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Okay, so I'm sitting here listening to "KISS" (debut) and "Destroyer" because it takes me back to my childhood and early teens, and helps me get in the mood to write. I'm thinking though that I, and most KISS fans, view the band through very rose-colored glasses.
So are there 10 KISS songs that are legitimately good? Ones that deserve radio airplay, and stand up after all the years as a good rock n' roll tune? It's close IMO:
1. Black Diamond 2. Cold Gin 3. 100,000 Years 4. Deuce
Yeah, I like those songs, and they were two of their four biggest hits, but I think that KISS detractors would call those songs "poppy" - kind of like Rod Stewart doing "Baby Jane" or Queen doing "Bites the Dust".
I have this argument at work with someone all the time, who also grew up on KISS.
God of Thunder. Strutter. Shandi. God Gave Rock and Roll to You.
Obviously it comes down to personal taste but at the time of their release these songs were well received. Shandi and God Gave Rock and Roll to You did all right on the charts. While Strutter and God of Thunder are considered classic Kiss songs.
Stevie mentioned Sure Know Something. That's one of my favourite Kiss songs.
Really, this sort of thing is not uncommon in groups. If you look at an average "greatest hits" album for anyone, you'll find maybe (MAYBE) a half dozen titles you might recognize. The rest are their singles whether they were legitimate hits or not. There are always fans, but it is a rare, rare band or artist that can boast a greatest hits compilation of songs that are actually all hits.
I Love It Loud "Stand up, you don't have to be afraid Get down, love is like a hurricane Street boy, no I never could be tamed, better believe it Guilty, 'til I'm proven innocent Whiplash, heavy metal accident Rock on, I wanna be President"
On a related note, I always felt Peter Criss' solo Album "Kiss" (when the original lineup of KISS did related solo albums) was underated. I still have the vinyl single, "You Still Matter To Me"!
I read once that Edge, maybe a miss quote, said Kiss is the most overrated band in the world. I agree, even if it is a miss quote, though. I admire Paul a great deal, though. He is a very talented guy and easily the backbone of the band.
As for U2, they easily have 10 songs that aren't just good, but great. Very iconic and that isn't an understatement. Even if that last album blew the proverbal Goat Nip or two, they still have a wealth of beautiful, heart wrenching, guitar crushing songs that speak volumes.
Edge, live, is without equal... Well, if Dave Genn wasn't alive. "cough"
But, yeah, Kiss... Meh. I dunno, Beth??? Please. I hear her callin' too and she's listening to Angel, a band that easily trumped Kiss but, like Echo & the Bunnymen to U2, got overshadowed and jilted out of fame because of the other.
As a guitarist myself, one versed in the dotted 8th... and the one step delay setting on your amps when you play live, Edge is a skilled dude. He's graceful and hs fingers are in control all the time. Watch New York live for instance. The Boston show. WOW!
Watch them play The Fly, live. Again, WOW! You'll see that U2 is a live act. They are the best live act today. They play their own music. They sing while they do it and they do it well. No other hand can claim that spot.
Edge, even if you know what to do using the echopark and dotted 8, is one hard dude to replicate. He's got a sound and it works. That's what makes great musicians. Not how fast you are or how much distortion you can filter through some fuzz rockers.
I don't idol Edge or Dave Genn, but I admire them and definitely used them as my muse and teachers when learning.
I would say KISS have no legit songs. Personally, I've always felt KISS was never able to live up to their image, especially with all the fire breathing and blood spewing. If you took out Gene Simmons, maybe it'd make a little more sense. But for the most part, their music feels very poppy and tame. Safe, even. Seems so contradictory to their reputation, especially back in the day with all the "Knights in Satan's Service" hubbub and such. Then again, their music and image is so inseparable that it's hard to say for sure. Not to mention a ton of awesome bands wouldn't exist if not for KISS.
Yep, he loves his delay alright, that's what he always gets credited for, revolutionising the technique and that's undisputed. I'm not one for guitar masturbation but I do appreciate fast, technical playing to an extent as well as more soulful, tonal lead. I just find the Edge's playing rather boring, repetitive and uninspired but he's got his (very large) audience out there so it works for him.
I actually seen U2 live back in 01 headlining a one day festival and while they put on a great show full of pyrotechnics, bright colours & big screens, the music itself has always left me cold.
I've heard the 360 tour is supposed to be breathtaking but again, it’s more for the visual experience then the aural.
Wow, we must be really desperate for conversation here if we dug this one up - first the 92.38% thread, and now this!
Peter Criss' solo album? Seriously? I have the other 3 on vinyl, purchased way back when you could join Columbia House record club and get 13 records for a penny. Gene's album sucks - pompous and over the top, just like him. Ace had some good moments, particularly with "Rip it Out", and of course he had the biggest hit of all them with "New York Groove", but he's the absolute worst vocalist that has ever stood in front of a microphone.
(incidentally, Ace was invited to play "New York Groove" live at Madison Square Garden at the NY Rangers home opener this year. He was so awful that halfway through the director threw it back to the announcers, who both looked like deer in the headlights because they weren't expecting it.)
Paul's album is actually a really, really good one, if you take it for what it is, which is late 70's AOR. It has a ballad on it that I believe could play on top 40 radio today, and a few decent three chord rockers. In fact, I'm trying to obtain the licenses for two of the songs from that album for my feature (and I have a meeting with the guy who produced it, with the hope that he'll sign on as music supervisor).
But Peter Criss' album? Never even crossed my mind to buy it.
Yep, guess we are desperate for conversation! HaHa...
Anyways, although I was a KISS fan back in the day, and have seen them live 2 or 3 times, I don't own any of their music on CD. I did own numerous albums/cassettes/even an 8 track, but for now, I definitely don't need to listen to them.
BUT, I will definitely say this..IMO, there are way more than 10 tunes that easily come to mind after all these years that I could sing along with word for word, if it came on the radio or whatever. What does that mean? Well, if nothing else, it means that KISS wrote and played catchy songs that for one reason or another, became not only hits, but "classics" even.
I bet it's the same for people who weren't ever even into them. Beth is a song that pretty much everyone knows. Rock n Roll All Night's another one for sure. They're anthems for a lost generation. Are they simple little songs? Sure they are, but for what they were, they sure worked.
So, I definitely wouldn't include KISS in my list of 50 favorite bands, but I bet ya I could pull out at least 50 KISS songs that IMO are good, I'd enjoy hearing, and cold sing along with at the drop of a hat.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.