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KMA2864 KISS – Destroyer

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.

KMA2160 Poll Results: Your Ultimate Top 5 KISS Albums 1974-2016








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 Destroyer
4 Lick It Up
4 Animalize
3 Alive II!
3 Ace Frehley (solo)
2 Rock And Roll Over
2 Revenge
1 Dynasty
1 Love Gun
1 Crazy Nights
1 Monster
1 KISS Symphony: Alive IV (live)

And for this final round, these choices received no votes:
Music From ‘The Elder’
Carnival Of Souls
Alive III
KISS Unplugged (live)
Psycho Circus
You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best (live)
Sonic Boom
The Box Set (box)
The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982 (box)
Alive! The Millenium Concert (live)
KISS 40 (comp)
KISSteria – The Ultimate Vinyl Case (box)

In Sum:

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!

KMA2144 Poll Results: Your Top 5 KISS Albums 2000-2016

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):

4 Monster
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)
Gold (comp)
The Best Of KISS, Volume 3: The Millenium Collection (comp)
Jigoku-Retsuden (comp)
KISS Chronicles: 3 Classic Albums (box)
KISS Alive! 1975-2000 (box)
Ikons (box)

Thanks again for all of your votes, folks!

KMA2128 Poll: Your Top 5 KISS Albums 2000-2016

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!

KMA2126 Poll Results: Top 5 KISS Albums 1990-1999

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?

6 Revenge
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
Alive III
KISS Unplugged (live)
Psycho Circus

And there was poor old Greatest Hits not getting a single vote!

Thanks for voting!

KMA1208 KISS – Destroyer (Resurrected)

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.

In Sum:

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.

KISS – Unmasked

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!

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