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“Smashes, Thrashes and Hits” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Smashes, Thrashes and Hits”
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2.5/5

While “Smashes, Thrashes and Hits” would truly be the third KISS compilation that featured must have selections from the band’s catalog, its predecessor entitled “Killers” was never released in the States. That makes this album the second such release for the US region fan base and it would follow in similar fashion to “Killers” and would feature not only classic material but a couple of new tracks as well. The band’s first official compilation came to us by way of “Double Platinum” and unfortunately for those fans who own that album already, they will notice about seven tracks being duplicated on this release that also appeared there. Generally, KISS fans don’t mind and seem to eat up anything that the band issues to us but it should be something you are made aware of. The CD wins in some fashion by choosing to not only cover the earliest legacy years, but for also being smart and including material from the eighties were KISS was an MTV staple and could be found in regular rotation based on the videos from some of these albums. I don’t need to comment on the bands classic tracks such as “Love Gun” and “Detroit Rock City” among the others but I will say that they managed to feature a couple of goodies from the 80’s for the fan base to enjoy. “Lick It Up”, “Heaven’s On Fire” and “Tears Are Falling” were very important tunes for KISS as they were now a band that was proving they were much more than image only. The tasty tracks offered big sing along choruses to the audience and whether you loved or hated the songs, you would instantly find them playing over in your mind.

Two new KISS compositions open up the CD and they work along the lines of material that we found on “Asylum” more than the albums that preceded it (“Animalize”/”Lick It Up”). Each was loaded with a brazen sexual innuendo that was not subtle at all and would be able to cause worry in the parents of the younger fan base who might have picked up on what they were getting at. Decent tracks which I did not enjoy all that much when they were first released but have come to appreciate over the years as additional pieces of the KISS puzzle. “Beth” as an inclusion would trouble me I am sad to report and this is because the song is the same music that we all know and love, but the vocals have been replaced by the bands drummer of the time Eric Carr. Carr is a great singer in his own right and this is clear from the tune, but this song was dedicated to Criss’ own wife Lydia which made the vocal replacement rather insulting. In the end this CD is more for the eighties KISS fan who wanted to get some background on their older stuff with the same purchase, but as you know the KISS army makes sure to place every release on their buying queue no matter what is repeated or changed around by the band. An ok purchase at best but not something you won’t be able to live without.

Track Listing:
1. Let’s Put The X In Sex
2. (You Make Me) Rock Hard
3. Love Gun
4. Detroit Rock City
5. I Love It Loud
6. Deuce
7. Lick It Up
8. Heaven’s On Fire
9. Calling Dr. Love
10. Strutter
11. Beth
12. Tears Are Falling
13. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
14. Rock And Roll All Nite
15. Shout It Out Loud

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