I had fun hearing this again. Now, I also own the Destroyer: Resurrected, which cleaned everything up and added in missing bits from this set, but I still prefer this old version. I’m not all that knowledgeable about KISS, not compared to you guys, but I know what I like, and I liked Destroyer a whole lot. Well, except maybe Great Expectations. It doesn’t really fit the album, to me. Anyway.
Alrighty folks! As you know, we’ve been doing a series of Top 5 Album polls, here on the KMA, one for each decade of KISS’ output.
Most recently, we took all 28 of the results (ties included) from all 4 decades and made an Ultimate Top 5 KISS Albums poll. This has been quite a project, and we heartily thank everyone who voted!
Ready? Of course you are!
It’s time for the big reveal… What are our beautiful KMA Readers’ Top 5 KISS albums? Here are the results!
There are three different ways we can read these results…
1) Those with the most votes total, which would be all those getting 4-6 votes each:
1 – Creatures Of The Night
2 – Alive! (live)
3 – Destroyer
4 – Lick It Up
5 – Animalize
2) We could include ties in the final tally:
1 – Creatures Of The Night
2 – Alive! (live)
3 – Destroyer / Lick It Up / Animalize
4 – Alive II! / Ace Frehley (solo)
5 – Rock And Roll Over / Revenge
3) We could just look at the whole damn list:
6 Creatures Of The Night
5 Alive! (live)
4 Lick It Up
3 Alive II!
3 Ace Frehley (solo)
2 Rock And Roll Over
1 Love Gun
1 Crazy Nights
1 KISS Symphony: Alive IV (live)
And for this final round, these choices received no votes:
Music From ‘The Elder’
Carnival Of Souls
KISS Unplugged (live)
You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best (live)
The Box Set (box)
The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982 (box)
Alive! The Millenium Concert (live)
KISS 40 (comp)
KISSteria – The Ultimate Vinyl Case (box)
Thanks so much for voting, everyone! This has been a super-fun project. We appreciate your knowledgeable input on all of these KISS albums! Fair warning, I will be using these results as a shopping list…
And no matter how you slice it, we have a clear and unanimous winner! Thanks again, everybody!
Are you ready?
As a final exercise in this KISS Poll series, let’s try something insane!
Let’s take all of the Top 5 Results from every decade polled, from 1974 up to 2016, and see if you can choose a Top 5 KISS albums OF ALL TIME!
Logically, given 4 decades of KISS music (!), there should be 20 albums in this list. However, I’ve gone a step further and included all tied results within each decade’s Top 5, to make the list as complete as possible. This gives you 28 entries from which to choose!
Can you do it? Too difficult? LET’S FIND OUT!
Alrighty, folks, it’s that time again…
With the closing of this poll yesterday, we’ve polled every decade of KISS records from the 1970s on up.
Thanks so much for your participation!
I hope you’ve been having as much fun with this as we are…
And without further ado…
Here are your results for the Top 5 KISS Albums 2000-2016 (number of votes received):
3 Sonic Boom
3 The Box Set (box)
2 KISS Symphony: Alive IV (live)
2 The Casblancas Singles 1974-1982 (box)
1 Alive! The Millenium Concert (live)
1 KISS 40 (comp)
1 KISSteria – The Ultimate Vinyl Case (box)
So that makes our top 5 from the decade pretty interesting!
1 – Monster
2 – Sonic Boom
3 – The Box Set (box)
4 – KISS Symphony: Alive IV (live)
5 – The Casblancas Singles 1974-1982 (box)
Nicely done, folks… and this is a sweet look at the decade as chosen by you, the most knowledgeable KISS fans I know!
Also: these entries received no votes at all!
KISS Rocks Vegas (live)
KISS Instant Live (Clear Channel Instant Live)
KISS Alive 35 (Clear Channel Instant Live)
KISS Sonic Boom Over Europe (Clear Channel Instant Live)
The Very Best Of KISS (comp)
The Best Of KISS, Volume 1: The Millenium Collection (comp)
The Best Of KISS, Volume 2: The Millenium Collection (comp)
The Best Of KISS, Volume 3: The Millenium Collection (comp)
KISS Chronicles: 3 Classic Albums (box)
KISS Alive! 1975-2000 (box)
Thanks again for all of your votes, folks!
OK folks, we’ve only got this last one to do! I was gonna do 2000-2009 and 2010-2016, but there were only two studio albums after 1998 (!) (in 2009 and 2012). Man, going 1998-2oo9 between albums, I mean, that’s 11 frickin’ years, man. That’s kinda sad.
Anyway, I’ve bundled all the 2000s together into one list. As usual, I’ve included the two (!) studio records, live albums and boxed sets. I’ve even included the Clear Channel Instant Live stuff for all you super-fans.
Ready to pick your Top 5 KISS for 2000-2016? Have at ‘er!
Alright, faithful KMA Readers, once again I have forgotten to put up the results of the most recent KISS poll. Thanks for your patience!
This time, we were selecting our Top 5 KISS records 1990-1999. How’d we do?
5 Carnival Of Souls
5 Alive III
5 KISS Unplugged (live)
4 Psycho Circus
1 You Wanted The Best, You Got the Best (live)
1 Greatest KISS (comp)
0 Greatest Hits (comp)
Which obviously makes your Top 5 for 1990-1999 look like this:
Carnival Of Souls
KISS Unplugged (live)
And there was poor old Greatest Hits not getting a single vote!
Thanks for voting!
Alrighty folks, since we have already done the 70s and 80s, here are the 90s!
From the looks of it, the 90s were a lean time for KISS releases… 3 studio albums, 3 live albums, and 2 comps? In ten years? Are they trying to be the Rolling Stones (in terms of output)?
Anyway, pick your top 5 (from the available 8) and I’ll get results up in a few days! Enjoy!
All apologies, Dear KMA Readers, but I forgot to post up the results of our poll for your Top 5 KISS albums 1980-1989! Sorry about that.
Here they are! (# of votes):
6 Creatures Of The Night
5 Lick It Up
3 Music From “The Elder”
3 Crazy Nights
2 Killers (comp)
Which makes our winners list (as selected by you) look like this:
- Creatures Of The Night
- Lick It Up
- tie: Music From “The Elder” / Crazy Nights
- tie: Unmasked / Killers (comp)
Also: There were three releases in that decade that recieved no votes at all:
Hot In The Shade
Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (comp)
Drop a comment and let me know what you think! Thanks so much for voting, everyone!!
Alrighty folks, with the success of our Favourite 1970s KISS albums poll, it’s time to try the 80s!
Interestingly, there were no live albums or boxed sets in the 1980s! No live albums? Really? That’s really damn weird, to me. Talk about a missed opportunity, especially for a band that plays live all the time and never seems to miss a chance to take a few of your hard earned bucks and replace it with more rawk in your collection!
I’m gonna leave this up for a week (Saturday), so we should see results next Sunday!
Pick your Top 5 KISS Albums 1980-1989!
Alrighty then, folks!
It’s time to rock and roll over for the results of Your Favourite 1970s KISS Albums 1974-1979!!
Thanks to everyone who voted! KISS is one of those bands that generates very strong opinions, and has a very (very) loyal following!
As such, it’s no surprise that, even within our wee community here (the best blogging community ever, by the way), we received a total of 41 votes!
So, without further ado, here is everything together (#of votes/title/percentage of votes):
9 Destroyer (22%)
8 Alive! (live) (20%)
5 Rock And Roll Over (12%)
5 Alive II! (live) (12%)
4 Dynasty (10%)
3 Love Gun (7%)
3 Ace Frehley (solo) (7%)
2 Kiss (5%)
1 Dressed To Kill (2%)
1 Double Platinum (comp) (2%)
That makes the Top 5 Of KMA Reader voters as follows:
1 – Destroyer
2 – Alive!
3 – Rock And Roll Over
4 – Alive II
5 – Dynasty
How did your votes do in the final tally?
What are your opinions on the final results?
Anything else you’d like to say? Drop us many, many comments (below)…
Thanks so much for voting! Well done, everyone!
It’s worth noting that the following albums received no votes at all:
Hotter Than Hell
Gene Simmons (solo)
Peter Criss (solo)
Paul Stanley (solo)
The Originals (box)
The Originals II (box)
Further to discussion in the comments on this blog, after I posted Love Gun, there seems to be some differences in favourite albums by this band’s 1970s output.
Incredibly, KISS released 7 studio albums, 4 solo records, 2 live albums, 2 boxed sets, and 1 compilation between 1974-1979! That’s a frickin’ busy 6 years!
I thought a quick poll might lead to some more discussion, so let’s have at it, shall we?
Pick your Top 5 faves and then let the comments begin!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 8 (CD, Japanese edition, with obi!)
I remember when Mike was looking for this album (our 2012 trip to Taranna!). In fact, it was the one in which he had his infamous run-in with the “Japanese imports are VERY expensive” dum-dum at Sunrise records!
Anyway, there must’ve been another issue of it, because in this most recent box from Mike was this copy of Monster, Japanese release, complete with the obi strip! WTF! I even emailed him to make sure he hadn’t sent this in error. I mean, holy crap! Turns out it’s all good, so this one definitely has a welcoming home here!
Let’s get into this Monster, shall we? I’m only four years late to the party!
Hell Or Hallelujah was a single, and it’s a corker. What a great way to open a record! Pure KISS energy, rockin’ like hell (or hallelujah). Wall Of Sound is exactly that, a brilliant bluesy rocker with a great riff. I loved everything about this one! Freak is a heavy stomper, with harmony vocals and big crunchy guitars, and a pretty (brief) middle breakdown bit. It’s a bit slower, but it doesn’t rock any less!
I’m three tracks in and already getting the impression that KISS was swinging for the fences on this one…
Back To The Stone Age is double-fisted – one fist pumping in the air, the other one bonking you in the face with its rock and roll assault. What a huge tune! Shout Mercy is pure blues rock with a bit of a swing to it and tons of backing vocal adds. When the chorus comes around, it’s sheer bliss. Long Way Down is the other single, and it’s easy to hear why. This one’s built for radio play. It rocks, all the elements are right there in your face, the guitar solo wails, and there’s cowbell!
Eat Your Heart Out starts out with some awesome a capella, but of course the band kicks in fully (with more cowbell) shortly. It’s another fun rocker that has great bass presence, and by the end you realize just how damn well crafted it is. The Devil Is Me is a busy blues crusher, holy crap this might be one of my favourite tracks here. It’s all perfect! And before you can even catch your breath, it’s Outta This World, another big rocker (with cowbell!)! It stands up well in the mix for damn sure.
Folks, there are only three more tracks to go and there’s no ballad yet! Also, there’s cowbell everywhere!
All For The Love Of Rock & Roll sounds like an old school KISS song. If it had been on Love Gun, for example, it would’ve fit perfectly. It’s a mid-tempo rock tune that has pop rock sensibilities, but enough bluesy craft to make it perfect barroom fodder. Take Me Down Below brings back the bruising thumps of rock so you can keep on punching your fists in the air! This one would absolutely kill in concert. Holy crap that was fun. Last Chance is a great song title for ending an album, and guess what? It’s another big rocker! This tune is awesome. It fits my life philosophy pretty well. GIVE ‘ER! Yup, I liked this one best too.
Haha man, they did it. Not one ballad anywhere. Whoa.
And now we get to the bonus track that always makes the Japanese version worth buying… except according to the dum-dum at Sunrise:
Here comes the live version of Destroyer’s King Of The Night Time World (live). I did a little digging and found a KISS fan site that at first thought it was from Fuji, Japan in 2006. But then others found this exact track on a Rock The Nation Live EP from 2006, recorded in Virginia Beach, VA on July 25, 2004. Anyway, it’s an awesome track, and I am glad to have it and hear it, but it distracted a bit, for me, from the perfection of the Monster track order! Weird, I know. That’s me!
Holy shit, KISS crafted a damn-near perfect rawk record. It sounds like them, of course, and it’s full of huge rock tunes captured with perfect production. Not one weak spot anywhere. This should have sold crate-loads of copies everywhere that has electricity.
An album that lives up to its name: it’s truly a MONSTER. Full marks!
THANK YOU SO MUCH MIKE! FOR THIS ONE, AND FOR ALL OF THESE OTHER AWESOME DISCS IN THIS SERIES: THANK YOU!
For more reading fun, go check out Mike and Tommy’s reviews!
And Mike just posted his Japanese Tour Edition post today. We never talked about it, but we both posted Monster on the same day! Great minds truly do thing alike!
Mike, I did this one as a 200 word shot…
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 7 (CD)
I was the jazz kid, so KISS wasn’t really on my radar, though of course I knew the hits.
Listening to Love Gun, it’s obvious KISS have many talents. They can rock hard (I Stole Your Love), offer up concert fist-pumpers (Christine Sixteen), blues rock us happily (Got Love For Sale), and go weirdly funky (Almost Human). They even tribute Cynthia Plaster Caster and, oddly, cover Then She Kissed Me…
At the time of this release, KISS were hugely popular, and this one surely added to the growing legend. There’s a sense of theater to the rock that KISS plays, and it’s highly entertaining. I know they’re as much for the eyes as they are for the ears, so hearing this record feels like half the picture. Still, it’s good clean fun… though they still might want to invade your personal space, so be wary…
Simmons’ bass stood out for me on most songs here, as much as the guitars, anyway. Taken in perspective of 1977, this record deserved to be huge. It’s tons of fun, and carries their cheeky humour (Love Gun, after all) in that way that not-so-gently nudges you with an elbow.
Right on. Thanks heaps, Mike!
My lovely wife drives through Meaford every day, and was mentioning that their annual Scarecrow Festival is on. The whole town is decorated with scarecrows.
She thought we’d all get a kick out of this particular display:
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.
Been a weekend of busy, not a whole lot of time for listening to music. Yeah, you got a late-night piece (let’s not call it a review, right?) about an old radiohead record, but that’s been it. Really should just hunker down and write up several albums in advance, post them days out so that when times like this hit, you won’t miss us. I know how you need that sweet, sweet KMA in your Reader.
Alas, the only things I have to offer you today are random, unconnected bits:
1) for the first time ever, I heard Iron Maiden on the local (named after an animal, of course) rawk radio station. I’m no great radio listener. I prefer controlling what gets played in my car. I’m sure they’ve played them before and I just wasn’t there for it. But, for whatever reason, the radio was on and there they were. Run To The Hills.
And my brain went in several directions, including the thrill I always get when I hear this band, and the wonder that it is February of 2014 and this is the first time I’ve ever heard them on corporate rawk radio. It’s akin to the time I was driving our moving van to Montreal in the fall of 1999, and somewhere outside of Kingston I picked up Tool’s Sober on the radio. It’s so unexpected, in a playlist of BTO and Trooper and April Wine and Nickelcrap. So very refreshing.
But it’s all downhill from the Hills from here…
2) there has been much talk about KISS’ refusal to play at their own Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. I can only shake my head. These people really are way past old enough to know better, and they can’t even get their shit together long enough to briefly do what they’ve been doing their entire careers, in a place that is only trying to recognize them for having done it. It’s weak. Yes, the RaRHoF is dumb, a joke. We all know this. So they won’t play. UNLESS…
Maybe they’re doing this to drum up interest. Maybe they’ll make it seem like they’ve suddenly found it in themselves to “make up” (get it?) or at least 11th hour make it seem like they’ve swallowed their differences and play anyway. It could be the plan all along. Don’t forget, these guys are the masters of promotion. Panic people that it won’t be happening, and then seem like heroes when (gasp!) it happens anyway… It could just be part of the show.
But know this: I don’t care, one way or the other. I really don’t. And surely there are those out there who know way more than I do about the situation and will tell me no way, it’s not happening. The issues are real. I still won’t really care. But if it is true that they won’t play at their own party where they’re the guests of honour, I call weak-ass lame on all of them. Suck it up, guys, and just do what you do.
3) Justin Bieber threw eggs at his neighbour’s house. It has come to this. This is news. It’s time for a break, people. If we don’t pay attention to these people, they might just go away.
And now, for the first time ever (I’m sure) in KMA history, I have just uttered the names Nickelcrap and Justin Bieber in the same post. I’m going to stop now before the Universe implodes.
Scott, our venerable HMO, sent me this album. With KISS, I know the hits. We all do. They’re fairly inescapable. I had to Wiki this record to find out more about what KISS was up to in 1980, and now I know as much as you do (or could) about it. Fun!
In a way, this is a neat way to review a record by a band where the most popular songs are the only ones known (none of them appear here). It’s uncharted territory for me. Bring it on!
Is That You? is a groovy rocker that flirst with cheesy. Could be heavier-sounding, with that riff, if they’d let it. The undoing of many a great tune, really… Shandi is a period-perfect ballad. It was 1980, so extrapolate from there amongst yourselves… It’s be easy to rip on it now, but at the time I’m sure it was the bomb. It’s a smartly-written song, but in 2014 it sounds like, well, elevator music.
Talk To Me is weak, lyrically. It’s like they spent an evening with a thesaurus, writing sentences ending in rhymes of “-tion.” It’s not a bad song, as these things go, though. Good guitar solo. And am I wrong for thinking I hear Beach Boys in this one? Or was it just the bit about the vibraTIONS he was getting… Naked City is a better, slinky rock intro that becomes almost a rip-off of the Police’s Roxanne. The bass is very prominent. When the song hits the chorus it all gets a bit better. Think what would happen if you mixed Naked Eyes and the Police, but had KISS singing. Weird. The obligatory guitar solo is short but sweet.
What Makes The World Go ‘Round is like a Bon Jovi song, all the clichés (haha) but it’s another pop song that works in the context of when it was wrought. The chorus rocks the most, here… Tomorrow made me wonder if Rik Okasek produced it, so much did it sound like a Cars song. It’s a fun pop tune all the same, and whatever else I could say about the sound now, looking back, it is still true that it’s another well-constructed tune.
Two Sides Of The Coin is bluesy, almost a Keef homage in the (different singer)’s vocals. At least, I heard it a bit in the verses. Decent track… She’s So European is just a dumb song title. But it’s another tune that would benefit greatly from heavier production (and a loss of the synths, full-stop). This song could really rock, if they let it.
Easy As It Seems is yet another pop song, pure and simple. Ah, the 80s… Torpedo Girl even has the “battle stations!” intro. It’s a very jazzy tune with a great drum beat. I liked it, for all that the lyrics are rather painful… And finally, it’s You’re All That I Want. This is a solid rocker. I can see this one being a lot of fun in concert. It’d be easy to pump your fist in the air along with this one.
In sum, I’m not really one to consider myself any sort of expert on KISS. This takes some restraint to admit, because they’ve done so much and been around so long it’s really easy to have a half-informed opinion about them, but I won’t do them that disservice. I definitely liked parts of this album. The rest was very of-its-time and it is what it is.
My thanks to our HMO for including this in the stack of awesomeness he sent my way. I was really glad to hear it!
NB: If you want a more insightful take on this record, re-acquaint yourself with Mike’s take on it from back when he reviewed all the KISS albums in order (yes he’s insane like that). Read it RIGHT HERE!