“Succession” – A Tribute to KISS “Dynasty” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Succession” – A Tribute to KISS “Dynasty”
Label: KISS Fan Tributes
Release Date: 7/9/2009
Genre: Rock
Rating: 2.5/5

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the “Dynasty” album by KISS, the people over at KISS Fan Tributes have released the album “Succession”, which is a CD that delivers a number of artists own interpretations of the now classic recording by those masked men from New York City. Before I delve into this any further the reader must be made aware of my being a KISS “purist” and how I hold many of their tunes as gospel and with this in mind will be a very critical judge on how others choose to deliver their material. To be honest, I have been brutal about how Paul or Ace do some of these songs in concert as solo acts and have maintained a harsh view when I felt that the end did not justify the original means. Here does nothing. The album presents the recording sequentially as we heard the original “Dynasty” and begins with the albums biggest track, the signature “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” as done by The Wildflowers. Fronted by a female lead, this has a truer Disco vibe than the original had and even offers up some trance-like techno feel. It’s ok and offers you the aspect of how the song might have been done with a female singer. “2000 Man” was too slow and droning for my taste but it might appeal to the Stoner Rock fan. While the groove of “Sure Know Something” was pretty close to the original, the vocals of Tim McPhate were not up to snuff for the number and made me feel that perhaps he should have given a different tune a go. “Dirty Livin’” was the first track to really impress me for it was the most on target musically and vocally – nice work from the Coal Bin Bros. Shawn Fox delivers a growling Sleaze Punk version of “Charisma” which is not all that bad and came off as my second favorite on the disc.

If you ever wanted to know how “Magic Touch” would sound if it were a soft ballad that you would be hearing in a classy restaurant then the version by Anthony Tyler is perfect for you. This thought never came to my mind so I was a tad stunned during its play. Nice pianos though. Roxy Swain gives us “Hard Times” as done by a pair of female acoustic guitarists. It’s almost a country fried version which is not terrible but I had to admit that I missed the original drive behind this tune in its electrified original version. The ladies do offer up some tasty guitar playing for it which is commendable. “X-Ray Eyes” was a Dance Pop New Wave version that made me cringe I had to say. Sorry, there are some styles that don’t apply to a KISS tune and this is one of them. I guess this is how Cinema Bizarre might have done the song had they been given the chance to offer a rendition up. The whole effort closes up with another largely acoustic version of an Ace Frehley tune on the album with “Save Your Love” and while it is ok at best, it has none of the songs power. I expected this one to be a little more exciting and it just was not when it came to me. I admit being a little amused that the Ace tunes didn’t have any of the ripping guitar playing that I would have liked to see.

In the end this was a decent effort at best, but I am ultra critical based on how I view the catalog of the band. If you are a musician yourself and do a lot of KISS then you might find it interesting to see just how differently their songs can be done, but for me I am not as open when it comes to this band in particular. I should let you know that I only half enjoyed “KISS My A$$” as well if you were curious and that one had some heavy hitters involved in it. This is more for the KISS fan who must have everything related to the brand and can take even the strangest versions of their tunes with a grain of salt. It’s only available via MP3 download so we have provided the means for you to purchase should you be one of the curious. I was able to listen straight through without skipping so that is saying something at least, but in the end this was just not for me. Happy 30th Anniversary to KISS for the “Dynasty” CD. It might have perplexed some people at first but it is indeed a classic release at this point. Check that one out if you don’t own a copy already.

Track Listing:
1. I Was Made For Loving You – The Wildflowers
2. 2000 Man – Andy Samford
3. Sure Know Something – Tim McPhate
4. Dirty Livin’ – Coal Bin Bros.
5. Charisma – Shawn Fox
6. Magic Touch – Anthony Tyler
7. Hard Times – Roxy Swain
8. X-Ray Eyes – Das Fark
9. Save Your Love – Beeblesaurus

Official Website: http://dynastytribute.net

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