Album Review: KISS 40

kiss 40The KISS landscape is huge. It ranges from coffins, condoms, action figures, comic books and a 40 year long spectrum of Music,  which consists of a mammoth catalog.  The KISS 40 two CD set is a monument to the bands 40 year long career. The new compilation release perpetuates and articulates a clear and cohesive overview of their artistic output. The Strategy to take 1 song per major record and install into this massive compilation 2 cd set is a winner.

Of course when you look upon the history of kiss it starts with the innocent early makeup years. that material from kiss self titled record, hotter than hell and dressed to kill are all of pure fury and raw energy. Alive is a testimony to those first three releases and was the first tsunami of success the band experienced. The next three studio records of kiss and its career are made up of destroyer rock and roll over. Destroyer which was the first kiss studio record to generate a number one hit single. The single titled Beth written by Peter Criss who also handled lead vocals on the track. kiss saw a new level of commercial success and recognition. Rock and roll over and love gun on the other hand was the true testimony to kiss and their hard rockin guitar riff allegiance. Following the same strategy after 3 studio records they released alive two as previously was the same formula to releasing alive one.

The later part of the 70’s were filled with KISS solo records from each of the four members. This in itself  was a milestone and unheard of. Not only did kiss members have their own solo records all released  simultaneously  on the same street date but There was also a disco record called dynasty and a power pop record called unmaksed. Seems as though unmaksed only saw success in Australia then the 80’s hit!  With personnel changes in a band, it always comes with doubt from fans and critics. kiss survived and proved to be a better live act with eric carr then with Peter Criss.

KISS 40 pays also pays homage to the 80’s 90’s non make up era. Perhaps an era that should not be overlooked. As many would agree that the makeup years are important the same amount would agree that the line up with Eric carr Bruce Kulick are as important.  Fact that the Kulick and eric carr era records are highlighted on this  compilation Ties it all together. You gotta remember this era is when kiss was on MTV.  Their Videos were on heavy rotation and singles from those records animalize, asylum, crazy nights, smashes thrashes and it’s and hot in the shade all had success perpetuated by the MTV audience and kiss’ core audience.  Now let’s not forget the two records with bruce kulick and Eric Singer revenge and Carnival of Souls both enriched with heavy riffs and relevance.  A kiss  installation to the MTV Unplugged series was successful as well as a full blown make up reunion with original member’s, a rock and roll Hall of Fame debacle. Impeccable historicals, which include 3,000 licenses , successful world tours and an enormous catalog. The catalog which is represented well in this 2 CD set is perfect for the die hard that needs the unreleased track “reputation” and for the non die hards that need a ciriculum all in one package.

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