My Sunday Song – “Nowhere to Run” by Kiss

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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My Sunday Song – “Naked City” by Kiss

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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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 Sunday Song – “Black Diamond” by Kiss

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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Gene Simmons – ‘Kiss and Make-Up’ – Book Review

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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Tuesday’s Memes – Kiss (Part 2)

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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My Sunday Song – “Burn” by Deep Purple

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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Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (The 45 Single)

Disco era Kiss!  Does it get any better than that??  Well, yes it actually does.  Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome.  I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it.  It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.

The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit.  Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song.  Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last.  It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had.  The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.

The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song.  Think disco and you know what the song sounds like.  You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus.  It is simple.  One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference.  The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30.  Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.

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Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” (The 45 Single)

 

I was out and about at one of my favorite local record stores and came across this old 45 Single from Kiss. It was for the song “Tears Are Falling” off their 1985 album ‘Asylum.  By 1985, Kiss was  fully ensconced into the 80’s Hair Metal scene.  Starting with their previous album, ‘Animalize’, the band’s sound shifted from the heavier albums like ‘Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Lick It Up’, to more of the Glam Rock sound to keep up with the music of the time.  That meant power ballads.  “Tears Are Falling” fit that mold quite nicely.

“Tears Are Falling” was released as a single in 1985 and made it to #20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, just not technically not a Top 40 hit since it only reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song did have better success on MTV where it was in frequent rotation on the station.

The song was written by Paul Stanley and one of the few times we ever get a true Stanley Only song.  The next we got was not until his solo album in 2006.  That bit of tidbit surprised me, but the internet can’t be wrong…can it??  The song was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios which is Jimi Hendrix’s old studio and produced by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.  Interesting enough, Gene didn’t play bass on the song, it was played by Paul.

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My Sunday Song – “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss

For My Sunday Song #76, I bring you the Kiss classic, “Detroit Rock City”.  The song was the opening track to the album ‘Destoyer’ and it was also the third single in support of the album.  However, the song never charted due to the little B-Side on the back called “Beth” (which is a story for another time).

A fan favorite and still played at shows today, “Detroit Rock City has become one of the band’s most recognizable songs behind “Rock & Roll All Nite”.  The song was so popular, there was even a movie made called “Detroit Rock City” that Kiss actually appeared in.

The song does mention Detroit, but is really about a young fan that is killed why he was on his way to a Kiss concert.  The story is based of an actual event that occurred outside a Kiss concert in Charlotte where a fan was hit by a car and killed outside the arena.  Knowing it is based a real life event adds a little extra to the impact of the song.

The song opens with a radio broadcast (the broadcaster is played by Gene Simmons) of the death of a driver killed in a car crash then seques in to the young man getting into his car and heading to the concert playing Kiss’s “Rock & Roll All Nite” on the radio.  During the song, you go back and forth between the song and hearing the car drive down the road getting closer to the show.  The song ends with the car crashing and immediately goes into the next song on the album “King of the Night Time World”.

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