Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We have another Kiss Bootleg to discuss in this series.  We are on #4 and this one is from the 1979 Dynasty Tour and took place in Largo, Maryland on July 8th, 1979 at the Capital Center.  This was a time in Kiss that is quite interesting as the band was imploding, basically.  Peter couldn’t play drums like he did just a short time earlier and Ace was shall we say, “high” on life.  This tour was supposed to be huge.  The costumes, the stage show and well, everything was to be bigger and better.  Well, it was far from it.

Before we get in to the music, we go through the packaging first and this set is delivered beautifully.  The set was done in 2018 and it was put together quite nicely.  Here is the first little nugget, it is a a little side card that bends around one end kind of like the OBI strips for Japanese releases.

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After that there is a large, album sized Disco Sticker included.  It is supposed to be in a Disco Ball style and is a little hard to see, but cool nonetheless.

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “New York Groove”

For this month’s version of The Original Vs. The Cover, we are tackling the 70’s hit, “New York Groove” that was made famous by Ace Frehley on his solo album in 1978.  However, the song was originally performed by the Glam band Hello back in 1974.  The song was written by Russ Ballard and if you don’t know Russ, he was in the band Argent, went solo, and was a songwriter who has worked with America, Roger Daltrey, Peter Criss, and Frehley’s Comet to name a few.

The Hello song did pretty well in the UK hitting #9 and #7 in Germany.  Ace’s version was the highest charting song of any of the Kiss Solo albums where it peaked at #13 in the Billboard Hot 100.

Russ Ballard wrote the phrase “back in the New York Groove” while on a plane headed to New York where he hadn’t been in a long while.  So, that became the theme of the song and eventually he would finish the song.

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Hello connected with Russ while he was in the UK and the band’s manager had reached out to Russ asking if he had any songs the band could use and boom, you get “New York Groove”.

Hello’s version opens with a hand clap sound (maybe a stomping/clapping sound), a harmonica riff and a great drum beat.  Right before the chorus, there is nice little guitar riff and speaking of chorus, the way they emphasized the word “Groove” in New York Groove was unusual and made it stand out.  It definitely has that 70’s feel to it and Bob Bradbury does a great job with the vocals.  It is actually a very fun song and I can see why they had a minor hit with it.

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