Kiss were plugging along and everything is still right in the world. In 1988, as they were preparing for their Tour of Japan, the label and the band decided to release a greatest hits compilation. The CD was issued on May 25, 1988 and was limited to only 100,000 copies and only released in Japan. The was the 2nd greatest hits package to not be issued in the U.S., the first being 1982’s ‘Killers’. For that fact, this is a hot collector’s item for Kiss collectors and I didn’t even know about it until years after its release and I still don’t have a physical copy of this release (but I will get one someday).
The Japanese character on the back of the case and on the CD might look familiar. It is the same symbol that was on the bottom of the cover art for the band’s 1974 album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’. Eric Carr also used that symbol on his drum kits for quite some time. Chikara is the Japanese word for Power if you are interested in knowing that fact. And when you are looking to buy this CD on ebay or somewhere, the prize to get is the OBI strip with all the Japanese writing. A lot of the ones I’ve seen out there don’t have that strip anymore.
When the band completed ‘Hotter Than Hell’, they quickly went right back on tour. That album only had the one single, “Let Me Go, Rock & Roll”, which quickly fell from the charts. That wasn’t the only thing that fell quickly, so did the album sales. Their label, Casablanca, was hemorrhaging money with Kiss on Tour and the album doing poorly. As a result, the band was yanked off tour to record a new album.
When they get in the studio, the producer for the record was no longer Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise as Casablanca had no money to pay anyone. So the owner of the record label, Neil Bogart, stepped in and recorded the album. Which isn’t really a problem as he has a ton of experience…in the pop and dance music world. Not in Rock & Roll. And it would be evident as the heavier sound of the band on the first two albums, was a little more pop sounding on this one. Don’t fret, it still rocked out, but not as hard.
Imagine you are in a band and you are now starting to write your third album in about a year’s time. You have to be one heck of a writer to come up with that much music in such a short time. Well, Kiss didn’t have the songs. So, what did they do. They pulled a couple songs from their Wicked Lester Days and re-worked them. Now, only 8 more to go. Paul wrote three of them, Gene got two, Ace got one and then Paul & Gene wrote one together and what a song it was. More on that in a minute. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1975) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”→
In Part 1 we talked about the packaging and all that was included in The Box Set. Now, we are going to talk about the music. There are 5 discs included in this set and they are broken up in to certain eras/timeframes of the band. They cover from the very beginning all the way up to 1999. The set was released in 2001 so nothing from after Psycho Cirus.
First up is Disc One that covers the era from 1966 to 1975. Wait…Kiss didn’t start until 1973, how do we have stuff from 1966? Well, you will have to wait and see. The disc has 21 songs and of those, 12 are previously unreleased. And it is those 12 songs that are the prize on this release. Here is the entire track listing for this disc.
The first two songs up are demos that were done in 1973 at Electric Lady Studios with the great Eddie Kramer on the boards. You know Eddie from his work with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix…at least you should. The two songs were “Strutter” and “Deuce”, two of the bands most iconic songs. These versions had never been released prior to this set. I think I am going to go out on a limb and mention that these versions might be better than the actual recordings on the debut album of which, Eddie was not a part. These songs had so much more meat to them. They had more edge and captured more of the band’s essence.
“Strutter” is actually from an early Gene Simmons song called “Stanley the Parrot”. They took the chord pattern off that song and turned it in to a song that Paul feels has a “strutting” feel to it and thus the name. “Deuce” was another song that was sort of a Frankenstein pieced together from a couple of other songs except these weren’t old Kiss songs. The band loosely based it off the song “Bitch” by the Rolling Stones and the beginning of the song came from The Raspberries song “Go All the Way”.
The next in the Bootleg series is a show from the Rising Sun Tour in 2006. This show took place on July 23rd, 2006 at the Fuji Speedway in Japan. It was a short tour, but it was awesome. In 2006, the members would have been Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. This is important for a later discussion.
Including solos and introductions, the setlist is 23 songs and a pretty long show. There were some songs on here I love that aren’t played every tour so I was excited to get those. But we will discuss those later.
First, we have to discuss the packaging as we normally do. This set is on CD as I have no more vinyl to discuss. The Cover of this thing is awesome. It is so scary looking and has absolutely nothing to do with the band. At least the album name is good with “Kiss of Thunder”.
Now when you open the CD jewel case, on the left is the picture below. Can you tell me what is wrong with this picture? If you can’t, you aren’t a Kiss fan so please leave! I’m kidding you can stay.
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.
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!!
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!
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.
The second review in the series is for a bootleg of the 1988 tour of Crazy Nights. And of course, this is another tour that I saw. This one was recorded on April 18th, 1988 at the Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan. Now, I saw the tour on February 10th at the Omni in Atlanta, GA. At my show they only played 13 songs. They played those same 13 songs in Japan plus 6 more tracks. Yes, just like the Japanese Edition of CDs, Japan gets extra tracks during live shows as well.
Now the packaging for this release is not quite as nice as the first review. It is a double LP, but not a gatefold.
There is no pictures or posters included, but it is a colored vinyl. It is a pretty white with a white label on one and a black label on the other.
I know what you are thinking. Why do we need another Kiss Greatest Hits compilation? Honestly, we really don’t. We have tons already and there is nothing new on here that the real fan doesn’t already have. So Why? Well, easy. Kiss is touring their End of the Road tour and they wanted product out there that the casual fan or new fan that they get from all the press can run out and grab. Simple!
But is this something worth getting? As a casual fan…No. Probably not as there are better compilations out there. As the Hard Core Fan….Well, I did buy it if that tells you anything. I had to because I didn’t have it in my ever growing collection. Plus, it is so pretty. Yes, pretty. I bought the Special Edition double LP with Yellow/Red Splatter vinyl.
The packaging is a gatefold with the Group photo on the front and the track listing on the back such as below…
I was online and noticed that Kiss released their first live album back on this date in 1975. I figured I would do a little post that celebrated that fact.
This was the album that made me a huge Kiss fan even to this day. The album finally brought to life the songs from their first 3 albums and made you feel you were part of the show. I know there is a lot of controversy that this isn’t really a live album as they went into the studio and cleaned it up significantly, but I don’t care. It had the feel of a live album and is still one of my favorite live albums even today.
I actually still have the vinyl release from 1975 (which is actually my brother’s album, but I have it and he doesn’t).