Artist: KISS Venue: Madison Square Garden (New York, NY) Opener: New England Date: 7/25/1979 Label: Casablanca Records
Today is a day for me to celebrate a personal Music Milestone and while we have a section devoted to such things here on PiercingMetal.com, the overall narrative will be filed in our Event Reviews area as it’s a milestone of a concert review. You see, it was forty years ago today that I would attend my very first concert ever and it would be the second night of the return of KISS to Madison Square Garden. In 1979 I was just past my fourteenth year and after some major begging had convinced my parents to take me to the concert. It took some doing and I think by the time that I had gotten my Dad on the same page that the first night was sold out. I was fine with the second night since at that point in my young life I had no idea about how to be about a concert. This was going to be my first time seeing the Hard Rock superheroes that I had been loving on record, in comic books, on trading cards and in action figures. Now it was time for the real deal spectacle as the guys would be touring for their “Dynasty” album and doing two shows in their hometown.
The ”Dynasty” album was getting a lot of radio play on the Rock Stations of the time thanks to the signature hit “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” which as you know was also more of a Disco number. That style of music was still riding high in 1979 and pretty much inescapable for those who wished to hide from it. Fortunately, my friends and I would find solace in radio stations like WNEW and WPLJ who were all Rock all the time. Anyway, so after a journey into the city braving the subway line directions from my parents, my friend and I met up with them and I guess we had something quick to eat before the show. I don’t recall that much but considering our age and the proximity, it was very likely McDonald’s. We entered the cavernous Madison Square Garden and I remember being floored by the amount of merchandise with the bands logo and faces on them. I didn’t manage to buy anything that night but I wanted the tour book and discovered that I could order one from the KISS Shop after the show so I would do that a few weeks later. Continue reading KISS @ Madison Square Garden (7/25/1979)→
The Press Release:
Los Angeles – September 18, 2018– Forty years ago today, each one the four founding members of KISS — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss — released their respective solo albums all on the same day to much fanfare, chart success, and platinum sales. And now, four decades later, all four of these pioneering albums are celebrated in KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection, a limited-edition 180-gram 4LP box set by Casablanca/UMe that’s earmarked for release on October 19.
Preorders commence today, September 18, for the limited run of 2,500 vinyl box sets, available exclusively through KISS’s artist webstore (https://www.shopkissonline.com) and The Sound of Vinyl (https://SOV.lnk.to/KISSSoloAlbumsText). Each heavyweight 180-gram LP features a unique color to match its associated cover art; Gene Simmons appears in red vinyl, Paul Stanley sports purple vinyl, Ace Frehley contains blue vinyl, and Peter Criss is in green vinyl. All four albums are housed together in a deluxe black-matte slipcase that features glossy black images of the four artists’ faces surrounding a silver-foil print of the infamous KISS logo. Continue reading KISS’ Iconic Four Solo Albums Get A Limited-Edition 4LP Vinyl Box Set→
Stand up on top of your seats and raise your fist in the air and light that lighter to its highest flame because KISS “Alive II” has reached its fortieth anniversary and was released on this date back in 1977. As this is one of my very favorite albums of all time I am pretty stoked to reflect upon its awesomeness. Here we go.
In some sense it began for me with the opening line that shouted “You Wanted The Best And You Got The Best! The Hottest Band In The World —- KISS!!!” From the moment this album began with that intro I started my first truly full exploration into a band that I had only heard every now and again at that point in history. I would sometimes hear them if my parents had the Rock radio station on in the car and songs like “Rock and Roll All Night” or “Strutter” came across the airwaves. I liked those songs enough to the best of my recollection but that was all I was able to absorb since I was still at a pretty young age. When KISS “Alive II” came out I was still in grade school and for some reason I can still recall seeing a double page advertisement for it in one of the major newspapers of the day. Since money was not really in my own control around those years it would be a couple of years later when I finally got my own copy of the album but of course I had heard it quite a few times by then since some older friends had it and allowed me to indulge in its greatness and be schooled in a sense with what truly was “The Hottest Band In The World” to my young ears. To me, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were Rock and Roll superheroes and their wild image was like watching the comic books that I was reading come to life.
There sure are a lot of music milestones to address this year and many of them I don’t mind at all because it’s fun to reflect on a particular albums importance in my own world along with that of the larger populace around me. This is especially a treat when we are talking about the absolutely seminal, must have this in your music collection without a doubt album by KISS, the one and only “Destroyer”. This was the bands fourth album and followed that other iconic release “Alive” and for many fans of my own vintage (or close to it) is the album that molded ones KISS appreciation into a diehard allegiance. Personally speaking I had been hearing KISS on the radio since “Dressed To Kill” as I knew some tunes from that and “Alive” and while I would hear “Destroyer” in the same fashion, I would not yet be purchasing albums all that easily. Music purchasing power was still in the hands of the parents and I would begin my own KISS commerce with “Alive II”. Sorry, I’m going off track here a little bit so where was I – Oh yeah “Destroyer”.
While I would purchase “Destroyer” a few years after its initial release, I was well accustomed to the larger body of work that was present here and it was an album that spoke to me from beginning to end. I was getting heavily into music as sports barely interested me and since I was a diehard comic book fan, the image of the band as these larger than life super-heroes on the cover of the album was a complete win for my young mind. Just imagine that. KISS as super-heroes I would think to myself. What a cool comic book that would make, and while it was not something that happened when “Destroyer” first came out they would be featured in the debut issue of “Marvel Comics Super Special” in 1977 and face off against Doctor Doom. The album cover itself was a painting by the great Ken Kelly who would also do “Love Gun” in a couple of years. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Kelly at a Toy Fair not too long ago and when I shook his hand I just had to thank him for leaving such an iconic image in all of the KISS Army members minds. It was thanks to this incredible painting that KISS took on the larger than life personas that each character showcased. Paul as the Starchild and front man extraordinaire was a contrast to the outer space resident stuck on Earth in the Space Ace who shredded the galaxy with guitar riffs. The thunder beneath them from Catman Peter Criss drove the band forward while Hell’s own Demon Gene Simmons spewed fire and blood and seemed every bit the monster from your darkest nightmares. Awesome stuff for sure. “Destroyer” as an album just had so many stand-out tracks for me as a fan and let’s take a glance at the original album listing. Continue reading KISS “Destroyer” Is Still Shouting Out Loud @ 40 Years (1976-2016)→
“She looked good she looked Hotter Than Hell, all dressed in satins and lace. I looked at her and it was just too clear…..I had to get on the case”……. Yeah the words still come to me so many years after I first heard the sophomore effort by KISS and their album “Hotter Than Hell”. Of course the album’s title track was the recordings fourth number on the LP but I digress. Can you believe that is has been that long since it was released? Now I’ll admit that given my own personal vintage that I was not a KISS fan at the time that this album came out (that epiphany would hit me around the time of “Destroyer” or maybe it was even with “Alive” but the memory is slightly cloudy on it). I had heard the band already since the radio stations of the day would play some KISS tunes but would not own albums of my own for some years to come but I digress….yes “Hotter Than Hell”, wow forty years old today October 22nd 2014. Continue reading KISS’ “Hotter Than Hell” Melting Stereos For 40 Years (1974-2014)→