Pre-Weekend Spin- KISS: Revenge(1992)

 

Here’s what I call a Pre-Weekend Spin!

I have my daughter Lauren to thank for this record…

At the end of May, Lauren sent me a text at work asking me for my Fathers Day Gift would I like a book or record as she was putting in an Amazon order.

I told Laurnie that it wasn’t necessary at all but she said to pick something.

Twist my rubber arm!

So I picked Revenge as I have been thinking about this one for a while and since I turned 50 about 2.5 years ago and only started collecting vinyl I’m up to 22 KISS Albums on vinyl! Not bad eh? Out of the 22 KISS albums, 10 are new and 12 are used. So it’s getting there.

Look at that cover which looks like bullet holes in and around the KISS logo on a Metallic something or another. KISS is taking Revenge on who or whom you ask?

KISS in 1992 was at a crossroads. They had a bounceback in attendance back in 1990 at the Hot In The Shade Tour shows.

Then no sooner than that triumph finishes drummer Eric Carr gets diagnosed with Cancer around his heart and sadly passed away in November 1991.

KISS carries on of course and hires Eric Singer who takes over Carr’s drum stool and KISS goes back in the studio with a batch of pretty killer tunes and Bob Ezrin as well returns as Producer.

So when Revenge dropped in May 1992 I bought Revenge and Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden the same day.

KISS though was at the Crossroads. So was Maiden(that’s a story for another time)

Part 1-Image

The Music Charts were dominated by Nirvana/Pearl Jam/RHCP and many others in that genre of Alternative and Grunge.

So here’s KISS ditching the bright wardrobe of there mid 80s attire and going for the Heavy Metal look. Look at Gene folks. There he is looking ruff n tuff and sporting a goatee none the less. While Stanley/Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer show off there new hardcore black leather look and Doc Martens!

Part 2- The Songs.

Musically Revenge has KISS wanting to be current. Unholy leads off and it takes 10 seconds of the opening Kulick riff that KISS is not fucking around.  A KISS first as well as this opener has Simmons handling the lead vocal which had never been the case on any KISS studio record up to this point as Paul always sang the opener. I wonder how Paul handled that when Ezrin told him that none of his tunes were going to lead off Revenge.

If Unhloy has KISS getting all dirt like grunge style rock on the first track. The second song Take It Off harkens right back to the electrifying 80s when Paul wanted to Uh All Night and Bang Bang You. Musically this song kicks ass, lyrically kinda goofy and that’s where KISS is at the crossroads.  They wanted to be rough n tough yet they still wanted to celebrate letting strippers take it off.

If you don’t believe me here’s a live version of Take It Off from 1992. I have video evidence of a band wanting to be rough n tough 92 style yet not wanting to let the 80s go! Scroll to the 3-minute mark…

You got to hand it to Kulick in that live video as once the strippers hit the stage he bolts back by Singers Drums.  Smart man that Bruce is as he knows the cameras are rolling!

I Just Wanna as well a great song but lyrically a ton of 80s one-liners throughout.

Stanley is basically having a mid-life crisis on this album. On one hand, he doesn’t want the 80s to end while on the other hand, Starchild wants to be taken somewhat seriously as a songwriter. Heart of Chrome and Tough Love have Paul laying down the gauntlet and moving forward lyrically.

What about Gene you ask. As Unholy proves, Simmons could adapt and move on lyrically yet he too could be trapped in the 80s as well but that old Grunger Demon could do it on the sly with a tune like Domino.

Domino is a great track. I love the video of Gene driving around in a car while the other three KISS guys are at the jam space even at times in the video shows Paul playing the Bass.

Thou Shalt Not has Gene bringing a rough n tough vocal to a really good song. But for me its the tune Paralyzed that Gene who co-wrote this tune with Ezrin may have single-handedly won my fav-o tune on Revenge. What a cool groove SInger lays down and on top of that, Kulick sizzles a great solo as well. As my pal, Geoff Stephen knows, this is what I would call an end of the album “Gem”.

 

Gene and Paul could both slip into those bad habits on a tune like Spit. Lyrically this is a throwback to anything 80s but as guilty as Gene and Paul are so am I, as I love this kinda stuff.

Spit… Rocks!

There I admit it.

The one real knock I have on Revenge is that it’s all fine and dandy that Revenge is KISS telling the world they are Friggin Bad Ass circa 92 but the ballad Everytime I Look At You to me seems like the oddball track here. The big power ballad that KISS was hoping that would sail up the charts like Forever did 2 years earlier did the opposite as Everytime  I Look At You sailed straight into an iceberg upon its release as a single and sank.

Carr Jam 81 ends the album which is an Eric Carr track from May 1981 that was originally recorded in Toronto.  Carr was a great drummer and this track proves it as features a stellar Carr drum solo. Any KISS fan knows that the music of Carr Jam 81  ended up on the Frehley’s Comet album from 1987 in the form of a tune called Breakout. Carr was credited with Ace on the Comet debut for Breakout but on Revenge Carr is solely credited as its writer.

Gene/Paul/Bruce and Eric all stepped up on this album as KISS brought back there old sparring partner who loves to take Gene and Paul to the courts that is Vinnie Vincent who helped on three tracks while Bob Ezrin had a co-write on 6 of the 12 albums tracks.

Revenge is a great listen from front to back (give or take the ballad if you like that kinda thing). I thought that when I bought it originally back in May 92(on CD) and still feel the same about Revenge in June 2020.

That’s saying something!

Thanks again, Lauren!

 

 

 

 

 

44 thoughts on “Pre-Weekend Spin- KISS: Revenge(1992)”

  1. Nice early Father’s Day gift!! Man, thanks for the video, I must’ve missed that tour and now I’m pissed I did!! Ha! Great stuff Mr. Deke as this album does rock and their heaviest in years and best in years…I said it. I still have probably 6 months or more until I’m to this one and I can’t wait!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look forward to your take on it as well John!
      What a video and what a bunch of characters Gene and Paul are lol
      It is a great record. Great performances and production.
      It’s all here basically for the taking in which we did

      Liked by 1 person

  2. have you ever compared “Nasty Nasty” by Black N Blue to “Domino”?

    I’ll never forget once watching the Domino video, my daughter was watching it too, she was maybe 10 at the time, when the police give Gene a ticket in the video, my daughter turned to me and asked: “are they giving him a ticket for driving with sunglasses at night? lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by!
      That story about your daughter is hilarious
      I never thought of that! Lol

      Nasty Nasty my buddy bought and other than a few tracks I can’t even remember much from it.

      Like

      1. I had read somewhere recently about how the Nasty Nasty title track sounded a little like Domino, soon as I read that, I went and bought the Black N Blue track on iTunes to compare, there is some resemblance to Domino, …..Gene is listed as a co-writer on Black N Blue song

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this album (hate the ballads) but I also liked the 80s output as well (but also hate the ballads excellent for “I Still Love You”.

    There I said it. Lol.

    But..

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Kiss was at a crossroads and so were every single artist who played rock in the 80s…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the 80s output of KISS as well except for Hot In The Shade. That one if I come across it cheap I would pick up.
      Amazing how many acts in 92 were losing lead vocalists and trying to to figure it out.
      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The HITS album was looking exactly for the word it’s first letters put together make.
        And I like that.
        I like how they tried to push the hair metal / pop metal sounds/songs and still make it sound like Kiss.

        Songs like the bluesy “Rise To It” and the “Deuce” inspired “Betrayed” are classic Kiss songs. They could have come from any classic Kiss album or been contenders for the “Revenge” album.

        “Silver Spoon”, “King Of Hearts” and “Cadillac Dreams” also work as Kiss tracks. A bit underrated.

        “Hide Your Heart” is a good song. There is a demo of Ace doing it. Have you heard it?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ’92 was the year I fell in love with muchmusic (and the coca cola countdown) – so strangely enough, Domino was the first Kiss song that I associated with the band. I didn’t know about the whole stage makeup business that came before!
    Paralyzed would definitely fit the ‘late album gem’ description, I like that abrupt ending.
    And best of all, another great gift from the Williamson girls!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another Great Gift from my girls!
      I like hearing stuff like that on where one discovered a band. Pretty neat it was Domino of all tracks. lol
      I’m glad you listened to Paralyzed. Love that chorus.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ever since my Kiss re-review series, I play this one less and less. In fact I have not played it in a long time now. When I crave Kiss, I usually want to hear something good-time-rock-and-roll. This album strikes me as very negative in hindsight. I mean we know they were angry. I think you can hear that anger, even on relatively upbeat tracks like Spit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You turning into HMO?? LOL
      I dig this record as they are not dicking around. At times though they are lyrically lol. But I like the toughness of it.
      I get what what your saying though. Revenge againest Rolling Stone Magazine(for snubbing Carrs death) Revenge on grunge lol Revenge on just about anything.
      Mid life crisis looking back on it. For them that is! lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my younger days when I was an “angry young man” this appealed to me a lot more. It spoke to my frustrations etc. What can I say except that Jen has calmed my soul over the last 15 years! I’m not longer the angry young man and I don’t identify with this as much as I used to.

        Maybe this summer I’ll try a car spin, see if it works in that environment.

        Liked by 1 person

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