It’s time for the first ever 3/4’s KISS Filler Week here at Arena Rock and well hopefully I don’t get sued by $tanley and $immon$ and if I do I will tell the lawyers that Mikey Ladano made me do it! Hahahaha….no he didn’t this is all me….
Why Kiss? Umm why not sez I! I have been buying Kiss albums since 1978 and man I purchased 3 kinda snoozy duds so after all these years I’m gonna spout off and tell Ya why….
Also Kiss has something like 450 albums(ha) so to throw 3 under the bus that ain’t too shabby…oh wait out of those 450 albums 420 of em are Greatest Hits comps!(don’t get me started!)
One last thing,don’t expect the expected in my 3/4’s Filler Week here at Kiss HQ!
1980 and oh man I had just seen Kiss live for the first time in 1979 read my very first written blog here about it.https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/1979-the-return-of-kiss-2/
So I’m still in fantasy Kissville in 1980 and Kiss unleash Unmasked except for me being a total delusional 13-year-old at the time of Unmasked’s release Kiss and more importantly their success was starting to wane people were tired of them(except me) people were buying other albums instead of Kiss(except me) my pal John Young had moved on to Led Zep(except me) get the picture!
So Gene,Paul,Ace and Petey fool me and call the album Unmasked it has a goofy album cover so when I bought it I thought ‘hey there’s probably a picture of them inside without the make up!” Nope I officially pronounce myself a sucker!
Hey Gene and Paul you fooled my ass back than….not now!
Even though Petey Criss is pictured on the cartoonish goofy cover its Anton Fig that smacks the skins….everyone also involved with Kiss knows this(except me!)
IS THAT YOU-Wowzers did Stanley chirp the word Bitch??! Actually this is a good opener(not written by Kiss but by some dude named Gerald McMahon?) The production though is sterile sounding(thanks Vini Ponica). Kiss for some reason always had weak sonics on their studio 70s output(except Destroyer) why I have no idea as they were rolling in the cash but having said that the verses are good the pre chorus Paul gets into that falsetto bullshit but saves the day with the chorus! Check out the live video posted of new boy on the drums Eric Carr slamming the song forward! Kudos to Kiss for doing a song about a female serial killer who will stick you with her knife! Too bad the album skids into track two which is……
SHANDI- umm dunno I mean this is too obvious! Back than I skipped this track nowadays when I listened to this song to jog my memory on this track I giggled! Stanley waters down this track with some pure sap! Actually this tune would have found a home on a Poison album Hahahaha…..Bandanna Micheals and Shandi a marriage made in hell! With a cat dragged in!
TALK TO ME- you know Space Ace always showed up with good tracks and especially since he recorded one of the best Kiss albums ever Ace gives me hope boom he starts off the tune with his sound and his riff and its a good track. Thanks Ace for not losing your rock balls while Stanley’s Rock balls were hitting the town with SHANDI!
NAKED CITY- umm no…..all I gotta say is Simmons is losing steam here. Gene I’m sure was dreaming up of hiring Chris Makepeace(Meatballs) to star in The Elder movie! Ha…..focus on the rock Genie! I mean yeah this song is just a mid tempo leftover like tune from say Rock N Roll Over …no substance but the chorus is actually good,the rest of the song …it’s just there…
WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND- Paul is panicking he’s trying to write hits and its kinda missing, this one is close though I mean after the Gene serves me the sonic puke Sandwhich in Naked City at least Paul tries to recover it with this song but It comes up short not bad not good,it’s just there! The chorus though is not too bad! Thats about it…bad,good,bad,good,Blah….
TOMORROW-power pop rocker track! Stanley at the time should have sold this tune to Rick Springfield! Paul is trying to save this from the scrap heap! Tomorrow is once again ok! Nothing earth shattering just same ol same ol in Kiss land. Single you want single whadda mean no one wants single! That’s Tomorrow. Stanley and company must have wanted to pack it in when ACDC dropped Back In Black in 1980 as well! Everyone was aborting the S.S Kiss Cruise (except me ) HEY how come no one tossed me a life-preserver?
TWO SIDES OF THE COIN-Space Ace delivers another keeper and man looking back they should have let him write the Unmasked album! Of course the Demon and Starchild would have canned that idea!Good song and this could have easily slid on nicely on side 2 of his fantastic solo release from 1978!
SHES SO EUROPEAN- Simmons comes up with a simple straight ahead rocker that’s so so. Who knows If these tracks would have had some better production behind them perhaps they would have soared sonically. But nope Vini Ponica you can thank for this sonic sterile tank job!
EASY AS IT SEEMS-Gene and Peter or umm Anton start off this tune and its Kiss trying to be groovey! Does it work Nope…..is that really Simmons on the bass here?
TORPEDEO GIRL-this song has the best Opening on this record! Man 35 years later and i still laugh! That fuckin Ace man what a card! The song though is late 70s cheese schlock kinda surprising that this tune was written by Ace but you know what between 1978 -1980 the songs that he contributed solo wise and Kiss wise he can be forgiven! Crank the vid folks! Ha ….
YOUR ALL THAT I WANT-Simmons bids adieu with another mid tempo rocker. Nothing really good here to report! Just the same Ol same OL Kiss …..
IN CONCLUSION- Unmasked has not one but two significant things that come back to me all these years later
1-this was the first Kiss album to me to feature a real dumbo like cartoon page for a cover! Me being 13 at the time and I even knew that they were coming off the rails songwise not that I understood that back than but I just liked Dynasty more back in 1980 but Queen,Cheap Trick and AC/DC were kicking my senses pretty good.
2- Unmasked also presents itself as the first album I ever sold in my life at 14! Tbone had just gotten a record player but all he had wa as couple of snoozed K-Tel compilations records! I needed some cash for a magazine so I sold Unmasked for like $3 or close to it! Hahaha….Tbone was staunch with his cash back than I really had to sell verbally Unmasked to him ….I almost drove myself crazy! He relented probably felt sorry for me and flipped me the $3! Two months later I rebought Unmasked back from Tbone! Shit man Tbone was running a Pawn Shop before the word even existed!