We are now 10 years past the last studio album, ‘Psycho Circus’, and Kiss has still yet to do another studio album. Instead, we basically get yet another greatest hits package. This one is different of course because it was actually a re-recording of Kiss Klassics, but this time the players are not just Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, but we now have those old hits recorded by Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on guitar. My first question is…WHY?? Do we really need to have studio versions of these great, amazing Kiss songs done by the new members. (rhetorical question)
I guess the people of Japan did because that is the only place this album was released. The title of the album is Jigoku-Retsuden which means something like “Legends from Hell” or “Hell’s Legends” in Japanese. Okay, that is pretty cool, but that is the only thing cool about this release. Okay, maybe the OBI strip is pretty cool as well. But that is it, I promise…alright, the cover is a little cool too…no more…stop!!
Kiss were plugging along and everything is still right in the world. In 1988, as they were preparing for their Tour of Japan, the label and the band decided to release a greatest hits compilation. The CD was issued on May 25, 1988 and was limited to only 100,000 copies and only released in Japan. The was the 2nd greatest hits package to not be issued in the U.S., the first being 1982’s ‘Killers’. For that fact, this is a hot collector’s item for Kiss collectors and I didn’t even know about it until years after its release and I still don’t have a physical copy of this release (but I will get one someday).
The Japanese character on the back of the case and on the CD might look familiar. It is the same symbol that was on the bottom of the cover art for the band’s 1974 album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’. Eric Carr also used that symbol on his drum kits for quite some time. Chikara is the Japanese word for Power if you are interested in knowing that fact. And when you are looking to buy this CD on ebay or somewhere, the prize to get is the OBI strip with all the Japanese writing. A lot of the ones I’ve seen out there don’t have that strip anymore.