“45 The Complete Collection” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “45 Complete Collection”
Label: Mercury Records/Universal Music
Release Date: 6/10/2008
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.25.5

If you are trying to convince someone about your appreciation of the band KISS and they are not a fan of the physical CD medium and instead are one of those online only purveyors, then “45 – The Complete Collection” is an amazing thing to help you in this mission. The “45 Collection” should be clarified before going any further as not an actual complete collection of the bands work but instead forty five solid tracks that span the bands career from its beginning in 1973 to around 1998 when the original members had reunited and released “Psycho Circus”. In looking at the presented tracks I think this is a damn fine place to start. I’ll briefly speak about each “segment” of tunes and please pardon my breaking it up into the term CD, since these are MP3 downloads only but would be on contiguous discs had this been released in the physical. The first group of tunes are the earliest winners and while I have not a single issue with a track felt that fine tunes like “Let Me Know” or “Coming Home” would have been nice inclusions or surprises to someone discovering the band. Especially when it comes to the first segmentation of tunes. The first segment actually has six full tunes from the band’s debut which makes me wonder if it was just a better idea to purchase the full album. Let’s talk about the other sections for a moment and see what they are about in terms of the hits.

CD2: I Want You, Calling Dr. Love, Hard Luck Woman, I Stole Your Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Love Gun, King Of The Night Time World, Rocket Ride, New York Groove, I Was Made For Lovin’ You, 2,000 Man, Sure Know Something, Creatures Of The Night, I Love It Loud.

*** This section picks up with the bands “Rock and Roll Over” album and gives us three from here before going on to “Love Gun” and while there is also a tune from “Destroyer” with “King Of The Night Time World”, I think they tossed it here to mix it up. A solitary number from the bands four solo albums appears and its one of Ace’s but of course it’s the one that is on everyone’s tongue when you mention the solos. Three come from “Dynasty” while the closing two numbers are the sole inclusions from the monster release “Creatures Of The Night”. The surprise to me with this grouping is the complete lack of tunes from the bands “Unmasked” album which while pop oriented in nature still had some stuff that I enjoy at this time a lot more than I anticipated.

CD3: Lick It Up, All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose, Heaven’s On Fire, Tears Are Falling, Uh! All Night, Crazy Crazy Nights, Reason To Live, Let’s Put The X In Sex, Hide Your Heart, Forever, God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You II, Unholy, Domino, Psycho Circus, Into The Void.

*** This third grouping of tracks is actually very interesting to see placed all together based on the fact that so many of the tunes have videos for them. Unless I am mistaken, fourteen of the fifteen inclusions all had videos. That is pretty awesome to find being the case. Tune wise we get two selections from the now unmasked men with “Lick It Up” and three from “Asylum”. There’s two from “Crazy Nights” which is now an album that brings a smile even if it didn’t at the initial time of release and the “hit” from the “Smashes, Thrashes, Hits” compilation that the boys released in the late 80’s. We touch both “Revenge” and “Psycho Circus” with two tracks apiece and I think that the second track from each could have been swapped for something else in my humble opinion.

So if you know someone who needs an education in the bands work this is a great place to start. The cover art looks nice and since this is a digital only release it is probably all we shall find being offered to the buyer. This is not for the long time fan at all since there are no surprises to be found here at all. Purely for the ingénue who needs to know about the good stuff.

Track Listing: CD1
1. Strutter
2. Nothin’ To Lose
3. Firehouse
4. Deuce
5. Got To Choose
6. Hotter Than Hell
7. Rock Bottom
8. C’mon and Love Me
9. Black Diamond
10. Cold Gin
11. Rock and Roll All Nite
12. Detroit Rock City
13. God Of Thunder
14. Shout It Out Loud
15. Beth

Official Website: http://www.kissonline.com

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