“Greatest KISS” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Greatest KISS”
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 4/8/1997
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2/5

“Greatest KISS” was the fifth compilation of hits from the band KISS to arrive in the world and it came about a year after their “You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best” live hits collection. Both releases were aimed at generating additional interest in the bands reunion tour that was breaking attendance records wherever it happened to land and who could expect any less from the original lineup as they pulled out all the stops and reminded us all of just how impressive this band was in the live sense. For a greatest hits collection “Greatest KISS” focused on the material delivered by the original four members, not their successors, and covered the years 1974-1980 and stopping there. With this as my knowledge of the album I had expected it to raise the bar a little and continue building upon the foundations laid by its true predecessor “Double Platinum”. Instead it chose to only tease the members of the KISS Army with a couple of the bands other minor hits and many tracks that we all had on the first compilation collection. Sure it was nice to hear “Two Sides Of The Coin”, but “Talk To Me”, “Is That You?” or even “Shandi” were better tracks from “Unmasked” when it came down to it.

“Flaming Youth” was a great choice for addition as was “Hard Luck Woman”, but they could have kept the difference going by omitting some of the staples and adding other favorites such as “King Of The Nighttime World” or “I Stole Your Love”. Having the band change it up a little more might have sent people buying this one in droves instead of having it become one of the more avoided KISS compilations. There was a single redeeming factor in their choice to include a newly recorded version of “Shout It Out Loud” which was used for the bands video during the reunion years. The packaging on this one also seemed rather skimpy and cheap when it came down to it, offering the fans only three photos of the band, one of which is blocked by KISS letters, and the other two coming from 1975 and 1977. Speaking as one of them, the KISS fans always seem to like looking at photos of the guys and will buy releases that have music they just purchased somewhere else purely based on the idea of their being new photos to enjoy of their heroes.

The only folks who I could see purchasing this one would be that absolute KISS fanatic who needs every single release that is issued with their name on it despite anyone’s reservations about it. It is of course a great release for that music fan who only enjoys Greatest Hit volumes but in the case of KISS, they should purchase “Double Platinum” first and then perhaps decide if they want this one for the five or six different numbers on it. Otherwise this is a pass even though it has some of my favorite tracks on it.

Track Listing:
1. Detroit Rock City
2. Hard Luck Woman
3. Sure Know Something
4. Deuce
5. Do You Love Me
6. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
7. Calling Dr. Love
8. Plaster Caster
9. Rock And Roll All Nite
10. Flaming Youth
11. Two Sides Of The Coin
12. Shout It Out Loud (new video version)

Official Web site: www.KISSonline.com

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