As a Bonus Edition to The Kiss Review Series, we are going to look at a couple singles I have for the Song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” off the band’s 1979 album, ‘Dynasty’. The song was a commercial success for the band reaching all the way to the #11 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of only a handful of times they have broke the Top 40.
The music, however, was quite a departure for the band. The song was labeled as Disco and if you listen to it, it really was. The song was written by Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia and the great Desmond Child makes his first of many appears with the band (only one on this album). The story goes that Disco was really big at the time and the record company wanted the band to be a little more commercial. Paul thought any idiot could write a disco song and a bet was made and a few hours later, the song was written and the Paul proved his point. This song did have every trapping of a disco song, the tempo, the beat, the pop sound, the disco sound effects…I mean it was disco…but it was good and it was catchy and they still play it live today. Now on a side note, this is Gene’s least favorite song (and Peter and Ace hate it too).
I have two versions of the Single. I have the Radio Edit 45 Single with “Hard Times” as the B-Side and I have the 12″ Dance Mix with “Charisma as the B-Side. First we will talk about the 7” Single, which might be the Radio edit.
Continue reading “Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition) – (The Kiss Review Series)”
After the solo albums, Kiss jumped back in to the studio in January/February 1979 and began work on their seventh studio album (the solo albums aren’t really considered Kiss Studio albums) to be called ‘Dynasty’. It was set up to be the return of Kiss as it was the band’s first “band” album since 1977’s Love Gun. I say “band” because by this point, “band” is a very loose term.
The band was having serious problems with Peter Criss at this point. Peter had hurt his hand in a car accident, he was heavy in to drugs and alcohol and he was basically difficult to work with. To help try and ease things with Peter, the band hired Vini Poncia as the producer as he produced Peter’s solo album so they thought it would make things easier…it didn’t! In fact, Vini did not feel’s Peter’s playing on the recordings was sub par…basically, it sucked. So, they brought in a drummer to do all the drum parts. His name was Anton Fig and he played drums on Ace’s solo album. Anton played on every song, but one. The one song Peter played on was the one he sang, “Dirty Livin'”. It would also be the last Kiss song he played on any album until 1998’s Pyscho Circus (which is a whole other story to be discussed much later in the series).
Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Dynasty’ (1979) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
1978 was a big year for Kiss. Not only were they working on their Solo albums, they were also making their first movie. Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was released on October 28, 1978. It was a made for TV movie in the U.S. if that tells you anything about it before we even start talking about it. I actually remember all the hype this was getting and for me it was Event TV. I was going to watch this when it came out and I actually did. I was just shy of 10 years old and I remember this vividly. I even had it on VHS when it was released (or my brother had it), but we don’t have it anymore.
I think there was a plot so I will see if I can piece it together for you. The movie takes place at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California and the Park is having some money troubles. The evil scientist man, Abner Devereaux played by Anthony Zerba, is spending too much on his robots. He is close to developing the most realistic robots ever, but before he can finish, he is fired. This sets him off to destroy the park and Kiss as they were there to perform 3 shows over the weekend. The funny thing is that after being fired, he wasn’t escorted out of the park like any normal firing. Stupid mistake on their part.
There is Sam and Melisse, two young kids in love. Sam works for Devereaux who takes Sam hostage using a micro chip in his neck to control him and basically turn him in to a human robot. All the while, Sam’s girlfriend, Melissa, is trying to find him. She meets Kiss and tries to get their help. Kiss is happy to oblige a pretty young lady and she was that. Kiss had special powers, they were superheroes basically. They had these Talisman that gave them their powers and Devereaux uses Sam to steal those Talisman.
Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park’ (1978) – Movie Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
By 1978, Kiss had reached the peak of stardom. They were flying high and a couple members were too. Trouble was brewing and most especially with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. From what I have read, they both wanted to do solo albums, but the band needed to keep the train rolling. So Bill Aucoin and others came up with a strategy to help keep the peace. The entire band would each do a solo album and they would all be released at the same time on the same day, however, they would be under the Kiss umbrella. Brilliant or Stupid was still yet to be seen. No band had ever attempted this prior or since and probably for good reason.
Each member had to find their own producer, their own musicians as no one in the band played on the other persons record. It took a lot of time and while they were working on the records, the label released ‘Double Platinum’ which we discussed last week. All the albums came out on the same day, September 18, 1978. Now I needed to decide what order to review these so it wouldn’t look like I was showing favorites so I let the posters do the talking. The order of these Solo reviews is based on how the posters piece together from left to right. In that case, Paul Stanley’s album is up first.
Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Paul Stanley’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
Kiss was flying high. Alive II was doing well and heck, all their albums were selling and some even reaching Platinum status. Kiss had been in and out of the studio and on the road touring for over 4 years straight. They had 6 studio albums and 2 live albums under the belt now and they were tired. Band friction was starting to form. They were about to implode. Ace wanted to do a solo album and to help keep the peace, management and the band came up with the idea of doing 4 solo albums all under the Kiss moniker. To keep the ball rolling and capitalize on their current success, a greatest hits album was put together for a quick cash-grab and to give them more time to finish the solo projects and save the train wreck about to happen.
The album was released on April 2, 1978 and not just a simple single LP. No, this was a 2 LP, 20 song greatest hits compilation. It covers everything. To entice people to buy it, they remixed a number of songs on here so the fan would have something a little different than what they already had. And the packaging was beautiful. The album cover was a gatefold which made sense for a double LP. It was also embossed in a silver, foil-like sheen. And let me tell you that trying to take a picture of this and not have me and the camera visible was very difficult. The front and back cover for my version, are exactly the same. I know some later ones, the back is different. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Double Platinum’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
In yet another Kiss post, we are back on the topic of Tour Books. I had 3 Tour Books from Kiss and I have done posts on 2 of those and I really enjoyed going back through the book and looking at all the pictures. The third one is from the End of the Road Tour and I will get to that one eventually. In the meantime, I said to myself, “you know John, we should start collecting Tour Books”. And I answered myself back with “John, that is a brilliant idea. Not only are you handsome, but you are pretty damn smart too!” I couldn’t agree with myself more.
That got weird fast!!
Back on topic. I actually went on to eBay and noticed there are tons of them for sale, but dang! they are expensive. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Then I saw one that was only $5 and the pictures looked pretty great actually. I added it to the Watch list and about 4 hours before it was to end, I figured let me place a bid. So I did and I was not wanting to go over $10 so that was what I put in as the max bid. I went to bed and forgot about, but morning came and dang it, I got it. My Tour Book collecting had officially begun.
The one I bought was from the World Domination Tour in 2003. This was Kiss with Aerosmith and I actually missed this tour as I believe they came to town shortly after the birth of my first daughter so there was no way I was getting out to see a show. So I was excited to see what this book looked like and now it is time to share it with all of you. Continue reading “Kiss – World Domination 2003-2004 Tour – Tour Book”
After three studio albums, it was time to repeat the magic with another live album, ‘Alive II’. It worked well the first time so it seemed like that was the intention this time around to try and capture that gold again. However, that was not the original intention. While the band was touring Japan for ‘Rock & Roll Over’, they recorded the entire show of the band at the famed Budokan Hall in Tokyo on April 2, 1977. They felt the band needed a break before recording the next album and this would be it. However, Casablanca hated the album and it was scrapped.
The band went and released ‘Love Gun’ as planned and then it was time for another live album. This time they recorded three shows at the LA Forum on August 26-28 of 1977 while out on Tour for the ‘Love Gun’ album which was just released in June. Heck, they even recorded the soundchecks as the goal for this album was to not duplicate any songs that were on ‘Alive!’. And to add something special to the album, Side Four was going to be all new studio songs which gives this release a little something extra. Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce and he worked his magic. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Alive II’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
Kiss were flying high. Their popularity was growing by leaps and bounds and so much so that they were voted the most popular band in the U.S. beating the likes of some other famous bands maybe you’ve heard of them…Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Nah, I didn’t think so. They appeared in their first comic book, “Howard the Duck #12: “Mind-Mush!” (May 1977)’ and later that year they had their own comic book with “A Marvel Comics Super Special #1: A Marvel Comics Super Special!: Kiss (1977). For this, they used their own blood to mix in with the ink. They were becoming the merchandising kings they are still today.
With that popularity needs to come new music and 6 months after the release of ‘Rock And Roll Over’, the band was back in the studio to record their 6th studio album. The band brought back Eddie Kramer to produce and man the boards in hopes to maintain the direction that ‘Rock And Roll Over’ was taking them. And on June 30, 1977, the album came out and immediately went platinum with sales over 1 million.
The album became the first studio album to feature all 4 band members singing a song as Mr. Ace Frehley finally sang a song and what a beast of song it was. And another interesting fact, this is the last album to feature Peter Criss on all the songs. What does that mean? That means that the next two studio albums (not including the solo albums), Peter doesn’t play all the drums, in fact, very few of them. All this despite the fact he is prominently featured on the cover of the album and still tours. We will touch more on that fact in future posts. The band was still in tact with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. That still wouldn’t change for a couple years. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Love Gun’ (1977) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
After the massive success of ‘Destroyer’, the band was riding high. Now the hard part, following up a massive album. Despite the success of the prior album, there were many fans who didn’t like the direction Kiss was going. They felt the rawness of the band was missing. It was that rawness they loved. They weren’t alone, Ace and Peter felt the same way. They did not want to repeat what Ezrin had done, but Gene and Paul didn’t want to completely throw it away either.
So, Eddie Kramer was brought back in to produce. They camped out at the Star Theater in Nanuet, New York i hopes to have a live feel for the album to make sure they capture the true essence of the band. And whether or not they did is still up for discussion. You get a mixed bag of thoughts on the production of this album, I will just say I think it is one of their most consistent albums they have done and we will get in to the meat of it later.
Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Rock And Roll Over’ (1976) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”
I was out vinyl digging with my two daughters and we stopped by an Antique Mall as the girls love to look at all the old antiques. I don’t argue as there are numerous booths with vinyls that I can check out and heck, you never know what else you are going to find. The girls didn’t find anything, but I certainly did…and it wasn’t vinyl.
It was this 3″ thick book called ‘Kiss Kompendium: the First Complete Collection’. I knew instantly what it was when I saw it…okay, I think my daughter saw it first and told me “look dad, a Kiss book”. Yes, a Kiss book. One I had been looking to find for quite some time and Wow!! There it was. I immediately grabbed and carried it around the store until I could pay for it. And let me tell you, that was a mistake. By the time we walked up and down the rest of the aisles, my arms were jelly. This book is not light in the very least.
What is the book you ask. It is the complete collection of Kiss Comic Books. Now, I don’t own a single comic book and don’t really care for them all that much. Nothing I don’t like about them other than I collect music, not comic books. But I also collect Kiss and this fits that bill nicely.
Continue reading “Kiss Kompendium – The First Complete Collection”