I know what you are thinking. Why do we need another Kiss Greatest Hits compilation? Honestly, we really don’t. We have tons already and there is nothing new on here that the real fan doesn’t already have. So Why? Well, easy. Kiss was touring their End of the Road tour and they wanted product out there that the casual fan or new fan that they get from all the press can run out and grab. Simple!
But is this something worth getting? As a casual fan…Maybe, but maybe not as well as there are better compilations out there. As the Hard Core Fan….Well, I did buy it if that tells you anything. I had to buy it because I didn’t have it in my ever growing collection. Plus, it is so pretty. Yes, pretty. I bought the Special Edition double LP with Yellow/Red Splatter vinyl.
The packaging is a gatefold with the Group photo on the front and the track listing on the back such as below…
This time around, we have a little bonus edition for you. There is no dramatic story behind this release, it is simple a way to give the fans something kind of cool and the band a little more money. There are no new songs or remixes, these are all songs you already have in some way shape or form. On November 13, 2012, Kiss released the box set, ‘The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982’ collection. It houses all 29 singles the band released on Casablanca Records. They have all been digitally remastered and given some very collectible sleeves from the original single releases from around the world.
Now, this is not going to be review of each song, been there done that with all of the album reviews. No, this is going to be a picture review of the entire box set. You are going to see everything there is to see in this box set. There are over 90 pictures so sit back and enjoy. We will do them in order of each album, but first we will start with the box set itself and the booklet. I hope you enjoy…
The box set is literally housed in a box. There is a flap on the side you open and all the singles and booklet slide right in. It is nice and sturdy. There is a cool effect on the front where the box there is an empty space with a fiery red, orange and yellow swirled backing that gives the Kiss logo its fiery appearance. The box also has an etched metal plaque engraved with the name “The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982 Limited Edition”. But here is the big question…What’s in the Box??
After Kiss released the greatest hits package ‘Chikara’ to Japanese and European audiences, the U.S. finally got its own greatest hits package. This was now the fourth greatest hits set the other two being Killers and Double Platinum. Of the four, the U.S. only saw two official releases. ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’ was released on November 15, 1988. Kiss wasn’t doing much at this time. They were done touring for ‘Crazy Night’, they wouldn’t start working on their next album for about at least half a year or more, Gene had his side projects of his own record label and the band was in limbo.
The album sold pretty well selling over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album did have two brand new songs to help drive fans to buy it (and it worked, I bought it). And like the compilation, ‘Killers’, the two new songs were solely done by Paul Stanley. Gene was not involved yet again as he was too busy. Paul saves the day yet again. The album did contain 15 tracks, but the European release of this album saw 16 tracks which the extra track was “Crazy, Crazy Nights” from the album ‘Crazy Nights’. Apparently in the U.S., they thought that album was too new to include a song on the compilation I guess.
Now my copy of this album is very special. It was autographed by Lori if you look in the Kiss logo on the front cover. I don’t know who she is, but I bet she owned this record many years ago. All I know her signature actually isn’t worth much because it brought down the price of the album by around $50 and I only paid like $15-20 for it. Thanks Lori. You saved me a lot.
Welcome back to the Kiss Review Series. Today we are doing another 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 album review, these last two posts are specifically related to that album. The first was the 45 Single of the song “Flaming Youth”. This one is a Special Promo promoting their Tour in support of ‘Destroyer’. Now, I am cheating here again as I wrote a review on this years ago, so I am redoing it here so it is now a part of the Kiss Review Series. I hope you like it.
In the further adventures of my box full of vinyl, there was yet another Kiss collectible included that I cherish deeply. It was a 33 1/3 Vinyl Single in support of their tour for the 1976 Destroyer Tour. I believe the album was released to radio stations for promo and not available for resale. I actually know it was not available for resale because it says it on the Label of the album.
The album jacket actually says “Not For Resale”, but has been removed from my cover…very strange. The person that removed it was very careful and didn’t cut fully through the front cover…see below.
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.
For My Sunday Song #76, I bring you the Kiss classic, “Detroit Rock City”. The song was the opening track to the album ‘Destoyer’ and it was also the third single in support of the album. However, the song never charted due to the little B-Side on the back called “Beth” (which is a story for another time).
A fan favorite and still played at shows today, “Detroit Rock City has become one of the band’s most recognizable songs behind “Rock & Roll All Nite”. The song was so popular, there was even a movie made called “Detroit Rock City” that Kiss actually appeared in.
The song does mention Detroit, but is really about a young fan that is killed why he was on his way to a Kiss concert. The story is based of an actual event that occurred outside a Kiss concert in Charlotte where a fan was hit by a car and killed outside the arena. Knowing it is based a real life event adds a little extra to the impact of the song.
The song opens with a radio broadcast (the broadcaster is played by Gene Simmons) of the death of a driver killed in a car crash then seques in to the young man getting into his car and heading to the concert playing Kiss’s “Rock & Roll All Nite” on the radio. During the song, you go back and forth between the song and hearing the car drive down the road getting closer to the show. The song ends with the car crashing and immediately goes into the next song on the album “King of the Night Time World”.