As I said a few weeks back when I reviewed the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set, 1982 was a pivotal year for Kiss. After the disaster of their last album, ‘Music from the Elder’, Kiss were in a do or die situation. They needed to get back to their hard rock roots and show the world that Kiss was still Kiss. Producer Michael James Jackson was brought in to produce the album and Kiss new they needed to rock. Heck, Eric Carr was telling them that all the time…and he was right. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set, but that set was only CDs (and a lot of goodies). They also released a 3-LP Deluxe Edition Vinyl set to commemorate the album as well. And that is what we will review this time around.
The 3-LP set has the original album remastered, a set of Demos, Rarities and Outtakes and the 3rd LP is a live set with songs taken from various shows. It doesn’t have any where near as much as the box set, but if you have the Super Deluxe, you don’t need that stuff again. This set does have a 20 page booklet as well.
The album is packaged in a tri-fold album jacket with some stunning pictures included. The first two spaces have a large group photo, then on the 3rd tri-fold, you get individual shots of the members on both the front and pack of that section. Although the cover has Ace, these pictures all include Vinnie, who is actually on the album…not all songs, but most.
I was scouring eBay for a few of the remaining Soto albums I don’t have, and sadly, none were for sale at the time. However, I cam across something I had never seen before. It was a bootleg of Jeff Scott Soto demos. And to top it off, it was actually signed by Jeff Scott Soto. The person I bought it from lives in Germany and his name was Stefan. It turns out, Stefan is the lead singer of the band Speed Limit (check them out, they are pretty cool) and he had opened for Soto on a tour and actually met Jeff and got him to sign the CD. I thought all that was pretty cool and I love having a story behind my purchase.
LA ROCKS DEMOS:
So, what is this CD? It is a bootleg, mostly of demos from Jeff’s early years with LA Rocks and with Vinnie Vincent. We never got any albums out of those two projects, but at least we have some demos. The first set of songs say they are from his band LA Rocks. Back in 1986, Aldy Damian approached Jeff about joining the band. Jeff was busy with his own band called L’amour at the time and so he wasn’t really interested in joining LA Rocks. However, he did agree to do a couple demos for them and they paid him, so how could he say no. After Jeff, turned it down, they went after James Christian and he agreed. James became known for his other band House of Lords later.
The project didn’t end up going anywhere and the band later on became known as something you are more familiar with as we have discussed them in this series and that is the band Eyes of which Jeff sang on a couple of their albums. It all comes around full circle in the end. These set of songs here under the LA Rock Demos section, are a mixture of LA Rocks and Eyes demos and some aren’t even either band. The tracks “Hands of Time” and “Heart of the Fire” were demos for songs used on the movie ‘Rich Girl’. The songs “For You”, “Till the End of Time” and “Nobody Said it was Easy” are all demos for the band Eyes. And the song “Hold On”, not really sure where that is from but maybe it is from LA Rocks.
1982 was a pivotal year for Kiss. After the disaster of their last album, ‘Music from the Elder’, Kiss were in a do or die situation. They needed to get back to their hard rock roots and show the world that Kiss was still Kiss. Producer Michael James Jackson was brought in to produce the album and Kiss new they needed to rock. Heck, Eric Carr was telling them that all the time…and he was right. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is jammed pack with goodness. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have been paying attention to other band’s box sets and now they know how to put one of these together. If you thought the Destroyer 45th Anniversary Box Set was stellar, then this one will make you even happier.
It is jammed pack with 5 discs of music. A remastered edition of the main album; 2 CDs of demos, rarities, outtakes and remixes as well as 2 Live CDs chock full of goodness from various shows in 1982. And you also get a Blu-Ray Audio of the main album and I can’t wait to turn this baby on in surround sound and hear those drums surround the room. But that is not all, not by a long shot. The box set is packed with an 80-page book, posters, stickers, patches, photo cards, buttons, picks and all sorts of information about the band…don’t believe, look at the sticker from the front of the box set…
So sit back and let’s go through the box set in detail with a lot of pictures to show you the beauty of this set.
Alright…You Picked It! And this one was really close. It was back and forth most of the time with Slaughter taking an early lead then Tesla going out in front, but in the end Slaughter pulled ahead and never relented after that. Slaughter’s ‘Stick it to Ya’ was one of the ones in my collection. Here are the results.
Slaughter – ‘Stick it to Ya’ – 5 votes
Tesla – ‘Psychotic Supper’ – 4 votes
Daft Punk – ‘Random Access Memories’ – 3 votes
Eddie Vedder – ‘Earthling’ – 3 votes
Kanye West – ‘The College Dropout’ – 3 votes
Thanks to all for participating. The April choices will be up on Saturday!
SLAUGHTER – ‘STICK IT TO YA’:
Slaughter owes all their success to Vinnie Vincent. A strange comment for sure but true. Let me explain. Back after Vinnie left Kiss, he started his own band with a gentleman by the name of Dana Strum. The band, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, signed with Chrysalis…okay, Vinnie had a record contract, the band really didn’t. The auditioned a lot of singers including a very young Mark Slaughter. However, Vinnie didn’t like Mark so he passed and went with former Journey singer, Robert Fleischman.
After just finishing the Kiss Review Series, I have come to realize I have a ton of posts that are about Kiss. I figured (thanks to the help of Mike Ladano) that putting all the links to every Kiss Post in one post might be convenient for the readers of this site. I have everything from Album Reviews, to Book Reviews, to Concert Reviews to almost anything you can think of, I’ve probably written about it. And the good thing is, I will continue to have Kiss Posts as I find more vinyl I don’t have in my collection, more videos, more books, more bootlegs, more tour books and more of well…Kiss. So, I will continually be updating this post with the latest Kiss posts. You might want to bookmark this page for easy reference.
As of right now there are 155 Posts of Kiss…This might take you a while to go through so sit back, grab some coffee and enjoy!!
We are finally to the end of the Kiss Review Series. And like I like to do at the end of each series is Rank the Studio Albums from Worst to First and we aren’t going to do it any differently here. There are 24 Studio albums and since there are so many, I am keeping the summaries brief and no videos as I usually like to post a video with each album, but just way too many to do this time around.
Kiss began in 1973 and are still around today, but the last studio album was in 2012. It started with the original four – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Then came Eric Carr who replaced Peter Criss; then Vinnie Vincent who replaced Ace Frehley; then Mark St. John to replace Vinnie and then Bruce Kulick replaced Mark; and it continues with Eric Singer replacing Eric Carr after his death and then Peter & Ace came back in and out after the reunion and then finally Tommy Thayer replaced Ace for good. Lots of changes, but Gene and Paul are always the consistent formula that has kept Kiss “Alive” all these years. For the diehard fan, remember, this is my opinion and your favorites are probably going to be different, but it is okay as we both love Kiss. For the newbie, this is a good guideline on where to focus.
Now, if the band ever decides to do another Studio album, I will gladly come back and update this, but it doesn’t look like that will ever happen. If you want to check out the review of each album in detail, there are links at the bottom to all the reviews in the series and there were only 72 of them!! It took me almost 14 months to get through them all and it is still the most fun I have had on the site.
Thanks for spending all this time with me going through the Kiss catalog and my Kiss collection. I hope you enjoyed it. Enough chit chat as there is a lot to get through so sit back, grab a coffee or a beer and enjoy!!
By this time in the Kiss World, things are kind of boring. There are no more studio albums and doesn’t look like there will ever be. The band is touring regularly meaning they are basically doing Summer Tours with another Big Named Band. And for their 40th, that Big Name Band was none other than Def Leppard…yes, I saw that show and Leppard was freaking fantastic and Kiss was good. But it was still exciting because the band was celebrating their 40th Anniversary (which was really 2013 if I’m not mistaken)…regardless, it was time for the band to release another Greatest Hits Compilation…yes…just what we needed!! That is supposed to be very sarcastic so if you could read as such, that would be great!!
They did make this compilation a little interesting. Being the 40th Anniversary, they picked one song…and I mean only 1 song…from each and every album release they have had over the years. That means, that picked a song from all studio albums, including the solo albums, they picked one from every live album and every greatest hits package and every box set. How many bands can say when they pick one song from every release they can have 40 songs…probably none. And actually they couldn’t either. There were 4 extra songs added to get to the 40 and we will talk about that later.
Not every song was the album version though. They did throw in some Single Mixes such as “I Was Made for Loving You” from Dynasty, Radio Edits like “Jungle” from Carnival of Souls, an edited version of “Shout It Out Loud” from Alive II and an edited version of “Psycho Circus’ from Psycho Circus that had the beginning instrumental piece edited out. They weren’t all the cookie cutter songs straight off the release.
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.
After the Lick It Up Tour with Kiss, Vinnie Vincent was officially let go from the band. Except can you call it official since technically never signed his contract so I guess he was never officially in the band. However you want to look at it, by mid-1984 Vinnie Vincent was gone from Kiss. And since my goal in the Kiss Review Series is to review the first thing the former band members put out after leaving Kiss, we are going to discuss Vinnie’s debut release with Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion. After being let go, Vinnie decided to go see the world and upon his return, he was ready to make music. His paths crossed with Dana Strum who had worked with Ozzy. Dana knew Vinnie was out of Kiss and was looking for a good guitar to play with so he searched out Vinnie and they finally connected.
Now the band needed a drummer and they found that in the muscle-man himself, Bobby Rock. The main band was now together and all they needed now was a singer. They looked no further than the former lead singer of the band Journey. No, Steve Perry hadn’t left Journey (yet), they found the guy he replaced, Robert Fleischman. And the band was now complete. The band got a record deal with Chrysalis…okay, it wasn’t really the band, it was actually only Vinnie that had the deal, but we are splitting hairs at this point. And they were off to make a new album.
You saw the title to this and you are probably saying to yourself, “John, you’ve already reviewed ‘Creatures of the Night’. Have you lost your rocker?” And the answer to that question is YES! I have reviewed ‘Creatures’ and I am off my rocker. The thing is, the band re-released the album in 1985 for some strange reason. The new line-up of Kiss with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick was riding high. The fans loved the line-up, the last album was successful, the tour went off well, so all was good in the Kiss world. Someone, somewhere in the Kiss camp thought, “Hey, we should re-release the album ‘Creatures of the Night’ because why not.” I have no idea the rational or reasoning behind this at all as it makes no sense.
If you are going to re-release it, why not put a brand new cover on the album with the band without make-up. Check! Why not stick a picture of Gene’s Ass on it in tight-fitting leather pants. Check! Here’s the thing. The picture of the band without make-up has Bruce Kulick on it and if you aren’t aware, he didn’t play on the album. I guess that isn’t a problem because the original picture on the album had Ace Frehley, and if you read my review earlier, you know he didn’t play a note on the album either. So in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter whose picture is on the cover. And here’s the other thing, it was never fun looking at the back cover because there was a giant ass staring you in the face. You felt a little grossed out looking at that….thing!!