Tag Archives: gene simmons

The Cars/The Cars

Don’t laugh but the Cars are the grandparents to Weezer!  Yup and when Weezer dropped there debut album(Blue Album) in 1994 who was the producer? Ric Ocasek the gangly tall geeked out sunglass wearing lead singer/main songwriter of The Cars! Hmmmm maybe DeKEs hasn’t totaly lost his marbles….

Also the Cars debut album is 35 minutes of Quirkiness as was the 37 minute debut from Weezer!

Speaking of Weezer heres my review of the Ocasek produced album..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/sonic-waves-weezerweezer/

Your Honor! I rest my case…..

The Cars were one of those bands that i didn’t champion back in the day out loud as Gene and Paul would have revoked my Kiss Army membership quicker than you can say ‘The Elder!’

But from a distant as a young lad in my Highschool Daze of the early to mid 80s The Cars had a real good run of hits and they were catchy songs,well crafted with hooks galore and a sound of there own!

Than by 1988 whoossssh they were gone and a few years later pops up a Greatest Hits set and it had all the hits from there 6 studio albums. For the longest time this is all I Just Needed!(cheap pun).

Now if you know my deal I hate Greatest Hits packages I never bothered with them (for the most part)until Kiss(surprise,surprise) suckered me in 1988 with Smashes,Thrashes and Hits that included 2 new songs(Let’s Put The X In Sex and You Make Me Rock Hard) that were just plain dumbo rock, bad Synthy sounds and just goofy lyrics that were just brutal! I was fooled ..ha! $immons and $tanley still loved me though…..

Actually come to think of it Kiss with Double Platinum back in 1978 was THE first Greatest Hits album I ever bought! What a scam job hahaha..they totally duped this 11 year old at the time with a double set of songs that i already owned but did include Strutter 78 which was no different to Strutter 74 from the debut album(maybe it was,maybe it wasn’t )….Geezus Stanley and Simmons …ha ….but the whole silver packaging of Double Platinum  was impressive to say the least! Lol!

Of course that became the norm for all artists put out 11 of your Greatest Hits songs and toss on the end of your Hits album  a couple of leftover pieces of  junk so that DeKEs will take notice and buy….yeah I can admit it i was  hosed by this move more than a few times…….

The Cars for me it worked in reverse as  I mentioned I had there Greatest Hits but over the years I have collected 5 of there 6  albums and there are some good songs that I’m gonna talk about so over time I will slowly tackle The Cars body of work so today lets chat about the self titled debut released in 1978(produced by Roy Thomas Baker,he of Queen Fame!)  a band from Boston calling themselves The Cars….

Ric Ocasek,David Robinson,Elliot Easton,Benjamin Orr(RIP) and Greg Hawkes…..Hey it can’t be Metal……all the time!….well most of the time !

GOOD TIMES ROLL-Let the Good Times Roll oh! And so it begins which is a triple header of hits on the debut album and how about the album Covers of The Cars especially this one and Candy Oh! Wowzers and it worked man…sex sells but you need good tunes also and The Cars do that! Good Times Roll is a slick rock track! Big sound,new wavey in spots with the synth mixed with rock guitar but current for the times and even to this day. Ric and these cats are here to stay!

MY BEST FRIENDS GIRL-some neat picking on the guitar from Easton and he laid down some good guitar work! Simple yet effective! Ocasek throws down that geek guy lead vocal that in the basis of this band works fine actually Grandpa Weeezer had a knack for writing real good short tunes to keep my attention span from wandering back to MetalVille! Like i said earlier I love Eastons playing after Ric sings the line ‘used to mine’. Simple yet so effective I’ll be humming it all day!

JUST WHAT I  NEEDED-Umm who has not heard this track? For me the first time I heard it it was simple yet so hooky! That guitar riff from Elliot Easton is sooooo good! I also had no idea it was the bass player Benjamin Orr who sang lead on this tune until many years later but whooo cares! The opening few bars hook you in as a listener! “I don’t mind you coming here and wasting my time!” Cool use of the synth from Greg Hawkes and yeah I have a ton of issues on how some bands use there keyboards(Hello Journey) but for The Cars no issues! Ha! This is one of the best Cars songs ever!

I’M IN TOUCH WITH YOUR WORLD-so what do you do when your first three songs on your debut album push the album into the million plus sold club? Well you have to keep going artistically! This song is not single material! It’s almost like a psychedelic  Acid Cars trip off a cliff with the use of sax,synth and the song is held together by Eastons playing. Different vibe with this tune,not one of my favs and to be honest more of a skip to the next track kinda deal!

DON’T CHA STOP-some more great guitaring from Easton and like so many tracks on this album his guitar work drives the tunes! Don’t Cha Stop picks up pace after the drop in the previous tune.

YOUR ALL I GOT TONIGHT-Yup Easton shines on this one as well! He weaves up and down the fret board in a New Wavy kind of deal! Ocasek and the boys try to perhaps tell us they have deeper tracks on there debut album but man it’s just hard to top those first three songs! Try they may and I’m sure they knew they had some songs that we’re gonna go big but not mega even still in 2015! Folks these are the songs that are on the debut that no one ever notices ….shit I guess that must suck,but you deal with it when your bank account gets stuffed with cash….wish I had that problem!

BYE BYE LOVE-next to the 3 big singles this is the next best track! Orr steps up for the lead vocal on the last three songs! This tune ramps up especially in the chrous with Easton flinging some power chords and Hawkes goes all wackle doodle on the keys in the solo section and Orr had a real good rock voice which The Cars realized they had! Check out the vid!

MOVING IN STEREO-chunks of Hawkes keys mashed up Eastons guitar form the basis of this tune! It’s a New Wavers delight! Hawkes synth sounds meshed with Robinsons kinda sounding like electronic drums pave the wave for this tune as Orr once again is lead vocalist! On the debut it’s almost a 50/50 split in the lead vocalist dept between Orr and Ocasek! One vocalist sounds like a nerd looking for cool!(Ocasek) the other vocalist sounding more Rock cool!(Orr)

ALL MIXED UP-Big Queen like backing vocals are on tap for this song and well when you have Queens producer Roy Thomas manning the recording console of course some influence is gonna creep up! Orr almost sounds Bowie like on this tune. Poppy tune big atmospheric sound they were I think trying to get at and I mean The Cars here definitely found there own niche…

IN CONCLUSION-I’m sure most the Arena Rock Readers will just say ‘ just gonna stick with The Greatest Hits Deke!” Fair enough but i gotta do fair journalism reporting here friends! Ha! Seriously though no one ever talks about the other 6 songs on this album as the first three songs are staples on the Classic  Rock Circuit! So it’s been cool to talk about them and a few of them to be totally honest are a tuff slug to get through them sonically but what the hell! Some one has too!

For these Cars reviews( gonna pop up occasionally) I’m gonna post of course a song we all know with one that is not so known as that seems to be the deal with The Cars albums (all of Em!)

Having said that those first three tunes The Cars could have just released a 3 song EP back than and that would have still sold a ton …

SONIC WAVES …KISS/ Alive 2

image imageJust pics no  video as everybody and there dog has heard Kiss/ Alive 2 right!? Also since we’re talking about it how about a review of a different sorts so to speak as this was my first ever KISS record in early 1979!

I’m gonna talk about this one just as how I remember it! Let’s head back into the Time Machine!

KISS growing up in the 70s was huge! They were in all kinds of print press like Circus and Creem and even teenybopper magazines like 16 magazine. So of course a pal of mine whose name was John Young had the KISS Originals(first three Kiss studio records packaged as a triple set) and when I seen the cover of the Originals I drooled! Holy hell who are these 4 Kabuki like warriors with the makeup!

So two years after its initial release (1977) boom Kiss Alive 2 enters the hallowed halls of *** Hodder Ave/Tbay  (my home for many a years) and Wowzers here’s Kiss Alive 2 ….I’m skipping a few tracks but hey you will get the just of it!

DETROIT ROCK CITY-Some Kiss guy announces ‘You wanted the best …..” We all know the rest right and we’re off and there’s the crowd roaring and the opening riff of Detroit Rock City and man the crowd is jacked I mean the audio of it. To this day when I listen to it I find the crowd too much if it’s even a Kiss crowd or the supposed sample Super Bowl 77 crowd! Who knows and well I see what Kiss is doing there making it seem bigger and better and were louder than all you other acts out there! For me at age 11 going on 12 …it friggin worked.

KING OF THE NIGHTIME WORLD is launched and the Kiss Live chops (is it live ?) well for me at the time  they sound live and I’m blown away. Holy geez are Ace/Paul pulling down some dual leads at the end of this tune! Yeah they are…..

LADIES ROOM- ok next to Creatures Of The Night I would have to say this is Simmons best sung record and its a live one to boot!(so they say) I mean check out the top left pick of Simmons where he has all that  blood and shit spewing out of his trap! Man he’s a mess! But being 12! Umm. Mom can I sleep tonight with the light on after looking at that pic!

CALLING DR LOVE-Kiss sounds like they know what there doing on this track! Better yet Peter Criss pulls out the cowbell and also by the time I got around to getting the  studio albums its evidently clear that these live versions are played at zip speed compared to the studio offerings! Party stimulants abound I’m sure on that Kiss Alive 2 Tour of 1977!

SHOCK ME- My fav Kiss guy Space Ace Frehley loads up (literally ) and blasts off with his lead vocal and guitar solo on Shock Me ! It’s a great track and a bunch of mish mashing notes make up his guitar solo and of course the guitar is smoking during it !

HARD LUCK WOMAN &  TOMORROW & TONIGHT- were I guess recorded in the studio and than the live crowd was slapped down in the background  so Kiss could fill up the live portion of the album without repeating tracks that were on the first Kiss Alive  from 2 years earlier! I wonder what went thru Simmons and Stanley’s heads at the time when they did this stunt! Yeah I know and you know what went through there heads,the answer was….$$$$$$$$$$$$ and more $$$$$$$$!

I STOLE YOUR LOVE-was this not the tour opener for This tour? Except for Alive 2 it’s the opening song on Side 3 ! Good straight ahead rocker track!

BETH- so Petey the cat man gets his limelight complete with prerecorded symphony and Its his time to shine while Gene And Paul count the $$$$ backstage and Ace well I dunno …….

GOD OF THUNDER-Demon Gene the lord of the wasteland slams foreword on this Sabbathey? sounding track complete with Peter Criss drum solo and I thought this was the greatest drum solo until I heard Neal Peart 2.5 years later(1981) totally mash his drum set on his solo on YYZ! Anyways Criss does his deal and were headed to the finish line with …

SHOUT IT OUT LOUD- Gene and Paul want us to all Shout it Out Loud! You gotta have a party! This song we have all heard and the live portion album ends with Kiss Loves You Goodnight!

So Kiss decides hey we got 15 minutes on side 4 lets get the yaya’s out so to speak and each guy does a tune well except Criss cuz well listen to his solo album from 1978 this will explain to you the listener why there are no studio tracks of his on Alive 2!

AMERICAN MAN- Paulie struts his self and tells us he is the Amerian Man! Ummm is this really Kiss playing on this? You know they should have scrapped the solo records and done it this way …wait a minute they should have done a double album of new studio material with one record (sides 1&2)being material for Stanley/Simmons and gulp Criss! Where as sides 3&4 would have been Aces solo record which to me is one of the best studio Kiss records ever!

LARGER THAN LIFE- it’s Simmons and its not a bad tune! Heard better (Radioactive) heard worse(his whole Asshole solo album) it’s Gene circa 77 ego included!

ROCKET RIDE- yeah man and this is why Ace is my fav Kiss guy until he split in 1982! He just steams out this track I mean does it get any better in the Frehley Hall Of Fame with lyrics like ‘ baby wants it fast baby wants a blast she wants a Rocket Ride!” Plus his solo is so skiderish its cool! Ace in 77 you were the deal!

ANY WAY YOU WANT IT-cover tune and Stanley and crew rock it up but yeah its a cover!

IN CONCLUSION -rewind like i said to early 79 and this is the shit for a kid whose 11! Kiss layed to down the law with a gimmick and it royally paid off till the public got sick of Kiss and there deal in the early 80s! Except for me i still littered Gene and Paul’s pockets with dollars not cents!

 

SONIC WAVES…..Kiss/Crazy Nights

 

So in 1985 Heart release the album Heart(sold trillions!) You know that one! What About Love and These Dreams and well lookey lookey come two years later(1987) Kiss hire Hearts producer Ron Nevision and make a closer to sounding like a Heart record than like a Kiss record!

This album was real and I mean real close to making into the 3/4’s Kiss Filler Week list but for some unexplainable reason when I first got this idea a few weeks back I started listening on my iPod to and from work what would make the chopping block in regards to Kiss! Much to my surprise both The Elder and Crazy Nights slid by DeKEs musical chopping block!

Who woulda thunk it? Not me but Kiss was floundering in 1987 like a turd being flushed down the toilet and anything we need a hit sez Mr Stanley and viola get Nevison here lets water down the sound and write some catchy hits or something like it…..

Ladies And Gents …..

YOU WANTED THE BEST….ummmm ok?!

CRAZY NIGHTS-the first time I played Crazy Nights was on my Walkman as I purchased it on cassette tape and my first few thoughts were wow the sound is like Hearts album from two years earlier! Stanley tells us all that if life is like a radio turn it up to 10! Hahaha ok pal and there we have it Kiss 87 is writing or trying to write the HIT! You know it’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head and you will find yourself saying “these are Crazy Crazy Crazy Niiiiiights” maybe it’s just me thinking that  and I need to visit a psychiatrist! Bruce Kulick lays down a Heartish guitar solo and Eric Carr is in handcuffs and can’t break loose and plays a simple yet effective drum beat! In reality this ain’t too shabby of a start! I also remember at the time of this release that Kiss was saying that the song Crazy Nights went top 10 in Britain! My good friend from the UK Mr HMO can you confirm this or was I fooled by Mr Stanley’s hype machine yet again? Ha! Crank the video posted it’s from the Hot In The Shade Tour and its a great version…..

I’LL FIGHT HELL TO HOLD YOU- rumble go the drums and this is a good song it’s a little more of a ooooomph than Crazy Nights and what’s bizarre is that doesn’t Gene get track two on most records or most of the 80s output? Kinda or track 3 hmmmmm Gene your making bad movies get back to Kiss and write another Burn Bitch Burn would Ya! Ha! But yeah Paul rocks it up on this track the boys lay it down pretty good on this tune.

BANG BANG YOU- I dunno being 20 and this coming out was just a big dumb rock anthem. Stanley can write some real dumb lyrics and this can be the second song (Uh All Night being the first from 1985)of Stanleys dumb ass lyric written tracks  and culminating two years later (1989) with You Make Me Rock Hard and Let’s Put The X In Sex! Now as goofy as the lyrics are the music is good especially the pre chorus and now Kiss has  incorporated the Kiss synth to I guess enhance the sound of the times! Kulick and Carr do what they can do and show up being good soldiers and cashing in there paycheque as good employees of Starchild and Demon! Play the vid and feel free to comment!

NO NO NO- wow the leash is off of Kulick and Carr and they get to show off a bit and this is Genes deal song número uno 4! The Kiss guys are clocking in at age 40 and there still giving er! Pretty good tune fast paced and Gene even though he may have written this song in about 5 minutes shows that the band still has some chops! Come to think of it the bass is mixed low on this whole record….either that or I’m tone-deaf!

HELL OR HIGHWATER-Simmons and Kulick totally step up here and this is a win win tune! Good verses,real good chorus and the solo from Kulick is real good the dude could burn a bit when the Bosses would let him! I have always liked this tune. Not an Arena Rock Gem but still a good track never the less! Crank the video posted so Ya all don’t think I’m talking out of my arse!

MY WAY- AH Geez ….the first time I heard this i thought this was a Heart throw away song left outside the garbage pail and picked up by Paul and reconfigured into a Kiss track! Paul’s reverted back on this track like he was singing on Animalize. Throw down some Kiss synth and man oh man …..if Paul in 1987 told a 20-year-old DeKEs that it’s his way or the highway in regards to this track I would have said “Highway,” seriously I would have !

WHEN YOUR WALLS COME DOWN-this song is just filler. Kiss knew it as it was never heard from them again…Next!

REASON TO LIVE-Power ballad,Ya surprised? Nope I mean Poison,Bon Jovi,Whitesnake and Def Leppard were selling tons of records in 1987 and they all were dropping the Ballad some worked (not saying which ones!) some flopped(everything Poison). Reason To Live has the Kiss synth cranked and this is Rock 101 Power Fromula executed to a T! The only problem was it tanked quicker than you can say Tank! The chorus Paul sings hiiiiiiiigh…stop it dude please! Now having said all of this there’s a live show from this tour called Kiss Live At The Ritz(thanks Mr Ladano!) from 1988 and this song is on their and guess what? I can tolerate the live version as Eric Carr pushes the pace a little better and Kiss  doesn’t feature the full meal Heart deal live…well a bit they have some dude slinking on the side of the stage playing keys thru the live version…..

GOOD GIRL GONE BAD-Simmons steps up and delivers another good song! I like it when he sang chill especially on the Creatures album! Good song,good solo it’s all here…Simmons on this album for the most part is kinda not buying into the Stanley Heart Nevison Hype Machine!

TURN ON THE NIGHT-This tune should have been called Turn On The Synth…I dunno this song is too obviously a single…another tank job as no one bought into it! Stanley must have lost a ton of hair over this album! ” I make a Heart record and no one is buying it!” Sez Paulie. Umm  Paul you are a good singer but it’s Ann Wilson man!

THIEF IN THE NIGHT-Simmons ends the record with a so so track and pretty much his weakest track on here but better than about 4 Stanley tracks on here! Did I just type that? Ha! Thief In The Night plods along to the finish line and Gene closes off the album with his tune,and before he shuts off the studio lights on Crazy Nights he unplugs the Kiss Synth!

IN CONCLUSION-Whoah Nelly! This just passes I mean out of 11 tracks I can still listen to about 5 of these and 3 of them are Genes tunes! And 2.5 are from Paul the . 5 is the music to Bang Bang You. Kiss was floundering and well what can Ya do I’m sure in their minds they were hot shit but lack of tickets on this tour and sagging record sales sure didn’t help the cause but give em credit they stuck it out…

As crazy as it sounds I wish Kiss would go back and do the non make up era of the band one last time! This I could handle more now. I may be in the minority here but why not? Kiss in makeup is now almost at 20 years(1996) and I’m kinda bored by the their whole makeup deal kinda…..

This is the final Kissy thingy bloggy for a bit! Thanks for reading and commenting all things Kiss this week ….Have a good weekend friends and back to regular babbling on and on when Monday rolls around!

Anyone up for a little Fly On The Wall?

 

3/4’s KISS Filler Week…Kiss/Hot In The Shade

Ha,I always liked this cover you know Leon Sphinx! But what was on the inside is kinda a mess of epic perportions! Like all the other albums that Kiss released I bought quick and well I think you can gather that by now right?!

And well oh well this is my last 3/4s Kiss Week Filler Blog  and some of you are probably going where’s The Elder? Too be honest I thought it would be here but nope it has its moments of Brilliance(did I just fuckin say that) with The Oath,Escape From The Island, Dark Light,I, some goofiness like Just A Boy…some dumb Simmons rock like Mr Blackwell but man I hated The Elder in 1981 but 2015 it’s a tolerable Kiss Record(did I just fuckin say that!)

You know by 1989 Kiss was in trouble and when they plucked Hot In The Shade out in 1989 this album  it took me only about a few spins to realize that there was a tons of filler on this album.

1989 when I think of big rock records three come to mind rightaway! Motley Crüe with Dr Feelgood,The Cult with Sonic Temple and Aerosmith with Pump! 3 classics for sure in the songs (especially Pump) and in production once these albums were spun on my cd player Hot In The Shade took a total backseat! The reason it’s simple ..the songs Yep,there’s a couple of pretty good tracks but man there’s a bunch o junk here I will explain!

Hot In The Shade when I first read about in Circus or maybe Hit Parader was that it was gonna be 15 songs! Holy crap that’s impressive sez I! So come Sept of 1989 here comes Aerosmith, Motley Crüe and Limping  towards the finish line Kiss!

Gene and Paul dropped the ball with lots of so so songs, a few good ones (which I will talk about)

GOD OF BLUNDER ….BAD ROCK N ROLL

RISE TO IT- this is a good song! A bluesy intro and boom drums guitar bass it’s all here and Rise To It is off an running! It kicks pretty good cool verses,good solo and Stanley delivers a great vocal!

BETRAYED- Shit man Simmons delivers the $$$ on this track! And lookie he co wrote this with Ace Frehley oops I mean Tommy Thayer the dude who now is Ace Frehley in Kiss but it’s not surprising as Thayer was in Black N Blue a band Simmons had produced but they lay down a great song here one of Simmons best songs since like Creatures! Good solo and Eric Carr drums this thing into mashville! Good stuff two songs in two winners….

HIDE YOUR HEART-so 1989 and both Kiss and Ace Frehley  release there own versions of Hide Your Heart and quite frankly I couldn’t care less! Well,I shouldn’t be too harsh on Frehleys version as I only heard it a few times as my younger bro Todd had a copy of it on cassette tape! This studio version of Hide Your Heart is ok i mean whatever it’s single time fellas and too be honest with Ya I prefer the live version video from the HITS that I posted. Check that one out especially at the 3 minute mark when Stanley uses a woman’s high heel shoe as a guitar pic! See it to believe it!

PRISONER OF LOVE,READ MY BODY- didn’t like these songs  in 89 not revisiting them in 015!

LOVE IS LIKE A SLAP IN THE FACE-Simmons cowrote this with Vini Ponica! You remember him right from Monday’s post he botched the sonics on Unmasked! Actually I don’t mind this song it’s later day Gene singing and plodding along on his bass and well it’s a mid tempo rocker better than the two previous tracks for sure.

FOREVER-this is power ballad 101 and this song basically saved Kiss’ Ass as the record was tanking down the charts  and viola Stanley croons FOREVER  and Michael Bolton who co wrote this cashes his royalty cheque from Forever at the bank! So even if you never heard this record you have heard this song! No! I’m not showing  the vid! But I will say myself ,Tbone,Darr and Rugg have laughed and made many remarks about Simmons and his music stand in the  Forever video!

SILVER SPOON-Paul takes the vocal reigns on this one and it’s another no fascinating straight ahead rocker. Not even really worth talking about!

CADILLAC DREAMS,KING OF HEARTS- Nope and Nope!

THE STREET GIVETH AND THE STREET TAKETH AWAY-Kulick begins this track with some cool acoustic and bam into the full rock meal deal with drums,bass and electric guitar. This is one of the back end of the albums better tracks! Simmons kinda of and I say that loosely kinda pulls this one out of the fire! Check out the vid…..

YOU LOVE ME TO HATE YOU- alright than, I dunno 1989 and  I was just tired of all these big ass power ballads being everywhere and in saying that this song was no where to be found….skip……..

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL- Nope don’t care……

LITTLE CAESER- ok so after 9 years of being a good employee Gene and Paul let Eric Carr(RIP) take the lead vocals on this track. It’s too bad the song is kinda lacklustre. Nothing to really write about…..but man why did not Kiss tap into Carrs vocals more oh yeah I know Gene and Paul that’s why!

BOOMERANG- that’s what i want to do with this record but if it’s a Boomerang that means it would come back to me…um no thanks!

IN CONCLUSION-The hype for this record was sold to me on 15 tracks that Kiss was putting out and I bought the hype of course! But pretty soon after purchase I just could not wrap my noggin around this record and it quickly faded away from my sonic senses!

I think Kiss even new this as when they went out to plug this record on tour they played like 3 tracks off of it and they played mostly 70s stuff as that was what the fans wanted. The live stage was awesome and it would have been the tour to see!

My bro Todd was out in British Columbia with the family in August of 1990( I was working and did not go) and he got to see this show with Winger opening! My bro loved Kiss and man he called me a day later saying that he bought me a Kiss shirt and it had a bunch of dates on it and Thunder Bay was one of them! I was like “You fuckin kidding me?” Yep,it was there (wish I still had the T shirt)

As soon as I got off the the phone with my brother I called the Fort William Gardens(local barn/arena) to see what was going on. The lady told me they had Kiss pencilled in for Oct 7th 1990!

What a score this was gonna be for me and Tbone as we had tickets to see ZZ Top in Winnipeg on Oct 6 1990! I called the Winnipeg Arena and they too said they had Kiss pencilled in for Oct 5 1990!

BAM! So here’s the plan! Me and Tbone would go to Winnipeg a day earlier see Kiss on the Saturday night! Catch ZZ in Winnipeg Sunday night and than high tail it back to Tbay on Monday and catch Kiss on Monday night! Done Fuckin Deal!

Paul Stanley broke some ribs and a bunch of dates including The Peg and Tbay were scrubbed! Bummer man…..ZZ though was awesome!

Kiss though I think they know they released some scrap but come 1992 when they knocked out Revenge it restored my faith…man that’s a great friggin album!

Thanks for reading my Kiss Filler Week and if you dig these three records more power to Ya and I hope we can still be cool with each other! That includes you Gene And Paul! Hahahaha…..

NEXT……check out a don’t expect the expected Sonic Waves Kiss review tomorrow….

 

3/4’s KISS Filler Week…Kiss/Asylum

Well some of yous by now may be thinking ‘hey Ol DeKEs is ripping on Kiss especially after the Unmasked debacle pretty hard!” Well yes kinda but if you cruise around the site here I have reviewed some Kiss albums….for instance..

Ace Frehleys 78 solo album I absolutley love read it here…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/sonic-waves-ace-frehleyace-frehley-2/

Kiss Creatures Of The Night which is one of there best albums

Kiss Lick It Up I  like it better now (2015)than its actual release in 1983

Kiss Animalize which is pretty good not as good as Lick It Up but did someone kick Starchild in the nutsack Cuz he’s singing hiiiiiiiigh!

See I like EM and I haven’t even really delved into there 70s output yet so ….

1985 and Kiss Is trying to find its place in the MTV world. There kinda lost they especially  Simmons who looks like a drag Queen with the look so there Ya go. 10 years earlier in 1975 Kiss were trendsetters setting the bar in all things rock with the look,sound,covers,gimmicks and marketing and here they are in 1985 following trends,a glam look,no real gimmick anymore as the greasepaint was dropped 2 years earlier(1983) and everyone and there dog was doing marketing 101 in the rock T shirt business!

Paul Stanley,Gene Simmons,new guy on guitar Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr (RIP)put on some lipstick and Uh All Night!

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN -Eric Carr man he slams the drums with some double bass drumming cymbals smashing and now here comes Kulick,Stanley and Simmons and Paul like he always does takes the lead vocal! This is actually a pretty impressive Kiss opening track. Kiss is saying hey were the old geezers here in good OL 1985 but man we can still kick it! Good start! Crank the video posted !

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT- Gene begins and goes into his big dumbo Arena Rock. Kulick starts off with a big riff of rock! And it it’s just a straight ahead no frills Rock! I will say this the prechorus is real good but kinda everything else about this track sags but Carr and Kulick step up!

WHO WANTS TO BE LONELY- Yep a single no doubt! Paulie Stanley writes a sign of the times single that in 1985 was a little too obvious for me! I mean the chorus is cheese mo and so is this song I mean while we’re at it. What a goofy album cover. There four mugs glammy makeup 101. Just a year later (1986)Poison puts there four mugs on the cover of there debut album(Look What The Cat Dragged In) and it sold millions…..Kiss was probably pissed! Ha!

TRIAL BY FIRE-Simmons takes the lead vocal on this it’s ok nothing to write home about just glam o glam circa 85 cheese schlock. I mean a part of this track sounds like the rhythm track from Lick It Up for a few bars! Just like Any Way You Slice It the prechorus is real good but everything sags!

I’M ALIVE-Stanley’s Alive ! Woo hoo. Carr punches down some cool drumming and this is another so so song. It’s funny but Kiss is clearly running out of gas! This is like the poor mans version of Under The Gun from Animalize. Carr though keeps the shit together on this song!

LOVES A DEADLY WEAPON- holy hell Kiss punch the gas and come out of the gates a ripping man Eric Carr drives the bus on this one he’s playing like a mad man on the drums smashing them double bass drums. Kulick does all the fancy snazzy whack off dive bombs on his guitar and Gene and his vocals sound mean. It’s like someone woke up the Demon! This song rocks hard and fast and I have no probs saying that! This is a great song! Crank the video!

TEARS ARE FALLING- whoa back 2 back winners …the guitars in this track sound heavy devy and that’s Allright with us shit come to think of it I think this was the last purchase of Kiss product by Tbone  Til 1993 when he bought Kiss Alive 3 on our rock jaunt to Winnipeg to see Beatle Paul in concert that year. Anyhoo Tears is a good song no make that a great track catchy Oh Oh Tears Are Falling and Kulick rocking the geetar and big backing chorus! Great song man……well done Mr Stanley!

SECRETLY CRUEL-the beginning milli second riff reminds me of Mr Speed from Rock Roll Over. This is Simmons feel good song about how women lust over Mr Rockstar! I will give credit though Carr slams down some cowbell during the chorus. This lyrics are Genie Goofy!

RADAR FOR LOVE-Paul takes the reins on this track and man just push skip! It’s just goofy Ummm yeah filler….I’m saying no more!

UH ALL NIGHT-ummm this has to gone down for me as one of THE big dumbo rock anthems of the 80s. Frigg man I thought this song was el dumbo back than as a 18 year old and now ridicoulously dumbo rock as a 47 year old! Having said that the lyrics are what make this song fruity and well the dumb ass video to go with it didn’t help the cause! Now having said that the music is actually good but man oh man. Paul and Kiss cohorts and I shouldn’t even throw Kulick and Carr under the Kiss Cheese Bus as they were salaried employees but yeah heres Gene And Paul morphing Into the Skipper and Gilligan and them crashing the S.S Kiss Destroyer ashore and stranding all us fans on the island!

IN CONCLUSION-who knows what’s going on here with these guys. It makes sense that Tbone would abort ship after this release so to speak so I can’t blame him as I carried on buying Kiss album after Kiss album. This album had some good songs maybe 4 or so but man Eric Carrs drumming is superb on here and just like Creatures Of The Night 3 years earlier Carr steps up with the drums! This was kinda Kulicks first album and I have no quirks with his playing but like i said earlier these guys were salaried dudes so I guess dressing glam and wearing bright green and yellow gloves isn’t all that bad when the next job would be “would you like fries with that sir ?” If they don’t obey Master Simmons and Mr Stanley!

 

3/4’s KISS Filler Week….KISS/Unmasked

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!

SONIC WAVES…..Kiss/Animalize

This video is From the Animalize Tour it’s from Winnipeg of all places so I had to include it!

You know Animalize is one of those funny Kiss albums. Either you’re in or your out I suppose in regards to Animalize but I do know that back in 1984 me and Tbone were onboard…hell Tbone even purchased Kiss Lick It Up on cassette tape a year before so there Ya go….

About a year ago(early 2014) I got into the Kiss non make up albums as a listener and to be honest even though I dug  there 2012 release Monster I’m kinda burnt out on the whole Makeup deal…like Gene and Paul you made your tons of dough($$$$$) now tell Drum boy Eric Singer to put away the hair dye and makeup tell Tommy Thayer to chill and bring back Bruce Kulick and smash out a Revenge style album again. Yeah I know perhaps I’m in the minority here but hey my blog …..hahaha….

So yeah with Kiss doing bounce back business with a Lick It Up (1983)now in Sept of 1984 and tons of promo for adds of Animalize in print magazines (Circus/Hit Parader)and of course the vid for Heavens On Fire. The Kiss Army is back sort of..

Sans Makeup but as an added bonus Gene is wearing a new mop (wig Gene may  have sold it to Kevin  Dubrow two years later in 1986)  and some new tunes as if it ain’t broke don’t fix it so how about another round of wham bam thank you for the cash again!….

As well the Kiss lead guitar carousel continues Vinnie Vincent who brought back Kiss in a songwriting and lead guitar playing  capacity on the (fantastic) Creatures Of The Night and Lick It Up albums goes off the rails personally and gets pink slipped by Gene/Paul!

So with it being 1984 and everyone wanting to be Eddie Van Halen. Kiss goes about finding a hot-shot guitar player as other acts like Ozzy have guitar dudes flinging leads like Jake E Lee,Dokken has George Lynch,Ratt has Warren DiMartini so you get the picture,Ya need a hot-shot guitar to survive in 1984 so Kiss gets some unknown dude named Mark St John and off to the studio they go and they produce an album which when the mood hits is pretty good for its time…

Shall we see what Stanley and Simmons (and his Wig )have cooking here…..

I’VE HAD ENOUGH(INTO THE FIRE)- Kiss nails out of the starters box fast and furious and what is evident is the production is well kinda sterile sounding for 1984. Anyways production quirks aside Paul it being he the frontman leads the charge with the lead vocal and some crazy ripping solo action from new boy St John has Kiss saying ‘Hey we will keep up with the Dokkens and The Ratts of this world and looking back I dunno if that was the right move! Eric Carr(rip) drives the song along nicely and Gene well Gene is trucking along trying to keep up while he’s reading his lines for his movie debut in Tom Sellecks ‘Runaway” anyone recall that movie? I do (ha) Selleck was the good guy Simmons was the bad guy and after I payed to see this slop of a flop movie I went around my high school doing my best Simmons impression saying ‘Ramsey,” Ramsey was Sellecks character! Did you really need to know that? Ha!

HEAVENS ON FIRE- the big single …remember the video with Stanley jumping thru the hoop of fire(ugh) but anyways the song got Kiss out there and it’s a song written for rock radio and MTV play! It worked sold Tickets yada yada and well there is no real guitar solo in this tune and well why would there be? I mean with lines like “feel my heat taking you higher,burn with me Heavens On Fire! Nuff said!

BURN BITCH BURN-Gene shows up to do the honours on track 3! You know this ain’t no ballad! Ha,Gene learned his lesson on World Without Heroes from the Elder(Wtf was he doing with that tear dripping out of his eye at the end of that video….your the Demon)Stand up/Spit Blood/Breathe Fire that’s the Demon not some Las Vegas crooner! So yeah Gene tells us that ‘it’s out of the frying pan and Into the fire,bend over baby let me be the driver!” Hahahaha …ok man whatever you say this is a so so track and well St. John reels off the solo,Carr drives the song and well  Burn Bitch Burn…….

GET ALL YOU CAN TAKE- Kiss amps up  this song right out of the gate and I think it’s one of the best tracks on here but man why is Stanley singing so high in this tune? Is he seriously trying to blow my Sears stereo speakers back in 1984 with his vocal? I dunno but the song has a cool chorus and whooooah Nelly does Paul drop the F Bomb here! Yep he does and I’m not telling you where! Ha! More impressive is the fact that this slid by the censor board(PMRC) in 1984 so Animalize wasn’t stickered with a lyrical shish kabob warning!  Too bad cause if Animalize had been stickered it would have sold another million units! Poor Paul couldn’t catch a break in 1984!

LONELY IS THE HUNTER- you know Gene kinda sluffs off on his songs sometimes(Burn Bitch Burn) but for some goofy reason I have always liked this one who knows why maybe it’s because of classic lines like “girls like money,like bees to honey!” Ha seriously though this song slips and slides at a greaseball pace,not to quick, kinda muddling along and I think if memory serves me  correct Bruce Kulick lays down the solo on this tune! (Oh oh !) so yeah not a bad song…..

UNDER THE GUN- 80s riffing begins and Eric Carr pounds the Ludwigs into overdrive and we’re off! 80s shredding! Stanley singing to the masses,Gene adjusting his wig and St John pretending he’s the heir to the Yngwie J Malmsteen throne! Typical 80s track here kinda like if Kiss did a mash-up with Dokken thats what Under The Gun reminds me of!

THRILLS IN THE NIGHT- now this is a song I have always dug! You know the Girl, Starchild sings about is a 9-5 woman who after 5 does tricks! Ahem, anyways love the drums during the chorus have a different kinda rhythm from Kiss and holy moly it just dawned on me that half the band that recorded this has passed on (RIP Eric Carr and Mark St John). So come solo time I think this one is St. John’s best rip of a solo..he nails it all over the frets and drives the whammy bar into the ground and speed for once pays off and well good job Mark!

WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS- Gene and his demon boots are lurking around your city while you sleep! This is big dumb kinda rock Gene was feeding us and I was eating it (Lick It Up.ha) but yeah I mean Lonely The Hunter like I said earlier is a good tune and this one is good as well. Genes songs on Animalize are not as good as his tunes on Lick It Up and not even close to his tunes that were on Creatures! But I would still give the demon a Mulligan….I mean fuck at least at the end of the day you can say that Gene did not have a hand in Uh All Night and Let’s Put The S In Shit! Geez what was Starchild doing ?

MURDER IN HIGH HEELS-haha..ok so while I think While The City Sleeps is a good Kiss song this one is goofy but for some reason I like it! Especially the chorus Murder….(insert deep Simmons gruff vocal here) In High Heels….see sometimes big dumb goofy rock can be cool! Call me a sucka! Ha….

IN CONCLUSION- I do like this Animalize it reminds me of Grade 11 art class as some kid in my class did the cover to this! Was that you Muc? I dunno but yeah I kinda dig the whole Animalize vibe Kiss was shooting for! At the time Kiss kept pumping out albums in the 80s which was good depending on what kinda Kiss record you would call good! Stanley’s singing though is ok but man why sing so friggin high all the time so for me now Animalize I have to wrap my head around that concept when I listen to it! Eric Carr holds down the fort on drums while Mark St John I felt bad for this guy as he joins Kiss records most of the guitars on Animalize gets an infection in his arm or something and when he can’t continue Stanley and The Wig ditch him and say hello to Bruce Kulick!

For all intent and purposes this is pretty good the last two Gene tracks are real good when I feel like listening to Big Dumb Rock!

SONIC WAVES ….KISS/Lick It Up

Ha….Kiss being bummed out that no one except what is left of the hardcore Fanbase as  we roll from 1982 into 1983 cares so KISS decides to dump the make up as Creatures Of The Night(see review) album stiffs,tour stiffs and well what are 4 makeup wearing dudes to do to wake up North America?

Well for starters you record a new album of studio songs and than you probably realize that no one may not care again as like most people did a year before that many say is your best album(Creatures) So of course…

YOU DITCH THE MAKEUP!!!….So Kiss does the media rout they go on tv on MTV that is and show the world they’re faces without the war paint for the first time! While you’re at it show the world your new album Lick It Up and holy shit Gene/Paul/ Eric and Vinnie…Tbone is on board as well and he takes his hard-earned cash from his job at the gas station(Shell) and Finally joins the KISS ARMY!

Atta boy Tbone……

One thing I forgot to mention in my review of Creatures was they worked with a producer  named Micheal James Jackson (no not that Micheal Jackson) and he produced Lick it Up as well and yeah man being i was young and kinda dumb as a 15-year-old I thought it was the actual gloved  one that produced Kiss especially after The Elder mishap I though great now they’re doing this but well that was not the case! Hahaha….

KISS keeps the amps cranked and the sexual innuendos going  and well ….Just Lick It Up( sorry,that was pathetic!)

EXCITER-just like the title track from Creatures Of The Night leading off that album Kiss charges once again out of the gates and as Vinnie Vincent did on Creatures he plays a big part in Kiss getting a grasp of what is going on musically in  the world at the time! Fast guitars,driving drums And  loud-sounding albums! Good on him and the thanks he gets is that Rick Derringer(he of Rock N Roll Hoochie Coo fame) does the honours on the guitar solo! Geez no wonder Vinnie came unglued after this tour! Gene and Paul the master manipulators! Thanks man for the co writes and getting us back on track now just PISS OFF Vinnie and ahhh that’s what happened!

NOT FOR THE INNOCENT-Gene slams a real good heavy track down and he’s on a roll after totally stepping up his game on Creatures! Well done Demon! He’s yelping,kicking up a storm and this song sounds heavy along with Carrs drums and Vinnies axemanship! Great track!

LICK IT UP- the big single that put KISS back on the map in the land of singles! “Don’t wanna wait Til Ya know me better” Sez Paul and Wowzers its 1983 and lookie lookie Kiss is back on the Tv(Good Rockin Tonite) This is radio 101 fodder! No guitar shredding just simple riff rock! Hey,what about the video for this track! Yep,desolate wasteland,fire,scantily dressed chics! Gene looking pretty sketchy! Hahaha…. Don’t bore us Paul just get to the chorus! Hahaha….does it get any goofier than Lick It Up …ohhhh ohhhh ohhh…remember when I said I was young and kinda dumb earlier well here’s Kiss making kinda dumb promo vids so if I’m gonna be dumb at least I can do so with Uncle Paul And Auntie Gene! Thanks Guys!

YOUNG AND WASTED-Gene ramps it up and follows the Lick It Up single with a song that has no chance in becoming a single! Gene is off the walls on 2 of the first 4 tracks and I’m good with it! Simmons is shooting for the market of  a 16-year-old and that’s all of us at the time(1983) I can near it now Gene saying “Hey Deke,Tbone, Muc,Pizza Thief,Foley Brothers…Your all Wasted!” Yep we are and we were wasted that is on Kiss making us drink Kiss Kool Aid! Love the simple yet effective drumming of Eric Carr and Vinnie lays down a solo with whammy bar precision!

GIMMIE MORE- Paul goes sleazeball mode with this tune I mean”Love is sweet so insane c’mon lick my candy cane,” hahaha…1983 and Paul’s creeping ! This song ends side 1 with a bang. It’s just a straight ahead no frills rock track. More over the top riffing and well GIMMIE MORE sez Mr Stanley! Okie Dokie!

ALL HELLS BREAKING LOOSE- Yo Yo…Stanley raps kinda at the beginning Of this tune and well with said song comes another goofy promo vid of once again desolate wasteland,fire,scantily dressed chics and sketchy Gene but Gene this time eats a chicken/Turkey /leg bone who the hell knows but man I can’t even bring myself to watching this at my age (47) now! This is a good Kiss tune all kidding aside! Cool catchy chorus! Good solo as well. Hell,even Eric Carr got a co write on this.

MILLION TO ONE-Wowzers! Stanley hits a fastball over the plate and drives In the winning run! Man this song is gold plain and simple,one of Stanley’s best. This song is Cheese Free and should have been a single or better yet it would have been huge but for some reason to my knowledge it wasn’t a single at all! This is built for rock radio! Great vocal,cool backing vocals …..Million To One! Not sappy…well written by Stanley and Vincent!

FITS LIKE A GLOVE- gotta love the song orders on Kiss albums. There’s Paul telling us about some woman that’s a Million To One and next here’s Gene telling us ‘if it must be love …Fits Like A Glove!” Ladies and Gents this is Kiss at its best just when you think there gonna get all serious Bono Like on yer Ass..they go back to the gutter and man I’m ok with that!  This song just rips along and Gene spits leftover blood and sticks his tongue out and just gives Er on this tune…”nightdreams,wet dreams enough to make you drool and fire for the fuel!” This is fantastic goofy yet bombastic rock! Hail Hail ….I have always dug their live version of this tune….

DANCE ALL OVER YOUR FACE-yeah one of those end of the album Gems and its a Simmons song of all things! I love this tune..just plain Ol goof ball Rock served up by the Demon! The verse’s are chill the chorus is catchy as old heck!

AND ON THE 8TH DAY- God created Rock n Roll! Genie gets the last three songs all to himself on the Lick  It Up album and good for him as he was on a good roll at the time between 1982-1983. Simmons though kinda nosedived material wise  after this I mean he had some good tunes on later albums and some dreck as well until he once again magically appeared motivated by the time the Revenge album(1992) rolled around! So yeah Gene ends the record on a good note!

IN CONCLUSION- Kiss bounces back and we all get on board The Kiss Cruise ship  but man after all these years Ya gotta feel bad for Vinnie. He throws Gene and Paul a life-preserver as the Kiss Cruise ship in the early 80s is taking on a ton of water helps co write two bounce back records and then who knows what really went down! Only they know and Vinnie gets tossed off the Kiss Cruise and Gene And Paul do not throw a life-preserver to Vinnie! Instead he ends up on a hairspray version of Gilligans Island and forms the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and then proceeds to tank that project as well. On second thought maybe Gene and Paul were right along! Who would a thunk it!

 

SONIC WAVES…..Kiss/Creatures Of The Night

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For some this is The best Kiss record. For me I would have to put it up there as well. It was fall time 1982 and I was in grade 10 . Kiss wasn’t cool anymore with a lot of people. A lot of bands were passing em by like Judas Priest,AC-DC,Rush and upstarts like Def Leppard and Iron Maiden! I still followed em like how could I not,it was only three years earlier I had seen them live (1979) that blew my mind so I wasn’t gonna abort ship yet even though The Elder release of 1981 confused the hell out of me and guys like Muc!

So one day at school before first period one of our high school buddies named George came strolling down the hallways of Lakeview(high school) chanting ‘hey,hey,hey ya!!’ I laughed and said what the hell was that? George said that’s the new Kiss song I heard on top 9 at 9 last night on 580 CKPR !! I was like,WHAT!!! I did not even know as a fan that Kiss was doing anything! Let alone George who never talked music with us and he’s chanting Hey Hey Hey Yaaaaa! A new Kiss song??!

So I don’t think I have to tell what I was doing that night at 9pm. I was hunkered by the radio waiting and listening to new songs by Men At Work/Stray Cats/Duran Duran. Was Curious George bullshitting me?? And finally …..I LOVE IT LOUD !!!

Let’s check out the album that restored my faith in em and dumped some more of my  $$$$ in there pockets!

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT- begins with a huge thunderous thud.Guitars and drums are racing and Genes trying to keep up! This is a mean lean Kiss for 1982. Were back kids! The production was so metal sounding so heavy and holy crap listen to that solo? Is Frehley doing speed?? Every fan knows by now that Frehley did not play a note on Creatures but his face is on the cover as I guess he was already out of the band but who knows, guitars were handled by I believe  some guy named Steve Farris along with Vinnie Vincent (who,did the cowriting on some tracks) and Robben Ford.OMG these guys can play but in 1982 I thought it was Ace and well Gene and Paul wanted me to think that too!

SAINT AND SINNER- This over time I think is one of $immons best songs ever! Just love Eric Carrs drumming and Gene sings the song In a chill kinda way. The Chorus is super catchy. Actually The Demon really stepped it up with this record. I think it has some of his best singing on it! So far  so good as Kiss is back and as a 15 yr old at the time. YEAH!

KEEP ME COMIN- the writer of Love Gun is back with Keep Me Comin. This is a straight ahead rocker, no frills Stanley song. You know what your Gettin so keep on Comin! Ah ok…the pre Chorus in this song is super catchy. Starchild,you have done well!

ROCK AND ROLL HELL-Imagine this,I’m 15 and I look the credits and see Simmons wrote Rock and Roll Hell with Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Now expecting the worse as Adams Straight From The Heart was all over radio at the time I thought uggggggh could this be the end by track four? Safe to say…nope,not close this is one catchy mid tempo rock tune taking Adams straight to hell and whoever it was who took Adams straight to hell ….I salute you! Great song!

DANGER-is a cranked up fast paced number that ends side one. Stanley once again rocks it out with this one. Eric Carr never  sounded better ( my ears) than on this whole release. I was also glad for the most part that Kiss wasn’t so much chasing after hits on this record as which would come on their albums later on. Paul didn’t make it obvious on this album and for that Mr Stanley I thank you!

I LOVE IT LOUD-Yep Here was the single and a Gene song to boot!! Thanks to George this restored my faith in Kiss once I heard on the radio. Big drums/ chanting/ riffs/ Gene being Gene. Don’t wanna be President shouts the Demon. Ok man I believe you . Cool solo as well on this. Great back bounce from Kiss as a single release. Too bad that aside from their fan base no one cared back than.

I STILL LOVE YOU-now you could say Stanley was writing the power ballad for the hit but this is 1982 no one was doing big hit power ballads except for Journey. So this was kinda ahead of its time by about 5 yrs. Who knows 5 yrs later (1987) Stanley may have had Tawney Kitanen(appears in the Whitesnake vids) slinging around the hood of His car!

KILLER-Gene basically kicks the crap out of Stanley for doing a love song and ramps it back up with Killer. She’s the Killer Demon. Pretty cool stuff Gene was writing he was total street back than with his sound! Genes sound disappeared for about a good decade after Creatures until the Revenge record(1992) and then disappeared again for another two decades until Monster(2012)

WAR MACHINE- Adams/Vallance once again hook up with Gene and crush out War Machine. The opening riff in this song is huge. The whole song is huge. Simmons basically lays waste to everything in sight cause he’s the War Machine!! Good for You Genie! Kicking ass with your dragon boots and taking names later and not writing stuff like Living In Sin At The Holiday Inn. Wow what an end for some that was a comeback album for Kiss

IN CONCLUSION- Chips were down on Kiss and they came back and kicked some serious ass with this album! It’s just too bad like I said earlier that except for their fan base no one really cared at the time about Creatures. I guess they were still sinking at the time by losing yet another original memeber(Ace) but they soldiered on. Give them there due.

Of course the Creatures tour and album nose dived and a year later off came the war paint to renew interest! But as you can see in the video they could still pull a crowd in Rio back in 1983.

SONIC WAVES…..Ace Frehley/Ace Frehley

2014 holy heck! Who woulda thunk  it that Space Ace still has a solid album of rock n roll left in his tank with his current release (Space Invaders). If you’re chuckling and don’t believe me check out LeBrains and Ulitmate Festival Guide for there reviews, I kid you not! Now since currently a lot of folks out there have a musical boner for Ace again let’s go back in time shall we and take a little look see at that solo  release of his from 1978 that a lot of fans from the Army consider his (and perhaps) Kiss’ greatest work.

For me personally, I say since this falls under the Kiss empire of 1978, this is one record I can listen front to back still in the year of 2014. What I mean is I loved Kiss and still follow em( There latest Monster was a strong record) years ago for every Love Gun there was a Than She Kissed Me,For every Detroit Rock City there was Beth, For every Save Your Love there was I Was Made For Loving You.For every Uh All Night well there was a bit of filler on that album(Asylum). See my pattern on each of those albums I mentioned (Love Gun,Destroyer,Asylum and Dynasty) was for me( personally my opinion only folks) always a track i wasn’t into . Some albums of there’s were very solid(Creatures Of The Night,Revenge,Rock N Roll Over) I guess as Kiss was sometimes cranking out 2-3 albums a year they should be forgiven right?! Like I could do better!

Ok everybody climb aboard and let’s go for a Rocket Ride……

RIP IT OUT-Ace comes out of the gates firing on all cylinders with a stormer of a track! When I was 11 I heard this song and it blew my little grade school mind. The spaceman sings,plays guitar,writes the songs, produces,does everything but the drums(Anton Fig) holy crap my little 11 yr old mind is gonna blow!!! Anton rips on this track along with Aces solo!

SPEEDING BACK TO MY BABY- hahaha what do fast cars,illicit  drugs washed done with alcohol produce? A dude racing back to his baby at the speed of sound. By track two Ace is flying the songs are cranking and he pulls off of one my favourite solos of his ever..a Sonic Boom is overheard!

SNOWBLIND- Weather forecast update…..cloudy with a ton of snow on tap! This is the Space Man singing about something he knows about and it ain’t the weather kids! Cool song, Aces vocals are sounding well spaced out and also the song kicks Into overdrive during the solo I guess Ace was trying to get around that weather watch! Hail the Space Man!

OZONE-after Ace cleans off the dashboard of his car from all that snow(shoulda kept the windows up)  he trips Into another dimension and basically it’s a song about Gettin high and it’s ok to feel high n dry cause well the Ace man likes to fly. Super cool verse and than the song shifts into a Sabbathy Ooooooozoooooone…that’s the thing about this record Ace says it’s ok to get high and why would we stop him!

WHATS ON YOUR MIND- holy crap Ace chugs this song along with Antons drums and Ace is concerned about his woman! In other words Ace says “hey baby,I have no mind! So what’s on your mind?”. Ace mixes a cool blend of acoustic and electric on this track.

NEW YORK GROOVE- the single…cool song and a cover version as well but if I never looked at the credits I woulda never known. Ace makes this his own tune and one song that a lot of folk associate with him. Ace is back ….back in the New York Groove! Plus when I seen Kiss live back in 79 Ace played his cool light bulby guitar during this tune. Ace was just downright cool.

I’M IN NEED OF LOVE-Ace steps it up on this tune. It’s a total cool groover of a track that chugs down  the Anton Fig line and him and Ace collide at the solo and it goes from cool to ultra cool! Aces vocal are wickedly good for this selection of material.

WIPED OUT- Anton blazes the path at the beginning of song and Ace throws out a Wiped Out vocally and were off back into party mode after a three  track hiatus! Pass the party treats Ace it’s 3 am and it’s time to wake up the stiffs that are lazing around on the couch eating there Doritos ! Cool use of rhythm guitar in this track sounds 70s ish but hey this is from the 70s!

FRACTURED MIRROR- Ace says it’s 7:30 am everyone pick up your crap,collect those empties and go home.The party is officially over. Nice Little quiet musical with the use of acoustic featured. Ace my friend you done well.

IN CONCLUSION- Folks…Ace stepped up and nailed it out of the park! I mean the guy back in 78 was a caged animal creatively speaking and than he unleashed this awesome album that for me was far superior than the three other guys that he was employed with. Ace made a classic rock album that appealed to everyone and still does. I mean Ace cooks up a real cool batch of tunes and look at the next Kiss album that followed the solo albums ( Dynasty) Ace thru down a cool cover of the Stones 2000 Man along with his two originals Hard Times and  Save Your Love which could have been on this solo release . Dude may have been Wiped Out but he was in control(somewhat)….