Kiss – ‘Kiss My Axe 1978’ (1981 Re-Issue) – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

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.

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Cheap Trick – ‘One on One’ (1982) – Album Review (The Cheap Trick Collection Series)

The band waited two years to record their follow-up to the George Martin produced album, ‘All Shook Up’. During that time, their record label, CBS, sued the band for a whopping $10 million alleging the band was holding out recording a new album to get a better deal. By 1982, the lawsuit was settled and the band started working on their sixth studio album, ‘One on One’.

The band had a new bass player after original member, Tom Petersson left back in 1980. His name was Pete Comita. Well, Pete didn’t last long and was replaced rather quickly during the early recordings of the album. In fact, he doesn’t appear on any of the album. They replaced him with bass player, Jon Brant. Jon came in so late, he is only on three of the songs. Guitarist, Rick Nielsen picked up the slack and played bass on all the other tracks. And the other two members, Robin Zander and Bun E. Carlos were still able to their jobs and quite well.

One thing I found interesting about the album is the cover. You have a new member and yet if you look at the cover, his face is obscured unlike anyone else’s faces. I think this was done on purpose because hadn’t been in the band very long and didn’t contribute much to the album.

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Kiss – ‘Rock And Roll Over’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

After the massive success of ‘Destroyer’, the band was riding high. Now the hard part, following up a massive album.  Despite the success of the prior album, there were many fans who didn’t like the direction Kiss was going. They felt the rawness of the band was missing. It was that rawness they loved.  They weren’t alone, Ace and Peter felt the same way.  They did not want to repeat what Ezrin had done, but Gene and Paul didn’t want to completely throw it away either.

So, Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce.  They camped out at the Star Theater in Nanuet, New York i hopes to have a live feel for the album to make sure they capture the true essence of the band.  And whether or not they did is still up for discussion.  You get a mixed bag of thoughts on the production of this album, I will just say I think it is one of their most consistent albums they have done and we will get in to the meat of it later.

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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:

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

Adelitas Way – ‘Notorious’ – Album Review

The new album, ‘Notorious’, was released in October 2017 by The Vegas Syn/The Fuel Music. Adelitas Way is from Las Vegas and formed back in 2006. The band now consists of only  Rick DeJesus on lead vocals, Trevor “Tre” Stafford on drums and Andrew Cushing on bass.  Adelitas Way is an independent band and to get this album made they did a Pledgemusic campaign to help fund and after some time, we have this great straight-up rock & roll album.  How long did it take?  Well, the first single came out in September 2016 which is a little over a year before the album finally released.

The album is only 9 songs and at a little over 3 minutes for the average song, you are in and out in about 30 minutes.  Straight and to the point.  No filler, just a sonic blast of rock.  I would rather have an album of 9 great songs than an album of 14 songs with a bunch of filler.  After the slight disappoint I had with their last release, ‘Getaway’, ‘Notorious’ makes amends and proves they can still put out quality work.

The album opens with the title track and third single “Notorious” and comes screaming out of the gate with heavy drums and a wave of guitars.  It is a modern rock song that fully assaults your senses before going straight into the first single from the album “Ready for War (Pray for Peace)”. This rocker doesn’t slow things down and DeJesus sounds great and delivers a catchy, memorable chorus that will make a great song to hear live.  The crowd will be bouncing up and down with their hands in the air.  Andrew Cushing’s bass is also a standout as well as some great guitar work.

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