Artist: KISS Title: “KISSWORLD – The Best Of KISS” Label: Universal Music Release Date: 1/26/2019 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
Lo and behold my friends, there is yet another “Greatest Hits” compilation for the legendary masked men of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal – The Hottest Band In The World KISS!!!! This one is entitled “KISSWORLD – The Best Of KISS” and it hit the streets in late January and I’ve finally got a copy of this in my hands. As a lifer in terms of KISS releases, I will be most likely purchasing another 50 hits packages if they come out and my main interest in this one was to see what sort of booklet might be included in the packaging. I’ll return to that topic later on but first let’s take a quick glance at the “20” tracks included on the release. From top to bottom there doesn’t seem to be a single track of “filler” and instead are all go to songs in the now massive KISS catalog. I found it interesting that the release began with “Crazy Crazy Nights” because when that song first hit I was aghast but now so many years later have found it to be enjoyable Rock and Roll.
There aren’t any omissions in terms of the necessary staples as “Love Gun”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Shout It Out Loud” and of course the seminal “Rock and Roll All Nite” are included. The latter one being the original studio track as opposed to the one that we often find on such a release that hails from the essential “Alive” album. There are NO live tracks on this compilation. The post-makeup years are well represented with the most notable tracks from the era such as “Tears Are Falling”, “Lick It Up” and “Heaven’s On Fire” in addition to the album opening “Crazy Crazy Nights”. I think I would have liked to see “Who Wants To Be Lonely” here but it is not. Continue reading “KISSWORLD – The Best Of KISS” by KISS→
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.
Peter Criss will deliver his “Last US Show Ever” if you can trust the poster for this. Come and say goodbye to the former drummer of KISS as he entertains with his tunes one final time here in NYC. It’s a pricey one for sure.
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)→