Gene Simmons

Haunted House: The Complete Jumpin' Gene Simmons on Hi Records

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Gene Simmons is remembered for his 1964 novelty hit "Haunted House," but his career was longer and more varied than the term one-hit wonder suggests. He had only one other hit, "The Dodo," which peaked at number 83 in the wake of "Haunted House," but he recorded an entire album and numerous singles for Hi Records in the '60s. The era covered by this collection, 1959-1965, found Simmons abandoning the rockabilly of his Sun years in favor of a straight rock & roll sound that edged toward soul as the '60s wore on, with practically no hint of his former hillbilly vocal mannerisms. Simmons fell in line with other old-school rock & rollers of the early to mid-'60s who tried to stick with '50s rock formulae (Ronnie Hawkins and Jimmy Gilmer, for example), and consequently his music was a little retrograde in the face of the British Invasion. But fans of old-fashioned rock & roll who appreciate Simmons' history and "Haunted House" enough to splurge on this comprehensive two-disc set won't be disappointed.

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