Plasmatics break-up, Wendy O. Williams solo career (1983-1986) Wendy O. Williams and Gene Simmons in 1982. In 1982, Kiss asked for Wendy and the Plasmatics to appear as a special guest on their tour. Kiss wanted the controversial street edge that Wendy would bring as part of their tour and for the Plasmatics it was a chance to play in front of different audiences in different markets than they would ordinarily play. By the end of the tour with KISS it was clear that, although the formal notice that Capitol would not pick up their option for a second album did not come in for six months, the relationship with Capitol was done. It had taken months and months for the deal to be done, months to record and release the album and now months to get out of the deal. Gene Simmons approached Wendy and Rod about producing the next Wendy O. Williams album. So as to avoid any wasted time in legal issues with Capitol Records, it was decided not to use the Plasmatics name on the record at all and was simply called WOW, the initials for Wendy O. Williams. Gene Simmons felt it would give him the freedom he wanted to add more new players to the album. Wes Beech remained to play rhythm and lead and T.C. Tolliver, the drummer on Coup dEtat, remained to play on the new album. Gene Simmons played bass under the pseudonym of Reginald Van Helsing. The only other new player on the album was lead guitarist Michael Ray, brought in to solve the technical challenges that had been a problem for several albums and had come to a head with the more complex music of Coup DEtat. Gene also pulled in the talents of Ace Frehley, who had not played with KISS since leaving the band years before, Paul Stanley, and then-current KISS drummer Eric Carr did one song as guests. The record was released on Passport (international and U.S. distribution by JEM). Review copies were sent out to the various media outlets. Malcolm Dome, a reviewer for Kerrang! magazine, had picked the WOW album as his album of the year. Williams received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal in 1985. With Mohawks now starting to become common, Wendy decided to let her hair grow in, and the cover Rod shot for what would be called the album of the year in the pages of Kerrang! was the very opposite of the earlier covers; total simplicity. Wes Beech took a sabbatical for personal reasons and would not tour with the band on the next tour. The band decided to return to being a 3-Piece. Wes came in as Associate Producer with Rod on the album and worked on writing, arranging and recording, but the recording would be Michael, TC, and Greg (who would go on to play with Alice Cooper, Ritchie Blackmore and others and who had been brought in as the touring bassist for the WOW album). There was tremendous excitement in tackling the project a kind of minimalist, stripped down concept, or rite of purification. The songs, including the lyrics would be also be minimalistic or archetypal again giving Wendy a chance to take her vocals step further. The tempo of the WOW album had been slower than previous albums in an effort to open it up, but the new album Kommander of Kaos (a.k.a. KOK) was to bring back the speed and then some. Songs would be played at breakneck speeds, with screaming leads and vocals. The recording was done in Fairfield NJ at the giant Broccoli Rabe Recording complex which would be home to numerous Wendy O./Plasmatics Projects including three studio albums with what the group fondly called The Fairfield Sound.
Posted on: Sun, 24 Nov 2013 09:15:41 +0000
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