On our annual Mike And Aaron Go To Toronto trip this year, Mike and I also did our annual swapping of goodies. This is as much fun as the trip itself, saving stuff up we know the other will like. This year, Mike gave me a bunch of CDs. Awesomely, this one was in the batch!
I’ll begin this with a disclaimer – I never owned a KISS album until more recently – and that was only when Mike and Scott gave me some CDs. My lovely wife is a closet KISS fan, but I think she’s more a fan of the kitsch than the music because I never hear her playing the CDs in the house. So I’m a bit of a KISS noob, and you’re free to disregard everything I say going forward, if you don’t have time for someone’s first impressions at this late date.
I don’t know the original, so I’m not sure why KISS resurrected this album. When iTunes ripped this CD it labelled all the tracks as 2012 Remix, so it seems they went back and re-wrote the history books, in some way. Sad, when they could’ve just put that energy into a new record instead. But nobody asks me. Probably because I’d say that, more likely, they needed cash – their accustomed, accumulated standard of living must require a lot of cash and Mike alone cannot support them. Time for another re-release, guys!
Let’s see what we’ve got here…
Detroit Rock City has a weird intro… was this a video, maybe, and they just transferred the audio of that over? I wouldn’t have included this, but whatever. I know this tune, it’s a Hit song classic, of course, and we all know it well. King Of The Night Time World is a fun rock track with Stonesy backing guitars (at times). God Of Thunder has these weird children throughout, but it’s a cool and menacing stomper. I like all the chunky bits.
Great Expectations is a real jolt, after the last one. I like that it directly quotes Beethoven (I Wiki’d this and songwriting credit goes to Simmons and Ezrin – I guess it was written long enough ago it doesn’t fall under any copyright). The lyrics here are hilarious. And then it builds into this weird choir thing… Flaming Youth brings back the rawk, a fun youth anthem.
Sweet Pain is bouncy good times rock. Why in hell has Sloan not covered this song (to my knowledge)? It is right in their wheelhouse! I could totally hear them playing this song. They have their Beatles influence, their AC/DC influence, and THIS song is their KISS influence, I swear!
Shout It Out Loud is another Hit classic, I always liked this song (how could I not?). And then it’s Beth, another huge song. I don’t know what the 2012 remix did to this one, but it sounds about the same as the million other times we’ve all heard it to death. Do You Love Me is a concert fist-pumper if I ever heard one. Rock And Roll Party is a totally weird track – why would they include this chanting noise-wash nonsense crap? At least it was only a minute and a half… And finally it’s Sweet Pain again, this time with what they call the original guitar solo. OK, sure.
I enjoyed this record as much as anyone who’s never heard it before 2014 and only really knows the hits could enjoy it. I’m sure KISS fans everywhere were excited about this re-release and that’s all that matters! Thanks heaps, Mike! I enjoyed gettin’ my KISS on.