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!!
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.
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.
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.
We are finally on our 5th Producer in the “Producer Extraordinaire” series after a very long break. This time we are focusing on Bob Ezrin as he has produced some very influential albums and albums that have impacted my life like all the producers in this series have. The other producers have been as follows:
Bob Ezrin hails from Toronto, Canada (and I think 2 of the other producers in this series hail from Canada) and has been producing for over 40 years. He has spanned many genres, but it his rock productions that have become the most famous and most notable. He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and has actually never won a Grammy award although he has been nominated once. Let’s discuss his work…
Bob Ezrin has worked with Alice Cooper more times than I can count. He might as well be considered a member of the band. He pretty much did all the big albums in the 70’s and even a couple big ones in the 2000’s. I believe it is a total of at least 13 albums (oh, I guess I can count). Insane. I guess he as much a part of their sound as anyone.
To be a part of such huge albums as “Welcome to My Nightmare”, “School’s Out”, “Billion Dollar Babies” and even Alice’s latest masterpiece, “Paranormal” goes to show the magic that Bob can pull out of an artist. It also makes you wonder would Alice have been Alice without Bob behind the boards…probably, but who knows.
For My Sunday Song #139, “God of Thunder” by Kiss is our menacing topic. The song is off the band’s 1976 classic ‘Destroyer’. Kiss was flying high at this point and unstoppable. “God of Thunder” became Gene’s theme song and is the point in the live show that saw Gene spit his blood and perform his bass solo. It was always awesome.
The song was written by Paul Stanley and he had all intentions of singing it. Producer, Bob Ezrin thought differently. He recommended slowing the song down and letting Gene sing the song. The slow, almost nightmarish beat of the song fit Gene’s personae perfectly.
The song kicks off with a couple children saying…”Okay, ya’ll can start singing”. Those kids were heard throughout the song screaming and making all kinds of noises during the song. Those kids were David and Josh Ezrin, the producer’s kids. There were so many sound effects added to it to give that eerie feeling. Even Ace’s guitar work was done in a way to add more of a darkness feel to the song.
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”.