Well, here it is Folk’s!
I had to go with the Peter Criss solo album last here folk’s!
This album in its 41 years of existence has been criticized in print by many KISS fans since it’s release!
I admit I was one of those. Peter sang on some cool stuff when he was in KISS like Hooligan/Baby Driver/Strangeways/Mainline/Black Diamond. I mean that’s a pretty cool 5 pack of Pete sung KISS Tunes!
So when this album dropped back in 1978. I got this as a Christmas gift that year from my parents! Excited about getting a KISS album when I dropped the needle as an 11-year-old, my excitement quickly was gone.
Ah, what’s this? Where’s the rock? Where are those Peter vocally driven KISS 5 pack of tunes that I mentioned previously?
Nowhere in sight! The only thing I liked at the time was the cover and poster included!
This album was quickly banned from my turntable for the last 41 years with no intentions of ever a revisit. But when I acquired a bunch of KISS 70’S albums this year, all four solo albums were included.
So in doing this blog, I finally wrapped my head around the fact that perhaps the Blacklisted Turntable Banned Criss solo album from 78 should be revisited. What ya think?
Man, I’m doing it…
Catman opens with I’m Gonna Love You. Right off the hop, this album has that different sound of rock featuring a ton of horns. Peter delivers a great vocal here. Way different sounding than KISS and I can understand why this song confused me 50 seconds into this album upon my first listen back 40 years ago!
You Still Matter To Me has a keyboard/synth sound that sounds like what Paul McCartney was doing in the mid to late ’70s that drives this song. Listen carefully as you can hear Pete riding that cymbal hard during the chorus! Yeah, total Macca WINGS vibe in this track.
Tossin and Turnin has that big band feel featuring more horns and some female backing vocals while Peter jams out on his drums and three songs there is not one guitar solo yet? More of an R and B feel here. Criss, I will add plays a mean cowbell here! I posted a clip below of Criss and KISS blitzing thru Tossin and Turnin like no one’s business! Kinda sloppy with Pete’s sidekick Ace staggering around on stage during the Guitar solo! But I wouldn’t want it any other way!
After the uptempo horn driving, Tossin and Turnin come’s Don’t Let Me Down which is a real chill like song that kinda goes nowhere. A flaky tune actually, but what does save it is Pete’s vocal.
Peter picks up the pace with That’s The Kinda Sugar Papa Likes when looking back Poison would have killed to have this as a title of one of there album’s. A good time goofy song that wait for it has a guitar solo, Yup! Peter had Toto guitarist Steve Lukather show up and play a slick solo that goes and goes until the song ends. 5 songs in and finally a Guitar driven tune!
That my friend’s end’s Side 1!
Side 2 begins with Easy Thing. Kinda puzzles me that Criss would lead off Side 2 with soft rock ballad. Pete’s Deal=Pete’s Album!
Rock Me Baby has the Catman ramping things up (kinda) in a mid-tempo horn-driven swing tune that makes up for the kinda slow-mo opening tune!
Kiss The Girl Goodbye. Should have named this song Kiss the Drums Goodbye as there is no ‘PETER CRISS ON THE DRUMS’ (see what I did there? Stole that line from the KISS ALIVE 2 God of Thunder’s Paul Stanley Rap!). Another Crooner Criss track! Having said that. It’s a decent track that features just Peter’s voice and an acoustic. This track I will say is better than ‘Beth’.
Hooked on Rock N Roll has Pete and sidekick Stan Penridge (co-writer on this album) rocking the amps back up to 10 (HA!) Not really cranking up the album perse like Ace’s but for Pete, it’s a decent track!
I Can’t Stop The Rain ends the album with another ballad (Side 2 has 3 Pete Ballads). To be honest a little too much slow music on Side 2 but Peter’s the boss here, so whatcha gonna do!?
So there ya have it. The much-maligned album by Peter Criss. You know he took a ton of heat from Simmons and Stanley when all four KISS guys sat around listening to what the other had done with there albums back before these albums were released!
A ways back fellow Blog Pal Rich Kamerman supported this album. Here are Rich’s comments from Ladano’s Blog when Mikey slapped the Criss album with a 1.5 out of 5 scoring!
Take it away, Rich…
Here’s a controversial opinion: Peter’s album is the most consistent of the bunch. It doesn’t have the highs of the other three, and it certainly doesn’t “rock” (or RAWK), but song-for-song and performance-for-performance I think it holds together better than the other three.
Here’s another opinion that probably isn’t shared by the majority of KISS fans: my favorite song from the solo albums is Paul’s “Hold Me, Touch Me…”, which I have loved since the day I bought it (which happened to be release day). I guess I’ve always had a penchant for schmaltz ballads, even at that age. For some reason, it has a similar feel for me as Kermit The Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection.”
Had to get that off my chest and this seemed like the best place to do it. Feel free to mock me. I can handle it. 😀
Kudos to Rich for putting himself out there and saying how he felt about in the comments when pretty much everyone was going squirrely in the comments about this album myself included!
But in the 41 years since I heard it. It’s really not as bad as I had made it out to be. Sure it has nothing to do it with Hard Rock. Good enough out of the four solo albums Peter’s album is so far outside the box as you could get from the KISS sound.
Maybe Peter wanted it that way. He knew the other 3 guys would go down Rock Avenue with there albums which for the most part they did! Peter took such a left-hand turn that he didn’t even play the drums on 3 tracks on his own record as Allan Schwartzberg handled those duties and basically no drums on another track! Pete only drummed on 6 tracks on his own album.
I think my parents would have dug this album back in 1978! haha
As a Young Fella, I totally didn’t get it. Now I do. Peter was perhaps more than the other 3 guys tired of it all and wanted to go elsewhere with the music as he was older than Ace, Paul, and Gene.
Who knows I’m only guessing here Folk’s but not as bad I was expecting! As I mentioned in my first review of Simmons solo album that Gene went outside the box. Peter went way outside the box and then sent that box to the recycling bin!
I have to give him respect for that!
deKe’s 1978/1979 Score- 1/10
deKe’s 2019 Score-6/10^
^ Good on the Catman taking a gamble with his career! I really wish he would have done an instrumental track and called it ‘Litterbox’ and put it on this album! Gene and Paul would have lost there Shit!
Well, there you have it! Thanks for reading and commenting along!