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.
Every year around this time, I like to splurge on something for myself that is not something I would normally buy. One time it was Gene Simmons The Vault, but this time it is a lot more reasonable and yet it still relates to Gene. It is the Gene Simmons MoneyBag Sodas. I’ve been wanting to try these for quite a while and I finally pulled the trigger. You have to order these online unless you live near one of the few stores that actually carry these sodas. I went online and bought the Sample set where you get to pick 4 of the 5 flavors and get a case of 16 drinks. I picked Cola, Root Beer, Creme and Ginger Ale. The only one I didn’t do was Diet…yuck!! Who wants to do diet when it comes to these craft style sodas…not me!! The bottles are glass which is a must for sodas and then one nice feature about the sodas is that they are all made with Cane Sugar…this is supposed to be a good thing, but who really knows if it is any better. I do like the taste with the cane sugar.
I was curious as to how they would ship and they did a great job. I love the fact that the box has the Gene Simmons MoneyBag logo on the shipping box…
And when you open it up, there are a set of 4 card board boxes inside…
When you opened the box, the drink carriers were sitting on top and the all look premium and fantastic…
Back on the Rock the Nation Tour in 2004, Kiss offered the Instant Live CDs. Basically, after the show was over, they burned the show to 2 CDs and sold them so you could instantly walk home with the show in your pocket. The band worked with Live Nation who handled all the recording and distribution of the CDs. Now, not every show on this tour was recorded and that was due to two reasons. 1) The arena was not owned / promoted by Clear Channel Entertainment and 2) there were technical difficulties at the show. Which that would suck if you were expecting a copy.
There are about 32 different shows recorded and this is the first one I’ve ever seen out in the wild, so I bought it. And lucky for me, it was the Charlotte show from Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC which is the town where I live (or just outside of it anyway). The show was from July 28, 2004. Now, only 31 left to get…joking. I don’t think I will go for all of them although that would be fun. However, if I run across any in the wild, I’ll buy them.
The packaging is simple and the same for every city. No setlist is included as each city might be slightly different. If you want the setlist, they give you website to go and download. However, that site doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The way to tell them apart was by a clear sticker with the city, venue and date of the show as seen on the cover at the top of the post. The band was Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons as you’d expect and then Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer who had taken over for Peter Criss on this tour and is still with the band as is Tommy.
The setlist isn’t printed in it so I found it and have listed it below…
Happy Thanksgiving!! Here is what I am thankful for as far as music goes (of course tops is my family and friends).
I am always on the hunt for Kiss Bootlegs and I got another classic one a few weeks back. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and Dylan always has some great stuff out that day. The store opened at 10 and the line had to be long as it always in as everyone wants the good stuff. I had been recovering from surgery and this was my first trip out so there was no way I was getting there early and standing in line. No, I wasn’t doing that. Instead I left the house at a little before 10 and got there around 10:20 am. I figured, if it was meant for me to have it, it would still be there. And guess what, it was still there and I grabbed it!!! Yes, I was excited. Bootleg #21 of Kiss was now in my collection.
This one was an old one. It was from 1981 and was actually a re-issue of the 1978 original release of the album. The people putting out this one spared no expense as the album sleeve is a plain white cardboard with nothing on it. Instead you get a piece of paper with a badly printed picture of the band and the details on the release. That is it. The inner sleeve is white and labels, well, as you see below, there was not much too them. But typical bootleg fashion, the band’s name is not on the label. I love these old style boots, you can’t beat them.
This was recorded live at Los Angeles Forum, California, On August 25, 1977 and this is fresh off the new album at the time, ‘Love Gun’. I’m really excited about this one because I didn’t have a bootleg from the Love Gun Tour…now I do. The band was hungry, young and insanely good at this time. The recording is an audience recording as you can hear a lot of the kids screaming around the person recording the show. But as far as audience recordings go, it isn’t bad. It isn’t the whole show as it is only 11 songs and most of them are from the ‘Love Gun’ album.
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.
Back on June 18, there was another small Record Store Day for those items that were delayed from the main one on April 23. I was on the hunt for the Collective Soul first vinyl release of ‘Disciplined Breakdown’ and the Halestorm Tomb-Shaped Single which I did get both. I wasn’t able to get up and be there when it started so I was worried I would miss out. Around Noon, my youngest daughter and I headed out to our first stop Repo. Repo had the Halestorm, but not the Collective Soul…dang it. And while we there, we figured we’d look around.
I decided to go over to the shelves and look for some Kiss (like there was any chance I was going to find one I didn’t have. The Kiss albums were on the bottom shelf and to properly go through them, you have to sit on the slimy, sticky floor…it wasn’t that bad. When my bones creaked and moaned and I finally got down there, I saw a box sitting across the top of the albums that was not visible from above. A factory sealed Monopoly game with Kiss as the theme!! Hell Yeah!! I had been looking for it for at least a decade or more. And it was factory sealed!! Hell Yeah Again!!
I can’t believe we are on our 20th Review in the Kiss Bootleg Series. Nuts to think I’ve picked up that many. This one is called ‘The Ritz on Fire’ which is from August 12, 1988, The Ritz, New York City. A radio broadcast, from the Crazy Nights tour. This one is not the full show, but sort of a Best Of Compilation of that show. There are a bunch of different ones out there, some with full shows and some like this. I do have a show from the Crazy Nights Tour that was recorded on April 18, 1988 in Osaka, Japan, so I figured I’d grab this one as well as why not, you can never have enough Kiss Bootlegs…obviously or we wouldn’t be on #20.
I have found that this version is one of the few bootlegs that get all the packaging correct. They have the right band members in the pictures (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick) and the right song titles and I don’t see any mistakes which is rare in the Bootleg world.
This is Kiss live much in the same vein as their current “Off the Soundboard” series in that there are no touchups, it is as you heard it when it happened and in this case as it was on the radio broadcast. The first 9 songs on this 10 song set are in order of the original setlist and it isn’t until the 10th song that it jumps ahead a number songs and plays one more. Basically, it is the first half of the show.
We all know Kiss was started by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. But did you know about the band prior to Kiss? It all started with Gene (Chaim Witz) and Paul (Stanley Eisen) in a band called Rainbow with Gene’s friend Stephen Coronel. Paul was the third member and then they brought in a drummer named Joe Davidson. This band didn’t last long at all and hell, the drummer even a shorter time as he was quickly replaced with Tony Zarella. They only played one show before they had to drop the name Rainbow because that name was already being used by some other band (and no, not the Richie Blackmore band).
And that is how Wicked Lester was born. After only a couple shows as Wicked Lester, they were approached by a label and were given the chance to record some demos. After listening to those demos, the label decided that Stephen was not good enough and had to be fired. And since Gene and Paul the upstanding citizens they are, they fired Stephen. I guess you do whatever it takes to make it in this business. Ron Leejack was then brought in for guitar duties and it was time to record the album.
Now the album would take about a year to complete and upon receiving the album and hearing it, the label were not quite thrilled with it…okay, they hated it. Hated it so much, they shelved it and it was never released. Well, never in a full, pure album form. It has been leaked out as a bootleg and that is what we have here.
I’ve found a few Kiss singles lately and this is the last in the bunch…for now. This time around I found the single to the song “Calling Dr. Love” off the band’s 1976 album ‘Rock And Roll Over’. The song was the band’s fourth Top 20 hit going all the way to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the second single on the album which following the success of the album, ‘Destroyer’, went on to sell over a million copies and hit platinum status. Kiss was on a roll at this time and their popularity was growing by leaps and bounds.
A fun fact on the song is that it was written by Gene while he was at a Holiday Inn where I am sure he was “living in sin” (let’s see who gets that reference). The song title was inspired by a Three Stooges film called ‘Men in Black’ which contained a hospital intercom announcement, “Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard.” And thanks to wiki for that reference.
My version is again, the standard U.S. version with the boring Casablanca / Filmworks standard sleeve. No picture sleeve. The B-Side is the Paul Stanley sung song “Take Me”. No special remixes, no unreleased tracks, just the same old stuff, but I still had to have it. I’m a little nuts that way.
A couple weeks ago we talked through the Kiss 7″ Single for “Beth”. I know, I know…the Kiss Review Series will never die as I’ll always keep finding stuff to show off. Now, I found another one of their singles and this one is from their 1977 album ‘Love Gun’. It is “Christine Sixteen” and the song features Gene Simmons on the lead vocals. As far as chart success, it went all the way to #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad!
I say not bad because of the subject matter of the song, a lot of stations wouldn’t play it or would only play it after 7pm as if that made it any better. The basis of the song is about an older man infatuated with a girl of the tender age of 16. That wouldn’t fly at all today, but back then, it wasn’t terrible or unforgivable, merely frowned upon I would say based on the fact it still sold like hotcakes. Imagine the chart position if all the stations played it any time of day.
My version is the standard U.S. version, with no picture sleeve. It has the standard Casablanca/Filmworks sleeve which is pretty basic. The B-Side of the song might actually be better than the A-Side is it is Ace Frehley’s song “Shock Me”. More on that later. First let’s discuss the A-Side.