Kiss – ‘Kiss 40’ (2014) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

By this time in the Kiss World, things are kind of boring. There are no more studio albums and doesn’t look like there will ever be. The band is touring regularly meaning they are basically doing Summer Tours with another Big Named Band. And for their 40th, that Big Name Band was none other than Def Leppard…yes, I saw that show and Leppard was freaking fantastic and Kiss was good. But it was still exciting because the band was celebrating their 40th Anniversary (which was really 2013 if I’m not mistaken)…regardless, it was time for the band to release another Greatest Hits Compilation…yes…just what we needed!! That is supposed to be very sarcastic so if you could read as such, that would be great!!

They did make this compilation a little interesting. Being the 40th Anniversary, they picked one song…and I mean only 1 song…from each and every album release they have had over the years. That means, that picked a song from all studio albums, including the solo albums, they picked one from every live album and every greatest hits package and every box set. How many bands can say when they pick one song from every release they can have 40 songs…probably none. And actually they couldn’t either. There were 4 extra songs added to get to the 40 and we will talk about that later.

Not every song was the album version though. They did throw in some Single Mixes such as “I Was Made for Loving You” from Dynasty, Radio Edits like “Jungle” from Carnival of Souls, an edited version of “Shout It Out Loud” from Alive II and an edited version of “Psycho Circus’ from Psycho Circus that had the beginning instrumental piece edited out. They weren’t all the cookie cutter songs straight off the release.

The package was a 2 CD set and also included a booklet chock full of band pictures from over the 40 years of Kiss. All the members of the band are there. You have Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. All members are in the pictures and on the 40 tracks, every member of the band is at least on one song. That right there makes this a cool set in that every member is represented. I don’t think any of their other compilations can say that…well…maybe they can but I am not going to go look and verify.

As I said earlier, there were 4 songs that were added to the album that were unreleased. The first is a demo fo the song “Reputation”. The song is written and sung by Gene Simmons and is a demo from the “Love Gun” sessions. It is definitely not in finished form but is cool enough. It features some funky piano, some heavy bass and isn’t a bad song but not as good as anything on Love Gun that Gene did which is probably why it was left off. The song is really long at over 5 minutes and it does have a solo, in fact, it sounds like a dueling guitar solo which I’m not sure they’ve done much or any of that before. The song would eventually morph in to the song “Radioactive” off Gene’s solo album and is on here as a matter of fact. Now you can also get this version of the song on the 2 CD set of Love Gun which has a lot of demos from that album’s recording.

There were also three live versions of songs that were never released commercially. Back in the early 2000’s, they used a service called Instant Live on their tours. What that was when the shows ended, you could buy that actual show on CD that night of the show. They took three songs from the three separate tours. You got a live version of “Deuce” from July 4th, 2004 in Pittsburgh from the Kiss Instant Live. Then you get “Cold Gin” from 2008 off the Kiss Alive 35 and finally “Crazy, Crazy Nights” from 2010 off the Kiss Sonic Boom Over Europe and since I don’t have too many live versions of this song, I love having it.. I don’t have any of the Instant Live releases so these versions are very cool to have.

Now I am not going song by song because that is not how my greatest hits reviews go. If you want commentary on the songs, click on the links below as I go through a lot of detail on each album the songs are from. This compilation might not be a great introduction to the band as it isn’t really all their hits. They are scattered around in various forms on here, but not necessarily their best versions. However, I find this compilation to be great though as I like the concept of one song from every album and that at least had them thinking outside the box. Now, did they pick the best songs off each album, no, because I would have picked “Nowhere to Run” off Killlers and not “Down On Your Knees”, but still cool concept. I will still give this a solid rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars as it is a decent, out of the ordinary greatest hits compilation. I would’ve picked some different songs, but that is being picky on my part. They need to let me pick the songs for the next one. Thanks for hanging around.

Next Up: Kiss – Kiss Rocks Vegas (2016)

Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!

The Kiss Review Series:

  1. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
  2. Kiss – Kiss (1974)
  3. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell (1974)
  4. Kiss – Dressed to Kill (1975)
  5. Kiss – Alive! (1975)
  6. Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
  7. Kiss – “Flaming Youth” 45 Promo Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
  8. Kiss – Special Kiss Album For Their Summer Tour (1976)
  9. Kiss – The Originals (1976)
  10. Kiss – Rock & Roll Over (1976)
  11. Kiss – Love Gun (1977)
  12. Kiss – Alive II (1977)
  13. Kiss – Double Platinum (1978)
  14. Kiss – Paul Stanley (1978)
  15. Kiss – Gene Simmons (1978)
  16. Kiss – Peter Criss (1978)
  17. Kiss – Ace Frehley (1978)
  18. Kiss – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Movie (1978)
  19. Kiss – Dynasty (1979)
  20. Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition)
  21. Kiss – Unmasked (1980)
  22. Peter Criss – Out of Control (1980)
  23. Kiss – Music From The Elder (1981)
  24. Kiss – Killers (1982)
  25. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1982)
  26. Kiss – Lick It Up (1983)
  27. Kiss – Animalize (1984)
  28. Wendy O. Williams – WOW (1984) (Bonus Edition)
  29. Kiss – Animalize Live Uncensored (1985)
  30. Kiss – Asylum (1985)
  31. Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” 7″ Single (Bonus Edition) (1985)
  32. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1985 Re-Issue)
  33. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986)
  34. Black N’ Blue – Nasty Nasty (1986)
  35. Ace Frehley – Frehley’s Comet (1987)
  36. Kiss – Exposed VHS (1987)
  37. Kiss – Crazy Nights (1987)
  38. Kiss – “Crazy Crazy Nights” – 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
  39. Kiss – “Reason To Live” – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition)
  40. Kiss – Chikara (1988)
  41. Kiss – Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (1988)
  42. Kiss – Hot In The Shade (1989)
  43. Kiss – “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II” (1991) – 12″ Picture Disc
  44. Kiss – Revenge (1992)
  45. Kiss – Alive III (1993)
  46. Kiss – Konfidential VHS (1993)
  47. Kiss – Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved (1994)
  48. Kiss – MTV Unplugged (1996)
  49. Kiss – You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! (1996)
  50. Kiss – Greatest Kiss (1997)
  51. Kiss – Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
  52. Kiss – Psycho Circus (1998)
  53. Kiss – The Second Coming Documentary (1998)
  54. Eric Carr – Rockology (1999)
  55. Mark St. John – Mark St. John Project (1999)
  56. Eric Singer Project – ESP (1999)
  57. Bruce Kulick – Audiodog (2001)
  58. Kiss – Kiss Symphony: Alive IV (2003)
  59. Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004)
  60. Kiss – Rock the Nation Live! DVD (2005)
  61. Kiss – Alive! The Millennium Concert (2006)
  62. Paul Stanley – Live to Win (2006)
  63. Kiss – Kissology: Volumes 1 to 3 (2006-2007)
  64. Kiss – Jigoku-Retsuden (2008)
  65. Kiss – Sonic Boom (2009)
  66. Kiss – Monster (2012)
  67. Kiss – The Casablanca Singles 1973-1982 (2012)
  68. Kiss – Kiss 40 (2014)

The Bootleg Series:

  1. Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
  2. Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
  3. Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
  4. Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
  5. Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
  6. Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
  7. Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
  8. Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
  9. Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
  10. Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
  11. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
  12. Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
  13. Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
  14. Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
  15. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)

Kiss – The Box Set:

  1. The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
  2. The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
  3. The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)
  4. The Box Set – Disc Three 1976-1982 (Part 4 of 6)
  5. The Box Set – Disc Four 1983-1989 (Part 5 of 6)
  6. The Box Set – Disc Five 1992-1999 (Part 6 of 6)

Gene Simmons – The Vault:

  1. Part 1 – The Grand Opening
  2. Part 2 – Disk 1
  3. Part 3 – Disk 2
  4. Part 4 – Disk 3
  5. Part 5 – Disk 4
  6. Part 6 – Disk 5
  7. Part 7 – Disk 6
  8. Part 8 – Disk 7
  9. Part 9 – Disk 8
  10. Part 10 – Disk 9
  11. Part 11 – Disk 10
  12. Part 12 – The Bonus Disk
  13. Part 13 – The Best Songs of the Vault
  14. Part 14 – The Worst Songs of the Vault
  15. Part 15 – The Final Verdict

43 thoughts on “Kiss – ‘Kiss 40’ (2014) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

  1. A very odd tracklisting, but a cool one nevertheless. This was the first Kiss disc I heard, and I was pretty cold on them until very recently when i got Double Platinum.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d definitely agree. Though this introduced me to “Radioactive” and the orchestral “Detroit Rock City” so it’s pretty damn good in its own right

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nowhere to Run KILLS Down On Your Knees.

    For the sake of completion, you still need the Japanese version to get the live cut of Hell Or Hallelujah, not to mention the single disc for Samurai Son!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m the biggest KISS fan around, but I also know that they were very much trend followers rather than setters, at least after the first five years or so. Listening to the “40” set today and “Jungle” comes on. Many people view “Carnival Of Souls” as KISS’ grunge effort. The similarity between 1997’s “Jungle” and Alice In Chain’s 1994 song “Would?” is pretty stark.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t it a pain trying to showcase sarcasm through text? LOL! Reading all these Kiss reviews is making me curious about how much money you spent on this band haha!


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