Kiss – The Box Set (Disc Three 1976-1982) – Album Review (Part 4 of 6)

Welcome back to Part 4 of the 6 Part series. We have already talked about the Box Set and its packaging in Part 1 and we have covered Disc 1 and Disc 2 in the set.  For those, we got about 20 unreleased tracks between those two.  Quite impressive.  For Disc Three, we only get 3 unreleased tracks.  Rather a big let down after the first two.  As a result, I will also talk about the other songs on here to make it a fair representation.

Disc Three covers the years 1976-1982, which were some very rough years for the band. Coming off the fantastic Alive II album, the band released 4 solo albums, Dynasty, Unmasked, The Elder and Creatures of the Night.  Creatures being the only album that was truly fantastic…one of their absolute best.  The others were not so great.  The solo albums were a mixed bag, Dynasty was too Disco, Unmasked was too Pop and I don’t know what the hell The Elder was (I like it better as I am older).  Kiss lost a lot of fans during this era and probably for good reason.


Disc Three contains 19 songs covering all the album I mentioned above and then some.  Like the albums from this time, the songs for me are a mixed bag as well.  It starts off with “Detroit Rock City” and omits the opening intro which is a version I don’t have so I will gladly take it.  The next song is “King of the Night Time World” off the Alive II album.  This is the only live song off that album which to be honest, I am a little surprised.  Instead, we get two of the studio tracks from that album which more than makes up for it as the songs are “Larger Than Life” and “Rocket Ride”, with “Rocket Ride” being one of my favorite Ace Frehley tracks.  It rocks out quite nicely.


The next batch of songs are from the solo albums.  You get one from each of the band members and even including one from Peter’s which really kills the tempo of the disc.  Sorry, but I can’t get in to the Peter album even after 40 years.  The cool thing out of this batch is the Gene Simmons solo album song is the demo to “Radioactive”.  On the demo, Gene played all the instruments and did the singing and it shows. It is a rough mix, but it does shows the potential and fun in the song.  Gene almost gave the song up to Jerry Lee Lewis, but Bill Aucoin talked him out of it.  On the studio version, Bob Seger and Joe Perry both appear on the song.


The next two tracks are off the Dynasty album and are the typical fare being that it is the two big hits from that one.  Kinda predictable and safe choices.  Then we get 2 songs from Unmasked, one being the Australian favorite “Shandi” and the other a live version of “Talk to Me” sung by Ace.  Always love me some Ace.  This live version is previously unreleased and is from the band’s 1980 tour in Australia which was a huge tour for them as they were basically dead in the U.S.  They were kings in Australia.What is cool is that it is also Eric Carr on the drums as Peter was no longer in the band.

Another song from Unmasked is the original demo for the song “You’re All That I Want”.  The demo is called “You’re All That I Want, You’re All That I Need” and was actually recorded in 1977.  The opening guitar sounds really familiar and overall the demo is really great.  Gene’s vocals are a little rough, but it is demo, what do you expect.


For the album The Elder, we are treated to two songs including the beautiful “A World Without Heroes” and then strangely “The Oath” which is not my favorite from that album but it will do.  After the disaster of The Elder, Kiss rushed to get a greatest compilation album out to stop the bleeding and they delivered strongly with Killers which also included 4 new tracks.  One of those tracks is on here and it is my favorite from that album called “Nowhere to Run”.  One of Paul’s best performances in my humble opinion.


And lastly we get three songs from Creatures of the Night and the compilation goes out on a high note as you can’t go wrong with any song from this album.  Creatures saw the band get back to their heavier, rock sound and deliver one of their best albums, Top 5 for me!!  The songs are “Creatures of the Night”, “War Machine” and “I Still Love You”.


And there you have it.  Disc Three only has 3 previously unreleased tracks, but at least they were three solid tracks to enjoy.  The disc suffers from the fact it is a dividing era of the band.  You either like it or you don’t…okay maybe you are somewhere in the middle.  There are some really strong points, but so lows as well.  All in all, I will still give it a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars as I still enjoy it and at least there were some unreleased tracks that will keep it interesting for me.

Check it out and let me know what you think. If you want to go back and read Part 1, click on the link below:

Up next is Disc Four 1983– 1989 (Part 5 of 6)

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