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!!
In the last two weeks, I have talked about special Kiss albums or singles in my Big Box of Vinyl and that continues one more time. This time in my big box of vinyl there was one more special Kiss album. Now I bring you ‘The Originals’. This was released on July 21st, 1976 which actually turns out to be 44 years ago just two days ago! Why didn’t I schedule this for Tuesday…who knows. Sometimes I am stupid.
‘The Originals’, as noted on the album cover, are “the albums that touched off a Rock & Roll explosion.” It was a special edition re-release of the albums ‘Kiss’, ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and “Dressed to Kill” in one package. With the overwhelming success of the live album ‘Kiss Alive!’ and ‘Destroyer’, Casablanca Records wanted to take advantage of that success and re-release the albums in one glorious package.
The album comes with a 16-page history booklet, a color Kiss Army sticker, and a sheet of six trading cards. It looks something like this…
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.
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)”→
For My Sunday Song #138, I am going to dive in to the song “She” by Kiss off their 1975 album ‘Dressed to Kill’. “She” is one of only a handful of songs that originated with Wicked Lester which was Gene and Paul’s band prior to Kiss. The song was written by Gene Simmons and Stephen Coronel from Wicked Lester.
The song was originally titled “She Walks By Moonlight” which is the first line of the song. It was inspired by a line in the film ‘Hondo’ which was a western from 1953. The song is basically about sex, go figure. That is one of their favorite subjects.
The original version of the song had a flute, a tambourine and even some congas in it, It was really cool with a real nice groove and had these earthy vocals to them. Very Jethro Tull with that flute. You can hear it on the Kiss Box Set.
Kiss removed all those instrumentations and really beefed up the guitars. The groove was still there, but the song was much heavier and Ace takes it up a notch with the guitar. The solo was even taken from The Doors song “Five to One”. The song for me has this great flow and style and might be one of my favorite tracks from ‘Dressed to Kill’ as it is not a full on rocker in the “anthem” sense, but something really cool and different.