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)


The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request
An underrated Stones record. You know, they had a sound. They originally started off and covered the Beatles' songs and other covers, because they didn't know how to write songs. Everybody hung out in the same clubs back then and they'd see each other socially. So, early on, the Beatles gave them 'I Wanna Be Your Man', which the Beatles recorded, but the Stones did as a single. Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham told them that they had to write their own songs, so they went down and developed that sound. Then eventually they saw the Beatles doing Sgt. Pepper's and all this experimental stuff and the Stones decided to go outside of their comfort zone. That's what I find interesting, whether Satanic Majesties is the Stones trying to do Sgt. Pepper's and ripping off the Beatles or not, it has production value and songwriting that isn't found on any other Stones records. '2000 Light Years From Home', '2000 Man'; I mean, we covered '2000 Man'. It's talking about computers and the year 2000, it's so interesting. I can remember being at school in the 60s and reading 1984 by George Orwell, which is all about how in the future the government would be spying on us. Of course this was written well before 1984, which now sounds like a long time has passed. So it's all relative. With the Stones' music, the strings and backwards stuff, there is some very very good material on that record. They happen not to like the record. I think it's a unique record that shows that the Stones have some depth. There is some bad, out-of-key background singing because they were never the best singers, they didn't have harmonies like the Beatles. The thing about it is that they were blues-based and they veered away from it on that record and went into almost Celtic and classical areas. It was a pastiche, a multi-coloured quilt! You can look at a band like a coin and say, 'I see everything, I don't need to see anything more', but there is that other side. That other side is what I think is more interesting. The depth.