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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For My Sunday Song #137, we are going to ‘Creatures of the Night’ album and the song “Danger” from 1982. This album didn’t do that well for the band and the tour did even worse. Kiss was in turmoil at the time and the band seemed doomed to be at their end. The album eventually did go Gold, but at the time was a failure. Now, it is actually regarded to some as one of their best albums…and I would be in that group.
“Danger” was written by Paul Stanley and Adam Mitchell as the band had been using outsider writers for some time now. Paul had lead vocal duties and Eric Carr was on drums. But those were the only 2 official Kiss members on the song. It was thought for a long time that Bob Kulick played lead guitar, but it was actually Vinnie Vincent who was not yet a full-fledge member of Kiss. Ace, technically, still had that role although he didn’t play on the album. He did get credited with playing and his picture is on the cover.
And if that wasn’t enough, Gene doesn’t play bass on this one either. The bass player was Jimmy Haslip from the jazz fusion group The Yellowjackets. Gene apparently was too distraught over his break-up with Diana Ross to play.
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For My Sunday Song #136, We are going to talk about the 80’s classic “No, No, No” off the 1987 album ‘Crazy Nights” and the B-Side of their first single “Crazy, Crazy Nights”. ‘Crazy Nights’ was a platinum selling album and might be considered as one of the bands weaker albums in some circles as they were chasing the trend at this point rather than creating it.
The song was originally titled “Assume the Position” (get your mind out of the gutter…because I am sure that is where their mind was with that title) and later it was called “Down on All Fours” (hmmm…I think their mind is still in the gutter). The song was originally written off a riff by Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr put his stamp on it as well. It was later handed over to Gene Simmons for completion.
The song opens with a blistering, solo by Bruce. It is fast and ferocious and shows why he is so highly regarded as one of the best Kiss Guitarists!! The drums are heavy thanks to the late, great Eric Carr and Gene finally has a decent song as over the last few albums, his weren’t always so stellar. Well, really this is great mostly because of Bruce, but we won’t tell Gene that as we don’t want to hurt his fragile little ego.
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For My Sunday Song #135, we are going to discuss the song “Nowhere to Run” off the bands 1982 compilation called ‘Killers’. After the doomed release of ‘The Elder’, Kiss immediately went into the studio and recorded 4 new songs to go with a greatest hits compilation because they knew that ‘The Elder’ was dead on arrival. The four new songs were all fantastic. This was my favorite of the bunch.
Out of the four new songs, this was the only one solely written by Paul Stanley. For all the others, he had help. Also interesting is the fact that Paul sang all four of the new songs, no Gene. Although, he did play bass and Eric was on the drums. And Ace tour it up on lead guitar, at least that is what I thought as a kid. It was actually Bob Kulick who had originally auditioned for Kiss back in the day, but was beat out by Ace. Now, he was lead guitarist (just not officially).
The song had an old Kiss sound and felt like they were going back to their roots, but it was the 80’s and the production was louder and bigger with Michael James Jackson at the board. It is a rocking track and Bob really does kill it on the solo and Eric’s drums are loud and powerful as he brought such a new life to the Kiss sound. I love the little drum fill at the beginning with a little acoustic intro and it built up from there. Paul sounded sensational and this was Kiss hitting on all cylinders. After the disaster of ‘The Elder’, Kiss was back in good favor…at least in my book.
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For My Sunday Song #134, I am going to discuss “Naked City” off the underrated 1980 album ‘Unmasked’ by Kiss. I say underrated now because I have grown to like this album now. I didn’t appreciate it back in the day, but there were some great songs on this album, including this one.
First, the song was written by Gene Simmons, Vini Poncia, Bob Kulick and Pepe Castro. The bass on the song is Gene and the rhythm guitar is Paul, but that is it…no Ace & no Peter. Drums are handled by Anton Fig and actually he did all the drums on the album even though Peter is credited. Lead guitar on the song is former Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick’s brother, Bob Kulick. Bob actually auditioned for the lead guitar role back in the day, but Ace came in a beat him out…I guess the band never lost his number.
The song is more of a pop/rock song and doesn’t have the full edge of the classic Kiss tunes, but it is smoking when it comes to overall tone, groove and Gene’s vocals. Even without all original members, it is still Kiss and it is still fantastic. The song is about New York City (which a lot of their songs are about). The song talks about the fact there are so many people in the city, so many lonely and lost people. It is actually quite a sad, insightful and observant viewpoint of the city.
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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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For My Sunday Song #131 and for the next 10 songs, we are celebrating the songs of Kiss!! Now that Kiss has started their Farewell Tour, I thought I would honor some of my favorite Kiss songs. There will be No “Beth”, No “Detroit Rock City” & NO “ROCK & ROLL ALL NITE”!!! Sorry, not my favorites..,well Detroit is one but too obvious a choice. We will start it off with “Black Diamond” from the debut album ‘Kiss’.
Black Diamond was written by Paul Stanley and it was about New York as were a lot of their songs. This one was on the seedy side of it at least. It is about street hookers and the queen of them all, the Black Diamond. Stanley has been quoted as saying this was partially inspired by the Rolling Stones classic “Brown Sugar”.
Lyrically there is not much there, but musically…Damn!! What a way to close out your debut album. The song kicks off with Paul Stanley on vocals for the first verse while playing an acoustic guitar. He screams “HIT IT!!” and all hell breaks loose. Peter Criss takes over vocals and the song kicks in to full gear with his pounding drums, Gene Simmons’ thumping bass and Ace Frehley’s frenzied guitar.
The guitar solo is top notch and I love how it ends with the heavy ass bass sound with the ominous sounding drums as it gets slower and slower and then fades out. It is amazing how so few lyrics can turn into a song over 5 minutes long and when the play it live it is even longer…live is a whole other story. Don’t get me started on how great this song is live. They used to close their live shows with this one a lot.
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I was walking through an Antique Mall as my daughter had found another great place to buy used vinyl. We came to a booth that didn’t have a ton of books, but there was one book there that immediately caught my eye. It was the Gene Simmons’ autobiography called “Kiss and Make-Up”. I had not read yet, so I grabbed it. And at only $5, it was a steal.
And what did I think? It was okay. It was an easy read, but there was really nothing surprising or earth shattering. I did forget he dated Diana Ross, but I knew about Cher so no shocker. I had forgotten about some of the movies he did, but not ‘Runaway’ as I loved that one.
It was interesting to read about his childhood as it did explain a lot about who he is and why he is the way he is. Gene is definitely full of himself and you know what, that is okay. He knows it and I was worried I would like him even less after reading this, but I didn’t. I actually like a little more. I feel I understand him a little more.
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I have been posting these collections for over a year now and now it is time to do a Part 2 for the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!! Also, because there are a lot of good memes for them I couldn’t resist doing another…and because I am running out of bands that have at least 10 good memes. I will come up with more, somehow…maybe I will have to makeup my own…scary thought!!
So, here is Part 2 and be warned…the very last one is one of the most crude and disgusting memes I have ever posted and I hope you aren’t too offended because I am actually a little. I about lost my lunch when I found that one that I had to post it…Enjoy!!
I think I ignored Peter the last time around, but not this time…
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For My Sunday Song #90, I am going with “Burn” by the band Deep Purple. The song was the first single off the album of the same name and the first with new lead singer David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. The song wasn’t a big chart buster on its release in 1974, but it did chart at #45 on the UK Charts in 1978, but that was four years after its release. Not sure why the time difference.
The song at 6:40 in length features a blistering guitar solo by Richie Blackmore and a finger licking good organ solo by Jon Lord. The song has everything. The vocals are shared between David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. A pretty awesome duo to have in your band. In fact, the whole band for this song & album were pretty amazing.
- David Coverdale – vocals
- Glenn Hughes – bass, vocals
- Richie Blackmore – guitar
- Jon Lord – Hammond Organ
- Ian Paice – drums
It doesn’t get much better than that. After this version of Deep Purple broke up (the Mark III version), Coverdale would go on to form Whitesnake and at one time or another, Ian and Jon both played in the band with David.
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