KISS: The Songs 1974-2012

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GodShifter, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    If I could get my mind around this??? MIND. BLOWN!!!!!

    "If you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise, remind me to show you the scars."

    Well played sir.:shtiphat:
    Giant Hogweed and William Smart like this.
  2. ejluther

    ejluther Forum Resident

    Carmel, NY
    Trivia: Paul and Gene aren't the only KISS members to write with Bryan Adams - Eric Carr did, too, with "Don't Leave Me Lonely" which ended up on Adams' Cuts Like A Knife LP...
    Don't Leave Me Lonely - Wikipedia
  3. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    If that song was presented for Animalize or later on it would've made one of those albums. With Creatures and LIU's having mostly strong material, I can see why it didn't make it in 82-83.
  4. Cooks420

    Cooks420 Forum Resident

    I'm with Curveboy on this - the two new tracks on "Smashes ..." are criminally underrated. But, we'll get to those a bit later.
  5. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Forum Resident

    Long Island
    How anyone can hate "Let's Out the X..." is beyond me!!
  6. Tippy

    Tippy Well-Known Member

    Down On Your Knees

    Hmmm. I see people have compared this song unfavorably to "Let's Put The X In Sex" and "Odyssey."

    I like both of those songs quite a bit, so I suppose that's all I need to say about this tune. :)
  7. npgchris

    npgchris Forum Resident

    We discussed this back during the UNMASKED portion of our program. According to Bob Kulick, the lyrics are largely Gene's. It doesn't sound like Gene had much of anything to do with it musically, but the lyrics were mostly his. And lyrically, it's a pretty nice change of pace for the normally self-obsessed Demon!

    (You and I see "You're All That I Want" quite differently, as I think Poncia took a fairly strong piece of work and watered it down somewhat. I'll take the demo any day!)
  8. npgchris

    npgchris Forum Resident

    But when you're writing fewer songs than the other guy, doesn't that skew things somewhat in your favor? In other words, if as many Gene songs had been recorded during the no-makeup period as Paul's tunes, doesn't it stand to reason that those extra Gene tunes would have truly been bottom of the barrel? I would think so.

    I'm definitely not excusing Paul's wretched songs of this period, but it seems logical that he would have some absolute lows, as he was being forced to submit more songs per album than I'm sure he wanted to.

    Which is yet another reason to lament the departure of Ace. Imagine each of these albums with 2 or 3 Ace tunes apiece, and the 2 or 3 weakest Paul/Gene tunes gone. Instant upgrade!
  9. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 That Wannabe Music Critic

    Yeah I'd have to agree, while I do like a couple more Paul songs in that 84-90, I think the idea that it was some landslide victory is bulls***. He had more than his fair share of ****ty songs, and I actually counted how many songs I like from either of them on each album during that period:
    Crazy Nights:
    Hot In the Shade:
    For a guy that wasn't giving a s***, that's not bad
  10. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
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  11. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    The Killers songs for me is where Kiss started to be generic. While songs on Unmasked kind of felt in that direction, they still sounded like Kiss somewhat. I feel Down On Your Knees and Partners In Crime are the beginning of the generic songs. I don't know much past Lick It Up but from reading these posts it sounds like there is more genericness to come. They were of their time with 70's hard rock and behind the times with 80's hard rock. Go figure. Had they started in the 80's with Creatures they would be looked at as of their time because there was no genre shifting beforehand. I would say Creatures is of it's time but when you water that down it's generic.
  12. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    No question even one song per side (thinking of vinyl) from Ace would have been a welcome change for the listener.

    As to the first part, are the 80's albums skewed in favor of having more Paul songs than Gene songs? Without looking I assumed they were largely 50/50 or at least pretty close. I don't think there were 7 Paul songs and 3 Gene songs on any album.

    I'm not even criticizing Paul. Everybody is going to write some lousy songs, and I know for sure that I love a few of his tunes that are going to go through the ringer when we get to them (cough *My Way* cough). I was making more of a comparison between the two guys; Paul didn't write 20 I Stole Your Love's in the 80's and Gene didn't write 20 Burn Bitch Burn's either.

    Anyway, I'm gonna walk like I walk and talk like I talk all through these crazy nights of classic KISS songs!!:help::D
  13. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    OK so while we are on the last hour or so of Down On Your Knees. I was thinking some of the worst songs in the 70's: See You In Your Dreams, Tomorrow and Tonight, and Rockin' In The USA. Is this a worse song than those songs? I personally don't think so. It's generic yes but I think those songs are worse. I wonder if the folks here that hate this song grew up with them in the 70's vs. the 80's and if that skews the opinion? I'm not saying the opinion is wrong just trying to get a sense on the strong dislike. I don't find the song polarizing like an Odyssey but it seems these first 2 Killer songs are to some. :)

    PS- I discovered them during Crazy Nights so I have a soft spot for those 87-88 songs but understand how a lot of folks could hate them growing up in the 70's or the 80's. I just find the Killers songs very non-abrasive and a step in the right direction but in no way on par with Creatures or Lick It Up tracks for the most part.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  14. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    I'm thinking of filing a class action lawsuit against a LOT of you over Tomorrow and Tonight. That song is a classic and should be respected as such!:wantsome::D

    I love See You In Your Dreams too. I'll give you Rockin' In the USA, the biggest hunk a 1977 junk since Luke saw the Millennium Falcon.

    I got into KISS 'round about when you did and still I'd say Down On Your Knees is the worst of the four songs you're talking about.

    Generic Paul Stanley is instant poison. I can support bad Paul Stanley but he's too talented to be generic.
    D.B., Terrapin Station, Tippy and 2 others like this.
  15. Curveboy

    Curveboy Forum Resident

    New York City
    But that is where SUBJECTIVE comes in...I think See You In Your Dreams and Tomorrow and Tonight are fine songs...
    Rockin' In The USA isn't bad, it's just s throw-away.

    But if you want to talk my opinion of BAD*...Down On Your Knees is light years better than Dirty Livin' (my high water mark for bad songs, never mind bad KISS songs...)

    *not to be confused with the fantastic song by W.A.S.P,
  16. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    I do think we're overlooking that (at least according to Wikipedia) Killers wasn't a U.S. release. So why would KISS waste material they thought was great on a compilation record that wasn't even being released in their home country when they knew they were less than six months from releasing a full album that they knew was a make or break affair? I haven't heard Paul comment but it strikes me that any new song on Killers wasn't considered that good by Mr. Stanley. Which would seem completely understandable although better left unsaid.
  17. npgchris

    npgchris Forum Resident

    Well, from ANIMALIZE thru HOT IN THE SHADE, I get 27 Paul tunes, and 19 Gene tunes, so that's probably skewed more than you thought. Furthermore, Gene leaned on Bruce to co-write several of those 19 tunes. Obviously, Paul had plenty of co-writers, as well. They were 50/50 on LICK IT UP, but I left those out because Vinnie's imprint is all over that album, anyway. My original point was, if during this period we'd have gotten 8 additional Gene songs, I"m fairly certain a handful of them would have been downright embarrassing.

    I look forward to reading your views on this period. Could it be that you'll end up liking more of Paul's tunes than I will? ;)
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  18. npgchris

    npgchris Forum Resident

    Wow! I definitely look forward to debating this album with you. Hopefully we can get you to give a few more of these tunes at least half a break!

    SizzleVonSizzleton likes this.
  19. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    Yeah, 27 to 19 is a bit more of a difference than I would have thought although without the two Smashes songs it seems like it's probably only one extra Paul song per album. Niggling point of course.

    Paul was in his second decade of writing so he's automatically going to be further from the magic source. Also he spent a lot of the 80's doing more 'writing to order' instead of trusting that Paul Stanley didn't need to mix in DLR and Jon Bon Jovi; he was already a unique figure with a unique worldview and skillset and his songs would have been better served in the long run by trusting himself. Of course the real world of bills to pay and poor investments etc can't be overlooked.

    I grew up in the 80's so even the stupid stuff can win me over so I may be Team Gene and Team Paul for several albums. Certainly you and I are going to have an easier ride than @Musicman1998 , seems he's got some tough listening days ahead. :D
  20. npgchris

    npgchris Forum Resident

    Yes, this is basically the bottom line. This was stuff that Polygram wanted for the overseas market, so no doubt Paul's attitude was "let's throw them these table scraps"! Although he has said complimentary things about "Nowhere To Run". I don't think any of the other 3 he's particularly fond of, although "Partners In Crime" was considered for CREATURES at one point, which I find slightly surprising.
  21. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    There's so much talk in the KISS and Sell book about how they needed to fake that Ace was still around because of the Polygram contract that it blows me away that Paul, Gene and Bill Aucoin (though he was on his way out) wouldn't have insisted on Gene being represented with at least one new song. You go from a contractual obligation that three specific guys must be present to all four new songs being from only one guy? That's a real disconnect for me in all this.

    And given that there's a pretty good consensus in this thread that Gene could bolt together 3 ideas at any time to come up with songs I can't believe he couldn't have done so at a moments notice for Killers.

    Very odd to me.
  22. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    You answered your own question with you second paragraph.
    GodShifter likes this.
  23. MagneticNorthpaw

    MagneticNorthpaw Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL USA
    I'm A Legend Tonight
    As a teen, I liked this song quite a bit. Now, it feels quite light - or, ain't quite right, if you will. I like the half-time transition to full speed, but the riff isn't all that great or memorable. I actually like the variation that accompanies the verses, almost a Stonesy kind of riff. This track may have the worst background vocal sound of any KISS song - it seems to predate the digitized, key changed sheen of Def Leppard backing vocals from Pyromania onward. "Live to win" attitude Paul is not my favorite Paul. :sigh:

    Down On Your Knees
    As others have said, Paul seems to be attempting to channel Brian Johnson and/or Diamond Dave-era VH sans hooks. I'm pretty sure it's a heavily compressed Eric drum track - listen carefully to the cymbal bell hits on the choruses. They aren't a single consistent tone, which you'd expect from a drum machine. Paul, I am so ready to rock...but this does not rock. This one - and "Partners In Crime" - are just boring to my ear.

    I would anticipate consensus will find "Nowhere To Run" to be the best of the new Killers tracks. By all accounts, it predated The Elder and, to my ear, features Bob Kulick veering closest to Ace territory in the solo. It's chastening then to compare the other three tracks with, say, the "Deadly Weapons" demo, which also predated The Elder and features a great Ace solo. They were trying to "rock" again, but the material was trite and they didn't have Ace to prop up mediocre songs. Given that Paul did the vast majority of the best lead work on the three prior albums, it's strange that they felt the need to go back to Bob Kulick. But, honestly, most of these songs can be declared dead before the solo ever arrives.
  24. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star® Thread Starter

    Dallas, TX, USA

    NOWHERE TO RUN 1982 (Stanley) (4:32)

    By the time the KISS reconvened at the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles in 1982, “Nowhere to Run” was the only complete song the band had. It’s actually the only “new” song on Killers that features Gene on bass and background vocals. Paul states the song is autobiographical, in a sense, in that’s about an affair he was having with a woman with who, ultimately, went back to her previous situation. In a sense, “Nowhere to Run” was Paul’s “musical letter to her”.

    The song itself harks back to the 1978 song “Tonight, You Belong to Me” in terms of its chord structure. There’s also a similar feel to it with the intro acoustic guitars and the bridge at 2:50 where it returns to that similar motif. “Nowhere to Run” is a fairly stock hard rock tune with heavy background vocals and lots of lead flourishes from guitarist, Bob Kulick. It also features some Paul’s highest falsetto vocals ever that almost border on parody in terms of how they’re placed and how they’re pulled off. They sound really out of place to me (almost comical in some respects).

    Certainly for Killers “Nowhere to Run” is probably the best song of the four that were included on the compilation. Paul was disappointed with the production on the tune as he wanted the guitars to sound fuller, bigger, and in the listener’s face. This might explain why it was one of the songs from Killers that was remixed in 1989. It was also the first song from the compilation to be released in the United States. Outside of “I’m a Legend Tonight” the rest were released as on promotional issues.

    Despite the rumors that “Nowhere to Run” was written for The Elder that is not the case (though there are some collector’s issues that have this song run segue into “Just a Boy”) as the song was written after the The Elder sessions were finished.

    To me this song is only “okay” and not much more than that. To me, it sounds like something that would sit comfortably on Paul’s solo album from 1978, and I’d rate it pretty fairly if that had been the case. It being a KISS song, however, “Nowhere to Run” gets judged with a bit more critical eye and, for me, it barely makes the cut. To me, it sounds like a dull Def Leppard song or, failing that, even a Bryan Adams tune. It’s very poppy with lackluster production. I find it pretty unremarkable.
  25. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star® Thread Starter

    Dallas, TX, USA

    Paul doing "Nowhere to Run" on acoustic at a private gig in 2015.

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