Kiss

Let's Put The "X" Back in "Sex"? That's kind of stupid, isn't it?
*special introductory paragraph!
*Kiss
*Hotter Than Hell
*Dressed To Kill
*Alive
*Destroyer
*Rock And Roll Over
*Love Gun
*Alive II
*Double Platinum
*Gene Simmons
*Ace Frehley
*Peter Criss
*Paul Stanley
*Dynasty
*Unmasked
*Music From The Elder
*Creatures Of The Night
*Lick It Up
*Animalize
*Asylum
*Crazy Nights
*Hot In The Shade
*Revenge
*Alive III
*Carnival Of Souls-The Final Sessions
*MTV Unplugged
*Psycho-Circus
*Symphony Alive IV
*Jigoku-Retsuden
*Sonic Boom

In the 70s, Kiss painted their faces, spit blood, breathed fire and recorded simplistic hard rock that drove the kids wild (and I do mean "kids" -- I clearly remember my 10-year-old brother and his friends being CRAZY about the band. Heck, I was too, and I didn't even know any of their songs! I remember collecting Kiss trading cards and excitedly staying up to watch "Kiss Vs. The Phantom Of The Park" on TV. It was a wonderful time, youth. Playing with that little Evil Knievel toy where you'd rev the thing up and the motorcycle would do a wheelie and go flying down the driveway, and also that thing my brother had that was a little football player and you'd push his head down really hard to make him kick the ball across the room, and that thing where it looked like planes were flying across the wall and you'd shoot them and of course Adventure People, Army Men, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, baseball cards, Lite Brite, games like Payday, Big Deal and Monopoly, Pong, oops I'm stuck in this nostalgic parenthese). Two of them were huge druggies; the other two (Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons) just had sex with every woman in America, including your mother - I'm serious, ask her. I fucked her too, the whore. Actually, between Kiss and Ernest Borgnine, it's amazing that there were ANY virgins left by the end of the decade. But the end of the decade DID come, and with it the Kiss hit factory dried up, so they removed their makeup, replaced their lead guitarist about fifty-two times and have continued to push on in spite of limited public interest, with the occasional make-up wearin' original line-up "reunion" grabbin' 'em some undeserved attention. And yes, they STILL play simplistic hard rock. Midtempo power chords and stupid sexist lyrics all the way. But they know it - they're not trying to be serious musical artists; they're just trying to kick ass, have fun, and penetrate every female alive, including fat people and women in comas.


Kiss - Casablanca 1974.
Rating = 6

Contains "Strutter," which I'm sure you know by Unrest, "Love Theme From Kiss," which I'm sure you know by the Melvins, "Black Diamond," which I'm sure you know by the Replacements, and "Firehouse," which I'm sure you know as the most talented band to come out of the 1980s. Also has "Deuce" and "Cold Gin." Tons of classics on this debut, in other words! All the non-classic tunes are really pretty awful though. Just astonishingly predictable, worthless, throwaway midtempo hard rock tunes. To be honest, even the classics aren't really that great. One thing about Kiss (at least this first album anyway) -- no goddamned way did their music live up to the menace of their image. The music is absolutely TAME - limp wristed drumming, amateurish power chord whackin'... but cool vocals! Low, gruff and ugly! As a final summation of my Kiss review, I conclude that they definitely had some great riffs here and there, but they were no AC/DC, Led Zeppelin or Black Ladysmith Mambazo. I hope you enjoyed my Kiss reviews! Good night!

WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN, THEY HAVE 24 MORE ALBUMS?????? DO I LOOK LIKE A GODDAMNED STEREOLOGUE?????

Reader Comments

gstarst@yahoo.com (George Starostin)
Okay, the non-classics are awful, the classics aren't great... does the album really deserve a six then? Apart from 'Strutter' and maybe a couple others, the songs are written and played as generically as possible.

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
I have to agree with the review. No Kiss album has aged well. They were always about aping what was hot at the time, and were obviously watching the Dolls very closely during this period.

Thank goodness for the makeup, because they wouldn't have made it without it. 4.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
You wankers have all subjected yourselves to artsy fartsy stuff like Yes so much that you've forgotten what real rock 'n roll sounds like. This is a great debut album. It's probably the most consistently solid album these jokers ever made, and I get the feeling that even Kiss fanatics under estimate it. No, they weren't virtuosos, but they had an uncanny talent for coming up with interesting, if simple, heavy riffs and adding really catchy vocals to that...it's just real gritty, meat and potatoes hard rock with great hooks, the exact same ingredients for which other bands of the era, like AC/DC, are revered. If anything, Kiss is more diverse than those guys; they never stooped to re-writing the same riff again and again ad nauseam. I think in Kiss' case the make up has actually hurt perception of their music because it has always served as a distraction and caused people to think that such a visual band must be doing that to compensate for the songs. This is simply not true, and I don't even see what's wrong with the non classics here...they may not be as inspired as the rest, but none of these ten songs are bad. I think if Kiss had been just a normal jean and t-shirt wearing band and released this album in 1974, it would have been considered a Detroit style garage rock milestone, along with the Stooges, early Alice Cooper, and the MC5. They may have been watching the New York Dolls, but Kiss wrote much more memorable material. The album is just oozing with in your face attitude, impressively confident considering that they were not stars at all at the time. And how many other bands have all their members sharing lead vocals, with each one bringing a distinct flavour to the song?? If only the production were a bit better...but Mark, I guarantee that ou'll feel the true power of this record if you turn it up real loud, otherwise it does maybe sound tame, so keep that in mind too. This stuff is trash glam rock at its finest, oozing with sleaze and as raw as Houston's gang banged pussy.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
It's a very good start! This album is adorable and shows the great musical abilities of Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter to the full. It's one of the "golden albums of rock". "Strutter" is admirable song and one of the best Kiss songs ever. How brilliant sounds Stanley's vocal, how click the band plays! Catchy "Nothin' To Lose" is worthy continuation with groovy rhythm, this song moves. "Firehous" is a little worse, but nevertheless good and exciting. Not everybody can like Hendrix-influenced "Cold Gin", but I like it. You had noticed right, that "Let Me Know" is nice and uplifting. "Kissin' Time" is decent and then comes superb song of Simmons named "Deuce". Excellent song with a superb drive! "Love Theme From Kiss" is rather beautiful, "100,000 Years" is another groovy song from Kiss, and the last track "Black Diamond" is the third best song on this album (along with "Strutter" and "Deuce"). Magnificent!

Dan804935628@aol.com
Okay,i'm gonna try this again,apparently I did;nt put the album titles in the first time I commented on the KISS reviews. I should probably start off by saying I'm a huge fan of the band,and own most of their albums ,so I know what I'm talking about.First off this is one of my favorite KISS albums.All the classics are here Cold gin,Deuce,Strutter and my favorite KISS song ever,Black Diamond.I don't understand it,George trashes KISS and now I see Mark hates 'em too,actually it's nothing new for critics to slag this great band,but it seems everybody who commented on his reviews trashed 'em too,listen to the songs first ,you idiots!

mikef@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Man, you musta been too young when this one came out to remember what was really going on back then!!! If you recall any of the other music of the day, you CAN drop words like "limp wristed" and "tame"... by 1974's standards, Kiss was the heaviest stuff out there! Except maybe Sabbath and Zeppelin... Especially live... Kiss was really heavy live. Kiss' debut was great. Sure it was 3 chord rock n roll but that's what rock n roll is all about. Tough and Heavy. Strutter, Cold Gin, Deuce, Black Diamond, Firehouse... These tunes are mainstays of the Kiss live act even today!! There isn't really a "bad" track on this album!!!

I'll be back!

Aleks356@aol.com
All this talk of how KISS's music is simplistic. How it's three-chord songs and et cetera.

Uh, do you guys realize that that's how the Rolling Stones' songs have always been?

Same with the Stooges... did you think Iggy Pop was an intellectual or a musicologist?

Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc. All these bands. Kiss is not more simplistic than them, nor less tuneful.

I would argue that simplicity, if anything, is an indication of talent. Sheeit, you have a thousand chords and instruments, you BETTER fucking come up with something amazing.

But to make good music with two chords... THAT requires imagination!

In fact, aside from progressive rock or orchestral rock, that is what the rock 'n' roll genre is!

Good golly, Miss Molly! Ready, set, go man go! Tutti frutti, oh rooty!

Musically, KISS was heavy punk rock with lead guitars. This is especially evident on their live albums of the '70s. In a sense, they also embodied the original punk rock credo of "Be whatever you want to be." Punk rock was NOT originally about conformist fashions of spikey hair and safety pins and shirts torn just so. (Which is why, for example, the Ramones had long hair.)

Rock and roll over, Beethoven!

ddickso2@uccs.edu
Sorry for emailing this at 4:10 AM (ET), but I just got back from watching Superman Returns, and I decided to check out what the critics said about it afterwards. It seemed fairly well received--with the exception of three particularly vile-spirited flames from the "Elite Critics" section. It seems they thought it wasn't "postmodern," "tongue-in-cheek," "whimsical," or "wink-wink nudge-nudge" enough. At least not compared with the Golden Age Of Wink-Wink Nudge-Nudge, aka the late '70's. Unsurprisingly, all three of them were from New York. Sigh. I guess I'll never understand the minds of these goateed lunatics. (critics.)

Now for the ultimate in music-you're-you're-supposed-to-enjoy-only-in-a-wink-wink-nudge-nudge-manner (tug on goatee). Hey hey! Kiss isn't a bad album! But if the band never really progressed from here, than the band truly does suck. I mean, it's about the dumbest rock you can reach--even dumber than Fun House. At least there, the Stooges were under the influence of severe drugs. These guys didn't even drink or smoke at the time (at least not the principal songwriters), so they have no excuse.

It's good music, though. The first side in particular has not a single bad song. If the second side has a fault, it's because it sounds exactly the same, making no attempt at drama, diversity, or climaxesesses. Sssesessssesss, ssssss.

Best song? "Let Me Know"--love the vocal melody and the fast breakdown at the end. Worst song? "Love Theme From Kiss." Seriously, what IS that shit.

Well, it's rock and roll, it's raw and fun and full of testosterone and greaser and bodacious and tubular, man and all that, and the singing's even pretty good. It just skimps on the songwriting a little in the second half and has a little too little ambition. Sure, All Music Guide considers it a hard rock "landmark," but I can assure you the guys that MADE it don't. They just wanna make a lot of money, pork a lot of apple pie, and maybe make some catchy tunes in the process. See, sometimes you NEED a little ambition in life. For that reason, I give it an 8 and sell it back to the used record store for $2.00.

Pssht. The original Superman? Pul-lease. Now I know that hits you where it hurts, Mark, but I wasn't even a SPERM at the time. . .

mmitchell@frameguild.com (Mike)
Why is everyone so afraid to admit that Kiss is more than a credible rock band. They are principally responsible for influencing many current artists, and let’s get the record straight their first album is a serious kick ass staple in anyone’s collection. I’d put up Songs like Deuce, black diamond, and strutter against the shit being produced today. By comparison if a band like arowsmith cut cold gin it would have gone down as a rock classic, but because a bunch of guys in make up wrote it, it went largely ignored. I’ve listened to so many current rockers take a stand and praise kiss for making rock roll what it should be about, fun and chicks. All of those chicken shit nay sayers out there throw on songs like strange ways, cold gin, or Detroit rock city, sit back grow a set of testicles and appreciate a band that rocked for the people. It may have taken the visual show to grab your attention at first, but believe me there was a whole lot of substance behind the sizzle.

I give the first album a serious 8 out 10, and rate the songs as follows; best song is cold gin it foreshadows Ace’s future accomplishment as a credible axe man and songwriter. Strutter, there is a reason why so many bands have covered this little gem, because it’s catchy and chicks love it. Black diamond is a dramatic moody little piece that if (like cold gin) it belonged to another band would have been labeled a classic.

Firehouse is a bluesy standard that would have been a mainstay with a band like AC/DC.

If I I’m kiss I stick my middle finger at the save face establishment that adds credibility to singers like Britney Spears etc. Oh and by the way there is a reason why The New York Dolls never took off and enjoyed global success, because there music was average and lacked originality. I love it when the morons stand up and praise the dolls and pioneers, give me a break they were an androgynous bar band and just didn’t have the right stuff.

pauleyjbrown@yahoo.com
KISS 8/10

The only thing that keeps the debut KISS record from being a solid effort is the fact that the heaviness wasn't captured well in the studio. That said, I like Cold Gin, obscurities like Let Me Know and Nothin' To Lose. The pure magic cuts are Firehouse, Deuce and especially the appropriate closer Black Diamond. Kissin' Time isn't that bad, and since it was done in between the debut and Hotter Than Hell, it has a taster of the heaviness that would rear its head on the sophomore album.

jubileedunbar@yahoo.com
"Stooges... did you think Iggy Pop was an intellectual or a musicologist?"

Aleks, Aleks, Aleks...Iggy WAS an intellectual. That's how he knew you didn't need to overplay or overwrite to create timeless awesomeness. Check out the box set of Funhouse. Brother was a perfectionist!

Those who would defend this album would be right to do so. The only thing that truly dates it is the production. If this came out today, and Mutt Lange was behind the ProTools®, AND this band wasn't called KISS or wore makeup, this would be held up as reverently as the first Black Crowes or Georgia Satellites or Guns und Roses debuts were when they came out.

This is a solid debut, and while Hotter 'n Hell is not as good (but still pretty good), Dressed To Kill is just as good if not better. It's only when Bob "Bandkiller" Ezrin comes in, with his "I'll make you the next Alice Cooper!" strings and great expectations that the whole McGilla drops in quality. After the first two songs of Destroyer (admittedly, two of their very best songs), KISS' whole career drops off a cliff, musically.

LBW, The Right Wing Liberal
Mia Prindle - One other wanker beat me to it - and wankers can always beat it - YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

I was living in a house with roomates. I had just divorced my first wife a year earlier and we spent a lot of time listening to the latest and greatest, going to .92 cent concerts and enjoying the best that modern science had to offer.

Our standards of the time would be to put on Tyrannosaurus Rex (Listen to Elemental Child, if you don't believe Marc Bolan wasn't a fantastic guitarist before he got all punked out on his "twilight world of booze drugs and kinky sex) - Then there was Lou Reed and Transformer. Or maybe Mott The Hoople and all the Jung Dudes. I could go and on, but that's your job isn't it?

Then Burrhead came bounding in with a bag of smoke and the first Kiss album! That album got a lot of play - even Burrhead liked it. It's like I've pointed out before - Kiss was copied so much by other BIG bands since then it makes it seem like their first effort was pedestrian - or shallow and pedantic. But when it came out, it was top of the pops to us. The best (and most creepy way) would be to describe it as Nirvana breakthrough. In other words, it was, what was for the time, heavy metal rock with a strong popular commercial edge. ACTUALLY the first I had ever heard. And we were right.

Kiss became a BIG band - although, in my opinion nearly everything they wrote and performed after the first album sucked big green donkey dicks (Kiss ripped themselves off over and over again - and we hadn't even heard of Clinton Fatigue yet) . I was profoundly as disappointed with their second album as I was blown away with their first. And for those unforgivable morons who thought they had fucked the shark with "Beth" - all I can is, that's what you get for knotting those boys far longer than they deserved.

I think the words went like this

Biff I hear you calling, But I'm trying to cum right now. Cause me and the goys are rimmin, And we don't much care for sows. Just a few more hours, And I might just get it up, Oh Biff I know your wankin I need to see your butt. Oh Biff, I need your butt.

I don't remember the rest.

Oh yeah, about those .92 cent concerts - I saw Kiss on their first tour in Portland at the venerable Paramount theater on 1974. Their, later to become famous stage show, was more like an awkward rehearsal for the real thing, with long blackouts and scuffling around between songs. Historically significant, I keep telling myself.

KISS - the first album is a 10 to me - but everything else after that was boring, repetitive horse shit. Makeup, schmakeup, what the hell's the difference if there's crap on your cock?

Now, I'm nearing 60 and I'm over the hill. Just me and TV - What's on tonight?

8PM

Ch 2 DUCK FUCKERS (Cartoon)
Ch 6 MOVIE (British 1955) "Shirtlock Hommes and the Virgin Sod" Hommes find himself in a deep gutter of despair and flatulance. Basil Ratbone, Nigel Broost
Ch 8 CSI - MIAMI (Color - repeat) That red-headed rat bastard ham, David Caruso, proves once again that bad acting can be overcome with a hot blonde southern tail.
Ch 10 ANTIQUES TOAD SHOW (B&W) Overpriced relics now that the market has fallen faster than David Gregory's hair.
CH 12 NOVA - "Ayn Rand's Penis" Roundtable discussion.
CH 22 MOVIE - "The Three Stooges Rape Margaret Mead. (1951 - 2 hours)
Last Larry, Moe, Curly vehicle featuring Margaret DuMont as Mead. Edna Mae Oliver makes a hilarious cameo as George LeRoy Tirebiter.

Oh well.

Add your thoughts?

Hotter Than Hell - Casablanca 1974.
Rating = 8

Contains "Goin' Blind," which I'm sure you know by The Melvins. Much better riffs this time around! Less generic r'n'r pishposh, more actual grit, meanness and catchiness. Most of the drumbeats are still excruciatingly slow (I don't think I could play a rock song as slow as "Got To Choose" if I were asleep, dead AND on heroin), but both the guitar and vocal melodies seem a bit more written on here, especially on that excellent tune I mentioned earlier that the Melvins ended up covering. Really cool vocal melody on that one! Emotionally sung, even though the lyrics are bizarre bordering on hilarious. If you're big on thud-stupid distorted heavy guitar chords and don't mind if they're played at a quarter-speed that a REAL rock band would play them, don't hesitate to

Say, at the HMV yesterday I heard one of the worst songs I will ever hear in my life. The lyrics were something like "We won't give a fuck until you give a fuck about me... AND MY GENERATION!" Have you heard it? Who is that? Somebody kick that guy in the balls.

Reader Comments

savage1561@juno.com (Evan Streb)
I've never heard this Kiss album so I can't really say much about that, but I HAVE heard that song you hate, it's called "My Generation" and it's by Limp Bizkit. Say! Did I mention how much I hate popular music? And here in Canton that's all they play!! No college stations around here, so when you're in the car listening to the radio and those crappy Eminem songs come on, what're you supposed to do? URRRGHH!! Still, worst song ever? Well, it's bad but do you really think it's as bad as, say, "Baby One More Time"??

Or "Oops... I Did It Again!"??

Or "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"??

Jcjh20@aol.com
Love "Goin' Blind". The title track is pretty cool too. I agree with your review. By the way, that "My Generation" song you are talking about is by Limp Bizkit. It is, indeed, fucking horrible. Its definatly sickening to have it share the same title as The Who's song..

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Not a whole lot different than the debut, but where the first one was more garage rock, this one veers close to metal on several tracks. Hotter Than Hell is probably the meanest and heaviest album by the original line up, but it's also one of the most obscure, considering that the only well known song here is "Hotter Than Hell". I think it's more than enjoyable to listen to though. I listen to a really wide range of music, including a lot of complex stuff, but every now and then I get tired of wanking, and I throw something like Kiss on because it's a refreshing antidote. There's no bullshit in this music; it's basic, straight forward, and oh so entertaining and catchy. And you're right Mark, about Kiss not sounding nearly as threatening as their image would lead one to believe...if anything, most of their music is good times rock 'n roll, with lyrics about partying and filled with sexual innuendo. There's nothing dark about their music, so I really can't understand why people considered them "devil's music" in the 70's, especially when dark bands like Sabbath, BOC, Zep, Doors, Alice Cooper, etc were already well established by the time Kiss first came up...compared with those bands, these guys are harmless! Hotter Than Hell will melt your brain though if you turn it up. Just listen to the great riffs on "Watchin' You", "Strange Ways", and even the thrash metal riff of "Parasite"! That song is an undiscovered gem. "Goin' Blind" is a decent stab at balladry, but Gene Simmons should not have sung that one because he is the weakest singer of the four members. "Mainline" and "Coming Home" however, are pretty boring songs that go nowhere. I wish Kiss had used Peter Criss more on lead vocals, especially on the heavier material, because he has such a cool raspy, whiskey soaked growl...I still say that after he left Kiss in 1980, he would have made a much better replacement lead singer in AC/DC than Brian Johnson.

Think about it!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
"Goin' Blind" is a marvellous ballad! It's the best song from this album! Simmons is a good songwriter! And he can sing well. "Parasite" and "Watchin' You" are awesome and the closing track "Strange Ways", which is written and performed by Frehley is glorious!

Dan804935628@aol.com
Another good one,but not as good as the first.Best song----Goin' Blind.

michaeltaylor500@hotmail.com
Not sure if you've heard of the book "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (maybe everyone has and I'm the last one!), but it's basically about a 90 year old man who falls in love with a 14 year old prostitute. He's a Nobel prize winner, but now we know he stole the idea for this book from "Goin' Blind." Got the ages mixed up though.

pauleyjbrown@yahoo.com
HOTTER THAN HELL 10/10

The sound is a bit muffled still, but the amps are turned to 11. There's great hooks and melody and this is a KISS record that is crankable start to finish. Got To Choose is a nice opener, and then followed up with the urgency of the chords to Parasite, very worthy of a Beavis and Butthead interpretation. Goin' Blind is by far high up on the list of my all time favorite KISS tunes. Though offset by devious lecherous lyrics (which is what makes KISS fun regardless) it's very hauntingly melodic and features Ace Frehley's finest guitar solos. The downside is when the song fades out. The title cut has great riffs and should be taken out of storage for future KISS tours...no excuse it shouldn't be played. Let Me Go Rock N' Roll has...since when I first heard it, always sounded like a bastardized rockabilly-esque song, it's a take it or leave it affair but good. All The Way is a nice ass kicker with fine vocals by Gene Simmons. Watchin' You is cool too. Mainline is a sweet rocker with Peter Criss belting out the words, and I think Peter was at his best singing to rockers more than ballads, and sadly, save for Hooligan, Peter would never ever sing on a non-ballad KISS song that was worth a damn ever again. Comin' Home is sweet and it would've been a great closer if not for the final and most menacing beast that is Strange Ways, sung by Peter again. This song is dark slow and aggressive. No fucking around.

Add your thoughts?

Dressed To Kill - Casablanca 1975.
Rating = 7

Contains "Rock And Roll All Nite," which I'm sure you know by Poison or whoever that shit band was that did a cover of it in the late '80s. This album sounds a lot like the last one, but with a few riffs that REALLY don't make the grade, along with some unbelievably stupid groupie lyrics ("Room Service," "Ladies In Waiting"), but hey man it's KISS!!!! Just shake your head around really hard and let your brain slosh around until most of the intelligence and taste have fallen out your ears, and the shim sounds good! GOOD!!!! I'M A BIG DUMB JERK AND I LIKE KISS, EVEN THOUGH THEY SUCK!

Wait, what am I talking about? This is the album with the lyric, "She's a dancer, a romancer/She's a Capricorn and I'm a Cancer"! What was that? Did somebody just recite a poetic verse of Mr. Lord Alfred Tennyson?

Let me point out that at this exact moment, my fiancee is on the couch with my puppy reciting this mantra: "Who's the boss? Who's the boss? Tony Danza's the boss! Tony Danza's the boss!"

Now she's talking in a high voice as if she were the dog, telling me how much he has to go out and pee.

Sometimes I wonder why I was ever born.

Reader Comments

gstarst@yahoo.com (George Starostin)
Change that seven to a one for me, if you please. No, wait, a TWO - I do admit that 'Rock And Roll All Night' has some sort of 'party cool' to it. But that's the only half-decent song on the album. The big difference, I think, is that when I want to headbang I don't NECESSARILY need to slosh all of my intelligence out as if it were a pre-required necessity: 'If you still have some brains, you need to weed 'em out before you can truly headbang'. No thank you. I'll headbang along to the truly gritty Rolling Stones stones, the powerful and majestic Who sound, at worst I'll headbang to the tongue-in-cheek goofiness of AC/DC or to the hilarious minimalism of the Ramones. Headbanging to Kiss might have been fun in the mid-Seventies, when there weren't that many OTHER bands to headbang to (although this also turns out to be a false assertion in the end), but bringing this stupid, dumb, brainless, melodyless crap into the 21st century is no different from collecting all your dirty underwear and cherishing it all the rest of your life as if it truly and verily reflected all the good and honest sides of it. No thanks.

In fact, what annoys me so much is the very idea that "HEADBANGING" is incompatible with "INTELLIGENCE". Does that mean that a clever, well-written, well-lyricized song actually reduces the pure bodily enjoyment factor just because brains are involved? Whoever proved that? Yes, I myself have lots of moments when I just feel like letting out steam - I reach out for some hard-rockin', ass-kickin' record and headbang to it. But it's NEVER a Kiss album - all my organism simply protests against it. It can be AC/DC, but it can NEVER be Kiss, because not only my brains, my BODY doesn't let me reach out and throw on a Kiss record. Instead, I put on, say, 'Live At Leeds', and feel much better. Hell, I'll go on and put on something like 'Gimme Three Steps' by Lynyrd Skynyrd, which Mark probably detests, but for Chrissake, it's at least funny and well-played, which is more than I can say about any given Kiss song. Gimme a break.

Put it like that: why do you need to paint your house in nice colours and put on some nice wallpaper and put up some pretty furniture and everything, when you could just be living in a gray box as long as it has four walls and a roof? You NEED all that extra crap to make you feel human. Listening to a Kiss album just degrades me to an animal, pure and simple. Why the hell do I need to do that when I can let off my energy equally well and NOT feel dumbified in the process? Eh?

Oh, and Dressed To Kill? The two "best" things about this record are a) Mr Frehley's 'beautiful' and specially self-credited intro to 'Rock Bottom', which consists of an endless cycle of three notes in total; and b) said Mr Frehley's lifting off AN ENTIRE GUITAR SOLO off the Doors' 'Five To One' for 'She'. Each of these things alone should bring the record's rating down two or three points at worst.

dwhitman@kscable.com
wow.. did the first commenter on this album really recognize the Doors like solo on She?? I thought I was the only one!! hahahahha wow!!

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
This is one of their best albums, in my opinion. Hilarious Paul-as-David Johansen vocals, ridiculous lyrics, etc. but for some reason, I have a special place in my chest cavity for this record. I give it a 9.

Regarding Ace's solos: there are lots of rock guitarists that love Ace Frehley, and you can even hear some of Ace's licks in stuff by Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. Personally, I think Ace was the only true rocker Kiss ever had. His solos were unmistakably his, and they were always funky and interesting, if not technically showy. He never claimed to be a whiz, or above nicking stuff. I think I read somewhere that he answered Kiss' audition by "playing all my best Jeff Beck licks". What a maroon!

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
That George guy has got a massive pickle in his buttocks. You have to remember that Kiss came along at a time when musicianship and melody were still required ingredients in a successful rock band. Kiss never would have lasted if they hadn't had at least a significant amount of those two categories, and they certainly do. They're certainly better musicians than AC/DC. Again, while most of their stuff is not complicated or challenging, they certainly were no worse than most hard rock bands of the 70's in playing ability or song writing, and even had a dynamic live show to boot. And in today's pathetic rock climate, the music of Kiss sounds like the work of genius in comparison. And the harshest Kiss critic cannot deny the vocal talent of Paul Stanley...he has such great range and power. How many other hard rock singers could pull off a demanding role like the Phantom Of The Opera? I saw him as the Phantom here in Toronto and he was magnificent, completely silencing all those idiots who snickered when it was first announced that he was taking over the role. They keep saying it time and time again; their music has never pretended to be anything other than highly enjoyable, sing-a-long type upbeat feel-good rock 'n roll, and nobody could do it quite as well as they could. So many people despise them for making it so big with so-called "stupid" music, but the truth is that the success of Kiss, inspite of the constant criticism since the start, is an inspiration for every kid who has dreams of hitting the big time. Pretentious, cynical, wet-blanket critics like that George commenter simply are unable to come to terms with this aesthetic.

As for this album, the production is vastly improved, the tempos are much more upbeat, and the party atmosphere contained in most of these anthems is undeniably infectuous! "Room Service" is hilarious, but Mark, am I crazy, or does the music remind you a bit of "Under My Wheels" by Alice Cooper too?? There's even a bit more diversity here, with Ace's nice acoustic intro to "Rock Bottom", which is simple, but a nicely soothing melody. These are almost all fun party songs, and the sleaze is in full force, making it even funner than the last one! The exception would be "She" which has a slower plodding heavy riff that sounds like a leftover from the last album. And doesn't the music in "Love Her All I Can" remind you of "Lowrider"?? "Rock And Roll All Nite" closes the album in high style, and is their most famous song.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
George Starostin is absolutely wrong here. It's my favourite Kiss album! All the songs here are frigging good. It's a masterpiece! It doesn't matter, plays Ace Frehley three notes for exactly two minutes or not in "Rock Bottom" (actually, it's a beautiful chord sequence), because he does it AWESOME, this intro sounds nice, and the song itself is probably the best song here (it means, that it's probably my favourite song here). The following song "C'mon And Love Me" is the second best tune here (in general, it's hard to say, what are the best tunes here, I would like to say, that the best songs from "Dressed To Kill" are all songs except "Room Service" and "Love Her All I Can", which are a little worse). The songwriting of both Paul Stanley ("Rock Bottom", "C'mon And Love Me") and Gene Simmons ("Two Timer" (what a good song!), "The Ladies In Waiting" (I'm allready tired to find epiphets, but all these songs are magnificent), "She") is on a very high level. "Getaway" of Ace Frehley is also colossal.

I can't understand why some people dislike Kiss, Kiss are very good and professional musicians, the band also has got a special individual zest, their songs are catchy. And, besides, Paul Stanley has got a gorgeous vocal (and other guys also have got a good vocals)! Kiss are great! They're among my favourites.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Can you give a higher rating than 10? Oh well,This is KISS's best.George Starsoo...oh,whatever his fucking name is can just stick to his shitty YES records.

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Not only did the Carpenters write more of their own music than Kiss, but they performed more of it, and they performed it better than Kiss ever has.

Funny to see these Kiss fans wet themselves when someone bursts their bubble and reveals the secret to the band's success: little kids with no musical taste listening to a comic book condensed into a shitty album, never pushing sales past three million per each for well over 20 years despite several high chart positions.

It's Poison, but pretending to be scary and not playing their own instruments. Hey, at least those hair metal jokes could strum. There's no excuse for this crap. Journey is better than this. At least their ballads had soul and weren't as gay (THATS PRETTY FUCKING GAY SHITTY BAD!).

Tired dull stupid lame songs, and a live show that gets blown away by their opening act, while their fans claim every album is the best ever no matter how obviously weak or coerced or phoney it is, and then comparing it to acts like Slayer, or that one other metal band that sounds like Slayer. And these Kiss fags clearly have more evidence than I ever will of the charade that is four money hungry Jews playing along to an overdubbed track of faceless studio musicians, parading in and out of the Kiss empire by the hundreds.

Playing watered down corporate rock (is there any other kind) written by a man in a business suit snorting enough cocaine to kill all the sewer rats in Chicago about such incredible topics as "Detroit shlock city" and "this one time I balled a chick named Beth, dude."

But wow, it rocks. You can't hear stuff like this from any low caliber bar band on an off night, no way.

That is the magic of a Kiss fan.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Josh Cable is a fucking moron! Kiss are very good performers and no man with a sanity can deny it! Their music IS essential, interesting and notional. I know, it's a subjective factor, but one must have a respect for every good classic rock band, coming from 60s-70s. "Little kids with no musical taste" - boy, you're a stupid fucker, KISS are elite band, at least now, and you, Josh Cable, is ignorant. And Slayer sucks!

mikef@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Notice how Josh couldn't even name one song from Dressed to Kill, but managed to cut up KISS without really ever listening to them? This is, in my opinion, by far the best KISS album. These guys were starved for success at this point and looking at the end of the line. Thanx to Bill Aucoin's credit card, the tour continued, Alive! was released and over the top KISS went. No more lean days. Love Her All I Can, Room Service, Anything For My Baby, Ladies in Waiting... the sleepers of the album... overshadowed by the monotonous yet hugely successful Rock n Roll All Nite. My personal fave was She. Still is my favorite KISS tune. So heavy for the day and live was even heavier. If one wants an album that sums up what KISS is/was all about, Dressed to Kill is IT.

JohnnyMotel@aol.com
Yeah, Jeff Cable has got it right. Trust me, I owned all of Kiss' catalog at one point when I was certain that they had to kick ass. Granted, Alive is a killer album, but get real, kids. KISS is total shit. Its called a Gimmick. Lynyrd Skynyrd KILLS KISS even with 3 of them 6 feet under. Seriously, go buy a New York Dolls album. Kiss is a fookin joke, playah.

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Kiss do a good job in covering the Doors classic "Five To One" here.

pauleyjbrown@yahoo.com
DRESSED TO KILL 9/10

Granted, Neil Bogart has no production skills whatsoever, but thankfully he didn't fuck up Dressed To Kill. I refer to this as my "sing along" album, because there is much to sing to track by track. It has enough cowbell to put a grin on Christopher Walken's face. Favorite cuts include shit I'll never hear live again like Two Timer, Ladies In Waiting, Getaway , Anything For My Baby and Love Her All I Can. Rock Bottom is a surprise with the acoustic duet between Paul and Ace, definitely not something asshole critics ever expected to see a band like KISS doing. She is another exercise in heaviness, more sleaze and attitude. Oh and there's some little cut tacked on at the end called...what's that name again? I don't know, I guess it was important or something...

gagipn@beotel.net
It's a cool record! I like Getaway best. I miss Peter's vocals on the 80's and 90's albums. Also on the now in progress ALIVE 35 tour. Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer are great musicians and, i have no doubt, nice guys, but Ace and Peter, are unreplacable.

Add your thoughts?

Alive - Casablanca 1975.
Rating = 9

Contains the classic pre-"Cold Gin" stage patter, which I'm sure you know by Alice Donut. Have I mentioned what Kiss sound like yet? Mostly just straight midtempo thickly distorted chord sequences, sometimes poppy and sometimes mean, seldom incredibly innovative but often catchy as all hell. Like a more interesting Slade or less respectable New York Dolls.

Now about this album - for some reason, this has gone down in history books as one of the best concert albums of all time, which is really weird. It doesn't bring wild rock life to tepidly recorded studio tracks a la Cheap Trick At Budokan, nor does it slow down and drug up classic rockers a la Rolling Stones Get Your YoYos Out, nor does it tear like a guitar lovin' muthafucka a la Who Live On Ludes, nor does it please the sensitive ears of rickety old Christians a la Neil Diamond Hot August Night, nor does it showcase all new tracks a la Ted Nugent Intensities In Ten Shitties, nor does it rock and roll like a steam engine guntrain a la Ramones It's Alive, nor does it go on for fifteen years a la Metallica Binge & Sue, nor does it (insert description here) a la (put band and hilarious parody of album title in bold here), nor does keep America in stitches like funnyman Jay Leno. Really, these songs are no better or worse on here than they were on the studio albums. So what the hell's the point? You gonna buy it just for a few minutes of stage patter? Or better yet, a TWELVE-MINUTE wankoff version of "100,000 Years," complete with drum solo???? (it certainly SEEMS like it drags on for 100,000 years, if I may be clever and witty for a moment).

No, the reason you buy it is because it's a fantastic sampler of the first three albums, deleting most of the chaff (ooh! fancy word!) to make way for the classics. Just hot riff after hot riff after hot riff. Two full albums of fun, stupid '70s hard rock! Doesn't it make you want to rock and roll all night -- and fart on every gay?

Look, I know it's a homophobic lyric - that's something you'll have to discuss with Messrs. Simmons and Stanley.

Prindle fans might note that I sampled the end-of-album audience cheers as background for my classic "Hot Rockin' 2Nite (Live)" anthem!

Reader Comments

mysteryroach69@hotmail.com (Beau Mihalek)
Yes, I admit it, I love this album, I'm just gonna give it a ten and ignore that stupid patter in 10000000000000000000000000 Years. "I whanah know. How mahny pehople heah like to ghet high?" Isn't Paul one of the guys who doesn't do drugs? Who cares? "It lookths lahk wh gohna half ourthelws a rock n roll pahty to-nite!"

gstarst@yahoo.com (George Starostin)
Okay, this is indeed the only Kiss record to own if you only wanna own one, but not because of the 'party factor' - rather because a) Kiss sound grittier live (yes, they do - the guitars are louder, more distorted and kicking) and b) the song selection saves us the necessity of enduring TOO MUCH crap from the first three albums. Even if there's still enough crap on here to make me puke. And the Paul Stanley stage banter, this time, overdoes the stupidity factor to actually appear funny. (God help me!)

dwhitman@kscable.com
oh.. a good one-liner from Paul Stanley from this album right after they crank out 'She' .. 'ACCE FREEELEEY ON GEEEETAWWWWW!!' Kind of funny, since Paul can't put two damn notes toghether. Ranks right up there with 'Our next one is the first song.. off our neewww album' from cheap trick. hehe.

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Oh, all right...It was a '70's thing. Great live album, and before we all go laughing up our sleeve at Kiss, remember that they never claimed to be anything other than what they were. They were a mindless, overblown excuse to get loud and rowdy and have a good time. That's what rock and roll is about, I think.

They always delivered. I saw them a few times, and I left each show shaking my head with a smile on my face, and my ears ringing.

They were entertainment, pure and simple, and they excelled at delivering it. Gets an 8 from me.

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
This isn't a live album, it's a studio album with crowd noise added (Kiss fans aren't smart enough to notice; they're fucking dumb). And it still sucks, because these guys are homosexuals that like fucking men in the ass with their gay dicks.

"It lookths lahk wh gohna half ourthelws a rock n roll pahty to-nite!"

Hey Asse, take the cock out of your mouth before you spout that tired banter.

creexul@home.com (John Cable)
They excel at delivering entertainment? Is that supposed to be a joke or something? It SOUNDS funny, but it's also pretty depressing depending on how seriously you take such a comment, since everyone knows and accepts that Kiss were nothing but gimmicky no-talent sellouts who single-handedly ruined the entire music industry by turning it into a giant million dollar money game, instead of the art that The Beatles and The Who tried to make it. If it weren't for Kiss, the radio probably wouldn't suck today. Then again, Styx was popular too.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
This John Cable fool is another ignoramus. The music industry was always a multi million dollar game long before Kiss came along; they were just business savvy enough to cash in on it, instead of going the "struggling artist" route, which is a crock of shit anyway. You make it sound like its despicable for a band to make a living off its music. You also make it sound like they had a mission to lower the standards of the industry; more poppycock sir. When they started out they never could have known that they would become successful...they became successful because people were getting sick of the completely overblown and ridiculous forms that progressive rock and hard rock were taking in the early to mid 70's, and Kiss' back to the basics approach was a breath of fresh air. Punk picked up this same philosophy a few years later. A natural system of checks and balances is always in place in order to combat extremes. And I don't know what you define as a sell-out, but I've always understood it to be a calculated extreme change in musical direction and image designed to appeal to a wider demographic to maximize record sales...they kept the same style from day one until the 80's, so how exactly did Kiss sell-out? And if you respond by saying that Dynasty was a disco sell-out, then that's bullshit too...there's plenty of hard rock on that record with the vintage Kiss sound, just with a disco flavour on a few songs, not a total change in direction for mainstream appeal resulting in a watered down sound. There's nothing wrong with a band keeping up with technological developments and experimenting with different genres...ever heard of diversity? Most bands do it, and it's often necessary to keep a career going. The Elder was a major musical departure...would you call that album a sell-out, you doofus?

prog_man2@yahoo.com (Peter Ross)
I COMPLETELY AGREE. I also believe Kiss was trying to make a living instead of going the other way and stagnating early on. If being popular is a crime, then Kiss should be arrested for life.

Concerning Josh and John Cable: They're fucking retards. They wouldn't know good music if it shoved a red-hot poker up their asses.

Fuck these shitheads.

Dan804935628@aol.com
The best live album ever made by any other band,go ahead try to find one with this much energy.This is what rock n' roll is all about!! By the way these Cable fuckers have no idea what they're talking about.

mikef@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Sure this was a heavily edited album but it doesn't take away from the whole package that was Alive!. The tunes were killer, the power was undeniable. The treats that came with the album set a standard for what I expected in a rock n roll album package. These Cable guys should stick to wiring TVs if they've got the brains for it.

tomb@cadvision.com (Tom Bagley)
I always thought Paul said: "I've got a leaky cock!" at the end of "She"...

SeanWtsn@aol.com
Ok... are you finished mocking this album yet? If not, I'll wait... Never mind. Fuck you and listen... Kiss never, EVER claimed to be musically important. They know better. They always knew better. They (Paul and Gene) said from the beginning that if you wanted intellectual, thought provoking music, go buy an ELP album. But if you want simple, three to five chord chunky rock and roll that basically channels the Beatles (yes, the Beatles) and the MC5, yet who were also into the theatrical elements that early to mid-70's rock gravitated toward, you've found a home in this album. There is no pretentiousness to this album. It is a true document of a mid-'70's Kiss arena experience and believe me, it was cool at the time. Simply put: if you don't like Kiss, you won't like this album. If you do, this is STILL the best album they ever released.

jdecuir@satx.rr.com
20 out of 10 for Paul's silly-ass banter, alone. The bit about Vodka and Orange Juice is priceless.

Flunkies@webtv.net
I think if Kiss hadn't come out with ALIVE! when they did-we probably wouldn't be reading about them much right now.Their first three albums are loaded with junk.The production is amateurish and inaffectual and the mixes,for the most part,are just awful and imbalanced.Peter's drums often lack drive and power Occasionally something came out good.I addition,hey were fledgling songwriters,and most of their material at this time needed ALOT of work.What ALIVE! did was distill the best they had to offer in an excellent,high-energy live performance presentation.After that,things improved GREATLY thanks to BOB EZRIN who had the experience and tenacity to whip the boys into shape.DESTROYER is STILL there shining hour in my opinion.I think it is their most consistant "make-up" album as far as songwriting,production and overall performance.Except for about 8 cuts,their first three albums,to me,are completely pedestrian.

punkrock_derek@hotmail.com (Derek Ramone)
The only live album that wasn't live. i was at a kiss convention with all these kiss geeks running around buying the same albums over 20 times just because it was released in another country.At this convention bob erzin gave a question & answer, and told us the alive album is not live. quote: the album is called alive, there is nothing live about the alive album. the story goes that bob erzin went to a stix concert and payed a bunch of hippies 20 dollars to hold a kiss sign. i mean if it was a kiss concert, where are all the guys with makeup on or the kiss t shirts and why do they all look like hippies right? it was a stix concert! anyways, being aroused by this story i bought the album just the same, and it sounds great. i love the songs, but i think it soooooo lame that a band would do a studio live album.

its kinda lika a love/hate relation......isnt it?

threegtrz@hotmail.com (Mark)
I was a sophomore in high school when this came out and I played it every freakin morning to charge me up. Deuce, Firehouse, She, and Black Diamond all put steam in my stride each and every A.M.

The summer before I had seen them on "Midnight Special" and have since found videos of that performance on Kazaa. They did "Deuce" and "She". The mix was just a twat hair rougher than on the LP, but essentially sounds close to the live vinyl.

Oh yeah. I have read that the two-LP "Steppenwolf: Live" was also a studio live album. There's also a CW singer Bobby Bare that did a studio album, but did it live with friends and hangers-on hootin' and a-hollerin whilst the tape rolled. But, back Mssrs Stan & Simm. I've always thought the crowd noise on "Alive" sounded a bit too generic and too much of a wash in the background. I'm sure that was augmented as much as the musical performances. Criss has gone on the record saying a lot of that album was sexed up in the studio, especially the drums.

But at the time, it was rough, it was raw and it made my heart hurry. Or maybe that was Miss March stashed under my bed. That all happened at around the same time, so it's not easy to remember.

One last note on the aforementioned videos. At the time of the "Midnight Special" broadcast, all that these guys had was the makeup and some ignited LP gas. Not even a drum riser. Yet they totally smoked! They were still young n' hungry so they rocked good n' plenty. Fast-forward to the most recent "Bandstand" anniversary show. All the boom and bombast of a disaster at a fireworks factory. Yet it was sad, man, very sad. They lip-synched really bad and some dweeb with a wig was supposed to be Ace. My 13-year-old was watching this and said "JEEZ, Dad you really LIKED these guys?" I tried to tell him that, this wasn't the same buncha guys. This was, by Simmons' own admission, a quick buck. But he's 13, let him find out on his own when Linkin Park does a guest shot on "Scooby-Doo" or something.

Earlier in this page there's a remark that goes thus: "They wouldn't know good music if it shoved a red-hot poker up their asses." Well, truth be told neither would I. In fact, should a red-hot poker ever be shoved into my back door, not only would I not know good music, but quality in literature, television, journalism, and meteorology would be well beyond my grasp. I would, however, attain a vocal range heretofore unknown.

JJNJustin@aol.com
The album is very tame I agree but it contained the "set list" for their initial years. It shows the initial melange of these four musical prodigies and gives insight into their musical characters. Genes songs tend to have a sort of dark side, Paul's songwriting is abysmal, Ace sort of adds a fun comical flair or spark and Peter actually sounds good on these early albums. In fact, in the early days, before Pete coked himself into oblivion, he was the most solid and musically advanced out of the four. This makes sense, as he was trained and also was the oldest. Ace had alot of talent promise but he was raw (from masturbation), Gene had a very dark side but also it was this dark side that gave him his extremely creative "touch" , Genes early work that I would say had a dark, artsy sound were Watchin' You, Going Blind, She. These soungs were definitively Gene, moving a medium pace, with development, dark. Lastly, Paul was just like gay flash at this time. He knew like three bar chord riffs and all his songs sometimes sound like his other songs. Pauls songs revolved around bar chords and Genes songs revolved around riffs. When they started writing together they exchanged techniques and soon both knew how to use bar chords AND riffs. This was the main songwriting development that took place in the early years. And by the album destroyer, Paul was writing much better, whereas promise of fame and (pussy) took Gene's attention away from being serious, musically. Hotter than Hell was an attempt by Paul to "stepup", some of the ideas in the songs more difficult that the original first album, which frankly, any 16 year old with a guitar and some knowledge of bar chords high on pot and booze could crank out. By the time Alive I came out, Ace and Peter were at the top of their game, Paul and Peter would give them long solos in concert, despite turning down their songs. Paul had progressed incredibly as a song writer, but Gene was writing stuff like "Love em and Leave em" and stuff, which to him, was probably funny and stupid. As they broke into mainstream fame with Destroyer, Pete and Ace became less reliable, Gene more "showy" and "imagy" and Paul started to take over the band, musically. Whereas the first four years, Gene, and perhaps Peter really led the way, Paul started to take control, and his musicianship, in terms of his singing and songwriting really took off. God of thunder was an excellent tune for them and their image. Shout it out Loud, Love Gun, Detroit Rock City, were legions beyond Paul's writing on the first album. With their image and fame, it didnt take but one big hit to put an album together, and with Paul writing well, Gene could sit back and be the demon. His songs were more for his own entertainment, how much could he get away with singing and how many sexual metaphors could he include. "Larger than Life" about his dick, "Plaster Caster" "Christine Sixteen" about his lust for young girls.

LBW, The Right Wing Liberal
Markus said "A more interesting Slade" - A MORE INTERESTING SLADE!!!???? ARE YOU ON DRUGS!!!???!!! Mark, you have gone too far!

Despite some of their musical shortcomings............Slade remains to this day, the best live band I have ever seen! There was something about Slade, which made them unique.

But you'll never understand you weasly whipper snapper!

My friend Stan's got a funny old man - oh yeah
He makes him work all night 'til he can't get it right - oh yeah.
And from the way you blacked my eye,
I know that you're the reason why.
And from the way you fix his tie,
I think you're getting to him, getting to him,

My friend Pat's got an ache in his back - oooooh.

You can't make this shit up. Oh wait a minute Lea and Holder did.

Now, for the final insult. A LOT of what made Slade endearing is the same subtle styles and nuances in YOUR top loved band The Fall. Shall we both admit to "guilty pleasures"?

If you had been born 10 years earlier you would have understood.

Plus you could have banged Linda Lovelace.

Add your thoughts?

Destroyer - Casablanca 1976.
Rating = 7

Contains "Do You Love Me," which I'm sure you know by Nirvana. Okay, who the hell invited over sissyass Bob Ezrin? And why is he always allowed to inject his love for overblown show tunes into our favorite bands? Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper - now this! And what he's done with Kiss is turn them into a streamlined pop metal band. Aside from the kickass classics "Detroit Rock City" and "God Of Thunder," this might as well be a mid-period Motley Crue album. Shiny, dynamic, bouncy, happy, singalongable - but not LOUD, HEAVY or GRITTY enough!!! Not that they were ever GG Allin or anything, but certainly they at least had filthy grungey guitar tunes; Ezrin has kinda taken that away from a lot of this record, in exchange for Broadway musical type pop tunes like "Great Expectations" and "Flaming Youth" (which is WAAAY too reminiscent of Ezrin's Alice Cooper tune "Department Of Youth" for my tastes - especially since that's not a very good Alice Cooper song). "Beth" is fucking gorgeous though. I had a big crush on her in the seventh grade. And that was PRE-boobs! You know my motto - "Old enough to go to class, old enough to fuck up the ass!"

Huh? Oh yes, the song is good too. If that's how you get your jollies.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Oh come on Mark! Bob Ezrin is a producing genius who instilled a sense of diversity into so many bands. The first three Kiss albums sound almost identical to one another, so how long could they have kept that up before getting really really boring and even more predictable? They saw how well he produced Alice Cooper's material up to 1976. What Ezrin brought to the studio is exactly the kick in the ass these guys needed. He pushed them extremely hard, and it shows because their musical performance on Destroyer was their best ever. And their highly visual live show didn't have the theatrically bombastic anthems that it truly needed until this album came along in 1976. The early material was gritty but more suited to a club, whereas this stuff is really appropriate for an arena, which they were filling by this time. Each member is given his moment to shine, although Ace Frehley's first lead vocal performance still wouldn't appear until the next album! Just listen to this stuff; it's so huge, powerful, bristling with energy and conviction. The music is diverse, and much more interesting than on previous albums. Criss' drumming never sounded so powerful before! Stanley's vocals soar! Simmons sneers delightfully and his bass thunders! Ace lays down some of his tastiest riffs 'n licks, including some gorgeous dual guitar lines, ala Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden! even the lyrics aren't as silly as before. Massively enjoyable hooks on each track. The best all-round Kiss studio album. Destroyer is a must have for any classic rock fan. 9 songs. 9 classics. Easy 10.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
This album is very diverse: wonderful is ballad "Great Expectation" (Simmons got a really good voice), wonderful is the opening track "Detroit Rock City" (a term "another frigging fresh and exciting dose of rock'n'roll" is also aplicable to Kiss), wonderful is authentic "God Of Thunder", in one word, all is wonderful! This album is a little autobiographic, hey, and it's better than all the Nineties-crap put together. I agree with Roland Fratzl, that it's a must have for any classic rock fan. I like this album. Is that clear?

Dan804935628@aol.com
Contains my second favorite song,Detroit Rock City.The rest.....brilliant!

JohnnyMotel@aol.com
This album is for gay homosexuals which pretty much sums up KISS fans.

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
This is a classic KISS album full of 3 chord greatness. Shout it Out Loud, God of Thunder, Detroit Rock City... Great tunes. Beth can KISS my sweaty balls though. I HATE this song. It's not even KISS. I don't know what it is. Beth, call someone else... please.

sean1001001@yahoo.com (Sean Harris)
These reviews are hilarious! I'm willing to bet Ernest had more little red beaver than Paul and Gene put together, Mark.

I had Destroyer, Hotter than Hell, and Alive II on vinyl as a kid. Destroyer was always my favorite, and still is. Too many cool songs, and in my opinion the best production Kiss ever had.

Boy they sucked in the 80's though, and never recovered. Unless you like playing embarressing music for the sake of irony. I die laughing every time I hear "God Gave Rock N Roll to You II"...almost as much as Joey Lawrence's debut album!

"Lick it Up" is perhaps the LAMEST song ever written and recorded. Right ahead of "Let's Put the X Back in Sex".

pedroandino@msn.com
ladies and gentelmen! welcome to the kiss album destoryer!

1.DETROIT ROCK CITY: the story begins with ashton kutcher. the retard from just married! booooooo! then after the radio blares he goes to the car to the kiss concert in kansas then the band plays then BOOOM! BLASTING THE SOUNDS WITH FIRE AND THUNDER KISS! WITH A NEW TRICK UP THIER SLEEVE KICKS IT UP WITH THE MIDDLE SECTION THE DUELING SOUNDS LIKE A MEXICAN BULLFIGHT! THEN JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT 'S OVER A CAR CRASH KILLS ASHTON IN BLAZE OF FIRE! DEAD ASHTON!

2.KING OF THE NIGHTTIME WORLD: after the crash came a BANG! KISS STRIKES AGAIN AND I PICTURE THE GIRL ROCK BAND THE DONNAS PLAYING THIS SONG IN THIER UNDERWEAR! YEAH!

3.GOD OF THUNDER!: OKAY! YA'LL CAN START SINGING. BOOM ! GENE SIMMONS THE FIRE SPITTING BLOOD DRIPPING DEMON FROM HELL! THE DRUMS POUND YOU! THE GUITAR SCREAMS INTO A HIGH PITCH! I PICTURE THIS BECAUSE I WANTED A STRANGE DREAM ABOUT THE GOD OF THUNDER AND THE JOURNEY TO BATTLE SATAN! I PICTURE SOME RAPE SCENES SOME GORE AND DEATH PISSING OFF THE GOOD NATURED ASSHOLES AND SOME TASTY SEX SCENE WITH CAMERON DIAZ BY MY SIDE. AFTER THIS IS OVER YOU WON THE BATTLE !

4.GREAT EXPECTATIONS: now for some lighter moments a ballad that sounds like queen! i picture mena suvari from american beauty being this sweet girl looked like little red riding hood with a red skirt and her waistband panties and her fellow man travel in a fantasy world and ends up in a baseball park with disco dancers, a ringmaster, a full chorus and an orchestra, the new york mets and charlotte church! man i know i'm kinda stoned.

5.FLAMING YOUTH: THE TEEN ANTHEM! I SEE TEENS SHOOT THE COPS AND LOVEMAKERS FUCKING IN THE BUSHES AND LAKES THEN FIRES AND RIOTS AND STUPID JOHN MAYER LOVING ASSWIPES GETTING SHOT! THERE IS SOME CIRCUS MUSIC

6.SWEET PAIN!: AN ODE TO S&M. THE SONG ROCKED WITH THE TASTY GUITAR SOLO BY ACE AND IF IHAD A DREAM ABOUT JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT BY SHOWING HER THE ROLLING STONE COVER I TAKE HER BY THE ASS LICK HER WAISTBAND PANTIES AND FUCK HER TILL SHE CARESS MY CHEST AND BE LOVERS! HA! TAKE THAT 50 CENT! YOU FUCKTARD!

7.SHOUT IT OUT LOUD: YOU KNOW THIS SONG ALREADY

8.BETH: the ballad of peter criss

9.DO YOU LOVE ME: THE KIDS ALL LINE UP AND PARTY WHILE I CHILL WITH DREW BARRYMORE DO YOU LOVE ,DREW? SHE SAID YES! PAUL SAVES THE DAYS BY ROCKING THE HOUSE! BELLS, DRUMS, GUITARS, BASS,DREW'S PANTIES!, METEORS, DEAD COPS AND FIREWORKS!

10.UNTITILED: WIERD ENDING.

I LOVE THIS ALBUM SINCE 1978 I SMOKED WEED AND MAKE OUT WITH MY HOT CHICK! ANYHOW IT'S GETTING SEE YA

weegie@pookielife.fsnet.co.uk (Geoff Saunders)
Oh yes - an absolute classic. The church bells at the end - surely a stroke of genius. Even as a 10 year old in England I knew all about this album. Yes they are in it for the money but at least they don't pretend not to be, like some people I could mention.

themightygreegor@yahoo.com
Finally got my ADSL back. I'm living in Dalian now. NEW TOWN! I hate going to a new town. But now I make more money than God does, so there we go.

I'm having a blast reading the KISS section. I dunno why I took so long to get around to this. Unless I DID get around to this, and I was just drunk. That could be.

But the best parts are the readers' comments. Man, oh man. Kiss sucks; Kiss rules. If you hate KISS, then yer a retard. If you like KISS, then yer a retard.

MAN. How anyone can get SO WORKED UP over a band like Kiss - for or against - is beyond me. It's like arguing the merits of The Pokey Little Puppy, or Private Hoff Fired It Off. Or Where the Wild Things Are.

Am I showing my age?

KISS was the single awesomest band in the universe...when I was 12, when this record came out, and when my retarded, Marine Corps step-dad picked it up at the Camp Pendelton PX.

Is it still cool? Well, it hasn't CHANGED or anything, has it? It's still as cool as it was in 1976, when I was 12. I dug it then and it (and their entire catalogue up to Love Gun [when I got bored and discovered more artistic musical forms, such as Led Zepplin, The Who and Pink Floyd]) was the soundtrack of my adolesnece.

But that's just it. You outgrow stuff. If it was the total rockin'est thing when I was 12, then I am 100% sure to have moved on later. KISS didn't move on - they continued to do the same sort of stuff, forever. Which is fine, though I thought it was pretty lame when they took off their make-up. Who the hell wants to watch Bruce Wayne beat up whoever the Joker was under HIS make-up? No one. That's not Batman. That's flippin' The Rockford Files.

But it's NOT the Rockford Files, because the Rockford Files was made for adults in the FIRST place. KISS taking off their make-up was the same as Batman taking off his mask, but continuing to do the same thing as before. That's just DUMB. Who wants a costumed superhero who doesn't have a costume? I still like to read Batman and Spiderman comics, and I still like to listen to the music of my youth, as well. It's just nostalgia, though.

A couple of notes about KISS, none the less:

1) Redd Kross (a band you haven't reviewed, by the way) does really cool KISS covers.

2) The first (and second to last) time I ever tripped on acid, I thought it would be really, really cool to listen to The Residents (readers, see THAT section)(on second thought, DON'T, because you will NOT understand or like the reviews OR the music involved, and that WAS intentionally condescending)...where was I? Oh, yeah, acid. Listening to the Residents. BUT! When it came right down to it, I didn't want to hear The Residents. Not that it was too scary or too trippy or complicated. It was just BORING. I didn't want to hear The Residents. All I wanted to hear was KISS. Fortunately, my host for that evening had some (it was the pre-no-make-up days, so it was fine), so I was good to go. I listened to some KISS, and then went outside to find myself chased by a giant Paul Bunyon statue and then commence to walk to the Sun. I walked for an hour toward the rising sun before I realized that you can't, in fact, get there on foot (I guess the effects of the drug were wearing off).

And THAT is my favorite KISS story.

PS - When are you going to review Bread? Man, THERE'S a 70s band just CRYIN' OUT for some modern recognition!

Add your thoughts?

Rock And Roll Over - Casablanca 1976.
Rating = 7

I don't understand this album title - is it a sex joke? Is Kiss smart enough to come up with a difficult sex joke? Ah well. Bob Ezrin is gone (thank Gob) so there's some grit to the mix again. Also, you might notice bassist Gene Simmons doing some neat against-the-guitar-riff playing here, which is nice and unexpected! There's still some awfully shitty generic rock and rollers on here though. What else can one call "Love 'Em And Leave 'Em" and "Baby Driver" but simply bland? Forgettable? Truckle? Hyssop? The definition of the word "filler" if you willer, but luckily there's enough killer diller hard rock tunes to make it worth your pile, including "Calling Dr. Love," "I Want You" and "Makin' Love" (all three of which appear to be about the narrator inserting his penis into a female object). And don't forget "Hard Luck Woman," a GREAT Rod Stewart song that somehow was neither written or recorded by Rod himself.

Probably too busy gargling squirt.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
This one is definitely back to basics after the ambitious epic grandeur of Destroyer. But it doesn't sound much like a party rock record, containing lots of more serious sounding heavy riffs, kinda like Hotter Than Hell, except the sleaze is back in full force on 9 of 10 songs! Man does this album start off strong! The first three songs will blow you away! Awesome hard rock! And "Baby Driver" ain't bland either! It's got a wicked mean sounding heavy groove, perfect for driving, and features Peter Criss with his raspy growl! "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" isn't bad either, even if it isn't quite as inspired as some of the other stuff. I cringe whenever I hear the slide riff on "Mr. Speed" though, which sounds way too rednecky for me, although the vocal melody redeems the song quite a bit. "Hard Luck Woman" is a nice mid-tempo acoustic song, which actually does remind one of Rod Stewart, especially with Criss' singing! "Makin' Love"...what can I say? It's another fast rocker and it's about fucking! What a shock!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
It's exciting and brilliant rock'n'roll! One more Kiss classic (it means, another great album), what else to say?

Dan804935628@aol.com
I agree what else to say except pick it up,put it on,and turn it up loud!!!!!

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Awesome album. I Want You, Calling Dr. Love, Mr. Speed.. grab your tennis racket and start air jammin!!! I was in LOVE with this shit when I was a kid and playing it today just brings back memories that make me long for those simple, don't have to worry about nothing, days. Got the sticker outta this album!!!

Imperialjg@aol.com (Jay)
two words. "take me". "put your hands in my pocket/grab onto my rocket." utterly brilliant paul stanley utter brilliance. rock and roll over is severely bad-ass.

Add your thoughts?

Love Gun - Casablanca 1977.
Rating = 8

Contains "Plaster Caster," which I'm sure you know by the Lemonheads. GREAT song selection on this one. Almost every tune is a PERFECT Kiss hard rocker ("Love Gun"), angry trudger ("Shock Me") or pop gymnasium ("Christine Sixteen"), with terrific production diversity (acoustic guitars on occasion!), excellent vocals from a full THREE members of the band, and best of all, an album cover featuring big fuckin' tits the size of your fuckin' Winnebago!!!!! I have personal issues with a couple of the tunes (seriously, "Plaster Caster"? Please, I despise sexism in all its many facets), but the only real shitter on here is the party hearty beyond-dumb generic rocker "Tomorrow And Tonight," which I can't even imagine the band members themselves enjoying. The rest is tons o' fun and buns - ending with a sugary cover that brings joyful new life to the old girl-group song "And Then He Kissed Me." Way to to, Kisses!

Reader Comments

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Gets a 7. Play "Shock Me", and then put on "Lit Up" by Buckcherry. Enjoy them both equally, because they're virtually the same song. Ace now cancels out his Doors "theft" on "She".

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Another great one??? How did these guys manage to put out so many winning albums within a few short years? No band could keep up such an exhausting schedule nowadays and still put out consistent quality product. Mark, "Tomorrow And Tonight" is simply an extension of their patented brand of party rock...there's nothing bad about it, and the chorus is catchier than a magnet! The only song on Love Gun that I think doesn't cut it is "Got Love For Sale"...hmmm, I always seem to pick Gene Simmons songs as the worst...I just think his singing isn't all that appealing. Not that he's bad bad, just not as cool as the others. And who the hell is that singing on "Shock Me"??? Why, it's none other than...than...ACE FREHLEY!!!!! Finally, after 5 whole albums, Kiss' lead guitarist makes his first appearance as lead vocalist on a song, and he's not bad at all! His voice is kinda flat, lacking the depth, range and power of Stanley, the smoky cool of Criss, or the sneer or Simmons, but it's charismatic sounding, and soft and soothing in nature with it's own personality, bringing a fourth distinct vocal sound to the band. It's such a shame he didn't sing before, especially on tracks that he wrote in the past, and especially considering that their peak period was almost over by this point. I've read that he was shy and didn't have the confidence to sing before this song, but he got such a positive response that on future albums he took over lead vocals much more often...so there Mark, that's FOUR different singers this time around, not the usual 3! The song "Love Gun" has to be one of their best ever, with the catchy as hell chorus, vocal hamonies, and thumping bass! "Almost Human" must be the weirdest song they recorded up to this point; the guitar riff sounds like something Richie Blackmore would have come up with, and then some porno bass kicks in...just the way the melodies blend together sounds really strange...I guess the best way I'd describe this song is as psychedelic porno!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
I admire this album! Excellent! These songs are really VERY CATCHY (all the time I'd like to put this record on); what is AWESOME, it's the title track! It seems to me, that it's one of the best songs of Kiss ever! And what else I'd like to mention, it's "I Stole Your Love" by Stanley and "Almost Human" by Simmons. Excellent songs! And the guitar solo of Ace Frehley in "Shock Me" (which was written also by him) proves, that this guy is very talented guitar player.

I always considered Kiss as a serious musicians and composers.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Another killer release,remember I play these albums,I know what I'm talking about.

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
The first album I ever bought with my own money. I think I wore the grooves out of that album before it melted in the sun one day.. Shock Me was definitely my fave here... also I Stole Your Love, Almost Human, Love Gun... Had no idea Plaster Caster was about making plaster casts of rock stars dicks!!!! Kiss had a way of singing about sex that made perfect sense to any horny adult but us kids were CLUELESS to the whole thing. My album came with the Love Gun but I didn't get the piece of paper you were supposed to fold up and put inside that said "BANG" on it... boo hoo... I got ripped off!!!

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
About six months ago I pulled out "Love Gun". When the first song came on, I was like "Man, this is really good! Why don't I listen to KISS more???" Then "Tomorrow and Tonight" came on while I was doing something else and I listened in horror for about 45 seconds and have had no desire to listen to KISS since.

Add your thoughts?

Alive II - Casablanca 1977.
Rating = 9

Contains a cover of the Dave Clark Five's "Any Way You Want It," which I'm sure you know by the Ramones. Three more studio albums, it must be time for another live double-album! Two interesting points: (A) not only does this one not contain any of the same songs as the first one, it doesn't even contain any songs at ALL from the first three albums! and (B) Side four isn't live; it's five brand new studio tunes! And they're GOOD! Straight up Kiss rockers. No pandering pop bullhockey. Except of course the Dave Clark Five song, which has always ruled anyway. So that's two live double-albums, both great! Whatever will the Kissers lodge up the anus of society next?

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Yeah, the new studio tracks are indeed quite tubular! They are often overlooked and I don't think they ever performed them live. I also read somewhere that for some strange reason, Ace Frehley didn't play guitar on any of those new tracks, but rather a studio ape by the name of Bob Kulick, older brother of future Kiss lead dicksmacker Bruce Kulick!

Dan804935628@aol.com
Great!!!! 3 sides live ,plus five new tracks.Damn, I love this album.

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Aside from the cover and the inside photo, this album BLEW. I remember seeing it in a list of "all time worst live albums" it was right at the top and I had to agree with the reviewer. Sound was awful, the tunes were rushed and chopped all to shit... not my idea of a good album at all. Side 4 wasn't even live, like they didn't have enough material.. Rocket Ride was the best song on the whole album.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
1977, 4th grade, I loved this album. My favorite guitar solo is on all american man & larger than life....all these years thinking it was Ace only to find out now it was Rick Derringer. WHAT A BUMMER.

themightygreegor@yahoo.com
Remember my comments about Destroyer? Well, I have another hilarious KISS story:

When Alive II came out, the afore-mentioned idiot step-dad came up with the banal theory that KISS, under the make-up, was, in fact, the Dave Clark Five, minus the sax player! I honestly think it was a serious theory on his part, too. I offer these two pieces of evidence:

Sure, he could have been just trying to pull the leg of a gullible 13-year-old, but, for one, how the HOLY FUCK would I have known the Dave Clark Five?? His theory was the first I'd ever even HEARD of them. And, anyway, I think I have already established that he was a dumbass jarhead. He was all of 26, maybe 27, and, well, a moron.

He reckoned that KISS was the Dave Clark Five!!! He really believed that!

KISS fans. Man, oh man.

Add your thoughts?

* Double Platinum - Casablanca 1978. *
Rating = 10

This greatest hits compilation is an absolutely essential purchase for any rock fan who doesn't already plan to buy the first six studio albums. A wonderful blast of marijuana past - two albums worth of perfect dumb heavy rock!

Reader Comments

mysteryroach69@hotmail.com (Beau Mihalek)
A TEN?!? I mean, seriously, the studio versions like crap compaired to the live ones, and this leaves off some of Kiss' better stuff. I don't even listen to this anymore. Why should I? I've got some new Daniel Johnston tapes. 8. When I'm in the mood for shallow cock rawk.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Awesome! Truly a great starting point for the uninitiated Kiss fan! All the best tracks from 1973 to 1977 are here, avoiding most of the filler, and there's nothing from the 4 solo albums. My only complaint is that they should have expanded this collection when it was re-mastered in 1999 to include a few more songs up until 1979, which was the end of Kiss' golden age, and would have provided true closure on that era. Dammit, where's "Parasite"?? "I Was Made For Lovin' You"? Can't have everything I guess, but it's worth buying just for the newly disco-fied "Strutter '78"!

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
The first in a series of "greatest hits" albums... Kiss made way too many of these. This being the first was great. Loved the cover.

pedroandino@msn.com
ARE YA READY FOOOOOOR SOME FOOTBALL???????????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A MONDAY NITE PARTY?!??!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!?!?!??!???!?!??!?!? sorry! what we are dealing with is a total lack of respect for the law! now then for the first time... pedro andino will review a hits collection for people who loved or hate kiss!

1.STRUTTER 78: DISCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALM DOWN GUYS! STILL DISCO SUCKS EXCEPT THE BEE GEES!

2.DO YOU LOVE ME? I ALREADY SAID ABOUT SWEET TASTY DREW BARRYMORE? YES!

3.HARD LUCK WOMAN: PRETTY. IT DOES SOUND ROD STEWARTISH BUT GET THIS. THE SONG WAS COVERED BY....... YEP GARTH BROOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4.CALLING DR.LOVE: SWEETIE I AM DA DOCTOR I NEED YER PERSCRIPTION!

5.LET ME GO ROCK N ROLL: PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ME AWAY FROM THE FAGGOT RAPPERS AND WANNABE PUNKS!

6.LOVE GUN: U PULLED DA TRIGGER OF OF MY............................................. LOVE GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7.GOD OF THUNDER: HELL, BLOOD, SPIT, DEATH, MONSTERS, GOBLINS, SEX, TITS, DEMONS,LUST, BABES, SOWRDS AND FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8.FIREHOUSE: ELECTRIC FIRE! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM LIV TYLER! TASTY! SHE'S A FIREHOUSE! CAUSE SHE SET MY SOUL ON FIRE!

9.HOTTER THAN HELL: MORE SEX! HOT HOT HOTTER THAN HELL!

10.I WANT YOU: SWEET FRY LET'S HAVE SWEET GAY MAN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR JUICES ARE SO STICKY I LICK YOU, TASTE YOU, FEED YOU, HIS UNDERWEAR IS SO CLEAN AND WHITE IT IS SO SEXY! HIS LEGS ARE SENSUAL! HIS BELLY IS SO LICKABLE! HIS LASERCANNON I WILL SUCK! HARDCORE PORN, BITCH! HOW ABOUT THAT!

11.DECUE: SHUT UP!!! AND GET THE FUCKING HELL OUTTA HERE NOT HERRRRR YA GAY ASSED RAPPERS!

12.100,00 YEARS: I CANNOT WAIT THIS LONG!

13.DETROIT ROCK CITY: BEST MOVIE OF 1999! FUCK 6TH SENSE! PUKE, GUITARS, HITS, SEX, GAY MEN, AND FACE PAINT!

14.ROCK BOTTOM/SHE: METAL EPIC BY KISS STANDARDS!

15.ROCK N ROLL ALL NITE: FUCK RAP UP IT'S COCK! BUT LIKE MY DAD SAID ON THE RADIO. CLASSIC ROCK RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BITCH!

16.BETH. sweet tender beth let me take you.

17.MAKING LOVE: WE ALREADY DID. LAYING NAKED WITH MY LOVER. IT FEELS SO GOOD.

18.C'MON AND LOVE ME: DON'T BE A STUCK UP BITCH!

19.COLD GIN: GIMME A COLD GIN!

20.BLACK DIAMOND: DIAMONDS ARE NOT A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND.

fuck the cables! dem fags like 50 cent. I only trust you mr. fratzl. as for this I give it a 10. I was hammered I got 5 beers!.

Bob Royale
I put this album in my cd player in my truck over the weekend after not listening to it for a couple of years, and it hasn't left. Holy shit, this is just such a fun album! I'm not a Kiss fanatic by a longshot (I'd bought it about 13 years ago after buying the tablature book at a yard sale for 5 bucks and learned to play guitar to it without ever really LIKING it back then), but goddamn if hearing a bunch of IRONY FREE tunes about just being awesome and having fun doesn't make for a good soundtrack, you're fucking crazy.

My absolute favorite parts are the monumentally stupid lyrics to God of Thunder- this is dorky nitpicking (I admit that freely) - none of the mythological references make ANY SENSE AT ALL, it's like Gene picked up some textbook and just picked a bunch of shit he thought sounded cool from a bunch of unrelated sections to confusingly awesome results.

The other part is on Deuce, when the first verse repeats...after "do the things he says to do" when one of the other guys yells "DO IT" and just sounds totally pissed off at some girl who is apparently not doing the things he says to do. I laugh like crazy every time I hear that.

Hard Luck Woman sounds like Rod Stewart so fuck that song, but if you even SORT OF like fun 70s rock you really should own this. Love Gun, Do You Love Me, Firehouse (whoo-ooh, yeah!), Cold Gin, Black Diamond, Calling Dr. Love... yeah, these guys are easy to make fun of, but who cares? I wouldn't want to hang out with them or anything, but it sure beats all the whiney shit-rock that just keeps a-comin'.

Grab a dozen coors lights, crank it up and don't take anything too seriously. It's just fun Rock N Roll!

Add your thoughts?

Gene Simmons - Casablanca 1978.
Rating = 5

FOUR SOLO ALBUMS AT THE SAME TIME???? Isn't it clear that Kiss as a collective unit already have enough trouble filling up ONE album with good tunes, let alone FOUR???? But four solo albums it 'twere, because their creative juices were just flowing so very strongly back in the halcyon summer of yesteryear 1978.

Despite a ridiculously overimpressive guest list (Bob Seger, Joe Perry, Helen Reddy, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Donna Summer, Janis Ian, Rick Neilson, Cher and... HOLY FUCK!!! A COUPLE OF GUYS FROM BEATLEMANIA!!!! I LOVE BEATLEMANIA!!!!! THEY WROTE THE BEST FUCKING SONGS!!!!), Gene's album runs like a particularly frustrating Kiss album. You'll recognize the guitar tones, the voice, the midtempo thumping -- but most of the melodies just don't DO IT. "ss You Tonite" is a great pop rocker and "Always Near You" is just hauntingly gorgeous, but the entire rest of the album sounds like half-written outtakes from their earlier records. Predictable verse-chorus constructions that only occasionally catch fire and burn down your suburban home on stilts while you're inside having a key party and knowing that some other guy is dorking your wife because you're a stupid cocaine addict who wears gold chains around his neck and has a mustache and no self esteem and is really just trying to fit in with what 'The Joneses' deem

So yeah, when the best song is a cover of "When You Wish Upon A Star," your solo album is less than essential.

Unlike Patti Smith's Horse Fucking and Liz Phair's Exile In Shitville, of course! Oooo, you just gotta have THOSE in your collection! Along with Radiohead -- boy, THEIR albums sure are consistent! You'd better believe every music critic and run out and buy their entire back catalog immediately! Otherwise how will you possibly be able to take yourself "seriously" as a music fan?????

Fuckin' dork Kiss fan. They're a joke band - you're supposed to only like them ironically. Because that's what being cool is. Accepting the underground standards of artistic quality and only liking hard rock to be ironic.

Whoops! My ire is showing!

Reader Comments

savage1561@juno.com (Evan Streb)
RADIOHEAD RULES YOU LOWLIFE YANK WANKER!!!! Their albums ARE consistent!! And catchy too! With cool noises! But how would YOU know, the only one you've heard is OK Computer!! Have YOU experienced the wonderful surreal awesomeness that is the "Just" viseo?? Have YOU bumped "Fake Plastic Trees" in your car with full bass?? No, you fucking HAVE NOT!

Ah yeah, music critics just LOVE Radiohead!! Why, Melody Maker loved 'em so much they gave Kid A a perfect one and a half stars!!

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Loved the Beatles-influenced stuff. Wimpy rockers. Adventurous solo album. Give him credit. 6.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
What a weird album! Certainly a big stylistic departure from Kiss. This album is so kooky that it's consistently entertaining, but contains lots of great pop hooks! Sounds like a cross between ELO and Meat Loaf!

Dan804935628@aol.com
This was the first of the four solo albums I bought by the band back when it was a couple years old (about 1980) and I still listen to it today,Gene was actually a good singer and most of the songs here are good. It does'nt sound like KISS at all, but it sounds good to me, even now.

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
When you wish upon a star?? Turned the monster into Bambi right there. Bold move. Other than Radioactive, I don't really like anything on this album. To sum it up in one word... disappointed.

briandeuel@atarivector.com
I dug this album back when it came out (but shit, I was eight. What the fuck did I know about music?). The laughing intro to Radioactive played up the "evil demon" persona of Simmons, which all of us eight year olds bought into; and Tunnel Of Love had that nasty groove that I still think is cool today (ok, maybe not). Of course, listening to it these days, you hear it for the tripe it really is. Here's a little bit of trivia about this album: Katey Sagel (Peg Bundy, that cyclops bitch on Futurama) sang backup on a few of the songs. You can make out her voice on Tunnel Of Love during the chorus. Pop this in, close your eyes, and imagine a big-titted, beehive-hair-having, shitty dressing redhead in the studio with Gene singing this shit. Or that cyclops chick on Futurama. Hmm... probably a better fit.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
Gene Simmons solo album was a let down to me. I thought he would go more heavy instead of a bunch of lame shit. The beginning of "burning up with fever" sounds like a Paul Stanley song to me. then it turns into total fried chicken and soul train jive

Add your thoughts?

Ace Frehley - Casablanca 1978.
Rating = 8

I've never researched nor penned a tome re: Kiss, so I don't know exactly what prompted the band to record four solo albums at once. However, after listening to the four of them in the same setting, one begins to wonder whether it was Ace's idea. As demonstrated here, he is a fantastic Kissongwriter, effortlessly tossing out neat guitar riffs and catchy-as-a-worm vocal melodies that dig into your brain like a maggot, fester and boil until you suddenly leap up onto a subway bench and scream, "I'm speedin' back to my BABY! And I don't mean MAYBE!!!!" However, for some reason, this fine lead guitarist's tunes are hardly ever featured on Kiss' releases. Was he hoarding them for a solo project such as this? Or did Paul and Gene refuse to put them on their Kiss albums, choosing instead to subject us to bland tripe poopadiddly like "Tomorrow And Tonight" (which somehow made it onto Alive II!!!???)? I guess we'll never know.

Unless we ask them I guess. But who the hell wants to talk to them wrinkly old transsexuals? The important thing is that this is a really damn fine Kiss album - one of the best. Ace knows his way around angry metallic rock, lighter pop fluff and of course good old backbeat toe-tappin' ROCK AND ROLL!!!! His voice may not be as confident and masculine as Kiss' two key spokespersons, but he has a very interesting delivery that makes up for it (he always sounds like he's right on the verge of missing the notes, but he always hits them dead on - it's hard to explain. Maybe I'm hallucinating. Look man, the white-out was just sitting there. What the hell choice did my nose have? A nose gots to smell!). Oh! That reminds me. Ace likes to sing songs about drugs.

And take them.

Reader Comments

halhorn@airmail.net
Ace's solo record is the finest of the four for many of the same reasons that, say, Harrison made the most impressive Beatle solo debut (yeah, Lennon's is stark and excellent, but holding up for three LP's takes the prize): he had several good songs that weren't making it onto the Kiss records. In all honesty the band should have saved them; this record is 100,000 light years ahead of anything the band would record between 1979 and 1981.

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Agree completely with halhorn. By far the best solo. By the way, that's Dave Letterman's own Anton Fig and Will Lee on drums and bass. 8.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Wow! All these songs are great! Of the four solo albums, this one sounds the most like Kiss, but the musicianship is so much more complex, intricate and detailed! And it rocks hard and raw, with many awesome riffs and melodies! Ace really shows us here that he's a lot more dimensional a guitarist than his Kiss material would indicate...free of the reigns of dictators Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, he really unleashed on this album and made the other guys look like total amateurish fools in the process. And he was even rewarded for this accordingly by the record buying public, which made this by far the most popular of the 4 solo albums, and the only one yielding a big hit with "New York Groove". I'll betcha Gene and Paul were mighty pissed! It's complete evidence that Kiss could only have benefitted had Ace been allowed to contribute more songwriting to the group.

Dan804935628@aol.com
The best of the solo stuff,for sure. This one really rocks like a bastard , most of the songs are about drinking and driving, snorting coke,and more drinking.Great! 10!!!!!!

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Great Album. Lyrically stupid, but then we're talking about Ace here. This album put Ace's ego out of control for sure. Still love Rip it Out the best. One of my favorite in the whole KISS catalogue even though technically it isn't "KISS"...

jgzlaw@verizon.net (Joseph Zerbe)
anyone who compares Stanley and Simmons to Lennon and McCartney...needs a lobotomy....the best of the solo albums....next we can pick the best of my dog's shit.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
Ace frehley's solo album was total pothead, jerk off to the hustler magazines under your mattress, squeeze zits while singing ozone, and feather your greasy hair while thinking your sexier than chachi on happy days. this album will make you turn into a hoodlum(MOTHERS WATCH OUT!!!}

Davidvaughnc@aol.com
Ima Hoodlum coase of Ace....hell yeah!! wheres my beer?,take a choice who would you rather hang with Gene Simmons and his bla-bla Im the shit or hang and kick a few back with Ace and make fun of Gene and Pauls wigs!!

Add your thoughts?

Peter Criss - Casablanca 1978.
Rating = 3

It's kind of cruel for the three other guys to have forced drummer Peter Criss to come up with a whole solo album on his own -- not only for Peter himself, who probably had to stop using cocaine for a good hour and a half to write and record these songs, but also for the loyal Kiss fan, who must force himself to sit through 40 minutes of bland 50's style rock and roll if he wants to be able to claim that he's sat through every complete Kiss album. There's a couple of nice "Beth"-esque ballads, but the rockers are straight out of the book of Elvis. But '70s drugged-up energy-free Elvis rock and roll, around the time he shot the TV and hit it big with "(Jackie Onassis Ain't) Nothin' But A Dicksocket." Still, it's hard to get mad at the guy when you know he was forced into this crap.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
I only briefly scanned this one once a few years ago at HMV and was so bored that within a few minutes I quit listening to it and have not heard it since...seemed like really mellow jazz influenced muck and a few wimpy rockers. Bah.

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ what... oh... I fell asleep... is it over yet? GOOD. BYE.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
One listen to Peter Criss's solo album was like licking shit on a stick that was sold as a suger daddy sucker. If you want to torture someone, put them in a cell with this pathetic solo album playing over and over. This was as lame as watching my parents make love through the hole in the keyhole. I would have preferred spending the money on space dust candy and eagle eye G.I. Joe

Add your thoughts?

Paul Stanley - Casablanca 1978.
Rating = 6

Much poppier than I would have expected, and too many weak sissy ballads. Some good catchy rockers though. Jesus, what do you want from me, a 500,000-page thesis on the Paul Stanley solo album?

Interesting observation: The lead guitarist on this album is Bob Kulick. Later, Kiss signed up a guy named Bruce Kulick to be their full-time lead guitarist. Are they the same guy? Like Brad Pitt and Ed Norton in Fight Club?

Oh shit, I didn't ruin that for you, did I? I hope not.

In The Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis is dead the whole time.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Hey fudge nipples! Why'd ya hafta go ruin Sixth Sense for me???

Dan804935628@aol.com
Not bad at all, Paul Stanley is an excellent singer,a great powerful voice on the rockers and the ballads show a different side. Didn't he invent the power ballad?

stsharpe@strato.net
Good Album! Paul Stanleys Album sounds more like KISS than the others, Ace's is a very close 2nd. Also Bob is Bruce's brother, Bob also was in Meatloaf...he was also a member of Meatloaf's band lol!

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Rock n Roll... Paul's album was great except for the mush. Why did Paul always have to write so much mush? Love in Chains was a good rocker. Move On, Wouldn't You Like to Know Me, Goodbye.... Lotsa good tunes here. Just scrape off the mush.

mtlhead@mchsi.com
Wait…I never finished watching Fight Club. What do you mean they are the same guy? Huh? Tell me!!

I already knew about the Sixth Sense though.

Imperialjg@aol.com (Jay)
"wouldn't you like to know me". paul sure loves his raspberries don't he??

Add your thoughts?

Dynasty - Casablanca 1979.
Rating = 8

Strange record, but great! First of all, it's known as their "disco" record, featuring a good two or three songs pumpin' that 4/4 "thump-thump" beat for you to shake your gay afro ass to (including the classic "I Was Made For Lovin' You"!). Secondish, the vocals sound weird -- are these the same guys singing? The macho gruffness is gone, replaced by - well hell, does Ace Frehley sing all of these songs are something? Then of course the songs themselves -- only about half of them actually sound like traditional Kiss hard rock! The others are great though - moody drivin' down the highway late at night high on cocaine and a Beverly Hills prostitute mood FM guitar rock/disco. The album seems a bit less dumb than their earlier releases (although "Dirty Livin'" certainly isn't winning anybody any Nobel prizes - surprise surprise - it's a Peter Criss song! His last with the band, thank God - he quit soon after this album came out), but I'm told that its slick sound alienated a lot of old fans. Lick 'em and stick 'em! Who needs fans when you've got Mark Prindle?

Reader Comments

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Terrible record. Horribly slick, wussy production. 4.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
DIE NASTY! I made a funny! HARDY HAR HAR!

As for you Hull, go stick it!

Slick, wussy production?? You sure you weren't talking about Unmasked? Cuz this one has raw heavy guitar all over it.

Once again Mark, you're right on the money. You managed to ignore the idiotic propaganda of old time Kiss fans who disowned Kiss for putting out this so-called sell-out album. It's truly a great record, and not what you expect at all from these guys. It's certainly the most diverse sounding one yet. Great writing, and despite the fact that a couple of tracks have the disco beat, they still rock hard and indeed do have moody sounding melodies. Of course, everyone knows their biggest hit, "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and "Sure Know Something" has the sleaziest bass line ever aside from those recent Pornosonic releases. And "2000 Man" is far superior here than the original Rolling Stones version! Man, there are some dark sounding riffs and melodies on most of these songs though! No party hardy anthems, and even the sleaze is kept to a minimum. I'm assuming that the four solo albums the previous year were a result of tension in the band and when they re-convened to record Dynasty this translated into the angrier sounding material heard here...a lot of this stuff kinda reminds me of early Blue Oyster Cult actually. And only two tracks with Gene Simmons singing?? What gives? Ace, with his new found confidence, sings a whole THREE songs here, and he's fantastic! The cover is quite the sight with their four mugs in close-up...Gene and Paul with the usual pathetic posturing, while Ace and Peter look like they don't even know their own names, and hilariously enough, it reflects the current state of things in the band at the time. Criss left the band shortly after (or even during the recording, as some people say), thereby bringing the golden era of Kiss to a close simultaneously the great decade of the 70's. In retrospect, since I didn't rate the albums in previous comments, I'll just do it all here: Kiss 9/10, Hotter Than Hell 8/10, Dressed To Kill 7/10, Destroyer 10/10, Rock 'N Roll Over 8/10, Love Gun 9/10, Gene Simmons 7/10, Ace Frehley 9/10, Peter Criss I guess around 2/10, Paul Stanley 6/10, and Dynasty 9/10. On to the CRAP years!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
I like this album very much. Great! "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and "Sure Know Something" are certainly the masterpieces! It's not a disco record, it has got only a slight disco feel. It's more what true rock'n'roll is about. Of course, it's a less good than previous Kiss album, but nevertheless great.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Those of you who call this a disco record have never played it.Most of it kicks ass,a few weak songs here,but not a dissapointment.Check out CHARISMA!!!

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
I understand everyone has their favorites. Up to this point in the Kiss catalog, it's Rock And Roll Over for me. For some, it's the debut album or Love Gun. For many, it's Alive! or Destroyer. However, there are some albums that will never be labeled "The Best", and some which should never even be purchased! This record is one of them! Of course, like any Kiss fan, I own this, and in its own way, it's appealing. HOWEVER, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SONGS, THE TALENT, THE ENERGY, OR THE PRODUCTION!! Be forewarned! Not only is this not Kiss, this is NOT good! Sure, "I Was Made For Lovin' You," was a big hit and is a great song. But other than this, "Sure Know Something," (stupid, but catchy) and "Save Your Love," (the best song on this album), are the ONLY reasons worth checking this out....

How anyone can sincerely enjoy this as good music is beyond me...Gene is at his most idiotic, jeez! And you thought his solo album was bad! I thought he did that album to express himself in a non-Kiss fashion. WELL, HE WASN'T DONE! Very inappropriate Gene! Comon! You're my favorite member of the band! You write the heavy shit! (Have to wait a few more albums for Gene to get his head out of his ass for that!) It could have been worse...he could have written three or four songs on this record instead of just two. Of course, the man responsible for cutting away a Gene song or two, Ace Frehley, didn't fully succeed either on his first multiple-song outing. "Hard Times" rocks, but is not that memorable and "2000 Man" is shorter and much cooler as a Stones' tune. "Dirty Livin'" by Peter Criss is decent, but is basically yet another disco tune on this sell-out of an album. Plus, no one buys Kiss records for the Criss tracks anyhow.

In summation, I know you Kiss fans will buy it. I'm just warning ya...At least on Unmasked Kiss ditched the damn disco and actually wrote some pretty good tunes throughout (see review below)...

Dan804935628@aol.com
Where in the hell do you hear disco on thi album besides "I was made for loving you"? This is a real decent KISS album......and Peter Criss has an exellent voice,you call yourself a fan?

MIKEF@county.wellington.on.ca (Mike Forbes)
Disco? I don't know, but there were some really cool tunes this one. Charisma was my fave way back when. Hard Times is a cool little tune. It was clear that Peter was NOT drumming on this album cuz the drumming was GOOD. This album was really the end of Kiss as we knew it. Paul turned into an opera singer practically overnight. Must have taken singing lessons or something.

esweenor@charter.net (Eric Sweenor)
Kiss is pure shite, the absolute lowest common denominator, a subpar New York Dolls imitation led into the absolute depths of sleaze by a sickening, greedy, manipulative frontman (Mr. Gene Simmons). Yet "I Was Made for Lovin' You", the sleazy, nasty, "disco"-ish throbbing pop-rock song on this album, is just superb! It's incredibly stupid fun, inanely catchy, made even better by that clanging bass line and that downright absurd falsetto in the chorus. Who cares about the lyrics, just shake it to this hysterical sleaze artifact.

12am@neworleans.com (Captain Midnight, Boogie City)
DYNASTY is THE best KISS album ever made. I was in first grade when it came out and it has shaped my life in oh so many ways. I can't believe KISS "fans" don't like it. I used to WORSHIP those turds and DYNASTY was my first album I could actually sort of relate to. It was like a gift from God. If you go back and look at how and when it appeared in relation to KISS entire recording career, it is simply brilliant. Classic "band about to break-up syndrome". It's really KISS's IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR, or LET IT BE. That's right bitch Someone said the songs were "silly". What KISS song isn't silly? MR. SPEED.!?! Anyway, go but a copy of this album right now. Gene really needs the money and I hear Paul is finally getting his/her sex-change.

jeff.jelen@scb.com
Ok so I’m reliving my past now. Do you realize I’ve hated this album since it came out and I was only 9 years old? Here’s why. I was a HUGE Kiss fan since I was 6 (“destroyer age” in Kiss Years). Then a few years later my parents bring home one of those K-Tel disco compilations, throw it on the turntable and start dancing to “I Was Made For loving You”. I was like “This sounds a lot like Kiss”. Sure enough, Dynasty comes out and my head is blown. My parents were supposed to hate me for listening to Kiss and now they like ‘em? Fuck that! (as a side note my parents actually had a dance floor in our tiki room style basement) That was the day I stopped listening to Kiss.

Fast Forward 27(!) years later and now I can’t stop listening to this record on my iPod. It’s fucking genius! Especially the Stones cover 2000 Man sung by their best singer, Ace. Fortunately I still kept the original vinyl as well. Yeah I realize I’m a spoiled fucking brat. Where do I get all these Kiss records at that age w/o a job? Thanks mom and dad.

Peter Morgan
Amongst the alt/punk crowd I used to hang with back in the eighties all commercial hard rock was seriously uncool,and Kiss was the uncoolest of the uncool, and this record was considered the uncoolest thing the uncool Kiss ever did, which is pretty uncool.

Actually I quite like it,I think it's the only memorable thing they ever did, but then I've always found seventies disco a guilty pleasure so that probably explains why it appeals to me.There are some really good pop rock songs on here and "I was made for lovin you" is a minor classic.

Add your thoughts?

Unmasked - Casablanca 1980.
Rating = 5

Eeeeeeyarko! Does anyone know where Kiss ran off to? And why their record company replaced them with Diesel?

I'm not sure if you know Diesel. Old mediocre power pop band with one good song ("Sausalito Summernite"). I need to work on my references.

Anyway, my point is that Unmasked doesn't only not sound like Kiss -- it doesn't sound like ANY good band you've ever heard! The guitars are slicked and sheened over with a touch of studio magic, the mixes are heavy with back-up vocals and, most tiresomely, the songs are weak power pop. There's not a single rocker on here, nor one interesting dark moody disco tune to shake your bake to. It's just a collection of predictable poppy chord sequences played wussily with no guts as a wuss might play it. Kiss has always been a band where you could call up your friend on the phone and go, "Dude! You gotta hear this great song! It goes "A-A-E-F-A!" The difference is that if you did that with the songs on here, your friend would likely sing it in his "perfect-tone" brain and reply, "Why did they bother recording that? That's not interesting at all!"

It's not a complete waist. Ace's "Talk To Me" is a great song! But the others are...shit man, not even remarkable enough to be BAD. They're just predictably pleasant little power pop songs with guitar. The kind of music you could play for your mother.

While you're in bed fucking her.

The whore.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Peeeeyooooooo!!!!

The first Kisser to go in the shitter!

What happened?? Peter Criss leaving the band couldn't have made such a huge difference in their sound! I can't believe that they even put this one out. Totally boring mellow pop with no hard edge at all, on any song! And it's not even good pop! The record is completely lifeless in every regard. They should have at least saturated the album with new wave synths and keyboards to make it cheesy enough to be enjoyable, but they didn't even do us that favour, the imbeciles. The only song that's sorta kinda maybe half decent is "Shandi", which is still a limpbizkitwristed cute little discoey tune. As for the rest, if you ever run out of sleeping pills, just throw this puppy on. Gets a 2!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Well, it's not a bad album. Surely it's a letdown, but I enjoy "Naked City", "Is That You?" and "Shandi". Those songs (especially "Naked City") are very decent.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Got to be honest (and I have been so far) this one kinda sucks.best song---NAKED CITY

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
Oh boy....that comment is not directed toward the album, but instead, the album's listeners. If you dislike this album, fine. But don't anybody dare say this is worse than Dynasty! Take away "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and does anybody like Dynasty? I thought not.

Just because there's no "I Was Made..." on this album though does not mean this is a worse album than its predecessor. Okay, two of the first three songs suck donkey balls, but after this, there is some good cheesy-pop rock songwriting..."Naked City", "What Makes The World Go Round," "Two Sides Of The Coin," "She's So European," and my favorite "Easy As It Seems," are all pretty damn good. Pretty damn cheesy, yes, but take away Vini "Can't Produce Worth A Shit" Poncia and insert Eddie Kramer, and this album is right up there despite the cheesiness (which Kiss has always been anyway)! Well, I know a lot of you disagree, but at least the band has turned to straight pop music, (more to their strengths than disco!), Gene has injected some mood and energy back into his songs, and the album seems a lot more cohesive than Dynasty. That's my argument, and I'm sticking to it! Thanks for your time, have a nice day...

pedroandino@msn.com
crap! what the hell is that?! i mean this is like bad like the osmonds! i listen to this album in 1986 when i was 9 i still say it sucked! now here come the track list you have been warned

1.IS THAT YOU: OKAY I LOVED THIS SONG THAT GOES LIKE THIS: CAT'S DROOLING ON THE BARSTOOL SHAKE YOUR HIPS AND CRACK YOUR WHIPS CHEAP 17 AND TRASHED OUT YOU GONE TOO FAR BEEN THE BITCH YOU ARE! I LOVE THAT LYRIC THE SONG IS NOT TOO BAD

2.SHANDI: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WHAT THE FUCK! IS THIS THE GO GO'S?! THIS IS THE KIND OF CUTE SOUND THAT WILL DOMINATE THE ALBUM CUTE STICKY SWEET AFTERTASTE OF BUBBLEGUM POP! CRAP! PAUL ARE YOU SMOKING WEED?

3.TALK TO ME: IT SOUNDS LIKE A BAD EPISODE OF CARLES IN CHARGE REMEMBER THE SHOW? I DO THIS COULD BE LIKE THE SONG FOM BAD 80'S TEEN FLICKS LIKE HOT DOG THE MOVIE

4.NAKED CITY: not bad gene saves the day in this tune

5.WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND: PAUL SINGS LIKE A KID WHO CAN'T FIND A COOKIE IN HIS LUNCHBOX! IT SOUNDS LIKE GREASE 2!

6.TOMORROW:ACK! PLEASE GOD WHY IS THAT DETERGENT VOICED MOTHERFUCKER SINGING POP SONGS?! THIS IS SWEET SUGARY DIPPY CUTESY TASTY BUBBLEGUM! HEAR THE STUPID LYRICS: I DIDIN'T EVEN KNOW YOUR NAME LIKE A MOTH THAT WAS IN YOUR FLAME!! PAUL! SHUT UP!

7.TWO SIDES OF THE COIN: thanks ace for saving me from that evil pop sound check out the drum solo

8.SHE'S SO EUROPEAN: GOOFY SONG I WAS EXPECTING DEVO WITH THOSE SYNTHESIZERS

9.EASY AS IT SEEMS: PAUL IS A CRACK SMOKING WHORE! DISCO IS DEAD WHY SEND IT NOW!

10.TORPEDO GIRL: YOU MEAN SUPERGIRL I'D TAKE OFF HER WAISTBAND PANTIES AND FUCK HER! SORRY JUST A JOKE THIS IS A GOOD SONG

11.YOU'RE ALL TAHT I WANT: AND THIS CONCLUDES THIS ALBUM OF CRAPPY STINKY DISPOSABLE POP! THAT IS A TRAVESTY! BYE!

Add your thoughts?

Music From The Elder - Mercury 1981.
Rating = 6

Leave it to Bob Ezrin to mess with their heads yet again! At least they deserved it this time after that last misguided jujube of a record. Music From The Elder is a concept album about "a young boy's destiny to become a warrior battling evil that was threatening to destroy the universe." Not important. Forget about it. The key thing to know about this record is that the entire first half is completely unrecognizable as Kiss. It's art rock! With strings and orchestras and FALSETTO VOCALS!!!! Most of it is pretty darned awful too, reminiscent of early Genesis but even duller if such a thing is possible (which reminds me -- my friend Christian brought up this point a long time ago -- at what point in history did Peter Gabriel become "alternative"? The man is a dull art rocker who hit it big in the 80s with a few shitty pop songs. What's the deal? Terrible stuff. Untalented shit man). But anyway, about The Elder... It forced Ace to quit the band, but luckily the last half at least sounds kinda like Kiss! It's rock anyway. Not great rock, but good rock. It's an entertaining record!!!! And sounds nothing at all like anything else in their catalog. If you've got a few extra bucks, blow it just for curiosity's sake.

Or buy me a vial of marijuana drugs.

Reader Comments

richbunnell@home.com
Wait, wait, wait... You're slamming Peter Gabriel as "terrible and untalented" on the same page where you're giving 8's and 9's to Kiss records?? Pete had more talent in the tip of his left pinky than every member of Kiss combined and squared. I know they're a "joke" band, but they still suck constipated walrus balls. It's irritating that artists who actually take time to put WORK into their music get labeled as "pretentious and pompous" while every lame two-chord, one-note rock band that comes along gets hailed as "the savior of rock music." Give me a freaking break.

And yeah, I probably just pissed off thousands of Kiss fans. Oh, dear god, no.

mysteryroach69@hotmail.com (Beau Mihalek)
I have to agree with Rich, sort of. I hate Peter Gabriel, and like Kiss (a little), but Kiss are a bunch of sweaty, insincere guys responsible for Motley Crue, whereas Peter at least tried to do something other then Cawk Rawk. Don't have this, and probably won't get it. I'll just get some more Daniel Johnston tapes! $5 each, get some today! http://members.aol.com/yipeye

tomcarnage@hotmail.com (Tom Georganakis)
Nah, Peter Gabriel has talent, he's just a boring old fart. Kiss are entertaining old farts. Either way Type O Negative and Blind Illusion can beat all their punk asses into next week....

...Don't forget W.A.S.P.!

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Rush had released Moving Pictures, and had a pretty big hit with Permanent Waves the year before. Might have had something to do with this weird one.

Unintentionally funny album. Not what Kiss should be doing. 5.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Total novelty record. Doesn't sound anything like anything else they ever did, and despite being the cheesiest album they ever made, it's still a lot more interesting to listen to than the coma inducing Unmasked, or any of their completely nauseating 80's Bon Jovian hair metal, a decade during which Kiss miraculously managed to become far more irritating than ever before. I respect them for at least taking a stab at other genres, even though rock opera and classical is really something that these boys could hardly handle, producing the decidedly mixed results here. What's even more shocking though is that they actually came up with some good material in this style! "The Oath" opens the album ferociously with a thundering gallop riff, kinda like typical Iron Maiden, only much heavier! And Paul sings it like his nuts are in a vise. Lyrics about riding into battle like a knight on horseback drawing his sword?? THIS IS KISS????? The lyrics are beyond cheesy throughout the whole album, with these total sleazebags suddenly pretending to be noble and virtuous, championing medieval chivalry! Could you make me gag any worse? Then there's a fanfare interlude! After that we have "Just A Boy", which showcases the most extreme example of Paul's falsetto which Mark mentioned, but the melodies are gorgeous, sounding like typical European music from the Middle Ages! "Dark Light" is an Ace song which sucks and sounds out of place here because it sounds more like a normal Kiss song. "Only You" is an eerie Gene track that kinda reminds me of Kashmir. "Under The Rose" has to be heard to be believed...who could take Gene Simmons seriously singing about being "pure of heart" and of "prophecies"?? For fuck's sake! "A World Without Heroes" is actually a beautifully melancholy haunting ballad sung by Gene...I've even seen the video for this song, and the less said about that, the better. Why do I keep thinking of Braveheart while writing this review?? Man, they must have been listening to Uriah Heep or Dio for inspiration. I mean, some of these songs contain the most beautiful music Kiss ever wrote, but it's overshadowed by considerable mediocre crap and of course, the lyrics, which is something I rarely harp on, are tormentingly horrendous. Anyways, "Mr. Blackwell" is a pretty weird song...can't make up my mind if it's ok or downright horrible. "Escape From The Island" is an instrumental where Ace let's her rip again. "Odyssey" is a great mid-tempo piano song with use of large choir and orchestra! That one definitely sounds like it's straight out of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical! "I" is a terrible way to end the album and the lyrics are about as idiotic as they can possibly get; "I! Belive in me! I! Believe in something more than you can understand yes I believe in me!" Yes, yes! Pull the trigger already! After that last song, there's about a minute of insipid dialogue between some grand wizard and the little boy of the story who is the "chosen" one...YOU STILL HAVEN'T PULLED THE FUCKING TRIGGER!!!!!

hell_is_where_i_hang_my_hat@go.com (Frightso Wankoff)
I would wager that this single album was the entire inspiration for the movie Spinal Tap.

tony_clifton@ihateclowns.com
KAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEE HEE HEE!!!!!!! HO!!!!!!!!!

hehe...he...he...

PPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Perfect! It's quite untypical for Kiss and it's another masterpiece from Kiss, that proves their abilities as a serious composers. It's art! Their musical abilities are apparent here in full blossom. What a talented band! "The Oath" and "Just A Boy" feature an awesome vocal perfomances by Paul Stanley, groovy Frehley's "Dark Light" reminds me of "Talk To Me", "Only You" and "Under The Rose" feature a good vocal perfomance by Gene, beautiful "A World Without Heroes" reminds me of Uriah Heep and it's gear to put vital "Mr.Blackwell" next to "A World Without Heroes". "Odyssey" is an excellent song with use of large choir and orchestra and "I" is another groovy life-asserting tune. And I also like the lyrics and the themes here. Successful album to my opinion!

Dan804935628@aol.com
Way better than some people claim it is.Great vocals from Stanley and Simmons,weird story line though.Still I'd much rather listen to this or even UNMASKED than anything E.L.P. or YES ever did!

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
PRINDLE...

You have just made me VERY, VERY MAD.

Peter Gabriel is great - I force myself to sit through tons of boring music (Yes, Joy Division, Dylan etc) so I can consider myself a well-informed music listener and I in that capacity I have no hesitation at all in calling PG a genius. That's right - a GENIUS. But, being an American, you have probably only heard Sledgehammer and In Your Eyes (plus an album you scandalously gave a five to) - that's like hearing Ballbreaker and declaring AC/DC to be 'shit', or hearing Changes and concluding that Sabbath are 'soft'. Or hearing Revolution 9 and deciding that the Beatles are 'the worst band ever.' Tut tut.

I forgive you, but only because you are a wasp. And I do feel slightly embarrassed about being THREE QUARTERS through a review page of a band I would not listen to if your life depended on it. I guess nobody's perfect.

adamburtrules@yahoo.com (Adam Burt)
I always thought I hated Kiss until I heard this record. I knew I had to buy this after reading about the story behind it all. I couldn't believe Kiss had actually made a fantasy-themed concept album. It's not bad! It's at least entertaining. I thought it'd be really wussy, but "The Oath" totally rips and "Mr. Blackwell" is mega-sassy! Then there's great stuff like "Just a Boy" and "Under the Rose," songs whose choruses have to be heard to be believed. I think this is a killer record, though I may have fallen victim to the "so awful that it's great" syndrome. Either way, I'm actually persuaded to check out more of the Kiss discography now.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
When I first listended to KISS THE ELDER, I started crying. Being a little kid at the time I thought they were breaking up or something. Even a little kid knew something was definately wrong with this album. IT DIDNT SOUND LIKE KISS!!! It was like some weird religous brainwash that KISS was trying to spill on its fans. Kind of a Jim Jones drink the kool aid type thing. Ace frehley was damn right when he threw the cassette against the wall after he heard it for the first time. Ace claims that they cut out alot of his guitar work and he said he did some of his greatest stuff......NOW JUST GO DRINK THE FOOL AID....AWK AWK!!!!!

Hister333@aol.com
I've become OBSESSED with how terrible this record is. I've had Music From the Elder playing in my car for the last week, and Unmasked on my turntable (I disagree about "Unmasked." It might be boring and predictable, but I think it DOES sound like KISS...). For one, KISS is doing a "concept" album. For two, KISS is doing a concept album when they're already in the shits, losing a band member, and in danger of losing their core audience after two pop records. For three, the concept is the absolute most redundant story in the history of the universe. And finally, NONE of it works. Not only is the story insipid (wow, a BIG word...), but they're not bright enough to pull it off. And bringing in Lou Reed to help? He can't even be bothered to put thought into his own lyrics half the time, and he seems like the type to intentionally give them something horrible, and cash their checks.

To me, KISS is Paul doing the "Yeah, I'm just trying to fuck you, but I really do love you...", Gene doing the "I treat you like shit, and make you do nasty things, but you like it, bitch," Ace proposing sex acts so weird in his unearthly voice that your eyes widen whether you know what he's talking about or not, and Peter doing a decent job of imitating an early Rod Stewart (getting the "torch" songs...). Why couldn't they have built a concept around that?

finnbros90ca@yahoo.com
Kiss takes on the task of creating something "of substance" and tumble off of their collective platform boots on to their pancakey, greasepaint slathered faces.

No! Bad Kiss!

And one poster even brought up Jim Jones. Know why there are no jokes about Jonestown? The punchlines are too long!

Add your thoughts?

Creatures Of The Night - Casablanca 1982.
Rating = 6

Kiss' much ballyhooed, huzzahed, hurrahed, celebrated and podiatristed return to straightforward metallic hard rock after three albums of critically-slammed experimentation. But for all the fizzy champagne jives of fist-slammin' abandon, a good third of this album is completely throwaway generic '80s hard rock - for philadelphia's sake, the title track sounds like a frick-frack-friddly-diddlyin' Judas Priest outtake, for love's poop! Kiss had something special in the 70s, but this -- their first in a long string of '80s give-or-take hard rock LPs -- puts them in the unenviable position of having lost TWO key players in their success (lead guitarist Ace Frehley, who is pictured on the album cover eevn though he doesn't play a note on it, and Peter Criss, the most vibrant, talented drummer since whoever played on some old Gene Pitney album). With only two songwriters left (and spotty songwriters at best, as you bleeding well know), the band turned to outside help. Including (oh jesus christ) BRYAN ADAMS. And if you've got Bryan Adams helping you out with your metallic hard rock songs, you're shit out of canoes in a creek of luck.

Luckily, a young gent by the fake name of Vinnie Vincent helped the guys write three absolutely KILLER tunes (including a catchy pop one that is actually *entitled* "Killer," of all unbelievable song titles for one to entitle a song that is, in fact, killer!) to close the album on a cocaine high note.

And the song you know from it is one of the best songs they ever recorded -- remember "I Love It Loud"? With that hilarious video where the kid gets the creepy eyes from watching the Kiss video on TV? BONERS FOR SALLY!!!!

Reader Comments

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Doesn't "Sex Type Thing" sound a lot like a speeded up "War Machine"? Sure it does. Another one for Kiss. 5.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Hey, this one is a lot better than I expected! I was immediately skeptical upon seeing the release date on the back - 1982. That was around the time great bands from the 60's and 70's really, I mean REALLY started to suck a mean cock. This one was billed as a return to form, but it certainly doesn't really sound like classic 70's Kiss. I think the band was observing what style was really taking off at the time, which was the new wave of British heavy metal, and they adjusted their sound accordingly. Personally I think they went overboard on the heaviness, without instilling the personality and humour they had before...all of it is brutally heavy and mean, and it's way too serious...no fun party tunes here, or tongue in cheek innuendo (except for "Keep Me Comin'"). When I first listened to it I was blown away by the energy and power, but it doesn't take long for a certain foul stench to permeate the surroundings...most of it really does sound like typical 80's metal. Not pop metal, but aggressive dark metal, and it just doesn't sound like Kiss at all. It actually reminds me a lot of Dio-led Black Sabbath circa 1980, when that band also suddenly resorted to simplistic metal. Vinnie Vincent is a good guitar player and he certainly delivers some cool crunchy riffs, but his playing isn't unique and the style is so different from Ace that it's hard to stomach...the coolest thing about Vinnie was the "Egyptian Ankh" make-up and outfit...that's right, you Kiss fanatics, Vinnie had the best make-up out of all of them, so FUCK YOU! There's not enough variety from song to song. Another thing that annoys me is that we're down to only two singers now, Gene and Paul...I really miss Peter's and Ace's unique deliveries. One thing that really impresses me is the drumming though! Eric Carr's sound is positively explosive, thundering like an earthquake, despite the gay racoon make-up! To this day I have yet to hear another album with such drumming power. It will shake your foundations to the very core! Cool little fills too! That all having been said, it's an average Kiss album, and the really frightening thing is that it's the best one they recorded in the 80's. 6/10.

Dan804935628@aol.com
The drum sound on this record is so huge and live sounding it's unbelievable! Their first flat-out heavy metal album,and a good one at that!

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
I swear to God, WHY DOES EVERYONE CALL "LICK IT UP" KISS' COMEBACK ALBUM? Could it be THE LACK OF MAKEUP?!?! You know, I love Lick It Up as much as the next guy, but that album would not be what it is without Creatures Of The Night preceding it! Creatures is a heavier album, it's more consistent from beginning to end, and is more Kiss-like than Lick It Up (a more 80's metal album than a true Kiss album). Creatures is nastier, yet definitely has that Kiss vibe to it. No song is filler, best being "Killer" (way to go Gene!), "Danger," (way to go Paul!) "I Love It Loud," hell, the whole second half! This is my favorite Kiss album and always will be! Yes, Revenge and Lick It Up kick ass as well, but neither are quite as serious and bombastic as Creatures. Plus, for the next four albums, till Hot In The Shade, each successive album is just a diluted version of its predecessor. Lick It Up is not as consistent or bombastic as Creatures, Animalize not as consistent or focused as Lick It Up, Asylum not as heavy or ballsy as Animalize, and Crazy Nights not as solid and raw as Asylum. (Just saving time so I can move on to my Hot In The Shade review, another underrated album)

mataquaz@sbcglobal.net (James Hippie)
Is it Dio? Judas Priest? Sabbath? Saxon? Dude, I don't know, but when I die and they lower me into the ground in my fully-loaded $4700 KISS Kasket I want Creatures of the Night blasting and scaring the shit out of my grieving relatives. Man, I really miss the Eighties and seeing the stoner kids at my high school strutting around like Castro Street leatherboys because they hadn't figured out that Rob Halford was down with the brown sound....

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
AFTER MUSIC FROM THE ELDER & UNMASKED I REALLY LIKED THIS ALOT!!! AT LEAST IT KICKED SOME ASS!!!

Davidvaughnc@aol.com
Face it - Without Ace Frehley KI$$ Sux!

Add your thoughts?

Lick It Up - Polygram 1983.
Rating = 7

Now THIS is a comeback! Thanks in no teeny iota to Mr. Vinnie Vincent, who co-wrote EIGHT of these baker's dozen sans three songs, Lick It Up is a stripped-down, clearly-recorded (no mud) hard rock album with distorted guitars. The songwriting is pretty much based in the eighties, but the production THANK GOD is not. The simplicity is wonderful because the riffs are CATCHY. That's key -- simplicity works for a Ramones or an AC/DC or a Motorhead because the songwriters get catchy little riffs in their head that are energetic and fun and make you want to bang your head. That's what Kiss does here. No brain required -- just a toe for tappin', a fist for punchin' and a relatively empty head for bangin'. Aside from a couple disappointingly generic tunes, this album is nearly impossible to hate if you like rock music even a little bit. It's almost like a celebration of the distortion pedal and drumkit. Sounds like it was a blast to record, and also sounds like Vinnie should have stuck around a little longer. But he didn't. This was the only Kiss album that listed him as a full-fledged band member. DAMMIT!!!! Oh well - at least we have this delightful relic to remind us of how great Kiss can be when they strip away all pretensions and just let loose with good old fucktones.

Plus, for the first time in their career, they removed their facepaint!!!!.... leaving a generation of anxious young urchins to wonder, "Shit man, so what do Ace Frehley and Peter Criss look like?" To this day, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss walk around in full facepaint everywhere they go. Pubs, restaurants, libraries, shoeshine places, earring stores, fancy carnival bazaars, whorehouses, street pimp diners, lunch carnivores, drink machines, fish facial cleansers, darlington county, dirt roads in seattle, a gigantic poop on my leg, Larry Hagman's dinette set, forced procedures, lagging behind retarded, borscht on tap, gurnseys made of chocolate vomit, cherries of vagina, lorp and the pain, benny and the bennies, JET!

Reader Comments

tony_clifton@ihateclowns.com
All I can say is, KEEP THE MAKE-UP ON!!!! Especially Gene Simmons, the greasy fat fuckin' jew.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Yeah, lick up this shit, boys!

They got desperate. Unmasked, The Elder, and Creatures Of The Night all flopped, so Kiss needed a fresh gimmick to regain lost fortunes. What did they do? They simply removed the trademark greasepaint and costumes and allowed people to see their homely mugs for the first time. Oh and they totally started ripping off David Lee Roth's wardrobe. Yup, neon spandex complete with fringe. Oh and they started to spew out unlistenable, slick, hair pop metal of the lowest common denominator, ala Bon Jovi/Poison/Slaughter/Warrant/Cinderella/Great White/Night Ranger/Kix/Stryper/etc etc etc. Of course it became a huge hit...could you really expect anything else from the mainstream record buying sheep?

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Decent album, but worse than "Animalize". As for me, I adore "Not For The Innocent" and like "A Million To One".

Oh, and I forgot to mention "Exciter", "Dance All Over Your Face" and "And On The 8th Day" - glorious! The last one can be the anthem of rock'n'roll!

Dan804935628@aol.com
I like it better than ANIMALIZE ,good songs include A MILLION TO ONE,EXCITER,ALL HELL'S BREAKING LOOSE,FITS LIKE A GLOVE,ETC ETC:.

Add your thoughts?

Animalize - Polygram 1984.
Rating = 6

Mmmmm. Business as usual 80s metal. Some catchy riffs here and there, but no Vinnie Vincent nor Ace Frehley -- in fact, if the question of who played lead guitar on this album were asked on "Who Wants To Be A Jillionaire?" starring the talented Regis Philbin, there's a good 99% chance that the contestant, audience and Lifeline caller would all get the answer incorrect, unless the Lifeline caller happened to be a fellow by the name of Mark St. John, who played generic lead guitar on this hard rock album before succumbing to a cruel disease (or so I read). I'm not exactly mesmerized by Mr. St. John's guitarwork on this album (plus he didn't co-write ANY of the songs, leaving that duty to the despised but competent Mr. Desmond Child), but he didn't deserve to get a disease. People should be able to live their lives without having to worry about shit like that. Fucking disease and death. It all hurts too much. Life can be very, very mean.

This album definitely has its moments of riff-raffin' rock magic, but, like on Creatures Of The Night, there are too many tunes that sound just like the others, but... empty. With riffs that only a 13-year-old metalhead could find worth in. Even the big hit off of this album ("Heaven's On Fire") isn't particularly good. For my money, the single should have been "Burn Bitch Burn" - now THAT's a catchy song! And sexist too!!!

Too many outside songwriters. Probably forced on them by the record label. Only TWO songs were written without outside help. Quite frankly, the outside help probably did more harm than good, although it's possible that both Gene and Paul had lost their mystical, magical talent for poetry and melody by this point. Big "fire" motif on this album, btw. Not sure why they chose to title it Animalize instead of Fireize. I should have been their agent and record producer man. I would have made them dress in tight jogging shorts and sing songs about dandelions. For example, "I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night (And Enjoy Dandelions Every Day)" and/or "Beth I Hear You Calling (But I'm Enjoying Dandelions Right Now)." By not choosing me as their agent and record producer man, Kiss made a fatal error that would haunt them for the rest of their career.

Reader Comments

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Good album. The songs are catchy, the songwriting is decent.

smokingshotgun@earthlink.net (James Allen)
This was the album when I could'nt handle being a KISS fan anymore. MARK STJOHN WAS A COMPLETE WUSSY. Paul dressed like a cum guzzleing ballet dancer then also.

Add your thoughts?

Asylum - Polygram 1985.
Rating = 7

Like every other major label album recorded in 1985, this album has WAY too much reverb in the mix (especially on the drums and vocals), but the songs kick buttock! New lead guitarist Bruce Kulick and about sixty-two jillion outside songwriters help the Kissers to produce another fine collection of simplistic hard rock tunes with distorted guitars that go verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/middle part/chorus. No use arguing with basic hard rock structure -- either you love the riffs or you don't. I do! Reminds me of Lick It Up, but with an incredibly shitty mix. Nice little notes-and-chords sequences that are party-hearty catchy dumb, not NWOBHM angry dumb. Great moody hit single too -- "Oh no! Tears Are Falling"!

Pretty damn stupid to end an album with a song called "UH! All Night" though. Made my fiancee remark, "Gonna POOP all night?" Is that REALLY the image that Kiss wants to plant in the minds of their young listeners?

Hey reader: you know how Gene Simmons can stick his tongue out really far? Imagine it, but with a poop log coming out of his mouth instead of a tongue. Doesn't that kick ass????

Reader Comments

briandeuel@atarivector.com
On the day this album came out, I rushed out of school, and hopped a bus to Crazy Larry's Music which was four miles from my house. I snagged the tape of this album and rushed home just in time to get grounded for being a couple of minutes late (I was always getting grounded for silly bullshit like this). No matter... I got the new KISS ALBUM!!! I popped the fucker in and cranked it.

I GOT GROUNDED FOR THIS SHIT?!?!!?!

The tape ended up smashed against my basement wall, and I was out $10. I should have just taken the ten spot and wiped my ass with it.

Years later, I grabbed this album via Napster. King Of The Mountain, Anyway You Slice It, and Radar For Love are decent formulistic rock songs. The rest is generic 80s crap. The production is the lowpoint here; dry and lifeless, with the guitar too high in the mix.

I will say, however, that this album is MUCH better than the tripe that followed it.

Add your thoughts?

Crazy Nights - Polygram 1987.
Rating = 4

Very disappointing mid-'80s pop metal for teenage girls. A couple of the songs at least have CATCHY radio-ready sissy melodies (like the hit "Crazy Nights"!), but too many do not, leaving the one-time hard rock pioneers sounding like a bad Skid Row ripoff.

They are the YOUTH GONE WILD!

Reader Comments

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Satisfactory. "I'll Fight Hell To Hold You" is awesome, some other tunes are also enjoyable.

Dan804935628@aol.com
I'll fight hell to hold you ----best song .Definatly not anywhere near their best , but shit even KISS can make a stinker.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
I'd like to comment on Crazy Nights once more, because I totally disagree with what Mark says about it. It's not "pop" and it's not "metal", all the more so it's not "pop metal". What we have here is a good glam-rock with interesting and catchy melodies. Definitely it's not along KISS bests, but nevertheless it's good. Well, there ain't no single bad song here, and, "I'll Fight Hell To Hold You" is superb. I kinda like this album. It seems to me, that a lot of critics have a certain formula of judging the music material of classic rock, that is "at first good, then (in the 80s) (any given band) sucks, then (end 80s - beginning 90s) revival". It's fucking wrong! If the band is great, then more or less GOOD is all (or almost all) band's material. For instance, Eighties period of Deep Purple was great, ending up with the masterpiece (IMHO) "Slaves And Masters", Eighties period of Scorpions was also great, 80s period of Nazareth was very decent, ending up with the masterpiece Snakes'n'Ladders, 80s period of Paul McCartney was marvellous despite what a lot of people think about it, 80s period of Queen was also marvellous (but surely not comparable with celestrial 70s period); so not all of the classic rock bands sucked in the Eighties. But Eighties music mostly sucked!

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
It may not be brilliantly insightful to say that the title track is one of the most amazing party anthems you can ever hope to hear, but oh boy it is.

Kiss... ha ha.

Add your thoughts?

Hot In The Shade - Polygram 1989.
Rating = 5

One pitfall about working with a hundred zillion outside writers is that outside writers are hired for their skill at creating songs that will appeal to radio listeners. And how do they do that? By using the same sets of "rockin'," "melancholy," "angry" and "bluesy" chord sequences that have already been proven to strike a chord with the lowest common denominator (dumbass) listener. So if you just let the CD play in the background, it's easy to tap your foot and even sing along thanks to endless repetitions of simplistic, stupid choruses. But if you try to sit down and devote the entirety of your attention to the songs, it's disgustingly clear how predictable and disposable the songs really are. The production is very good and modern sounding and there are lots of "hey!"s and thick, full guitar tones, and even lots of catchy choruses and such. But they're just collections of chord sequences that you've already heard dozens of times. Like a Steven Spielberg movie, there is a hell of a lot of audience manipulation going on here, especially in the absolutely fucking miserable hit single from this record -- the ballad "Forever," which was co-written by MICHAEL BOLTON.

There are many names that should never appear on a Kiss album. Richard Dawson. Rowland Office. Barney The Purple Dinosaur Of Love. But Michael Bolton might be number one.

As in a big piece of shit popping out of my ass.

Reader Comments

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
If this is shit popping out of your or anyone else's ass, it's one piece of shit I will forever treasure! Some may think this is shit, but one person's turd is another's gem. I love this record! Everything Kiss was striving for on Asylum and Crazy Nights comes to fruition here. No, it's not competing with Creatures, Lick It Up, or Animalize. Those records are meant to be loud, raw, and nasty. This is clean, polished, and potent! Kind of like Leppard's Hysteria. I have a hard time finding something I don't like on here. What's more, there's 15 chances at Kiss fuckin' up here, and they don't...first time since Lick It Up. Some are merely okay, but still...they're catchy and listenable. The good tunes are plentiful though--"Rise To It," "Betrayed," "Hide Your Heart," "Prisoner Of Love," "The Street Giveth...," "Love Me To Hate You," "Boomerang," and my two faves, back-to-back on the album, "Forever" and "Silver Spoon." The songs rock and shine and are wonderful on a road trip! Some might be put off by the Crazy Nights gloss, or the Asylum-like tunes, but it's all more...professional somehow. Sounds stupid, but it's like Kiss has taken the elements which seemed uncomfortable before, and made them a natural aspect of their being. And they sell it confidently. Anyway, don't take my word for it, buy the tape first, and when it grows on you, get the CD...

halhorn@airmail.net (Hail Horn)
Gotta agree with the 5. The two best moments end the record, with Carr's vocals distinguishing "Little Caesar" somewhat (despite the cliched lyrics) and Simmons' "Boomerang" conjuring up the fast fretwork from "Animalize". Gene himself said it best a few years later; he commented that he gave the record an "A" for effort, but the songs just weren't there.

weegie@pookielife.fsnet.co.uk (Geoff Saunders)
Bought this album when it first came out. Polished, professional FM rock for the people. You Americans have been spoilt - we had the crapola of Little Angels, Wolfsbane and It Bites in the UK at the same time (admittedly we also had the very good Thunder). I loved then and still do "King Of Hearts", "Love Me To Hate You", "Somewhere Between Heaven & Hell", but I admit "Forever" is one big steaming pile of shit.

Add your thoughts?

Revenge - Polygram 1992.
Rating = 3

Contains "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II," which I'm sure you know by Unrest. Oh man, this is some humiliating stuff. Kiss at their most hilariously macho and least melodic. Only ONE of these songs is a catchy, memorable, fun, stupid Kiss classic ("I Just Wanna" - GREAT dumbass tune!!!) -- the rest is a collection of overused, unndderwarmed, midtempo blues metal cliches with ludicrous tough guy vocals, lyrics and wee wee tinkles.

And they're all decked out in black leather on the back cover.

In 1992.

Trying too hard, anyone?

Reader Comments

halhorn@airmail.net
Gotta disagree with you here. This was, in my opinion, a real comeback after several disappointing records: Asylum was acceptable, but not as good as the three records before it; Crazy Nights was a Ron Nevison-produced abomination (you were right on the money, only I would have given it a 2, and I even like "Reason to Live"); Hot in the Shade was a credible effort with some interesting songs (liked the Eric Carr song "Little Caesar" and Gene's thrashier-than-usual "Boomerang"), but not enough of them.

But Revenge is the best rock and roll production I've EVER heard from Bob Ezrin. And yeah, the songs have a little too much macho posturing, but come on, this is Kiss--EVERY record has that. "Unholy" and "Domino" are two of Gene's best songwriting efforts ever, and Singer and Kulick are in fine form throughout. I also think that "Tough Love" and "Paralyzed" are hidden gems, and the Paul/Gene vocal tradeoff on the Spinal Tap-inspired "Spit" is actually pretty funny. The only real false note to me: the ballad "Every Time I Look at You"...now THIS is trying too hard, yes. I'd give this record a 7 at least, good solid effort. And Kulick and Singer (and Carr) simply have the ability to play their instruments better than Frehley and Criss...at least in the 1990's. Witness the Psycho Circus fiasco that would follow.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Way off the mark, Mark!

A 3? That's insane!! Easily the best Kiss album since Dynasty. Seems like for the first time in god knows how long they were more interested in putting out a whole album of quality material than just pandering to the lastest trends to boost sales. This is the album that won back fans of the classic era, myself included. Great pop melodies all over the place, but they beefed up the guitars, making 'em sound a bit filthier and meaner, in order to re-capture the spirit of their 70's heyday. It's definitely the most bluesy sounding album they ever made, and quite a few of the riffs sound like they're right out of the 70's. And the lyrics are funny, in a sort of wink wink, nudge nudge kinda way...the vintage Kiss swagger and attitude are back in full force! They actually sound like they had a blast recording this album, and that rubs off on the listener in such a positive way. It's fun! After spending the 80's putting out horrid pop metal schlock, you can't help but put this one on and feel "oh yeah...they're back!" The musicianship is excellent, and even original again! Hands down the best Kiss studio album not recorded by the original line-up. What surprises me the most is that you don't really feel Bob Ezrin's presnce as producer at all this time...not even a hint of a showtune or bombastic arrangements of any kind. It's just no-frills blues metal that's catchy as gum in every department. The album would have been really great if they had left off 2 or 3 of the more pedestrian songs, like "Heart Of Chrome", "Thou Shalt Not", or "Paralyzed". Man, otherwise they just sound so fresh! Definitely a welcome return to the fold after a seemingly endless stream of mediocrity, and the only Kiss album really worth owning since 1979. If Psycho Circus had turned out anywhere near this consistent and energetic, then they probably wouldn't be retiring in shame the way they are now in 2001. 8/10.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
I completely disagree with you here, Mark. It's the best "non-classic" Kiss album. It rules, all songs from "Revenge" are marvellous. One more time they show their talents.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Great album that features the heaviest song ever by the band,UNHOLY! Check it out!

Yeah ,Pantera worships KISS,so do a lot of other kick ass bands like 'em,so do I. I knew it all along ,PRINDLE,you don't even listen to their albums,if you did ,you would know that this i probably the best stuff they ever did. I got an idea,listen to the songs first before you give a killer album like this 3 stars,fuckhole!

edelgris@yahoo.com (Cousin Gladstone)
Together with Alive III, Revenge was the album that got Kiss back on their feet again. In the late early 90s, Kiss were regarded as pathetic glam has-beens very much like Motley Crue, Ratt and Poison. Padoxically, or maybe because, Kiss, who had joined the hair metal camp even though they were over ten years older than most else there, were among the few to make the escape. Revenge was louder, harder and, frankly, better than anything they had done since Creatures of the Night or even Love Gun. It really include only two bad tracks: Take it off and God Gave Rock´n Roll To You II. This is an album from a band that has finally found itself again.

MrLn521@aol.com (sweet dudess)
put god gave rock and roll tou you on for free and the whole song. i cant find it anywhere and am skint tar

Add your thoughts?

Alive III - Polygram 1993.
Rating = 7

Not quite as erotically charged as the first two Deep Throats, but then those didn't have the "benefit" of such "well-written classics" as "Domino," "Unholy," "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II" and the moving high school homecoming dance ballad "Forever." Great recording though, full of at least MOSTLY great tunes spanning their entire career.

You know, like "Star Spangled Banner."

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Carnival Of Souls-The Final Sessions - Mercury 1997.
Rating = 6

Kiss' grunge album! And yes, 1997 certainly was about five or six years late to be releasing a "grunge" album, but we can't all sell out in as timely a manner as Pantera, can we? For a band of old bags who really shouldn't know anything about grunge, this is an incredibly convincing impersonation of it - the riffs are every bit as thick, heavy, choppy, rigid and catchy as most of the stuff that Soundgarden, Helmet and Alice In Chains came up with! Unfortunately, Paul and Gene on a good deal of this album rely on shitty macho shouting vocals instead of coming up with catchy vocal melodies to complement the head-smashing riffs. In fact, stupidass vocals darn near ruin the first quarter of the record. Luckily, once they get their asses in gear, they DO present several beautiful shining moments of joy where the old Kiss melodicism rears its lovely head ("I Walk Alone," the chorus of "It Never Goes Away," "Childhood's End," the verse to "I Confess"), so as a whole and taken as a whole when you take it as a whole, Carnival Of Souls is a really darn consistent grunge record by KISS! How unexpected is that, Chief McWilliger?

Btw, this album almost wasn't released at all since the original Kiss decided to reunite on MTV Unplugged -- coming up next here on Mark Prindle: Behind The Music!

Oh I nearly forgot - Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you got the chrome plated ass dildo you asked for!

Huh?

Well maybe you should've TOLD me it was supposed to be a secret between you and me!!!!!!!!

I'm just kidding! Ha ha! Of COURSE you didn't ask for a chrome plated ass dildo! Ha ha ha!!! Just utilizing the old Prindle wit! Ha ha ha!

(Seriously though -- does the chrome plated ass dildo feel good when you shove it in your ass?)

Reader Comments

Blppthome@aol.com
Mark- loved that comment on Pantera. That was fucking funny.

As for Kiss, i cannot stand any band who based a good deal of their career on the one hit song they had, which was of course "Rock and Roll all Nite". That song was good, but the band in general are so awful instrumentalists and are so full of themselves that i cannot even force myself to listen to their tired 4/4 beats.

BTW, did you know that Pantera worships KISS? Damned if i know why. Pantera actually have skill on their instruments and have written a few great songs. Oh well. KISS have survived after years of bashing from critics far more important than me, and will probably continue to do so for some inexplicable reason.

And no, i dont own a single KISS album, so you KISS army fanatics who will undoubtedly read this and get really annoyed, feel free to flame me.

halhorn@airmail.net
Yeah, Mark, it WAS way too late to be releasing a "grunge" record; to be fair, this one was recorded about three years earlier.

Can't believe you prefer it to Revenge, though I do think there are some interesting songs here ("Jungle" for example) it's basically an average grunge record, and a letdown. 5 from me

Dan804935628@aol.com
Grunge?? This ain't fucking SOUNDGARDEN,man. If it wasn't for KISS, there wouldn't ever have been any grunge bands. HOTTER THAN HELL was grunge.

grant@grantedmonds.com (Grant Edmonds)
The one thing I simultaneously admire and despise about Kiss, is that they always go with the current musical trend. They did it in the late 70's, the early 80's, the late 80's, and now again in the early 90's with grunge. (Scary, Kiss hasn't really been Kiss consistently since 1978!) This current grunge trend is....interesting, but like the Dynasty disco, it's not them. Some good tracks: "Hate," "Jungle," "In The Mirror," "I Walk Alone," but...no. Not right. Revenge kicked ass, this kissed ass... while trying to kick it. Have you ever tried to do both at the same time? Can't be done, at least not well...

pedroandino@msn.com
CHOKE IT BLPPFAG! WAIT A MINUTE! KISS! GRUNGE? 1997? WHAT THE HELL????! IT'S WAY TOO LATE TO BE DOING IT AND NUUU METAL IS ON! (GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG)! NEVERMIND CAME FIRST THEN THIS CARNIVAL OF SOULS IS THE LAST! GOD! IF THIS WAS NOT A GROUCHY DARK ALBUM I DO NOT KNOW! MR.CACA WENT TO THE BATHROOM!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! 1997 SUCKS COCK! 1998 SUCKS WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD I HATE IT WHEN IT ENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK!

1.HATE:...............KREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOBANGANANANANANAANANANANANANNANANAANANAANANANANANAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYEAYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENAGROOOOOOOOOOOOOONIFEYOOOOOOOOOO DA DA DA DA! FEEDBACK INTRO! THEN BOOOM! SOUNDS LIKE GODSMACK! GENE YELLS ALL YOU BITCHES! DAMN! OH! JULIYA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHHHHHHHHHHH! SWEET LUCIOUS JULIYA! OH GOD I WANNA CUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.RAIN: GOD! I MEAN KISS WAS PISSY ANGRY AND BORED! COME ON! PAUL DOWN ON HIS NASTY BODY ODOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE'S LIKE A MUSULE AND U MAKE ME WANNA FLEX! EEW!!! DISGUSTING LOVE MUSCLES!!!!!!!!!!!! DID HE CUM!/???? YUCK!

3.MASTER AND SLAVE: GRUNGE! PAUL YELLS!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

4.CHILDHOOD'S END: YOU MISS YOUR YOUTH. THE SONG ALSO HAS A GOSPEL TEAM BACKING GENE UP.

5.I WILL BE THERE: SOFT BALLAD. SHOULDA BEEN A HIT SONG.

6.JUNGLE: WATCH OUT FOR THE DEADLY JUNGLE WITH THE DARK NASTY BASS LINE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOAOAOAOAOAOAOA SHUT UP YOU GAY ASSHOLE! PAUL IS GAY!

7.IN MY HEAD: WOOO HOO HHOOO I GOT A GUN IN MY HEAD! YEHCHH!

8.IT NEVER GOES AWAY: GENE YOU SAY HUMANS GET THEIR KICKS WELL EAT IT YA SACK OF SHITE! MRCACA GENE SIMMONS HAS LEFT THE TOILET! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

9.SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT: AHHHHHHHH DELECIOUS BABAE ALEXXUS! SLURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRPPPP ME!

10.I CONFESS!!!!!: BORING.

11.IN DA MIRROOR: BORRRRRRING!

12.I WALK ALONE: MUCH BETTER IN THE END! FLYING MACHINES! TAPE EFFECTS THAT IS!

MEH IS TOO ANGRY TOO BE A GOOD KISS DISC 6/10

Add your thoughts?

MTV Unplugged - MTV/PolyGram 1996.
Rating = 7

Unplugged??? Has this show ever actually involved unplugged instruments? Undistorted, yes, but come on, how ignorant am I supposed to be -- good example: "Beth," originally recorded on an incredibly unplugged piano, is presented here as played on two acoustic/electric guitars plugged into amplifiers. Count the ways I'm mistaken!

Kiss chose a wonderfully eclectic set list here, ranging from shit like "Plaster Caster" and the dreadful "Domino" to a Rolling Stones cover and even a song from Music From The Elder!!!! They may have chosen quite a few songs that I personally am not incredibly fond of (hence the 7), but you still gotta give 'em credit for throwing the audience for a hell of a loop -- who would have expected "Sure Know Something," for crying out loud??? Or "Comin' Home"???

Or Paul Stanley, in a desparate attempt to cover up his old bag wrinkles, to wear even more makeup during this show than he did back during their facepaint days?

Reader Comments

jturd@yahoo.com (James Greene, Jr.)
I remember watching this episode of "Unplugged." When Peter and Ace came out and they had that big jam sesh, I thought, "Well, that's nice. No hard feelings in the Kiss camp." It's kind of a shame the world didn't end that night. They're kind of stuck in the same place now that they were in '82, except they aren't writing any new material. I wonder if Paul and Gene will be buried in their make-up...

Add your thoughts?

Psycho-Circus - Mercury 1998.
Rating = 4

The long-awaited reunion!!!! Paul, Gene, Peter and Ace together again for the first time since...sheesh... since Dynasty? Wow! Too bad they (apparently) threw the album together in about five minutes. The songs are all very happy attempts to recreate the jolly "Rock And Roll All Nite" vibe of the 70s. But they try SO hard to make singalongable anthems that the songs end up having no substance at all. Just disgustingly predictable happy chord sequences that you're supposed to smile and bang your fist at, but you're more likely to want to run and brush your teeth to get the stench of mediocrity out of your brain. Even the song titles are horrendous: "I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll," "Raise Your Glasses," "We Are One," "You Wanted The Best." In other words, the record was thrown together in a heartbeat so they could do a reunion tour and make millions of dollars. Good for them! Bad for you and me.

Speaking of which, let me close this review with a couple of pieces of wisdom I picked up earlier this afternoon. I was at the record store looking for good music, see, and I heard these two middle aged pieces of shit talking to each other really loudly like only middle aged pieces of shit can. Following are the two most intelligent things I heard them say during my fifteen-minute tenure in the store:

(A) "Dude! How about some vintage Speedwagon?"

(B) "Dude! I got a great one for you. Look at this - this is THE best Mason record!"

Heh heh! Old people.... Will they never learn that we're all laughing at them?

Reader Comments

Mkylolier@aol.com (Mike)
Kiss... are awesomely bad... and Geordie!! Don't make me laugh (I come from Newcastle)... I'm not a huge fan of Slade, they could be bad but as a singles band they were seconded only by the Beatles.

Kiss??? How this band are revered is one of the biggest mysterys of the universe.

halhorn@airmail.net
Take away the first two songs, and you have quite possibly the worst heavy metal album ever made by a band not named Poison. "Within" is too slow, but a good showcase for Gene's vocals (at least, what remains of them) and the title track is well-produced and catchy. That's it. The rest of this record, as you state, has no substance. I guess I'll give it a 2, but I couldn't go any higher.

creexul@home.com (John Cable)
Kiss is fucking retarded. The shittiest corporate pop-rock band ever.

Fuck these sellouts.

JohnnyB8@aol.com
Kiss is ALL HYPE. They really aren't great musicians, lyricists, or songwriters. However, i will give them credit for their stage antics. That is what made kiss such a great group. THey were great stage performers, but basically their songs sucked. I know i pissed off a lot of kiss fans, but really "I wanna Rock and Roll all night" is probably their best work, and its only a four-line song. By the way, that guy, Fred Durst, doesn't need to be kicked in his balls........HE NEEDS TO BE DRAGGED OUT INTO THE STREET AND SHOT! What an @$$hole that man is. He is such a child. If you really wanna hear some terrible, babyish, nonsense, d***headed music, listen to a song from their new album called "Hot Dog".

jbhull@prodigy.net (Jim Hull)
Basically a track-for-track remake of Destroyer. Probably not much worse than that record, when I really think about it. I give it a 4.

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Lots of controversy about this one. Man, there was so much hype in 1998 about this album finally marking the first collaboration between the 4 original members in almost 20 years at the time that in retrospect it was virtually impossible for them to live up to the massive expectations. They could have delivered their White Album and a lot of people would have still been disappointed. That's really quite unfortunate, because while it is indeed a hit and miss affair, it's nowhere near as terrible as people seem to think it is. It was also unrealistic for people to assume that they could make an album "70's style", like their old classics...so much has changed, so many musical trends have come and gone since 1979, and those are influences that musicians can't just pretend didn't happen. The result is that Psycho Circus sounds like a hodge podge of sounds from every era of Kiss' past, not just '73 to '79, and naturally that pissed off a lot of people, without really satisfying anyone. It certainly starts strong with the title track, an instant classic that sounds a lot like their 70's heyday, and this was naturally the first single and the only huge hit from this album. Ace's guitar tone sounds fantastic; when you hear this track it becomes all the more obvious just how sorely his playing was missed. Same goes for Criss' drumming. "Within" is a really unortohodox song, with its weird off-beat and almost industrial (!) feel, and the guitars are downtuned and grungy! Not Ace's atyle at all, and there was a lot of debate as to whether or not he even played on the song...there was a persistent rumour that "Within" was a leftover from the Carnival Of Souls sessions, and that it's actually Bruce Kulick on there! I wouldn't be surprised, because doesn't play that style, and when I saw them perform the song live, the guitar sound was indeed a lot different than here. I don't care how cheesy "I Pledge Allegiance..." is, it's totally sing-a-longy, with a massive chorus! The melody is totally memorable, and this song makes a fine addition along classic anthems such as "Shout It Out Loud". "Into The Void" is a classic Ace penned tune and would not have sounded out of place on his great solo album from 1978...the riff is amazing, and it's so nice to hear him sing on a Kiss album again! "We Are One" is an uplifting Gene sung power ballad...another great melody and a nice 70's vibe. So far, so good, right? Very strong album up until this point, and it suddenly goes downhill rapidly. "You Wanted The Best" starts off explosively, with a great huge riff over a really cool up-tempo beat. Even cooler is hearing all 4 band members trading lead vocals during the verses for the first time ever! Great melody, but then the chorus turns out to be surprisingly weak...and what's with the ultra lame fake British accents they talk in as the song fades out?? "Raise Your Glasses" is the low point of the album...it sounds unbearably close to the Bon Jovian pop metal rubbish they put out in the 80's. Listen to that hideous chorus! Makes me wanna shoot them in the cock! The original line-up never would have put something that gay out in the 70's! UGH! Never mind how irritating the self congratulatory, pat-on-the-back lyrics in most of these songs are. "I Finally Found My Way" continues the slide. While it's not a bad song unto itself, it's severely hurt by it's uncanny resemblance to their 1976 hit, "Beth". It just sounds so pathetic when they try to make a carbon copy of their most successful song, and they got poor Peter Criss to croon on this one as well. Pass. "Dreamin'" has a darker metal sound to it, like something from Creatures Of The Night, not exactly a classic album itself. Even more ridiculous is how they BLATANTLY plagiarized the opening riff from Alice Cooper's classic 1971 hit, "I'm Eighteen". Couldn't they have come up with one more lousy original riff? How could they not have noticed the resemblance? They didn't exactly "borrow" from an obscure song, and it's even from one of their 70's biggest competitors! Who were these clowns trying to fool? They certainly didn't fool the Coop, that's for sure! He instantly sued Kiss' ass and they predictably settled out of court. Thankfully, the album ends on a high note with the surprisingly experimental "Journey Of 1000 Years". It's a slow, unconventional epic, easily one of Kiss' best songs ever. It's so cool, with it's heavily strummed acoustic guitar riff over a strangely shuffling beat and moody vocal melodies. Great use of strings too. Strangely enough, this song sounds a lot like the best material on The Elder! Ever heard the bonus track on the Japanese version of Psycho Circus, "In Your Face"? Never mind, it royally sucks the bag. Well, there you have it...2 songs that are amazing, and maybe 4 more that are decent. The rest is just silly and maybe could have been avoided had a bit more thought gone into the album. I give it a 6. But the very last new song recorded by the original line-up was on the Detroit Rock City movie soundtrack. I can't remember what it's called, but it's an absolutely abysmal power ballad written by none other than Diane Warren, ruiner of good rock bands extraordinaire. What were they thinking?? Couldn't they have written one fucking song themselves? They obviously did not learn their lesson and deserved the commercial failure. Everything in Kiss since 1996 has been going steadily downhill. The lacklustre sales performance of this album and the movie flop really sealed their fate, and sure enough, they're calling it quits this year (2001). What's even more depressing is that they are playing the last leg of their farewell tour with drummer Eric Singer instead of Peter Criss. They're even putting Eric in Peter's cat make-up. How fucking pathetic. Pure, unadulterated money grubbing. It's a real shame to see them go out on such a low note.

Dan804935628@aol.com
Goddamn,Prindle these are the first reviews i've read from you (just found the page)What a fucking asshole,let me guess your into YES,right?

Starchild795@aol.com
First of all John Cable can bite my ass,with that off my chest ,I get it already,Mark,you don't like KISS! What can I say ,man ,another great album from the hottest band in the world....KISS! Now go back to listening to your shitty E.L.P. albums.

mikharras@hotmail.com (Mike Harras)
People who enjoy listening to Kiss can be spotted at country fairs holding hands with their cousins

Mooncrazy198@aol.com
You're the most homophobic reject I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Your ass probably has sores from sitting at your DELL all day thinking up ways of trying to piss people off. Hey...wait, I got it, here's a typical review from either of the Cable Bros, ready??

"I hate this band, they're gay"
"These guys suck cock"
"Fuck these sellouts"
"I hate gays"
"I hate heterosexuals"
"I hate my mom"
"I hate Cable"
"Fireworks are gay"
"You're a homo"

Wow, that pretty much sums up a typical Cable review alright! Now...if you have the balls...PRINT IT!!!!!!!!

Ornette96@aol.com
KISS Psycho Circus -- a disappointment...after almost 20 years to reunite, they make an album of hodge-podge and decide to call it quits. This album is so bad that it makes the other "not-so-good" (or so-called) KISS albums look good, starting with Dynasty, ending with Hot In The Shade and a few in-between.

tsaneladi@aol.com
Psycho CIRCUS is a great KISS Album, which means it is in the top FIVE OF ALL TIME. This disc has great songs and incredible production. These slug dogs that dont understand it are still trying to get the shrink wrap off their NSYNC CD'S

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
I remember in the weeks leading up to the disc's release, I perused some Kiss fan discussion boards to get information. There was a huge controversy brewing as the result of some fans who claimed to be musicians, who got an advanced copy of the album and insisted that they could tell that Ace and Peter hardly perfomed any of the music on it. Kiss of course vehemently denied all that at the time and I believed them. Now that it's been almost 4 years since the album came out, it seems the truth has been allowed to surface. I read an interview with Gene Simmons a few months ago in which he freely admitted that most of the music on the disc was recorded with session musicians. What a fucking farce. Kiss, the band and corporation, was always a duo; Gene and Paul. All the other "band" members from day one, including Ace and Peter, were nothing but hired hands. Now, I wouldn't have a problem with that if they were at least honest about it, but they always seem to have a nasty habit of passing themselves off as a band in which all the members are equal around the time they release product, but once said products' shelf life has expired, they feel it's ok to reveal the truth. I don't know about you, but that's a pretty dirty way of conducting business and shows a lack of respect to their loyal fans, who they obviously believe are a horde of suckers who will believe anything. I've always liked Kiss and their music, but they just seem to stoop lower and lower, releasing any type of merchandise with their logo on it, no matter how tacky or tasteless; triggering and then exploiting the floodgates of their fans' sentimentality by pretending to record a "reunion" album with the original lineup even though nothing could be further from the truth; embarking on a never ending "final" tour that was supposed to end the band's career while they were still doing respectably well, in 2000, and then 2001, and now 2002...; going off to Japan to tour even though Peter Criss once again left the group, and in a pathetic effort at damage control, putting replacement drummer Eric Singer in Criss' cat makeup and outfit...it goes on and on and on.

I had to chuckle upon seeing them perform at the closing ceremonies of the Salt Lake City winter Olympics...Eric Singer couldn't fool anybody. It was so obvious it was him on drums despite the makeup, and his wig was just as bad as the rest of them.

Anyways, the best things about Psycho Circus was firstly that it failed to fool people, even the hardcore fans, into thinking that it was even a good effort, and secondly that they got their asses sued by the very man who inspired them in the first place, Alice Cooper, for blatantly stealing the famous opening riff of his 1971 hit "I'm Eighteen" in "Dreaming". Serves the bastards right. Thirdly, and maybe sweetest of all, Peter Criss finally one-upped Gene and Paul and milked those opportunists for what they were worth by showing up for the reunion, grabbing the shitload of money they threw his way, and unapologetically took off again once he felt he had earned enough for a comfy retirement, giving them a final "fuck you" and having the last laugh over their reeling to retain a shred of credibility in their laughable attempt to sweep the hostile relations within the group under the rug by putting a puppet in his place. That was a PR disaster, but ticket sales are all that count for them. It would have been more honest and respectable if they had dressed Singer up as a new character, like they used to do in the early 80's when an old band member would get replaced, but noooooo. Anyhow, they used Criss and then kicked him to the curb, so now he used them...go Pete!

Even though I like a lot of their 70's music, there are some harsh truths that even the most dunderheaded Kiss fan must admit. First and foremost, Kiss is a business, not band. To them, the bottom line is always the almighty dollar, then in order of priority comes the over the top visuals, fucking hot groupies (though how they can still get any these days defies logic), and in a distant last place, comes the music.

ericrabbit@bigpond.com (Scott Andrew Mitton)
HEY I LOVE KISS & your valid views of music shant ever change that .

good on u 4 having the angst 2 do your site . I find so far your reviews very entertaining However it is of the upmost importance this evening 2 point out that the SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS beat the raiders 30 - 22 2nite GO SOUTHS GO SOUTHS GO SOUTHS

derek@ntg-uitgeverij.nl (Derek Smit)
this is a downright awfull albums, nothing like the sweet songs they made in the seventies. these guys should have quit the moment ace left the band. altough alive 3 is pretty good, i must admit.

being a faithfull ramones fan i could nog imagine that these guys were still playing. i mean the songs of their albums since the eighties arent that damn good. yeah okay the ramones didnt do to good either in the eighties but what kiss produces back than i pure crap........yeah okay lick it up is pretty sweet but thats about it. kiss is about money , money and more money. they didnt even stay true to their soung by playing unplugged??? damn! they guys will do anything for the green.

i wish their reputation good have been good like in the seventies but their ruinined it for them selves by pushing the band on and on and on and on............like eric singer in peter criss uniform? thats pure heretic man. i like kiss but this is crap! there i said it

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
2 things.

1) I seriously doubt KISS give a damn about rock and roll AT ALL - at least Gene and Paul. They are however very astute businessmen.

2. Roland Fratzl is the funniest man alive.

hippopotomonstrosesquip@hotmail.com (Kiuu Kiuu)
I felt the need to add something to the comments left. Kiss did not only get sued for the blatant copyright infringement of Alice Cooper’s 18 for Dreamin’ (which is a massacred bastardization of one of the most notorious anthems ever to come out of the 70’s) but they also stole the circus idea (once again blatantly as if to spit in his face) from Alice as well, anyone else take note that Alice's Rock N’ Roll Carnival tour full 2 years before Kiss even thought of stealing it. I felt this needed to be added, so few people give credit to those deserving and inevitably bands like Kiss are the ones credited with being original (HA), actually Prindle, I’ve got to give you praise: you are an educated reviewer. They come very few and far between. Thanks for letting me voice my frustrations.

ostojice@EUnet.yu
OK,first of all I'm big KISS fan and I don't want to mug any of their albums.But for me is unacceptable that you (especially you Mark) give higher marks to Hotter Then Hell,Dressed To Kill...I honestly don't wanna say that they are BAD,they aren't,but the sound...Hotter Then Hell is so horrible sounding that is so irritating.Now my true target album Psycho Circus...This is one of the greatests albums,although it is NOT reunion album,I'm guitarists and I know Ace's style,and there is bunch of soloes that are not his.

So is for Peter.AND not to mention that Bruce is involved here and there,AND Gene doesn't play bass on this one so much!!!Now good side is that this album has heavy sound,thunder drums (by Kevin Valentine),screamin' guitars,and it is not FOUR CHORDS album.C'mon guys I like Bruce,he IS better guitarists then Ace (technically,melodically),but Ace is unique.Style,licks,sound,speed,etc...Check out You Wanted The Best solo.You are accusing Paul for steeling Dreamin' from Alice Cooper,well open your eyes and say which one is better-full soundin' KISS or pussiest version with clean guitar by Cooper.I was wery pleased with Foland's Comment GO ONE FOLAND YOU ARE THRUE ROCKER.As for the Cables keep your nose with Back Street Boys,Eminem...

Add your thoughts?

Symphony Alive IV - Kiss Records/Sanctuary 2003.
Rating = 8

Orchestras are not badasses. You can't make a bunch of trumpets and crap sound mean no matter how much SARS-infected spit you blow into it. Even violins - as evil as they can be under certain circumstances - generally pansy it up when big loud rock and roll electric guitars are around. This is why, regardless of the rave review I wrote after having my taste removed by gypsies, Metallica's S & M turned out Stupid & Mediocre. So what made the Knights in Satan's Service feel they could one-up the greatest heavy metal band of all time? Luckily, the Bullet Boys haven't recorded with a symphony yet, so that question remains moot.

This double-CD -- value-priced at only ten dollars if you shop at the right Mafia-backed stores -- is a Kisserlips's delight if you don't mind a little tootin' and blowin' in the background. Almost all of their greatest hits are on here -- "Beth," "Detroit Rock City," "I Was Made For Lovin' You," "Rock And Roll All Night" -- plus a helping heaping of lesser-known album tracks that rule just as much asshole -- "King Of The Night Time World," "Great Expectations," "Sure Know Something," "Psycho Circus" -- and even some songs that have wowed yesteryear's youth bands into covering them -- "Strutter" (Unrest), "Goin' Blind" (Melvins), "Do You Love Me" (Nirvana), "Black Diamond" (Replacements). The only surprise exclusion is the depressing, confusing decision to skip the classic "I Like It Loud." WHY?!?!?!?! How could "Shandi" or "Let Me Go Rock And Roll" be chosen over "I Like It Loud"?!??!?! On a notable, interesting note of interest for collectors of potent potables, the currently make-upped guys have included TWO TWO TWO songs from their non-make-up years! (!) ! (!) ! "LICK IT UP!!!!" "LICK IT UP!!!!" "OH-OH-OH!!!!" GREAT FUCKIN' SONG!!!!

And "Forever," which was co-written by Michael Bolton.

The first six tracks are straight Kiss tracks, to lure you in. Then the next five are gentler Kiss numbers featuring a symphony ensemble. Then disc two SLAMS your ass with hard rockin' crunchy classics complete with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Now see, Kiss's happier songs (like "Shout It Out Loud" and "Rock And Roll All Nite" sound absolutely fantastic with exuberant horn happy notes fluttering overhead. But man, nothing buttnuggets up a hard fuckin "God Of Thunder" quite like a football marching band trying to "Rock Out" as hard as Genesis does in "World of Confusion." And you can take THAT to the bank and laugh all the way to the.... oh.

I was nice and counted up how many songs come off each of their albums. ZERO FROM CREATURES OF THE NIGHT, WHICH IS PRETTY FUCKED. Three from Kiss, 2 each from Hotter Than Hell and Dynasty, 1 each from Dressed To Kill, Rock And Roll Over, Love Gun, Unmasked, Lick It Up, Hot In The Shade and Psycho-Circus and SEVEN!?!??! from Destroyer!!!! Only TWO songs from that album didn't make the cut! Am I nuts or is that kooky?

Kooky?

Lend me your comb!

NO, NOT YOUR HONEY COMB!!!! AAHGGRHRHRHH MILLIONS OF BEES!!!!!!!! AGRGAFG F MY EYES!!!!!! THEYR'E'RE STTINGNGNINGG G A LHAHAHDSLAKFJ;SDKFJDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Reader Comments

gerald.funk@freenet.de
OH MAN, you are GOD! ..... and DOUBLE PLATINUM is worth to get ten points.......and what a horrible mistake, not play "I L I K E IT LOUD" Loud, I wanna hear it loud, right between my EARS ....... and Gene really fucked my mother - and after that she never had any sex before I was born......

ebbe_olsen@get2net.dk
This album rules! KISS never sounded better live! And sorry to burst your bubbles, guys. but it's called "I LOVE It Loud". And I'd much rather preferred "I Still Love You". But the album is STILL brilliant!

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Kiss is maybe my least favourite classic rock band ever. Their songs are flat, empty and boring. Plus the lyrics are really really bad. Who needs these guys when you can listen to cool stuff like Alice Cooper and Lynyrd Skynyrd? By the way, I believe AC/DC are overrated too.

eric_carr_tribute@hotmail.com (Eric Carr Tribute)
After reading through all of your supposedly {Reviews} On KISS Album Releases. I have to wonder what encouraged you To even think that you could review any artist? As your antics are Lease to be desired. You have no reporting experience what so ever. You do not know how to write a Review, so I ask Why? Why did you put this "Fake Review" on the Internet?

Answer: You put it here because you wanted to drive traffic to your site. Nothing less, but a whole lot gained, as you know that if you do anything With KISS on it, it will sell ( or drive traffic ).

Do us all a favor, and give it up, close down any and all Reviews sites That you have going on, and forget it. You give Artist Reviews a bad rap. And do not need to be doing something That you Do Not Know How To Do.

End of subject, Close the pages down, and find something else to do.

JJNJustin@aol.com
The alive ii album was them in their hay day them at the height of makeup and fireworks. Someone yells out "boring" during Peter Chris's drum solo. Ace's solo on Shock Me displays "tap-on" hammering techniques even before Eddie Van Halen. Double Platinum is a cheesy self-congratulatory compilation. Kiss always sounded better live. The solo albums were efforts to keep Ace and Peter from going solo. Ace's solo album is pretty cool, although the other three were just made so there would be four of them. Ace had a hit "Back in the New York Groove". However, he played abominal versions of it in concert, as he was blitzed on whatever he was blitzed on.

Dynasty was "sign of the times" as disco was in vogue. And amazingly, Paul adapted and wrote two disco-ish tunes. Ace threw in three songs which were pretty good for him, filling in the void left by Gene. Gene was burned out in these days , dating Cher. Peter was constantly bitching about not being happy with success and finally after a bit of game playing they let him go and hired Eric Carr. To fans of the Alive II KISS stage show, KISS would never be the same. It was the end of an era. Was it? Whos KISS anyway? People who hadnt even listened to them were sorry Peter left. The Elder, like Dynasty and Unmasked was an attempt to find a new image, possibly unmasked, as they suggested in 1980 with their album title. They cut their hair short, sang weird songs about heros, used keyboards and acoustic guitar. Finally in 1983 with the Heavy Metal explosion of the 1980's, they let go of Ace, picked up Vinnie Vincent and went Heavy Metal with Creatures of the Night and Lick it Up. Both were great KISS albums and revived interest of fans of EARLY KISS, fans who were fed up with the hype and commercial saccharine of the midde and late seventies. Paul was writing and singing at an extremely professional level. He had come a long way from 1974. Gene had a renewed interest in the music, possibly having his fill of success and Eric Carr being a much harder rock drummer and easier to work with. It seemed like the KISS boat was riding again, except Vinnie Vincent decided he was too talented to stay with dynosaur dog fart rock and left. This crippled the middle eighties effort, Mark St. John, (why is his name St.? anyways?) and finally Bruce Kulick was a good ole new york guy and got along with the band. Finishing out the 80's with poof hair and more makeup on their "non-makeup" faces than when they wore the war paint they continued into the 90's, mostly looking back on their illustrous careers as elder statesmen of rock.

The reunion concert unplugged was something of pure dynamite and magic which somehow fizzled out into the 5-minute hard boiled egg of Psycho Circus, which proves that years of drug and alcohol abuse really dose effect men in their mid life crisis. Peter Criss spent the remainder of his KISS assets on plastic surgery so that he didnt look his real age (72) and Ace Frehely just kept laughing to himself about something he thought was funny. That performance of 2000 man on unplugged was something out of this world. There was pure magic when the roar went up in the crowd. The magic was still there. Thanks Ace. I'll remember that song the rest of my life. If I really admire any of the guys in the band, it's Ace. I really like his attitude about life. minus the drugs. and the booze. and the guns. and the nazi fixation. and the gay sex.

thosefour@cablerocket.com
LOL after reading this page. I laughed many times, and I came to the conclusion that you boys have penis envy when It comes to the oh-so-smokin-hot Paul Stanley!

*giggles*

mbernfeld01@comcast.net
I'd give it 4/10.

duckrule@bellsouth.net
KISS is definitely a stage band and I have to admit their music sucks. I think that KISS deserved to be the best band back then but now they should just retire. I'll have to sick with MetallicA all the way. I give this page a 6/10.

troytheisen@msn.com
Hey Prindle,

What gives you the audacity to even remotely assume that you've got some kind of inside track on what is good music and what isn't.

NEWSFLASH: YOU DON'T KNOW JACK SHIT!

Most of your reviews lack substance and solid objectivity to back up your hellacious idiocy.

HEY FUCKSTICK PRINDLE, GO BACK TO WHATEVER PIECE OF SHIT HOLE YOU CRAWLED OUT OF!!!!!

judithmcdowell@msn.com
I am 35 years old......Ever since I was a little boy, KISS has been a HUGE part of my life!! Don't agree? ----OFF!!

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Jigoku-Retsuden - Sony Music Japan 2008
Rating = 9

I gotta warn ya, I'm a big Kisp fan so when I heard they were re-recording all their old hits exclusively for Japan, I was like "Heck yeah!" and shot my fist into the air. I have a low ceiling though so that sucked.

Admittedly, I was a little concerned since half of the current band wasn't even around when they were making hits. Sure, long-time leaders Stanley "The Bandit" Eisen and Chaim "The Demon" Witz are still around, but don't look here for Paul "The Spaceman" Frehley or George "The Catman" Criscuola! For that matter, don't look for Paul "The Fox" caravello, Vincent "The Ankh Warrior" Cusano, Bruce "The Member Of Grand Funk Railroad" Kulick, or Mark "The Cerebral Hemmorhage" Norton either, because you're going to be left high and dry without a paddle.

But don't hop into that Kisp Koffin yet! It's time to "Shout It Out Loud" because Tommy "The Replacement Spaceman" Thayer and Eric "The Third Or Fourth Catman" Mensinger bring all the guts, volume and ass-kickitude to these Kisp Klassics that anybody could ever dream!

They really rummage through a sizable portion of their catalog for hits too, ripping out three smashes from Destroyer, two anthems each from Kisp and Love Gun, and one monster apiece from Hotter Than Hell, Dressed To Kill, Rock And Roll Over, Dynasty, Creatures Of The Night, Lick It Up, Animalize and Hot In The Shade! Unfortunately the only Kisp records I own are Unmasked, Music From "The Elder," Asylum, Crazy Nights, Revenge, Carnival Of Souls and Psycho-Circus so I was all like "Huh?" the whole time. Don't think I wasn't banging my fist while saying "Huh?" though, because I was! I bent down to do so, to avoid further injury to the knuckle on my bird finger.

Don't worry that Kisp tried to "jazz" up their old hits either; a guy told me that these versions sound sexACTly like the original recordings, and were very much intended to. He noted that "I Was Made For Lovin' You" sounds a bit less gay here, and that the "Detroit Rock City" vocals aren't quite as astonishingly killer as before, but otherwise dig in and taste great! This is one Re-Recorded Greatest Hits Album you won't want to do without! Unless you already own all the songs on some other Kisp greatest hits album, in which case there's absolutely no point in buying these carbon copy re-recordings of them.

Okay, modern production maybe, but who doesn't love the '70s? Remember bellbottom hair? And Light-Bright?

Eric Mensinger sings "Black Diamond" here, so don't freak out when an unfamiliar voice jumps out of the speakers at you. Also, am I nuts or does the chorus of "Forever" sound like the pussy-assiest Survivor homecoming dance ballad ever recorded? I'd like to thank co-songwriter Michael Bolton for that career highlight.

So it's official: Kisp is back, and this time it's a "Hell Intense Transmission"!

(Apparently that's what "Jigoku-Retsuden" translates to. But I wouldn't be surprised if Kisp just made a Japanese typo and it was actually supposed to be called Kisp Klassics or something)

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Sonic Boom - Universal 2009
Rating = 6

First of all, if you want to do any Wikipedia research on "Kiss," be prepared to see this photo about 4,000 times:

...unless of course, your brain has the capacity to retain important information like "When you type 'Kiss' into Wikipedia, it takes you to an entry about kissing, not the band 'Kiss', dumbass."

Kiss's recent trip through Yesterdayland (the recording of Jigoku-Retsuden) apparently reminded Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley how they used to write songs, because this fun-as-dirt album sounds like old-timey Kiss outtakes come home to roost! I suppose one could argue that this isn't the freshest set of riffs in the world -- in fact, I would make this very argument -- but the astonishing thing is that it doesn't suck at all. With every single song recalling either their cheery '70s pop metal ("Russian Roulette," "Yes I Know," "Never Enough," "Hot And Cold," "When Lightning Strikes"), their two-fisted '80s hard rock ("Modern Day Delilah," "Danger Us," "All For The Glory," "Say Yeah") or even, believe it or not, their short-lived '90s Sab-grunge groove and power ballad phases ("I'm An Animal" and "Stand"), Sonic Boom has Kistory tied up in a bow with a big frilly cheesecake on top!

However, historical accuracy aside, I simply cannot give this record a higher grade than 6. There are simply too many retreads of well-trodden melodic ground [ex. "Never Enough" = "Saturday's Alright For Fighting"; "Danger Us" = "S.O.S. (Too Bad)"], not to mention dopey sex lyrics like "Open up, let your backbone slip," "Baby, feel my Tower of Power" and "Nobody's perfect, but I come pretty close/Nobody's perfect -- baby, it's time to take off your clothes!" However, there are no truly awful songs on here, which is astonishing considering their age and recent recorded history. "Modern Day Delilah" and "Say Yeah" are nice butt-kickers for sure, and any band would be proud to pen choruses as hooky as "We're all for one and we're all for the glory!" and "If it's too hot, you're too cold. If it's too loud, you're too old!"

Also, I'd like to call your attention to the song "Stand" for three reasons:

1. If you're familiar with Mark Prindle's CD-R Stop, Drop & Roll, you might also be aware that his '70s live album parody "Hot Rockin' 2nite" employs crowd cheers from Kiss Alive to give it that 'live' feel. With "Stand," Kiss repays Mr. Prindle for this honor by beginning the song with two bars of "Hot Rockin' 2nite"!!!! And I know what you're thinking: "Hay Mark, trust me -- Kiss has never heard of you let alone your shitty music," but LISTEN TO THE FUCKIN' THING! They're playing my song! All three difficult chords of it!
2. If you ever wondered what it would sound like to pair a Tuff Hard Rock verse with a corny pop ballad chorus, look no further! (except for the toilet, to vomit)
3. Listen to the multi-part harmonies around the 3:00 mark. This is KISS!?!!?!? It sounds like the Beach Boys of Mike Love fame!

And those are the three reasons I'd like to call your attention to the song "Stand."

If you're a Kiss fan, buy the hell out of Sonic Boom and sing along til your mouth falls off. But if you're sitting there thinking, "If the best they can do is copy their old songs, what use are they!?," then congratulations on the Mensa award, Mr. Genius.

Reader Comments

Antdompeg@aol.com
Kiss were one of the First bands to introduce Cock into the straight world of Rock. Their large Cocks and makeup was evened up with big dumb riffs and cocky lyrics about sex and drugs. Dumb people loved them, mainly because they could relate to the Dumb music. “The more dumb riffs, the better” said Simmons during an interview. “No member has talent” says Stanley “But 90% of Cock has no talent.” Every song sounds the same and they have no fans under 400 pounds. Every fan of their “army” has been in jail at least once and each one has a love for Cock. Intelligent fans of music have always stayed away from their shows, their blood spiting on Stage has attracted the most savage of people to ever exist. A band that has no talent or substance at all, almost single handily killed rock n roll, still has a large following. But for all us intelligent fans, we must stay away. No matter how big their Cock’s and Dumb riffs are, we can avoid Cock-Rock. Once and for all.

Jim Hull
D/l'd this from the interwebs a month or two ago.

I really think that Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have rejuvenated the band a little bit--if that's even possible. At any rate, I really enjoyed Thayer's playing on this album, in which (in my opinion) he really tries to provide a 70's-era Kiss (read: Ace) guitar feel on the solos and riffs on this record.

Songs are pedestrian, quite frankly, with a couple of exceptions, but they're well-played and auto-tuned to perfect pitch, so there's that. Stanley's a trooper, but voice is gone.

Can't give it more than a 5, but it was a definite improvement over their last few records.

Mark Lechman
Well I liked it. It wasn't Destroyer or Love Gun but then it wasn't Hot in the Shade either. I think the band did a great job of sounding like KISS, which is something that's been missing for too long. Personally, I think some of Gene's best work in years is on this record and it definitely dominates the set. Paul's voice is shredded and he couldn't quite get the time machine to go back any further than Animalize, which is a shame but it's still better than most of the stuff on Psycho Circus. He also needs to stop trying so hard to write the next great anthem. It's only gonna happen when you're NOT trying, Paul, come on! As for the sidemen I thought limiting Thayer to Ace's style was obviously forced, but VERY welcome nonetheless, and how weird is it that Eric Singer sounds like Peter Criss on this record? I don't know if this is a "great" KISS record or not, but I do know I reach for it a hell of a lot more than I have for any other KISS record in recent years short of the Unplugged album. Oh and the makeup still sounds exactly as I remember it. Well done, guys!

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