As I said a few weeks back when I reviewed the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set, 1982 was a pivotal year for Kiss. After the disaster of their last album, ‘Music from the Elder’, Kiss were in a do or die situation. They needed to get back to their hard rock roots and show the world that Kiss was still Kiss. Producer Michael James Jackson was brought in to produce the album and Kiss new they needed to rock. Heck, Eric Carr was telling them that all the time…and he was right. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set, but that set was only CDs (and a lot of goodies). They also released a 3-LP Deluxe Edition Vinyl set to commemorate the album as well. And that is what we will review this time around.
The 3-LP set has the original album remastered, a set of Demos, Rarities and Outtakes and the 3rd LP is a live set with songs taken from various shows. It doesn’t have any where near as much as the box set, but if you have the Super Deluxe, you don’t need that stuff again. This set does have a 20 page booklet as well.
The album is packaged in a tri-fold album jacket with some stunning pictures included. The first two spaces have a large group photo, then on the 3rd tri-fold, you get individual shots of the members on both the front and pack of that section. Although the cover has Ace, these pictures all include Vinnie, who is actually on the album…not all songs, but most.
1982 was a pivotal year for Kiss. After the disaster of their last album, ‘Music from the Elder’, Kiss were in a do or die situation. They needed to get back to their hard rock roots and show the world that Kiss was still Kiss. Producer Michael James Jackson was brought in to produce the album and Kiss new they needed to rock. Heck, Eric Carr was telling them that all the time…and he was right. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is jammed pack with goodness. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have been paying attention to other band’s box sets and now they know how to put one of these together. If you thought the Destroyer 45th Anniversary Box Set was stellar, then this one will make you even happier.
It is jammed pack with 5 discs of music. A remastered edition of the main album; 2 CDs of demos, rarities, outtakes and remixes as well as 2 Live CDs chock full of goodness from various shows in 1982. And you also get a Blu-Ray Audio of the main album and I can’t wait to turn this baby on in surround sound and hear those drums surround the room. But that is not all, not by a long shot. The box set is packed with an 80-page book, posters, stickers, patches, photo cards, buttons, picks and all sorts of information about the band…don’t believe, look at the sticker from the front of the box set…
So sit back and let’s go through the box set in detail with a lot of pictures to show you the beauty of this set.
I had the absolute pleasure of joining Superdekes on his show “Scotch on the Rocks” as we discussed the box set from Kiss for Creatures of the Night…see what Deke has to say about it below, then go watch.
From Scotch on the Rocks:
It’s always a great chat when the Snowman hops on “Scotch On The Rocks” and this time was no different!
We talked of course about KISS and the Creatures album but with more of a personal angle than showing an unboxing video of the super deluxe as there are a hundreds of those kind of videos on Youtube currently.
We basically went back into the time machine to talk about how it was being a KISS fan when KISS wasn’t cool in the early 80’s. We talked about the music included in the various formats like the demo’s and live tracks with Vinnie Vincent in pretty good detail.
Some highlights were….
One of us got sprayed with perfume back in high school wearing a KISS shirt.
One of us also thought that “I Love It Loud” (live) wasn’t on the deluxe set.
One of us has Gene Simmons Money Bag Soda and could be seen swigging from the bottle of the Demon at the end of the show.
Welcome to the November 2022 Purchases update. You will notice that my cover picture is a little different this month. Normally, I have all my purchases stacked on top of the turntable, but there was a problem this time around. My cat, Chandler, decided it was nap time and wouldn’t move. Actually, Chandler naps up there a lot when I am working from home so no big surprise. So, I didn’t want to disturb him as he needs his beauty sleep so I took a picture of him instead. Believe it or not, he is still a kitten as he is only 9 months old. Once full grown he will be 20-25 lbs and won’t be able to fit on the turntable so I am letting him enjoy it while he can.
Okay, enough of that. Let us get to the real reason we are here…the music. And what did I get this month. I will say it was a better month than last one as I went a little nuts on the vinyl this time around and very little on the CDs. First up, I have been holding off on buying Def Leppard stuff on vinyl because I want to see what is in the Collection, Volume 4, but I’m tired of waiting and I realize it is generally not any one specific live album that has already been released, so I bought these three things so I finally had them on vinyl.
Now, I did hit one real record store this month, but didn’t score a bunch. The only thing I picked up from Mad Jack’s are a couple of Asia albums that I didn’t have in my collection for some strange reason. And they were clean!
I love it when I find something completely unexpected. At a record store down in St. Augustine Florida, I came across a CD Maxi Single for the song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” but it wasn’t the Dynasty single, nope. It was the live version in support of the Kiss Alive III album. It is actually a European release and not released anywhere outside of Europe. Score!! I snatched it up just so I could show it off to you guys (and gals).
The single is for “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” off ‘Dynasty’ and I cringed when I saw this the original Alive III album as it is so overplayed, but damn! I think they do a killer job with this one. Might be the best version of this song I have heard live maybe because it is less disco sounding and more rocking. Eric’s drums are very prominent as well as Gene’s bass. The only negative is the backing vocals need a little work. Regardless, it is still a killer track. Track 1 & 3 are recorded live at The Palace of Aubern Hills, Michigan, November 29th of 1992.
We are finally to the end of the Kiss Review Series. And like I like to do at the end of each series is Rank the Studio Albums from Worst to First and we aren’t going to do it any differently here. There are 24 Studio albums and since there are so many, I am keeping the summaries brief and no videos as I usually like to post a video with each album, but just way too many to do this time around.
Kiss began in 1973 and are still around today, but the last studio album was in 2012. It started with the original four – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Then came Eric Carr who replaced Peter Criss; then Vinnie Vincent who replaced Ace Frehley; then Mark St. John to replace Vinnie and then Bruce Kulick replaced Mark; and it continues with Eric Singer replacing Eric Carr after his death and then Peter & Ace came back in and out after the reunion and then finally Tommy Thayer replaced Ace for good. Lots of changes, but Gene and Paul are always the consistent formula that has kept Kiss “Alive” all these years. For the diehard fan, remember, this is my opinion and your favorites are probably going to be different, but it is okay as we both love Kiss. For the newbie, this is a good guideline on where to focus.
Now, if the band ever decides to do another Studio album, I will gladly come back and update this, but it doesn’t look like that will ever happen. If you want to check out the review of each album in detail, there are links at the bottom to all the reviews in the series and there were only 72 of them!! It took me almost 14 months to get through them all and it is still the most fun I have had on the site.
Thanks for spending all this time with me going through the Kiss catalog and my Kiss collection. I hope you enjoyed it. Enough chit chat as there is a lot to get through so sit back, grab a coffee or a beer and enjoy!!
Kiss were plugging along and everything is still right in the world. In 1988, as they were preparing for their Tour of Japan, the label and the band decided to release a greatest hits compilation. The CD was issued on May 25, 1988 and was limited to only 100,000 copies and only released in Japan. The was the 2nd greatest hits package to not be issued in the U.S., the first being 1982’s ‘Killers’. For that fact, this is a hot collector’s item for Kiss collectors and I didn’t even know about it until years after its release and I still don’t have a physical copy of this release (but I will get one someday).
The Japanese character on the back of the case and on the CD might look familiar. It is the same symbol that was on the bottom of the cover art for the band’s 1974 album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’. Eric Carr also used that symbol on his drum kits for quite some time. Chikara is the Japanese word for Power if you are interested in knowing that fact. And when you are looking to buy this CD on ebay or somewhere, the prize to get is the OBI strip with all the Japanese writing. A lot of the ones I’ve seen out there don’t have that strip anymore.
You saw the title to this and you are probably saying to yourself, “John, you’ve already reviewed ‘Creatures of the Night’. Have you lost your rocker?” And the answer to that question is YES! I have reviewed ‘Creatures’ and I am off my rocker. The thing is, the band re-released the album in 1985 for some strange reason. The new line-up of Kiss with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick was riding high. The fans loved the line-up, the last album was successful, the tour went off well, so all was good in the Kiss world. Someone, somewhere in the Kiss camp thought, “Hey, we should re-release the album ‘Creatures of the Night’ because why not.” I have no idea the rational or reasoning behind this at all as it makes no sense.
If you are going to re-release it, why not put a brand new cover on the album with the band without make-up. Check! Why not stick a picture of Gene’s Ass on it in tight-fitting leather pants. Check! Here’s the thing. The picture of the band without make-up has Bruce Kulick on it and if you aren’t aware, he didn’t play on the album. I guess that isn’t a problem because the original picture on the album had Ace Frehley, and if you read my review earlier, you know he didn’t play a note on the album either. So in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter whose picture is on the cover. And here’s the other thing, it was never fun looking at the back cover because there was a giant ass staring you in the face. You felt a little grossed out looking at that….thing!!
Kiss had to get back to their hard rock roots after the disaster of their last studio album ‘Music from the Elder’. The band had been on a downward spiral since ‘Dynasty’ with their sound going softer, Peter Criss leaving the band and now Ace was pretty much done. Due to his disillusionment the last few years with the band, the fact he had no say in anything, his alcohol problem and his prescription drug problem related to a car crash, Ace was done. He was so done in fact, he does not show up anywhere on this album. Well, that isn’t entirely true. Kiss still credited him as a member of the band, his picture is on the cover and he made some public appearances in support of the band including appearing in the music video for ‘I Love it Loud” which he didn’t even play on. After that video shoot though, Ace was no longer in the band.
Kiss was basically a trio for this whole album. Additional musicians and songwriters were brought in to help them write and record this album. Michael James Jackson was brought in as the producer and Michael had worked on the four new songs used on the ‘Killers’ album early in the year. They went in to the studio with the sole purpose of bringing back the heavy rock. Paul’s writing friend, Adam Mitchell, was back to help as well as Jim Vallance, Bryan Adams and Mikel Japp. All these guys co-wrote on the ‘Killers’ album, so it stands to reason that all these songs for both ‘Killers’ and ‘Creatures’ were part of the same writing sessions.
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.