As we discussed back in the 1991 timeline, Eric Carr passed away on November 24, 1991 due to an aneurysm that probably stemmed from the numerous surgeries he had to remove tumors related to his heart cancer. Before his death, Eric was always writing songs as he was a very creative soul. He could write, he could sing and he could play more than just the drums. ‘Rockology’ is a collection of the songs he had been working on prior to his death. These are demos and not necessarily full fledge songs in some cases so keep that in mind. Think of this as his ‘Vault’ because it is very similar in the type of songs you get. You get some fully fleshed out songs, you get some where lyrics are being scatted because their aren’t any yet and you get some straight-up instrumentals.
The album was put together by one of Eric’s great friends and former Kiss bandmate, Bruce Kulick. With the help of Adam Mitchell (co-writer of numerous Kiss songs), they pieced together a collection of songs from old cassettes or where ever they could find them. They would clean them up the best they could, add some backing vocals where appropriate and even Bruce overdubbed some killer solos in a few songs to help complete them. Bruce produced the album and I think this was a wonderful tribute to his old friend and bandmate.
Kiss had released the ‘Music from the Elder’ back in November 1981 and it flopped. The record company was in a panic and needed to get something out so people could forget about the disaster that was ‘the Elder’ so what do they do? Well, they put out a compilation. Phonogram (the band’s European label) requested Kiss go back in and record some new songs for the compilation which they gladly did…well a couple of them gladly did. Ace was pretty much done with Kiss back in 1981 and wasn’t involved at all with any of the new songs. However, he wouldn’t leave the band until after the next album in late 1982. Gene played on them (I think), but didn’t sing or write as he was pretty busy either with his girlfriend Diana Ross or making movies.
The heavy lifting was left to Paul and Eric. Paul wrote or co-wrote all the songs and sang on all of them. The label and band brought in a bunch of outside writers including Mikel Japp, who co-wrote with Paul on his solo album, Adam Mitchell, who would write a lot on the next album ‘Creatures of the Night’, and lastly some guy named Bryan Adams. All the drum work was done by Eric Carr and the late Bob Kulick handled all the lead guitar work just as he did on Alive II, with rhythm guitar on one song done by Mikel Japp. So, I guess it is still Kiss.
For My Sunday Song #137, we are going to ‘Creatures of the Night’ album and the song “Danger” from 1982. This album didn’t do that well for the band and the tour did even worse. Kiss was in turmoil at the time and the band seemed doomed to be at their end. The album eventually did go Gold, but at the time was a failure. Now, it is actually regarded to some as one of their best albums…and I would be in that group.
“Danger” was written by Paul Stanley and Adam Mitchell as the band had been using outsider writers for some time now. Paul had lead vocal duties and Eric Carr was on drums. But those were the only 2 official Kiss members on the song. It was thought for a long time that Bob Kulick played lead guitar, but it was actually Vinnie Vincent who was not yet a full-fledge member of Kiss. Ace, technically, still had that role although he didn’t play on the album. He did get credited with playing and his picture is on the cover.
And if that wasn’t enough, Gene doesn’t play bass on this one either. The bass player was Jimmy Haslip from the jazz fusion group The Yellowjackets. Gene apparently was too distraught over his break-up with Diana Ross to play.