Kiss – “Flaming Youth” – The 45 Single (1976) – Bonus Edition (The Kiss Review Series)

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.

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Kiss – ‘Destroyer’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

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.

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Kiss – The Box Set (Disc Two 1975-1977) – Album Review (Part 3 of 6)

Welcome back to Part 3 of the 6 Part series. We have already talked about the Box Set and its packaging in Part 1 and we covered Disc 1 in Part 2 which covered the years 1966-1975.  That set gave us 12 Unreleased tracks.  This one has a lot, but not quite as many. For Disc Two, we get 8 previously unreleased tracks out of the 20 tracks on the disc.  And it is those 8 tracks we will spend most of our time here today on.  The rest will get covered when I actually do a Kiss series later down the road.

I am sure now you are wondering the what is the track listing for this disc if there are 20 songs and I am going to show you in pictorial form with this picture of the back of the CD case with Paul’s Starchild face covering the whole rear of cover.

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The first four tracks on this are taking from the Alive! album which was released in 1975 and since they are previously released will skip over them and get to the three previously unreleased tracks that come up next.

First we get the song “Doncha Hesitate” which was written by Paul Stanley.  The song was recorded as a demo and one of the few times the whole band would get together to record a demo.  However, there are different stories on when it was recorded.  Gene says it was recorded for ‘Dressed to Kill’ when they were trying to come up with more songs. Paul says it was written after ‘Alive!’ and before ‘Destroyer’ which are both after ‘Dressed to Kill’…so not sure who is write on this one.  The song is great for a demo as it is very raw and rough around the edges, but it falls flat as an overall song which is probably why it was never used.  I do like it though and always great to have unreleased tracks that were not used in any other song.

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Next we get the demo of a song called “Mad Dog”“Mad Dog” was recorded as a demo for the ‘Destroyer’ album along with numerous other songs that Gene had (some of which went on his solo album – not this one).  As they were picking through songs, Bob Ezrin would pick pieces of the demos and they would end of making a new song.  The riff from this song will sound familiar as it would become the riff in the song “Flaming Youth” on ‘Destroyer’. The song kinda sucks, but it has a great solo included and I love the song “Flaming You” so I actually dug this one a bit for that connection.

“God of Thunder” is a demo and the song was originally written and sung by Paul Stanley.  This to me is one of the gems on this Disc because it is so cool to here how Paul envisioned the song.  You can see why Bob Ezrin had Paul give it to Gene to sing because the theme, the sonics and the lyrics all scream Gene’s demon character.  Paul’s version is a faster tempo and less eerie as the final version, but it is fun and a rocking song.

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We go through some songs from ‘Destroyer’ before we get to the next demo which is “Bad, Bad Lovin”.  When you hear this one start up, you know it is the demo for the song that would become “Calling Dr. Love”. The verses are pure “Dr. Love”, but the chorus of “Bad, Bad Lovin” is so bad and doesn’t even fit with the feel and vibe of the verses.  Re-working it become “Calling Dr. Love” was definitely the way to go.  And cool that they put “Calling Dr. Love” as the next song on the album.

“Mr. Speed” is the demo of the song from ‘Rock & Roll Over’.  It is not my favorite song to begin with and this does nothing to make up for that.  This version has Bob Kulick on guitar and not Ace, but it is a demo so no big deal.

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We are going to skip the next batch of songs as they have all been released on albums and we will go to the next unreleased track which is a Soundcheck recording of “I Want You”. It was recorded in August 1977 at the soundcheck  at the Los Angeles forum.  Being a soundcheck, it is loose and a freaking blast!.  I love this song to begin with so any cool version I can get is fine by me.  Another favorite of mine on this disc.

The next demo is of the Kiss Klassic “Love Gun”.  Paul demoed this in New York with drummer Steve Korff of the band The Planets.  Paul played the bass and guitar for the demo.  That machine gun drum fill is the heart & soul of the song and was only replicated by Peter Criss as Paul came up with it.  The demo was pretty complete and sounds really close to the final version so not much was tweaked on this one.

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The last track is the Gene Simmons demo of a song called “Love is Blind”. It is one that was never recorded and it is Gene on all the instruments. And if you listen closely, you can here the click track in the background.  It doesn’t sound anything like Kiss, but maybe would have fit on his solo album as it was so diverse.  Gene felt it had more of an Eagles feel to it and I can hear that it in the overall sound.  A really cool track to me.

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And that is all the unreleased tracks.  Another great disc and almost as good as the first one, but not quite.  The 8 unreleased tracks are fantastic to have in the collection and I think this disc will get almost as much spin time as the first one.  Overall, I will score this one a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars.  These first two discs were the majority of the Unreleased tracks from the set.  There are only about 10 more over the next three discs so I am going to have to review those slightly different otherwise they will be short reviews.  Until then.  Enjoy!

Check it out and let me know what you think. If you want to go back and read Part 1, click on the link below:

  • The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
  • The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
  • The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)

Up next is Disc Three 1976 – 1982 (Part 4 of 6)

My Sunday Song – “God of Thunder” by Kiss

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.

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