We are now in 1994 and it has been almost 2 years since the band’s last studio album. At this point in the timeline, there is no work being done on a new album either. Kiss was in limbo to some degree. But the motors were turning and the band thought to celebrate their 20 years in music, they would do a Tribute album which would be performed by artist that were big at the time of 1994. Tribute albums were big in the early 90’s as there a ton, so this was not an original idea by the band. I believe they had run out of original ideas years earlier.
The band had over 100 bands that wanted to do songs including such acts as Sir Mix A Lot and Smashing Pumpkins. Hell, even Kurt Cobain and The Melvins did a song together, but sadly it came in too late to be included on the album. They had settled on 12 acts to perform 12 Kiss Klassics…sorry Classics. These song wouldn’t be straight up renditions as each band was allowed to do something different to the songs and make it special in their own way.
Before we get to the music, let us talk about the packaging a little. Now, if you notice the cover art, the make-up for Ace isn’t shown and that is because Kiss didn’t own Ace’s make-up design. At this time, Ace still owned it. The band didn’t get permission from the right people in time for the album’s release so that is why it is absent. Instead, you get Paul’s original design with the bandit style make-up on the little boy.
Extreme has been around since 1985, but there debut album didn’t come out until 1989 and that one wasn’t as successful. However, their second album ‘Pornograffitti’ took them to the next level and brought them in to the mainstream. It was that album that I became a fan and it was through the song “More Than Words” that introduced me to the band. That song was nothing like the rest of the album and thank goodness. What I found on their records was a much more interesting band.
Extreme had an intelligence to their music and lyrics. For the first couple of albums, there was a childlike whimsy to the lyrics, but musically they were heads and shoulders above everyone else. They were lumped in to the Hair Band genre which was unfair as they weren’t anything like those bands. What I also loved about them is their use of Portmanteau. They way they would meld two words together to make a new one. They did this on all but one album…you have Pornograffitti, Politicalamity, Evilangelist and Americocaine. These songs always tackled a very serious topic in a very intelligent way.
The band broke up between 1996 and 2004, but thankfully got back together. They have only released 5 albums to date which is way too few. We need more. Until then, we will rank their 5 albums from the Worst to the First. I hope you enjoy.
WORST – SUADADES DE ROCK (2008):
If this is the band’s worst album, then dang, the rest must be incredible because this is a really great album. So why is it at the bottom? I will tell you. First, I have only had 10 years with this album and the rest I have had 25-30 years. Second, there are more tracks I didn’t like on this one then the others. Simple enough. I didn’t like the opening track “Stars” for starters and a few others, plus I actually had a few issues with Gary Cherone’s vocals. They weren’t as crisp as before. Musically though, this thing is great.
For My Sunday Song #142, we are going with a song by underrated Van Halen singer Gary Cherone. The song is “Once” off the album Van Halen III. The song wasn’t a single and the album wasn’t a hit, but it had some great songs and Gary Cherone (singer for Extreme) never got the recognition he deserved for this album. So we will give it here.
“Once” is an epic song at over 7 minutes long. It opens with the piano and is a much slower tempo song. There is a mystical and yet eerie feel to the song. And even a sadness as it seems to be about love loss. It is filled with so many layers and textures that you hear something different each time you give it a listen. It has an almost early Genesis feel to it.
The song focuses on the groove with the piano and Gary’s voice which is actually also understated in the song. but Eddie’s guitar work is also sensational. He dances in and out of the song and during the long instrumental break of the song, he is trying all sorts of things. It seems to be a very experimental song for them and I thought it worked as it was so different than everything else Van Halen had done.
Interesting on the song is that bass is played by Eddie and not Michael Anthony. In fact, on Van Halen III, Michael only played bass on 3 tracks. His time was numbered with the band by this point for sure.
Another Friday and another long list of New Releases. The wife has gone to Michigan to tour lighthouses with her parents and left me with the kids. I am going to need something to listen to so I don’t go crazy this weekend. Good thing there are a bunch I am interested in listening to…and they are highlighted in Blue!
Tenth Avenue North – Followers – (Provident): Tenth Avenue North is a pop/rock Christian band out of Florida. They have been playing since 2000, but their first album didn’t come out until 2008. Now on their 5th album, I am expecting more of the same energy from the new album and looking forward to it.