I’ve really been enjoying sharing these “Music Milestones” with you and well, to be honest anything in the “Milestone” category brings a smile to my face because it’s fun to reflect upon something that I remember buying way back in the day or have looked upon fondly for many years. Today’s “Milestone” is actually the first of four related topics because we are at the 35th Anniversary of the KISS Solo Albums – Lifelong KISS fans of a certain age might recall how in 1978 on this very day, four distinct albums were released to the public that showcased the creative side of each of the bands members. I’ll start with Gene Simmons since he has long been my favorite member of the band but as far as deep analysis of the album goes I am going to leave that to the Official Wikipedia entry which is at the bottom. You don’t need me to repeat what is already documented.
I loved the covers of these albums by artist Dennis Woloch. Gene’s especially since there was a tiny dribble of blood coming out of the side of his mouth. Now despite Gene Simmons being my favorite KISS Member, his solo album was not my first favorite nor was it even my second. I actually liked this album third of the whole batch and that was because in 1978 as a rabid KISS fan there was so few similarities to what I loved about the band. Gene’s album did have some Hard Rock on it but for maybe two or three songs at most. The rest of it was samples of Funk, Disco, and Pop stuff. The guest stars on Gene’s album read like a who’s who in Popular Music with Cher, Donna Summer, Bob Seger, musicians from the “Beatlemania” play and an unknown Katie Sagal. The original album track listing is below for your recollection.
2. Burning Up With Fever
3. See You Tonite
4. Tunnel Of Love
5. True Confessions
6. Living In Sin
7. Always Near You/Nowhere To Hide
8. Man Of 1,000 Face
9. Mr. Make Believe
10. See You In Your Dreams
11. When You Wish Upon A Star
Glancing over these once again and while having the release spin for me in Spotify as I type this up, I still feel that “Radioactive” was the most favored of the tracks to my musical mind. Even now, some thirty-five years later. I recall liking “See You In Your Dream” and a couple of others but I still find it strange to hear Gene singing “When You Wish Upon A Star” from “Cinderella. You readers can let me know what you liked or hated about this particular album at the close of the narrative. The comments are there for you to add value to the topic after all.
I still have my original vinyl of all four of the Solo Albums but I played them often so they are not in the best of shape. I even have a picture disc of three of the four members with Gene, Paul and Ace. I do not have the Peter one and I think it was because I couldn’t find it more than I didn’t want it. I am a KISS completeist and would have wanted the full collection in my possession. Way back in 2006 I reviewed the Solo Albums in an effort to get more content into my at the time new website. You can check out the review for “Gene Simmons” Solo Album by clicking HERE.
The KISS Solo Albums each came with a stylish, comic book type poster of the character the album was for. So Gene Simmon’s would be “The Demon” and this worked perfectly since they just had their appearance in the “Marvel Comics Super Special” magazine in 1977. The image below shows how they all look when placed together. It would make an awesome (but big) piece of art to hang in ones studio space or man cave.
The four respective solo albums were hinted at in the advertisement that was found in the music magazines of the time. This sure sparked some talk among the KISS Army based on the secrecy and lack of real visuals.
Official Album Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Simmons_(album)
Official Website: http://www.kissonline.com