Author Topic: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan  (Read 28865 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Stadler

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 13533
  • Gender: Male
  • Pointing out the "unfunny" since 2017!
KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« on: April 18, 2016, 09:52:41 AM »
Following the recent discussion about Kiss in the “Classic Lineup” thread, and in particular the discussions about the various eras and phases, I thought it might be fun to run down the discography.  A couple ground rules to start off with:
•   Only studio albums, no live albums;
•   Having said that, I am going to include the studio tracks from the various Greatest Hits packages (but not the remixes, since almost every Kiss hits package dicks with the original recordings)
•   I’m including the 1978 solo albums, but no subsequent solo albums

I count 27 studio albums:

27.   Peter Criss (1978)
26.   Carnival of Souls (1997)
25.   Smashes Studio Tracks (1988)
24.   Crazy Nights (1987)
23.   Asylum (1985)
22.   Psycho Circus (1998)
21.   Revenge (1992)
20.   Animalize (1984)
19.   Killers Studio Tracks (1982)
18.   Hot In The Shade (1989)
17.   Gene Simmons (1978)
16.   Love Gun (1977)
15.   Ace Frehley (1978)
14.   Monster (2012)
13.   Dressed To Kill (1975)
12.   Sonic Boom (2009)
11.   Unmasked (1980)
10.   Dynasty (1979)
9.   Alive II Side 4 (1977)
8.   Music From The Elder (1982)
7.   Paul Stanley (1978)
6.   Lick It Up (1983)
5.   Kiss (1974)
4.     Rock and Roll  Over (1976)
3.     Destroyer (1976)
2.     Creatures of the Night (1982)
1.     Hotter Than Hell (1974)



For the record, I’m a lifelong Kiss fan and sometimes apologist.  The first record I ever bought with my own money was Alive II on release, and I have been a fan ever since.  I’ve met the Lick it Up band once, and Paul again individually, and think the world of both Paul and Gene.  I do NOT think they are ‘fooling’ the fans with the current lineup, and while I feel I can be objective, I do not automatically assume that everything they do is a “ca$h grab”.

You wanted the best, you got the best.  The hottest band in the world… KISS!

27.   Peter Criss (1978):  One of the four infamous “solo” albums, and by all accounts - including mine - the least favorably regarded.  It is the only official Kiss release I don’t own on CD, and while I am keeping my vinyl copy (with poster) for collection purposes, I haven’t listened to this since… 1979.  I sort of liked Tossin’ and Turnin’, because I liked the original, but this was very far from Kiss.  I could have then (and would now) accept that; it's kind of neat to see people's influences and what makes them tick individually and not in the band.   But in hindsight, I felt like the album was very indicative of Peter’s relative cluelessness, and was "different" more because he's lazy and didn't put in the work rather than wanting to genuinely show a different side of him.  Most of the songs were actually written pre-Kiss – he couldn’t be bothered to come up with ten new songs of his own – and he could only be bothered to play drums on about half the album.  Trivia: only one of the solo albums to have TWO singles released.

26.   Carnival of Souls (1997, recorded in 1995):  This is the album that we SHOULD love, right?  Departure for Kiss, bootlegged heavily, released by the demand of the fans… but for me, it didn’t connect.  It's technically a great record - I LOVE the song “Childhood’s End”, and "I Confess", "I Will Be There", "I Walk Alone" are all very strong - but as a Kiss, album, it’s a tough listen.  I like Kiss because it’s visceral, in a good way.  Plays to our baser instincts with no apologies.  This album thinks too much.  Gene’s songs fare better, because of his voice, but Paul is like Sammy Hagar, he is very talented (and an artist, as opposed to say a David Lee Roth) but he clearly has his sweet spot, and that is self-affirming, fist in the air arena rock anthems.  This is grunge by the numbers.  As least you know Layne Staley lived it, motherf*****er; it's just a little too much to hear "Hate" from a guy that appears in footie pajamas in his reality show.   I just don’t buy into angst from the guy that sang “Do You Love Me” and “C'mon And Love Me".  One bonus: the only lead vocal from Bruce Kulick on a Kiss record; its better than it should be (he sounds like a cross between Joe Perry and Ace Frehley).  Trivia:  Gene continues the Van Halen connection; “I Confess” was co-written with Sammy Hagar’s cousin, Ken Tamplin, a well-known Christian rocker.

25.   Smashes, Thrashes, and Hits Studio Tracks (1988):  I’m always fascinated by the additional studio songs from Kiss.  On this album and Killers (more later) they are written by Paul, but Gene is notorious for bringing in 20 or 30 songs to each album session.  I think it speaks to the degree to which Kiss is really Paul’s baby at this point, and has been since the early ‘80’s.  These songs are run of the mill Kiss.  They aren’t bad, but it’s Kiss, so there is so much better in the catalogue.  I don’t mind the overt sexual lyrics from Kiss; for me, though, these can’t decide if they want to be clever (both titles are rather ingenious double entendres) or just crass.  By putting them on this compilation, they are treated as throwaways, and so that is what I consider them.  Kiss isn’t as good/bad (depending on your perspective) as Dream Theater with regards to their “spot the influences”, but there’s an obvious one in “Let’s Put The X In Sex”; the guitar figure in the end is cribbed from “It Must Be Hell” from Undercover by the Stones (1983).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 03:17:51 PM by Stadler »

Offline BlobVanDam

  • Future Boy
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 38769
  • Gender: Male
  • Transform and rock out!
    • BlobVanDam's 3D Portfolio
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 10:01:36 AM »
I like Let's Put the X in Sex. I don't consider it a throwaway despite the standard stigma of being on a compilation, unlike the bonus tracks on say Alive 2. It's not enough to save the compilation, but the album is still an interesting listen as a curiosity, as is Double Platinum.

I gave Carnival of Souls a solid chance, but it's not KISS. I basically like the same songs you do, and don't mind others either, but it's just KISS obviously trying to fit into a particularly mold they shouldn't. KISS are better than that (shut up, they are :lol ). It wasn't a good era for existing rockers, so I can excuse the misstep. It's a real shame, because Revenge is my favourite, and I love that lineup.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Online kingshmegland

  • defender of the brew!
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 40072
  • Gender: Male
  • Take that Beethoven, you deaf bastard!!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 10:09:38 AM »
Peter's album is the worst. 

I completely disagree with COS.  I love the album.

The 2 new songs on Smashes are forgettable.   The remixing on some of the songs are just poor.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline hefdaddy42

  • Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 40299
  • Gender: Male
  • RIP Dad 1943-2010
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 10:35:01 AM »
I've never listened to Carnival of Souls or any of the solo albums.

I regret nothing.
Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline bl5150

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 7674
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 10:41:50 AM »
Following .   I think I sorta liked one song on CoS but I can't remember which one.  I remember we were camping out for Reunion tour tix and some guy had Carnival playing in his car (a prized boot then) .  He was  :metal  and I was  :facepalm:   :lol

I can relate to the "life as a KISS fan" too.   My first ever and only music related items in the years 1982-1984 (8yo-10yo) were KISS Killers on tape and KISS collector cards - both of which I still have.

I have no issue with these 3 right at the bottom of the discog.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:54:45 AM by bl5150 »
"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle." - DLR

Offline emtee

  • Posts: 899
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 10:49:35 AM »
I will follow to learn.

I largely passed the KISS train by. I never made any kind of connection like some of my friends did back in the day. They were
all that and 10 bags of chips back then but I was into too many other bands and always thought the makeup thing was a little
goofy. I probably missed some great gigs and who knows, maybe I'll go buy an album after this thread is over.

Offline Zydar

  • Yvan eht nioj
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 15451
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 10:53:00 AM »
Following. I'm a big Kiss fan (especially the makeup era, anyways).

Offline jjrock88

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 11831
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 10:57:50 AM »
Following this big time!

The only two solo albums that I have are Ace and Paul. Didn't like what I heard from Peter and Genes.

COS is ok, but I could never fully get into it. Just too much of a different sound for the band. However, with that being said, "Jungle" is a fantastic song.

I've heard a lot of best ofs from Kiss. The best IMO is without question, Killers!!

Offline DragonAttack

  • Posts: 1389
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 10:58:27 AM »

For the record, I’m a lifelong Kiss fan and sometimes apologist.  The first record I ever bought with my own money was Alive II on release, and I have been a fan ever since.  I’ve met the Lick it Up band once, and Paul again individually, and think the world of both Paul and Gene.  I do NOT think they are ‘fooling’ the fans with the current lineup, and while I feel I can be objective, I do not automatically assume that everything they do is a “ca$h grab”.
You wanted the best, you got the best.  The hottest band in the world… KISS!


Have you no shame!!!! ;)
For the record, my first double album purchase was 'Alive'. My Mom was finally getting a turntable, and I could not resist the $4.95 price tag.  I have six studio CDs from the 70s (RnR Over and LGun for the 'hits), plus 'Creatures' and 'Psycho Circus'.  I found quite a few concerts on ytube that I make discs for a diehard friend, and couldn't help enjoying the three concerts I attended (though I wish Paul didn't suffer from 'KevinCronin-itis' between songs so severely).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:11:03 AM by DragonAttack »
'Discretionary posting is the better part of valor.'  Falstaff

Offline bl5150

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 7674
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 11:01:43 AM »

I've heard a lot of best ofs from Kiss. The best IMO is without question, Killers!!

 :tup

Nowhere To Run is close enough to my all time favorite - Ace or no Ace.   I may be biased as it's my first ever album but I never got sick of that song.  And Paul played 45 secs of it on acoustic at my request at a convention  :metal - and then said he couldn't remember the rest. 
"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle." - DLR

Online TAC

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 29452
  • Gender: Male
  • Just a decent, normal metal-head fellow
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 11:07:46 AM »
Definitely following but will be able to contribute more after vacation.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Online TAC

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 29452
  • Gender: Male
  • Just a decent, normal metal-head fellow
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 11:36:57 AM »
Alive II was my first album too.

I'm taking COS over Gene's solo album.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Lowdz

  • Posts: 7965
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 02:32:23 PM »
As a huge KISS fan I'm following. My first favourite band and responsible for me following this guitar dominated path.
I used to see the adverts for the solo albums in the comics I read as a kid but didn't know who or what they were, but they looked cool. They weren't on the radar of a 9 year old in the uk when those albums came out. They weren't a band that got any mainstream exposure at that time in the uk. That only really happened when the makeup came off, although I remember seeing them on tv when A World Without Heroes was released. I sent my dad into town to get it on picture disc.

Offline Lowdz

  • Posts: 7965
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 02:45:38 PM »
Sorry, got so excited at a KISS thread that I posted before reading all the op. Didn't realise you were eating them in preference order, I thought it was a discog discussion. Still excited though.

I'm with you on Peters solo album, though I like I Can't Stop The Rain. Although Peter doesn't think so, he's the weak link in the songwriting department. I've always liked his voice (in the studio. Beth is painful live).

I would however, rate it higher than Carnival of Souls. I hated grunge and KISS should not have gone anywhere near it. Paul and Gene can't relate to where grunge came from.

KISS and compilations... But you have to get them for the new tracks. Those on ST&H were OK. I was a teenager at the time so the sex lyrics were fine. Best compilation was Double Platinum for me. I loved the original gatefold sleeve to with the embossed KISS faces.

Online kingshmegland

  • defender of the brew!
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 40072
  • Gender: Male
  • Take that Beethoven, you deaf bastard!!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2016, 03:21:14 PM »
I may take your Kiss army card away for putting Peter's solo album above COS.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline Lowdz

  • Posts: 7965
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2016, 03:32:22 PM »
I may take your Kiss army card away for putting Peter's solo album above COS.

At least peters album was in keeping with his musical taste. CoS was a sellout.

Online kingshmegland

  • defender of the brew!
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 40072
  • Gender: Male
  • Take that Beethoven, you deaf bastard!!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 03:38:54 PM »
There is nothing wrong with adding a style that you are influenced. Playing a style that none of your fans will listen to is a huge mistake.

Paul's solo album was a stylistic change that worked with KISS fans.  That's why Gene's wasn't liked as well. Too many styles that fans did not like.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline Outcrier

  • Posts: 3897
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 04:37:23 PM »
I may take your Kiss army card away for putting Peter's solo album above COS.

26th place: Carnival of Souls
27th place: Peter Criss

Carnival is above Peter.
Outcrier: Toughest cop on the force.

Online kingshmegland

  • defender of the brew!
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 40072
  • Gender: Male
  • Take that Beethoven, you deaf bastard!!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 04:50:33 PM »
I may take your Kiss army card away for putting Peter's solo album above COS.

26th place: Carnival of Souls
27th place: Peter Criss

Carnival is above Peter.


 :lol

Sure.  Though Hot In The Shade is another low on my list.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline Orbert

  • Recovering Musician
  • EZBoard Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15540
  • Gender: Male
  • In and around the lake
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2016, 09:33:52 PM »
Okay, I've read through this thread once and the OP twice and I still don't understand what's going on.  Is this a discography thread, only organized like a countdown?  Do we just start blabbing about whatever albums we want, or do we discuss the albums being covered (the bottom three thus far)?

Offline BlobVanDam

  • Future Boy
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 38769
  • Gender: Male
  • Transform and rock out!
    • BlobVanDam's 3D Portfolio
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2016, 12:00:20 AM »
Okay, I've read through this thread once and the OP twice and I still don't understand what's going on.  Is this a discography thread, only organized like a countdown?  Do we just start blabbing about whatever albums we want, or do we discuss the albums being covered (the bottom three thus far)?

Stadler ranks their discography. We discuss it. We end up off topic. Repeat!
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Mladen

  • Posts: 11732
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2016, 02:43:23 AM »
This will be interesting to follow, I'm only familiar with the first eight albums.

Offline Cyclopssss

  • Vocal Dinosaur pre-heat combustable
  • Posts: 2905
  • Gender: Male
  • Connoseur of love
    • my coverband
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2016, 04:29:59 AM »
Following, because I was a huge Kiss-fan in my teenage years/twenties. Even been a member of the KISS-Army.  :biggrin: My first album was Alive II as well, bought solely on the cover art.
After that, I was totally into it. My interest didn't falter untill Unmasked, although I think they made up for that one afterwards, musically. Hell, I even like the Elder....  :huh:

I think I'm one of those rare people who actually loved Peter Criss's solo-album in 1978! I just loved his voice, especially on 'I can't stop the rain.' Sue me.

So yeah, I will follow this thread with great interest, Stadler!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 04:35:11 AM by Cyclopssss »
From the ocean comes the notion that the realise lies in rhythm. The rhythm of vision is dancer, and when you dance you´re always on the one. From the looking comes to see, wondrous realise real eyes....

Online Stadler

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 13533
  • Gender: Male
  • Pointing out the "unfunny" since 2017!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2016, 08:14:00 AM »
Okay, I've read through this thread once and the OP twice and I still don't understand what's going on.  Is this a discography thread, only organized like a countdown?  Do we just start blabbing about whatever albums we want, or do we discuss the albums being covered (the bottom three thus far)?

Okay, so apparently, I f****d with the notion of "discography".  I felt it would be more interesting if I gave them in some sort of order; some of the albums just aren't really that worth discussing, so many the order would be controversial enough to stimulate discussion. 

I'll be posting the next installment later today, but I will say this, I've gone back and listened to a lot of this while writing it, and it is a revelation.   Some of this stuff is so strong even today. 

Offline Orbert

  • Recovering Musician
  • EZBoard Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15540
  • Gender: Male
  • In and around the lake
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2016, 08:39:59 AM »
I just wasn't sure how it was going to work.  I generally prefer going through things chronologically, because most of the time it follows my experience with the given band.  I like reflecting on how they evolved over time, due to personnel changes, changes in the music scene, etc.  But that's because I'm old enough to have known most of these bands from when they started and actually followed along.  Also, I've followed KISS for a long time (since Alive! same as most people my age) and have a few stories to share, but without any specific timeline, there's no real place to put them.  The stories have to do with times and dates, not specific albums as such.

But that's just me whining.  It's your discography, and for a lot of guys here, a band's catalog is just a bunch of albums, and where they appear just defines who played on it and not much more.  Presenting the albums as a countdown will have the (partial) effect of jumping around a bit randomly in the catalog, which can be interesting as well.

Offline DragonAttack

  • Posts: 1389
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 11:05:49 AM »
Never listened to the solo albums.  That was the point where the hype and cash grab became too much.  Is there enough on those to make one good LP?  Never heard 'CoS'.  I did some listening in snippets of 'Smashes'.  What were your thoughts of the remixes?  Seemed kind of a lame attempt at selling a 'new' product (not that other bands aren't guilty of the same).  The bits I heard where there are changes, seemed to be done for change sake alone.
'Discretionary posting is the better part of valor.'  Falstaff

Online Stadler

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 13533
  • Gender: Male
  • Pointing out the "unfunny" since 2017!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 11:43:32 AM »
I think you could easily do one very good album from the solo albums.  Maybe even a double.

As for the remixes, they've done this on virtually every hits package.

About half of Double Platinum was remixed (the only difference I can remember is a different solo on Detroit Rock City)
Killers has a single remix of Shout It Out Loud
Chikara (a Japanese package) has a couple remixes (I know of Creatures..., and Detroit..., there may be more)
About half of Smashes... was remixed

Some of the differences are noticeable, and unless you're really married to the originals, they aren't the worst thing in the world, except for Strutter '78, which is lame, and the Shout It Out Loud on Killers, which removes the panning of Gene and Paul's voices (on the original, Gene is mixed in the left speaker, and Paul is in the right). 

Offline Tick

  • It's time to make a change
  • DTF.org Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9463
  • Gender: Male
  • Just another tricky day for you
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 11:48:40 AM »
I've never listened to Carnival of Souls or any of the solo albums.

I regret nothing.
Besides the fact COS is Kiss blatantly trying to cash in on the grunge trend, its an awesome album. One of my favs.

The one album I still LOVE to listen to is Kiss unplugged. Awesome stuff!
Yup. Tick is dead on.  She's not your type.  Move on.   Tick is Obi Wan Kenobi


Offline hefdaddy42

  • Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 40299
  • Gender: Male
  • RIP Dad 1943-2010
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 12:59:41 PM »
I like all of the classic KISS stuff (more or less) but my two favorite albums are Hot in the Shade (an opinion I share with very few people, I would imagine) and Revenge.

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline cfmoran13

  • Posts: 702
  • Gender: Male
    • My trading website
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 01:08:39 PM »
LOVE this thread.  Been a KISS fan for 38 years (since kindergarten).  Dressed To Kill was the first piece of music I ever owned.  They were my first concert (MSG, '85).  I got to meet the Revenge line-up at the Alive III meet and greet in NYC and I've met Ace, Peter, Vinnie, Bruce and Eric Singer at various conventions.  I still buy the albums (Monster was surprisingly good).  But, as far as live, I'm done.  My last show was the Farewell Tour.  I won't go so far as to call them scabs as others do.  However, they need to let Tommy branch out from the Ace theme a little bit.  His songs are total Ace rip-offs.

My two cents on the albums so far:
 - Peter Criss - totally agree.  This and Sonic Boom are probably my 2 least favorite albums.  This album just never clicked with me.  Ballads and boogie woogie.  Pass!
 - Carnival of Souls - great album, not a great KISS album.  This is sort of like the self-titled Motley Crue album.  To me, that's a phenomenal album but not a Motley Crue album.  KISS was definitely going for grunge with this one.  But, it also has Gene's strongest songs since the make-up days.  It's just a shame it sounds like sh*t.  Toby Wright has spoken at length on various podcasts about this album.
 - Smashes, Thrashes & Hits - Meh!  Yet another compilation with a couple new generic 80's KISS rockers.

I like all of the classic KISS stuff (more or less) but my two favorite albums are Hot in the Shade (an opinion I share with very few people, I would imagine) and Revenge.


Hot In The Shade was a good attempt to get back to the old sound.  Unfortunately, it's an album of mostly demos with a drum machine and not much Eric Carr.  Has some good songs but has a good amount of filler, too.  It was nice to finally have an original song with Eric on lead vocals. 

Revenge was Bruce's baby and it totally shows.  Great guitar work.  I was floored when I saw the video for "Unholy" on Headbanger's Ball before the album came out.  A new KISS video for a GENE song?!?  Wow!  I couldn't wait for it to come out.

Offline Lowdz

  • Posts: 7965
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2016, 01:28:22 PM »
I think you could easily do one very good album from the solo albums.  Maybe even a double.

As for the remixes, they've done this on virtually every hits package.

About half of Double Platinum was remixed (the only difference I can remember is a different solo on Detroit Rock City)
Killers has a single remix of Shout It Out Loud
Chikara (a Japanese package) has a couple remixes (I know of Creatures..., and Detroit..., there may be more)
About half of Smashes... was remixed

Some of the differences are noticeable, and unless you're really married to the originals, they aren't the worst thing in the world, except for Strutter '78, which is lame, and the Shout It Out Loud on Killers, which removes the panning of Gene and Paul's voices (on the original, Gene is mixed in the left speaker, and Paul is in the right).

There was a "best of the solos" album, I have it. Track list...


–Ace Frehley   New York Groove   3:01
–Gene Simmons   Living In Sin   3:50
–Gene Simmons   See You Tonite   2:30
–Ace Frehley   Rip It Out   3:39
–Ace Frehley   Fractured Mirror   5:25
–Peter Criss   Don't You Let Me Down   3:38
–Gene Simmons   Radioactive   3:52
–Paul Stanley   Tonight You Belong To Me   4:39
–Paul Stanley   Take Me Away (Together As One)   5:26
–Peter Criss   Rock Me, Baby   2:50
–Peter Criss   I Can't Stop The Rain   4:25
–Paul Stanley   Hold Me, Touch Me

Online Stadler

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 13533
  • Gender: Male
  • Pointing out the "unfunny" since 2017!
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2016, 01:33:38 PM »
Next round.  I'm torn between moving too quickly, and yet with 27 records to go through, I don't really want this to run on for weeks... so any feedback as to the pacing will be welcome!   

24.   Crazy Nights (1987):  I usually cite this album as the low point of Kiss’s career, and I’m usually quick to dismiss it.  The only song I really care for is “Hell or High Water” (not surprisingly, a Gene tune) though I don’t mind “Reason To Live” for what it is.  But for this exercise, I revisited this, and it’s slightly better than I remember, though I don’t think it’s fair to move it up based on one listen, as I’ve got almost 30 years of dislike to overcome.  Where it goes afoul for me is the production; anyone that knows me knows I generally don’t give a shit about production (wait till later in this list) but this is just too much.  There are quasi-synth horns, and lot of keyboard pads, and a whole lot of gloss on this – producer Ron Nevison was just coming off the Heart commercial resurgence - and for me, Kiss is always about sweat and sinew.  Kiss was and is for me a New York band, and this album is just so LA.  Famously, just before this album, Paul went to Gene and basically said “it’s not fair; you’re reaping all the benefits of Kiss, but I’m putting in all the work”.  Gene was certainly phoning it in, and it almost seems as if Paul is too, or at least if he is trying, he’s trying to make a point, not make great music.  This is not a band firing on all cylinders.

23.   Asylum (1985):  Given what I just wrote about “Crazy Nights”, this album should be the bottom of the barrel; talk about phoned in: Gene doesn’t play bass on any of the songs he doesn’t sing (it’s either Paul, or Jean Beauvoir, from the Plasmatics).  It’s the precursor of Crazy Nights, and is the middle of the three records put out during Gene’s “Hollywood” period.  Paul is clearly the man with the plan, but he hasn’t called out Gene yet, so this is still pretending to be a real Kiss album.  I like this more than Crazy Nights because it’s the first appearance of Bruce Kulick as a full-time, pledged member of the band, and the production is a little grittier (though still not anything special).  The songwriting is strong, though leaning heavier toward Bon Jovi than Zeppelin, and it has one of my all time favorite Kiss songs, “Tears Are Falling”, and the excellent “Trial By Fire”.  Live, this was the beginning of the “Who has more bandanas?” era; the stage costumes here were out of control, and Paul in particular took it a little too far at times, looking like a dude in a chicken costume in the “Uh! All Night” video.  The stage show was rather disjointed; you still had Gene breathing fire (but no blood) but Paul’s raps were getting increasingly juvenile and vulgar.  A lesser band would have had trouble, but this is Kiss; ironically, for all the uncertainty in direction, the “Hollywood” records sold a ton (two of the three were Platinum). 

Trivia: Who opened for Kiss on the Asylum tour, and what was their significance to the band?

Offline bl5150

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 7674
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2016, 01:41:15 PM »
There were a number of acts that opened on the Asylum tour (incl King Kobra and WASP?) but I assume you're referring to Black n Blue , a member of which was current axeman Tommy Thayer.
"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle." - DLR

Offline Lowdz

  • Posts: 7965
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2016, 01:44:27 PM »
I like both these albums, though neither are anywhere near top tier. Most of the paul songs stand up on both and genes are ok, nothing special.
The over production of crazy nights bothered me, but it was a sign of the times.

I would have both of these over Hot In The Shade. That is a steaming turd with two decent songs.

Offline jjrock88

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 11831
  • Gender: Male
Re: KISS Discography - My Life As a Kiss Fan
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2016, 01:44:46 PM »
These two albums are paint by the numbers hair metal.  Decent stuff, but nothing I go out of my way to play that often.