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Monday, October 25, 2004

SO LOW ALBUMS

In 1978, Kiss made a horrific blunder in overestimating the marketplace's desire for more Kiss product. In order to keep peace within the band, and ostensibly to sell four times the amount of product, each member of Kiss put together a solo record. Released simultaneously with uniform packaging, the albums sat in the stores. They shipped a million of each, and were stuck with a buttload of product ready for the cut out bins. The biggest reason for this, in my opinion, is that Kiss was a sum of parts, stronger in union. Peter Criss' effort is most notably the worst. This record is so bad, I have never owned a copy, never. Not even for 'the collection' would I pay money for this poor excuse for smooth seventies jazz rock, it just sucks. Paul Stanley's is barely any better, 'Love In Chains' and 'Move On' being the standout tracks. Most of it is over romanticised balladeering however, and I can't remember the last time I pulled it out for a spin. Gene Simmons' effort is commendable. It should be, he used every high octane session player he could get, along with Joe Perry, Rick Neilson, and Jeff Baxter. The material is fairly decent as well. Gene is probably the most consistant songwriter in the group, and I have always enjoyed his solo record. 'Living In Sin', with guest appearance by Cher is always fun, and I'll never forget watching those kids on American Bandstand trying to dance to 'Radioactive', but my favorite track is the deeply disturbing rendition of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'. Lastly, we have the cream of the crop. If Gene thinks Ace 'did nothing', well what about this record here Gene? Ace Frehley's solo record simply rocks. More so, it kicks major ass. I have worn out multiple copies of it. 'Ozone', 'Snowblind', and 'Wiped Out' are odes to Ace's favorite passtime, getting totally wasted on anything he can find. This in esscence is where Gene's problems with Ace lie. Ace is a fuck up. But, and this is one of the biggest buts there is, he is the man. Check out 'I'm In Need Of Love', 'Rip It Out', and 'Fractured Mirror'. The proof is indeed in the pudding, and this particular brand rips. So much so, that it is the only Kiss album (the word Kiss appears on the upper right hand side of all four releases) that Andy Rock will let me bring into his room.

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