Kiss – All The Way At The Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

This piece of Kiss Bootleg I found at my local independent record store called Lunchbox Records.  It is Kiss from February 7th, 1995 and was recorded at the Hilton Hotel Ballroom in Melbourne, Australia while they were down under on tour.  The album is an acoustic show and this is a collection of outtakes from that show.

The line-up is Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of course and since this is pre-reunion, it also includes Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer.  A great non-makeup lineup.  The band sounds great and even Paul is singing his heart out.  The recording I believe is an audience recording only due to the loudness of the crowd, but let me tell you it sounds freaking awesome.

The crowd is really in to and at times it feels like a campfire singalong.  The band is definitely enjoying themselves as they are interacting with the crowd and seem to be having a blast.

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The set is a single LP and includes a full size poster in with the album. The picture is of the front cover so not something different from what you already see…

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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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Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We are on Vinyl #7 and the Final Vinyl from my trip to Paris.  Man, what a collection of bootlegs I picked up and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I have been enjoying them immensely and they were well worth the money despite what my wife says!

The final vinyl in the collection is from the Epicenter in Fontana, CA on September 25th, 2010 on the bands The Hottest Show on Earth Tour.  The album actually says it is at the Auto Club Speedway, but they even say Epicenter in the show.  So that ain’t right.

This particular bootleg was made in Japan and even has the awesome Japanese obi strip on the album cover as you see on the above picture.  And the back of the strip is some more pictures of the band.

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And the back cover is pretty awesome as well as it has a great stage shot of the menacing Demon himself, Gene Simmons.

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Kiss – North Hampton, PA March 19 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

The next in the Kiss Bootleg Series is a show from March 19th in 1975 on the Dressed to Kill Tour.  The show was at the Roxy Theatre in Northampton, Pennsylvania and is actually opening night of the Tour.

As usual, we will start with the packaging and what this bootleg has to offer.  First, it is a double LP, however, they skimped and there is no Gatefold to be had.  It is actually a pretty flimsy album jacket and I don’t think it will hold up over time.  The back cover is another live shot of the band but you can’t see anyone’s face.  Not the best choice for a picture.

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The album came with a couple surprises. The first being a collection of Kiss photographs from an L.A. photoshoot at the Playboy Club Rooftop on January 16th, 1974.  The photos came in a nice little mailer as seen below…

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Kiss – ‘The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out!’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

And now we are on the third Kiss Bootleg I picked up in Paris.  This one is a beauty.  It is called “Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out!”.  The package is fantastic on this release as you get a beautiful gatefold, some awesome pictures on the vinyl sleeves and some colorful vinyl.

The show is at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ on July 10th, 1976.  It is a full soundboard recording (and I believe this show was videotaped as well and circulating).  You get 15 tracks plus 3 solos, so yes, a full show.  Before we get in to the music, as always, let’s go over the packaging.  You’ve seen the cover above, now take a look at the back cover.  It is a picture of the band on motorcycles.  I really cool shot!

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And It is a 2LP set and they did it right with a gatefold.  The full picture on the gatefold is a shot of the stage with all the band and the Kiss Logo!!  Okay, Peter is  little blurred by the smoke…lots of smoke.

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My Sunday Song – “God of Thunder” by Kiss

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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My Sunday Song – “Danger” by Kiss

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.

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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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My Sunday Song – “No, No, No” by Kiss

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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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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