Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kiss - Ikons


It seems like every time it occurs to me to write specifically about the band Kiss, it's because I feel bitchy about their choices. It occurs to me, however, that this doesn't accurately capture the fact that I feel bitchy specifically because I'm a fan, so perhaps I ought to write something to celebrate them.

Now, to do this I thought it would make sense to do something interesting. So, I'm skipping the first six albums, Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Destroyer, Rock & Roll Over and Love Gun. These albums form the basis of their reputation. Discussion, examination and celebration of these albums can be found all over the place.

What I'm going to do is look over each of the four Kiss Ikons, one by one, and go through each of their careers as they follow. This is a good separation point. Those first six albums sound like a band in way they were never quite able to return to. I think the post-makeup incarnations attempted at times to bring that back, especially with Revenge and the ill-fated Carnival of Souls, but it never quite seemed to gel.

What if the Kiss Solo Albums Never Happened? by Rev. Phantom hypothesizes the start of a world where the solo albums are replaced by a seventh Kiss album. It uses the same separation... Well, everyone does, whatever their hypothesis, don't they?

It's ok, though, Kiss's strength was never albums, despite some having some of those early one's having reputations as "albums" rather than collections of solid rock & roll numbers, which I think they are, and they continued throughout to produce plenty of highlights. They just have periods of much stronger groups of songs than others.

I'm starting with Paul Stanley, partly because he compels me the least, although he has created more than his share of Ikonic Kiss songs.


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