The Top 20 Songs of Kiss (The Non-Makeup Years)

Thanks to the Kiss Box Set Series I reviewed and most especially, Disc Four (which covers the 80’s), I have been on a Non Make-Up Era Kiss fix of late..  I have been playing all the albums and I am even getting Greg Prato’s book “Take It Off: Kiss Truly Unmasked” for Christmas (Review in January 2020).  So, I figured why not do a list of my favorite Kiss songs from that time and here we are.  I am going to cover the albums from ‘Lick it Up’ in 1983 to ‘Carnival of Souls’ in 1997 and although I included the cover to “Thrashes, Smashes & Hits’ on the post header picture, there are no songs from it as the two new songs are really, really bad.

So, why wait any longer.  Here are what I say are the Top 20 Songs of Kiss (The Non-Makeup Era)…

#20 – “Master & Slave” off ‘Carnival of Souls’ (1997)

I had to have one song from ‘Carnival of Souls’ which is not a good album, but there was one song I did like and that is “Master & Slave”.  It was written by Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick and Curtis Coumo.  When you hear it, it is not normal Kiss.  This is dark, brooding and completely centered in the Grunge era (which was a couple years too late).  I liked the biting guitar work from Bruce and it is something completely different.

#19 – “Thou Shalt Not” off ‘Revenge’ (1992)

I really like a lot of Gene’s songs and there are quite a few on here despite Paul still leading the pack.  The ‘Revenge’ album was a return to glory for Gene as he seemed lost for a few years.  This is Gene, plain and simple.  It is heavy and sounds evil which is just what the doctor ordered.  The guitar solo is just as menacing as the rest of the song (good job Bruce).

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Kiss – The Box Set (Disc Four 1983-1989) – Album Review (Part 5 of 6)

Welcome back to Part 5 of the 6 Part series. We have already talked about the Box Set and its packaging in Part 1 and we have covered Disc 1 and Disc 2 in the set.  For those, we got about 20 unreleased tracks between those two.  Quite impressive.  For Disc Three, we only get 3 unreleased tracks and now for Disc Four we only get 2 unreleased tracks.  As a result, I will also talk about the other songs on here to make it a fair representation.

Disc Four is a fun one for me.  It covers the Unmasked years of the 80’s.  Not the album, Unmasked, the non-makeup years unmasked.  The 80’s is where I got back in to the band.  My first show was the Lick It Up tour plus I saw the Asylum Tour and the Crazy Nights Tour as well.  It was all Kiss all the time (well, when it wasn’t Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Whitesnake).  I think this era of Kiss is so overlooked and unfairly so as I love it!!  Here’s what you get…

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Now here is where Kiss messed up the box set.  Yes, I get they had to put Ace’s picture on a disc like they did the other original members, but Ace isn’t on any of these songs…not a one.  They should have put Eric Carr on this disc and Ace on the next one. Yes, it would have been out of order, but at least it would fit the timeline.

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Kiss – The End of the Road Tour – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC August 10, 2019)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of Tuesday’s Memes to bring you this special announcement…

August 10th, 2019, Kiss bid farewell to the city of Charlotte, NC.  The End of the rode made a stop on a beautifully, hot night and a venue that holds 19,500 people was pretty freaking packed!!  If it wasn’t sold out, it wasn’t by much.  The place was filled with young and old alike and the costumes and make-up were a plenty including leather pants so tight, I don’t know how the women got them on (or off for that matter).

My first show was December 26, 1983 and August 10, 2019 was my last.  That is according to Kiss as this is the Farewell Tour or so they say.  I tried to drag my kids to it, but in the end, my oldest was the only one to go so I let her bring a friend.  My youngest has a few issues with noise sensitivity and after the show, I realized, she was probably right not to go as it would have been too much for her as the explosions and music were pretty darn loud.  Hell, my ears are still ringing a little this morning as I type.

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With tickets in hand, we found our seats and were ready to see “The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS”

But first, we had to sit through the opening act.  No, not a rock band.  Nope, not a comedian either.  We got the great pleasure of having David Girabaldi doing some performance art…painting.  What?  Painting is a performance art?  I was not aware of this.  David is immensely talented and whipped through 3 paintings in about 30 minutes. He did one of Jon Bon Jovi, while their music played.  His final one was of Kiss which was raffled off with proceeds going to Make a Wish Foundation which is cool.  The 2nd painting was of Ozzy!!  And it was really great…heck…they all were. The problem was it was so boring and unexciting.  The crowd liked it somewhat, I thought it sucked.  I would have liked a band to play, a young up & coming band or someone that had toured with Kiss before…Actually, Bruce Kulick’s band would have be the bomb!!

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My Sunday Song – “A Million to One” by Kiss

For My Sunday Song #132, we continue the Kiss theme going with the song “A Million to One” from the 1983 album ‘Lick it Up’.  ‘Lick it Up’ is the first non-makeup era Kiss album and saw the band see a resurgence in popularity.  Taking the make-up off made them slightly relevant again.  “A Million to One” was never released as a single and is arguably the best song on the album…IMO!!

The song was written by Paul Stanley and Vinnie Vincent (who did not save Kiss) which tells the story of our hero of the song telling his ex-lover that there is basically no hope in hell she will find a love as great as his.  Paul’s cocky attitude in the lyrics and the vocals propel this into one of his greatest performances on a song.

Musically, the song hits on all cylinders as well.  The powerful sound coming from Eric’s drum gave this song an extra punch that you felt with each swing of the sticks.  Between ‘Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Lick it Up’, I don’t know if the drum sound from Kiss ever sounded better.  Not to be outshined, Vinnie’s guitar playing is masterful with great riffs and a great solo all along with the underrated rhythm guitar of Paul.

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“My First Time” with Kiss – ‘Lick It Up’

We are now to the end of the “My First Time” series. I ended up skipping it in November as their were too many new albums to review, plus I just wasn’t in the mood,  That got me thinking.  I don’t like being tied down to a specific album or theme.  I want to review albums whenever I am in the mood to do it.  Doing this series, limited me a little so I figured I would do one more and then just start reviewing any album, any time…no theme.

I figured if it was going to be my last, it needed to be something special.  For me, that means Kiss!!  The “My First Time” series is about the FIRST album I bought from a band.  Believe it or not, that album is ‘Lick It Up’ by Kiss.  A couple of my brothers were huge fans and had all their albums, but I had never bought one.  That changed with the excitement of this release.

What was all the excitement about this album?  Well, I am glad you asked.  Kiss sales had been in the decline.  Even with the stellar album ‘Creatures of the Night’ (one of their best), Kiss needed to do something to shake things up.  So they did just that.  They removed the make-up.  It was such a big deal, MTV held a special for the band to reveal themselves without make-up.  They also introduced the video for their first single, “Lick It Up”.  Here is the MTV special reveal…

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Turntables & Vinyl #6 – “Re-Spin” Led Zeppelin & Van Halen

Ever since I started the whole resurgence in my vinyl collection which started from nothing just 10 months ago, I have been trying to put together “The List” of all the albums that are a must have for my collection.  The list is long and it is going to be expensive to put together.

For me, albums from the 70’s must be in vinyl as that was the medium of choice at the time.  That means that I need to have Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, early AC/DC, Queen and of course KISS, just to name a few.  I am off to a good start with KISS thanks to the box of records I mentioned back in the first Turntables & Vinyl post.

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The 80’s is the decade I grew up in and fell in love with music so there has to be a ton of vinyl from those years as well.  Def Leppard, Van Halen, more AC/DC, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ratt and any other rock band from that era.  The collection is growing, but the list doesn’t seem to get smaller.

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