1976: Casablanca Records 824 149-2
While this was one of the first Kiss albums I ever heard or owned, it hasnt aged as well as many of the others, and that surprises me greatly: it seemed like it was a solid piece of stadium-rockin stuff, but in retrospect its really an iffy album with a few standout tracks and a lot of not-quite-ready-for-prime-time filler.
The standouts are of course the tracks that sold the group as much as the album, at the time, Shout It Out Loud and Beth in particular. King of the Night Time World and Do You Love Me? were just as strong in their own way but werent the albums selling points, and there were some completely ghastly tracks too (God of Thunder and Great Expectations top the list for this album, in my book).
But then theres the two tricky tracks here that defy classification even within the context of this one album, let alone the Kiss œuvre or the mid-70s musical scene: Flaming Youth and Sweet Pain. Mind you, neither is a great song nor a stellar performance; what still surprises me about these two tracks is that they continue to exist independent of their origins even decades later. Neither is great, yet each has survived the years without evident aging. And Id love to know the story behind the backup vox on Sweet Painwere they some women just brought into play for one recording session and not even named, or was that actually the guys just sped up a bit?
A final note: compare this albums cover painting to that of The Wizwho copied whom?
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.