added: 29 Jun 2014
// release date: 29 Jun 2014 // label: Mercury
reviewer: Andy Snipper
That Kiss have been going for 40 years is noteworthy but based on their earliest numbers it is a miracle that they survived for 40 weeks – at the beginning they were a very ordinary band with a great sense of theatre appealing to American youth who were exemplified by the line “I want to rock & roll all night and party every day” (Rock & Roll all Nite). Somehow they managed to outstrip bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, Amboy Dukes/Ted Nugent and Black Oak Arkansas to become one of the biggest live acts in the world. Along the way they also leaned to write some decent songs too so the tracks here actually do get better the further you dive forward in the catalogue.
The collection here includes one number from each of their albums and considering the line up changes there is no surprise that the quality ebbs and flows but it is a true indication of what they were about all those years.
Most of this is bombastic and overblown but that was what the band were about – ‘God of Thunder’ was written in 1976 – and their live act was the biggest and most over the top ever but through all of that they were also able to write a love song like ‘Beth’.
They seem to morph in and out of different styles along the way but underneath they are always a rock band and their heart is in the loud stuff.
Maybe now that Metallica have headlined Glastonbury they can be tempted to bring the whole Kiss Experience to Somerset because on stage is where the band really comes alive.
The album is essentially for those who have heard of Kiss but never dipped in before or for completists who will have almost all this except for the bonus tracks already.
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