Obviously 'The Twist', 'Let's Twist Again', 'Pony Time', 'The Fly', 'Limbo Rock', lots of stuff! He must have had 20 hits. Great music isn't just songs; it's also a social tool, like a favourite song that people used to get married or something like that.