Kiss – ‘Rock And Roll Over’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the massive success of ‘Destroyer’, the band was riding high. Now the hard part, following up a massive album.  Despite the success of the prior album, there were many fans who didn’t like the direction Kiss was going. They felt the rawness of the band was missing. It was that rawness they loved.  They weren’t alone, Ace and Peter felt the same way.  They did not want to repeat what Ezrin had done, but Gene and Paul didn’t want to completely throw it away either.

So, Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce.  They camped out at the Star Theater in Nanuet, New York i hopes to have a live feel for the album to make sure they capture the true essence of the band.  And whether or not they did is still up for discussion.  You get a mixed bag of thoughts on the production of this album, I will just say I think it is one of their most consistent albums they have done and we will get in to the meat of it later.

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Kiss – “Flaming Youth” – The 45 Single (1976) – Bonus Edition (The Kiss Review Series)

Welcome back to the Kiss Review Series.  Today we are doing a little bonus edition.  As I am going through the band’s releases, I am going to throw in different items from my collection that aren’t part of the band’s normal album releases.  Singles, promos or whatever I can come up with.

Since we just talked ‘Destroyer’ in the last review, these next two posts are specifically related to that album.  The first is this 45 Single of the song “Flaming Youth”.  Now, I am cheating here as I wrote a review on this years ago, so I am re-doing it here so it is now a part of the Kiss Review Series.  I hope you like it.

I had this big box of vinyl that I found in my attic that started my new vinyl obsession about 4 years ago.  This is another 45″ Single in that big box of vinyl and it is from the Kiss album ‘Destroyer’.  The song was “Flaming Youth” and it was only a promotional single and not intended for resale.  How we ended up with it or where we got it, I am not sure.

The B-Side of the single is also “Flaming Youth” which I find interesting because the true B-Side of the Single released for the album was “God of Thunder”.  Both sides of the disc say Side A. Maybe I have a nice collectors piece…if so, I wish it was in better shape.

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Kiss – ‘Destroyer’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

With the success of ‘Alive!’, Kiss was saved and in turn, so was their record label Casablanca.  With that new success, the band signed a brand new contract with Casablanca after the band’s manager had threatened to walk.  This time though, Kiss was only given a two album deal which really isn’t a very long contract in those times and showed that maybe the label didn’t have much faith the band would have continued success.

While the band was touring the album ‘Alive!’, they started rehearsing for the new album.  Their success was able to land them a high-end producer in the likes of Bob Ezrin.  His success with Alice Cooper had garnered him some notoriety and was going to take Kiss in a whole new direction. Thankfully, the band was still in tact with Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons.

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Kiss – ‘Alive!’ (1975) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

With ‘Dressed to Kill’ out and sales only slightly better than ‘Hotter Than Hell’, the only thing the band really had going for them was their live shows.  Their record label was nearly bankrupt and Kiss was about to lose their record deal and it was about to all coming to a crashing halt. The band had yet to receive any royalties after their pittance of an advance and their manager, Bill Aucoin, along with the band were ready to sue and get out of the contract.

In a last ditch effort to save the label and the band, Neil thought a Live album was the way to go.  The Live shows is where people finally understood what Kiss was all about.  With Gene Simmons spitting blood and breathing fire, with Ace Frehley’s electrifying guitar solos, Paul Stanley’s charm in his dialogue to the crowd and Peter Criss’ drum riser and solo, Kiss was a Live band that needed to be heard LIVE!!  Plus, this was cheaper than an album, so they could afford to do this route.

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Alive!’ was recorded over four stops on the Dressed to Kill Tour.  You had May 16 at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan, naturally; June 21 at Cleveland Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio; July 20 at RKO Orpheum Theater in Davenport, Iowa; and July 23 at Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey.  With four shows recorded, they could piece together a perfect live album…well…maybe not!

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Tuesday’s Memes – Kiss (Part 3)

We have come to the end of Tuesday’s Memes.  I started it with a little Kiss, so I will end with a little Kiss.  I have been doing this for 3 years I believe so it is time to come to an end.  These are a huge draw to the site, but I am bored with them and need to change things up a little. So for one last time…

“You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best, The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!”

Covid!!!

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Ace & Peter…

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Kiss – ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1975) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

When the band completed ‘Hotter Than Hell’, they quickly went right back on tour.  That album only had the one single, “Let Me Go, Rock & Roll”, which quickly fell from the charts. That wasn’t the only thing that fell quickly, so did the album sales.  Their label, Casablanca, was hemorrhaging money with Kiss on Tour and the album doing poorly.  As a result, the band was yanked off tour to record a new album.

When they get in the studio, the producer for the record was no longer Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise as Casablanca had no money to pay anyone.  So the owner of the record label, Neil Bogart, stepped in and recorded the album.  Which isn’t really a problem as he has a ton of experience…in the pop and dance music world.  Not in Rock & Roll.  And it would be evident as the heavier sound of the band on the first two albums, was a little more pop sounding on this one.  Don’t fret, it still rocked out, but not as hard.

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Imagine you are in a band and you are now starting to write your third album in about a year’s time.  You have to be one heck of a writer to come up with that much music in such a short time.  Well, Kiss didn’t have the songs.  So, what did they do.  They pulled a couple songs from their Wicked Lester Days and re-worked them.  Now, only 8 more to go.  Paul wrote three of them, Gene got two, Ace got one and then Paul & Gene wrote one together and what a song it was.  More on that in a minute. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1975) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Hotter Than Hell’ (1974) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the poor sales of the debut Kiss album and the fact that Casablanca was bleeding money on the tour, Neil Bogart wanted the band to get back in to the studio to record their next album.  While on Los Angeles for a show in August of 1974, Kiss started recording their follow-up.  The band’s line-up was unchanged and the producers were unchanged as Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise were behind the boards again.  And yes, they are to blame for the awful sonics on this record, especially the dull drum sound.

Let me tell you, the band was not thrilled with doing this album in L.A.  These guys are New York guys and this whole new environment was foreign to them and not home.  Put that along side the fact they have had zero time to write new songs, they weren’t being setup to succeed.  They plowed through and by October 22, 1974, the album was released and actually performed worse than the debut album which is no easy feat as that one did poorly.

Before we go in to the music, can we talk about that cover?  Of course we can, it’s my blog.  I remember seeing this cover as kid of maybe 7 or 8 and thinking how cool this was with all the Japanese writing (now not sure I really knew it was Japanese, but it was still cool).  The album concept was done to mimic the look of Japanese comics and if you notice that little character at the bottom…

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That character stands for the word “Chikara” and if you know that then you know that is the name of a greatest hits package by the band that was only released in Japan in 1988.  It is on my grail list to get a copy.  If you are interested, “Chikara” means power. And there were other Japanese lettering on the album cover. The lettering in the top right corner of the album actually means “the shout of hell” which isn’t the same as “hotter than hell”, but not sure if that was the intent or not. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Hotter Than Hell’ (1974) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – ‘Kiss’ (1974) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

On February 18, 1974, the world received their first Kiss album, simply called ‘Kiss’.  But not many people took notice. It only sold around 70,000 copies at the time and quickly faded into existence.  But hold on, before we get in to the album, let’s go back to the first Kiss show one year earlier on January 30th, 1973.  For that show, the band didn’t really wear any make-up.  They had their name, but were just setting out and didn’t know who they were yet. They had the drag/glam look going for them, but the make-up progressed rather quickly.  Each member was discovering their personalities….The Demon (Gene), The Starchild (Paul), The Spaceman (Ace) and the Catman (Peter).  Over the next year, they would settle on who they were and so much more.  And who were they?  They were the following:

  • Paul Stanley – The Starchild
  • Gene Simmons – The Demon
  • Ace Frehley – The Spaceman
  • Peter Criss – The Catman

In early March, the band would finally decide on the make-up, then about a week later, they entered The Daisy in Amityville, NY with famed Led Zeppelin producer and recorded a five song demo.  The same 5 songs we talked about briefly on the Wicked Lester demo album from last week.

Then shortly after that, they were doing a showcase in the Summer and they meet a lad named Bill Aucoin who would become their manager and change their life forever.  But before they signed with Bill, they said he had 2 weeks to get them a record deal.  Not much time for anyone, but for Bill, he made it work.  The band would be the first band to sign with Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Record label on November 1st, 1973.  Quite a busy year.  And yes, I skipped so much, but this isn’t a history lesson, this is an album review.  So why don’t we get to that part now.

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Kiss – ‘Wicked Lester and Progeny Demo Sessions’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series )

Welcome to the beginning of a new series on 2Loud2OldMusic.com.  We are finally tackling the entire Kiss catalog.  As you know, if you follow this site, Kiss is one of my favorite bands and I am amassing quite a vinyl collection.  I have done posts on Kiss over the years (a lot), but I haven’t tackled their main albums and in detail.  I figured, it was finally time to do so.  And what better way to kick it off then with the band right before Kiss was formed…Wicked Lester.  This review is a double review of sorts as this vinyl is a Bootleg and so it is part of my Bootleg Series with Kiss and it will also be the kickoff to the new series as this is where Kiss really began.

I haven’t done a full count, but I am guessing we will wind up with over 50 albums in this review as I will tackle as many Kiss albums as I can including Studio, Live, Greatest Hits, and anything else in my collection.  I will even venture off in to solo albums by the band members or other side projects they have.  It is going to be everything Kiss related.  I have a feeling this will take more than a year to complete, but I think I am up for the task. I hope you are too.  At the bottom of every post, there will be links to all the Kiss Reviews we have done in the past if you want to venture over and check them out.  I hope you enjoy…

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April 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

I can’t believe we are finally to end of April. The days get confusing as we have now been home for at least 6 weeks thanks to Covid-19 and the basic lockdown from the governments to help save our lives.  The month started out with Amazon saying they wouldn’t be delivering any albums as they aren’t “Essential”, what the hell do they know, it is essential to me.  And then the local record stores started shutting their doors which meant no crate digging for a long while.

Somehow, that didn’t stop. My crate digging was done virtually.  Amazon actually delivered music and some of my local record stores posted stuff on line and they would ship or you could go by their house or the store and pick it up.  And that is just what happened.  We learn and we adapt.  Human nature.

First up for the month was an E.P. by a fairly new artist I discovered as the opening act on the Needtobreathe tour. I got to meet him, but his debut E.P and get an autograph.  So when a new E.P. was announced, I was excited, but less so because I didn’t see a Vinyl option.  And then on the day of release, I saw on Amazon a vinyl option. And when I got it, I was pleasantly surprised as it was the E.P. plus all the singles & B-Sides he had released the prior year so I basically got a full album of material. I love little surprises like that.

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