RELATED STUFF: Singles
Fact: Kiss's first album featured a short set of catchy rock songs that summed up the band yet failed to match the live energy the band were becoming known for. Featured such KISS classics as Deuce, Strutter, Black Diamond & Cold Gin. The 2nd pressing had Kissin’ Time added to it.
Hotter Than Hell
Fact: The second album was an attempt to recreate the live sound but ended up sounding like a mudy mess. Shame, as the songs were quite good. Featured such KISS classics as Got To Choose, Parasite & Let Me Go, Rock'n'Roll
Dressed To Kill
Fact: By DRESSED TO KILL KISS had finally managed to capture some of their sound on disc. A racy fast paced album with such classics as She, C'mon & Love Me and soon to be performed at EVERY concert since Rock'n'Roll All Nite!
Fact: KISS exploded into the public's awareness with this 2LP set of KISS at their live best (It was later revealed than a huge amount of overdubs were used. But who cares if it was slightly studio?) The tracklist is still is classic KISS playlist and this remains one of the band's best albums! Came with a gatefold featuring notes from the band and an inner sleeve featuring the KISS logo.
Fact: Box set featuring KISS, HOTTER THAN HELL & DRESSED TO KILL with a booklet stickers and KISS Army tattoo. Rare to find in good condition.
Fact: KISS hooked up with producer Bob Ezrin and created a KISS classic, from the Marvel inspired cover to the concise hits inside. The band showcased both their talent as songwriters and ability to try new sounds (especially with Peter's ballad Beth). Contained hits like Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud and Do You Love Me?
Fact: A rougher, grittier album was again another KISS classic that rocked at full tilt from start-to-finish. Featuring Calling Dr.Love, I want You, Hard Luck Woman and Take Me. The first album to feature a merchandise order form and came with KISS logo inner sleeve and LP cover sticker.
Fact: The companion album to ROCK'N'ROLL OVER in sound. Featured Ace's first lead vocal on Shock Me. Also featured the title track and I Stole Your Love. Gatefold design with similar dust sleeve. Featured a merchandise order form and working cardboard Love gun!
Fact: The sequel to ALIVE! featured songs only from their next 3 studio records on sides 1, 2 & 3, Side 4 featured new tracks. Ace appeared only on his composition Rocket Ride as Bob Kulick filled in on guitar! A fantastic gatefold picture, Evolution of KISS booklet, tattoo sheet and merchandise form.
The Originals II
Fact: Seconnd Japanese boxset featuring DESTROYER, ROCK'N'ROLL OVER & LOVE GUN. Featured KISS masks, booklet and dust sleeve.
Fact: While KISS were filming their movie and recording SOLO LPS this compilation was released. Included a newly recorded Strutter '78 and remixed versions of the KISS album tracks. This gatefold album also came with merchandise form and double platinum award.
The SOLO LPs
Fact: Peter's SOLO LP was a mixture of soul rockers and ballads that he had become known for. Featured a lot of horns, and not unsurprisingly, was the lowest seller of the SOLO LPs. Each release came with connectable poster and it's own merchandise form.
Fact: While "Disco Kiss" is a bit harsh (Only I Was Made For Loving You, Sure Know Something and Peter Criss's Dirty Livin' contained any traces of that sound). This featured more than one vocal from Ace. Peter's last album and he only played on his composition (Frehley cohort Anton Fig filled in on drums) Came with KIS poster, dust sleeve and merchandise form.
Fact: KISS's most pop sounding record marked their drop in popularity in the USA but explosion in Australia and Europe. Featured three Ace tunes and hits such as Shandi, Talk To me. Peter did not appear on this album (and would announce his departure immediately after the release) and once again Anton Fig played uncredited. Came with LP cover poster (the difference being Peter's eye is winking!) and merchandise form.
Best Of The Solo Albums
Fact: Best tracks from the SOLO LPs. What a 1978 KISS album may have sounded like if they pooled their best talents. Released everywhere except the US
Music From 'The Elder"
Fact: The first album to feature Eric Carr and what an odd one at that. Bob Ezrin and the band created a concept album. A big departure from KISS and in hindsight a bad career move at a time when their popularity was already dwindling this was the nail in the coffin. Ace Frehley hated the album so much he refused to be in the studios with the others. Needless to say, the album tanked. The first album to feature no images of the band but a great gatefold picture and lyric dust sheet.
Fact: Not released in the USA, this compilation featured 4 new songs record with a new heavy edge (minus Ace Frehley who was again secretly replaced by Bob Kulick)
Creatures Of The Night
Fact: KISS returned with a new thunderous heavy sound and rums that sounded like they'd been recorded in an aircraft hangar. Ace had already left the band but due to record company commitments had to feature in promotional duties. Guitar was handled by Robben Ford, Steve Ferris, Adam Mitchell, Bob Kulick and a soon to join Vinnie Vincent The album also did poorly and was re-released in 1985 with anon-make-up cover in remixed form.
Lick It Up
Fact: Newly unmasked and featuring both a hit single Lick It Up and new songwriter/guitarist Vinnie Vincent this energized KISS's popularity and interest in the band grew due to MTV. Came with lyric dust sheet.
Fact: Vincent was out and new boy Mark St.John was in as KISS played Lead Guitarist-musical chairs. Featured one hit Heaven's On Fire and a lot of whammy bending guitar. The days of classic KISS sound were but a distant memory. Came with lyric dust sheet.
Fact: After Bruce Kulick stood in for the crippled Mark St;John he soon became KISS's fourth lead guitarist in as many albums. Featured KISS in their most ridiculously outrageous 80s era costumes the band had some minor hits on MTV with Tears Are Falling and Who Want To Be Lonely? Came with lyric dust sheet.
Fact: Featured KISS in their most Bon Jovi-sounding guise. Lead single Crazy, Crazy Nights, Turn On The Night and Reason To Live were 80s metal by-the-numbers
Fact: Japanese-only compilation featured the band from all eras
Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
Fact: New compilation featured remixed classic KISS tracks, 2 new songs including the high-brow Let's Put The X In Sex and controversially Eric Carr's version of Beth. Personally I thought he should have done Black Diamond! Came with lyric dust sheet.
Hot In The Shade
Fact: Rather unremarkable album that ran a bit long. It's only memorable tracks were Hide Your Heart, Rise To It and the Top 10 ballad Forever (the fact it was co-written with Michael Bolton says it all). Also featured Eric Carr on vocals for his composition Little Caeser. Came with lyric dust sheet.
Thanks to Niko Hatakka for the video!
Fact: Eric Singer was in after Eric Carr's passing and a newer gruntier, powerful sound emerged from KISS's best album in years. Co-Produced by Bob Ezrin and even had a few songs co-written by Vinnie Vincent before he AGAIN fell out with the band over money. Also featured 1991's hit God Gave Rock'n'Roll To You II and Eric Carr's drum led Carr Jam 1981. Came with lyric dust sheet.
Fact: Featured the newly energized KISS running through their hits and new songs from REVENGE. Gatefold featuring KISS line-ups and message from the band
Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved
Fact: A KISS tribute album produced by themselves. Only could KISS do it. Featured Lenny Kravitz, Garth Brooks etc
Fact: KISS jumped on the Unplugged bandwagon but gave the fans some exciting versions of KISS classics that worked extremely well. The last four tracks would feature Peter Criss & Ace Frehley and lead to speculation of a reunion tour...
You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best
Fact: ...and they did it. So this album was released as a souvinier. Featured tracks from ALIVE! and ALIVE II and some rarities.
Fact: Greatest Hits album from the classic KISS era
Carnival Of Souls: The FInal Sessions
Fact: The album KISS were recording when "interrupted" by the reunion tour. A photo cover was used so not to confuse fans that this was the new KISS album. Featured KISS doing the grunge sound recorded in 1994 (...as grunge was already on it's way out!) Featured KISS at their heaviest (Hate) and Bruce Kulick on lead vocals for I Walk Alone
Fact: UK/Europe only release featuring classic KISS mixed with some songs like Crazy Nights
Fact: What could be better than KISS recording an album with the original members back in the band? In reality the majority of drums were done by Kevin Valentine with Peter only playing on Ace's Into The Void and singing a Paul-written Ballad. Ace's contributions were also quite limited. Not terrible but not when fans were hoping for.
The Originals: 1974-1979
Fact: Japanese-only nine LP set of coloured vinyls containing all the band’s 1970s output (and included stickers sheets.)
Thanks to Eric Swenson for the pic & info!
The Very Best Of Kiss
2002, MERCURY/UTV RECORDS
Fact: Yawn. Another compilation.
Fact: KISS box set featuring classic songs, demos and early, rare tracks. Had 5 discs and came in normal or guitar case shaped box.
KISS Symphony: Alive IV
2003, SANCTUARY/KISS RECORDS
Fact: KISS's performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and featuring Tommy Thayer replacing Ace
The Best Of KISS: The Millenium Collection
Fact: The best of KISS from the Seventies
The Best Of KISS: The Millenium Collection Vol.2
Fact: The best of KISS from the Eighties
The Best Of KISS: The Millenium Collection Vol.3
Fact: The best of KISS from the Nineties. Slim pickings here!
KISS Alive! Boxset
2006, UNIVERSAL GROUP
Fact: Featured ALIVE!, ALIVE II, ALIVE III plus a previously unreleased The Millenium Concert which was originally going to be released as ALIVE IV before Symphony came along.
2008, UNIVERSAL GROUP
Fact: Another year, another KISS compilation. Nice cover, though...
2008, UNIVERSAL GROUP
Fact: Another KISS compilation. This time in environmentally friendly form. Is this to reverse the effects of all that hairspray over the years?
Jigoku Retsuden (Kiss Best: Kissology)
Fact: Japanese-only compilation, no wait, come back! Has all new re-recorded versions of KISS classics by the Simmons/Stanley/Thayer/Singer current line-up.
2008, UNIVERSAL GROUP
Fact: 4 CD box set featuring a different disc on the best of each members songs. Peter's one is stretching the concept, and as one fan commented "I bet that's the first time "Your The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes" has made it onto a 'Best Of'
2009, KISS RECORDS
Fact: After 11 years comes a new album (the first featuring Eric Singer & Tommy Thayer). Released in the US, with the Jigoku Retsuden CD retitled "KISS Klassics" and a ALIVE35 live DVD shot in Buenos Aires, Argentina
2010, UNIVERSAL GROUP
Fact: A double and single CD option for this new compilation of KISS classics.
Fact: The classic KISS album remixed by Bob Ezrin. Featured an alternate guitar solo in Sweet Pain as a bonus track.
Fact: A new album less than two years after SONIC BOOM. Some CD versions came with 3D artwork.
The Casablanca Singles
Fact: 28-disc box replicating every single they released on Casablanca Records during their first eight years together. According to the pres release it features: "The Casablanca Singles will also feature replicas of picture sleeves from the U.S., Europe and Japan, recreated label artwork, a booklet “track[ing] the genesis and chart history of each single represented in the package” and four masks of Paul Stanley’s Starchild, Ace Frehley’s Spaceman, Gene Simmons’ Demon and Peter Criss’ Catman makeup. Additionally, the box will be available on both CD and vinyl, with four of the band’s solo singles (from the infamous 1978 solo albums) pressed on colored vinyl."
For an extensive guide to KISS Bootlegs check out www.kissbootlegged.com
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