Falling down the wormhole that is YouTube, I was revisiting some Vinnie Vincent Invasion songs after hearing of the former Kiss guitarist’s legal troubles. I’m not sure of the time period of the band Warrior, of which Vincent was a member (founder?) of, but I stumbled across a demo for the songs “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” which would later appear on the Vinnie Vincent Invasion debut album.
While there are very similar guitar intros and solos in both versions of the songs – and the chorus is nearly identical – the verses (both lyrically and structurally) are completely different.
Here’s the Warrior demo version.
Here’s the version that appears on the Vinnie Vincent Invasion album.
It got me to wondering why there was such a dramatic change between the original and the officially released version. Did Vincent decide the first version wasn’t something he wanted to release? Did the other members of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion bring their own thoughts and ideas to the songs? Did somebody at a label tell Vincent that he’d need to update the song to make it more marketable?
I know Vincent wrote a lot of songs that he demoed and/or sold to other artists to use. The first song I even looked up (and which led me down this entire path) was the quasi-ballad “Back on the Streets” and I was shocked to learn that there are so many versions of the songs as recorded by other artists. Not only did Vincent record and release it on the debut VVI album, but he also recorded a few different versions before putting VVI together. The guitarist that Vincent replaced in Kiss, Ace Frehley, recorded his own version of the Vincent-penned song as did 3 Speed and former Europe guitarist John Norum.
Here are just some of the many different versions I found on YouTube.
Vinnie Vincent Invasion
Vinnie Vincent demo (Vinnie on lead vocals)
The Comet Band (with Richie Scarlett on vocals)