“Playlist Plus” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Playlist Plus”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 4/29/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

KISS “Playlist Plus” is the title of newest compilation that presents us with the hits from the legendary Hard Rockers from New York and given the amount of these types of albums being released in the not too distant past the buyer might wonder if they even need this one to complete their KISS collections. When I heard about the three CD set I have to admit that the long time KISS fan in me was a little bit excited because while I was sure it would include a number of the same songs that all of us have in one fashion or the other I was convinced that this could potentially be just a little different in its offering in terms of music and photography. Sadly, I must inform the world that I was wrong because the three CD’s are essentially a re-packaged and re-titled edition for the three individual KISS “Millennium Collection” releases that were delivered to fans over the course of the years 2003-2006. Every song that is on those three re-masters is here for your enjoyment, but now in one convenient place. Having copies of these previous albums myself, I had hoped that the notch would go up just a little bit in the way of the booklet in terms of their taking all of the photos and liner notes from the “Millennium” CD’s and putting it all together in one big enclosure but they would disappoint me here and not deliver any booklet or notes at all. There is a neat little slipcase that the foldout digipak slides into and on each of its sections we find a nice photograph of the boys but there are only four of them inside and counting the cover leaves the buyer with a mere five band images. They lost me by not keeping the booklets and notes because they were well delivered and managed to feature most of the band members across their rich and colorful history.

For those who never bothered to investigate the original editions of the KISS albums and then these Greatest Hits volumes were this mass collection comes from let me review just a bit for you. CD1 features music from the bands earliest years and leave you off at the “Dynasty” album. Historically, this was officially the last album with all four founding members. I always had my issue with the amount of CD space in terms of time left unused by these releases since the early KISS songs were so short and given that we could have found additional staple numbers such as “Shock Me” or “I Stole Your Love” delivered. CD2 found the bands music from “Creatures Of The Night” through “Hot In The Shade” and while I never realized my lack of making an issue of this when I first reviewed “Millennium Vol. 2”, it does completely bypass “Unmasked” and “Music From The Elder”. While those two are not the most promising or popular KISS releases they do hold a historical appeal to the fans and should have had some representation. CD3 completes the cycle as we know it in terms of KISS official releases and gives us songs from “Revenge”, “Carnival Of Souls”, “Unplugged” and “Psycho Circus” and the upside of CD3 was that it had featured a couple of tracks that were not too easy to find in the first place. I am speaking of the “Unplugged” version of “Got To Choose” and the Detroit Rock City soundtrack ballad of “Nothing Can Keep Me From You”. With all this being said and my issues laid clearly out on the table you might wonder who is this release aimed at and my answer is primarily is at the hard core KISS collector who will purchase whatever comes out with their name on it no matter how many times it has been out before. This release comes as a Universal thing and they seem to be aiming “Playlist Plus” as their new model as opposed to continuing along with the “Millennium Collections” and fine, such a practice is within their right when the music is under their umbrella. It might irritate the conventional KISS fan who would love to see new music recorded by the band but that’s between us and the members of the bands hierarchy. They will get to that when they choose to get to it.

As far as a hits piece this does serve the purpose if you don’t already own the previous editions and it does come off as a perfect “introduction to KISS” present for some younger fan, as the three CD collection is really reasonably priced. I would have made this a two CD set though with all the same music for space sake as it could have been done. However, if you are a more discerning KISS hits fan then “KISS Gold” is probably better for you. This was a forty song, two CD set, that gave us a little of everything from the bands debut “KISS” until “Killers”. There is also more than enough presented on “The Very Best Of KISS” if you just wanted staples for your car or home stereo. There are so many compilations around with the famous KISS branding on them nowadays that you have more than enough to choose from so before you go into battle with KISS as your side, be sure to choose your weapons wisely.

Track Listing:
1. Strutter
2. Deuce
3. Hotter Than Hell
4. C’Mon And Love Me
5. Rock And Roll All Nite (live)
6. Detroit Rock City
7. Beth
8. Hard Luck Woman
9. Calling Dr. Love
10. Love Gun
11. Christine Sixteen
12. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
13. Creatures Of The Night
14. I Love It Loud
15. Lick It Up
16. All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose
17. Heaven’s On Fire
18. Thrills In The Night
19. Tears Are Falling
20. Uh! All Night
21. Crazy Crazy Nights
22. Reason To Live
23. Hide Your Heart
24. Forever
25. God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II
26. Unholy
27. Domino
28. Hate
29. Childhood’s End
30. I Will Be There
31. Comin’ Home (live)
32. Got To Choose (live)
33. Psycho Circus
34. Into The Void
35. I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock And Roll
36. Nothing Can Keep Me From You

Official Website: www.kissonline.com

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