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Would Critics View KISS More Favorably If 'Phantom' Were A Blockbuster Hit Film?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by S. P. Honeybunch, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen

    Being a little older and the fact I had a job, I kept up with KISS through Unmasked. Dynasty had the Ace cover, Sure Know Something and Magic Touch were ace corporate rock. Charisma might be the most egomaniacal song in all of Rock. When it came to Unmasked, Shandi and She's So European were enough to say ta ta for now. I didn't buy another KISS album until they remastered the catalog.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  2. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    In 1977 at age 13 all I wanted was music and girls. I bought the Runaways debut when it came out naturally. Also the Sex Pistols so I was more adventurous then my friends. But from '75 when I started buying albums with any $$$ I could get my hands on I was listening to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Hendrix, Uriah Heep as well as KISS. Heck we were even stealing tapes at times. But I guess late '78 maybe '79 I discovered Genesis and started listening to prog. By Sept. of 1979 when I saw KISS I had lost all interest in what they were doing. But I secretly loved the show. Then around 1985 when I started actively tape trading the nostalgia thing kicked in after I obtained the Tokyo '77 KISS HBO special from a guy I met that recorded it off the air. I only bought the Ace solo album when it came out. It was and still is one of my favorite albums of all time.
     
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  3. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California, USA
    George Harrison in Rolling Stone in 1979: "And even though Sgt. Pepper is no doubt a financial success, "I think it's damaged their images, their careers, and they didn't need to do that. It's just like The Beatles trying to do The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones can do it better."

    Rolling Stone printed the interview four months after Bee Gees released their 1979 studio album follow up, Spirits Having Flown, to the film and soundtrack. Thus, the critical reaction to their new album wasn't enough to overwhelm the ongoing negative critical fallout from the movie.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  4. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    George Harrison wasn't a music critic. This quotation only provides evidence that the film hurt their standing with ex-Beatles, not that it hurt their critical standing.
     
    Comet01 likes this.
  5. RoryMcBride

    RoryMcBride Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    No, they'd still be a panto-rock joke band.
     
  6. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California, USA
    Interesting take to doubt that George's opinion in the number one 1979 music magazine was outside the critical consensus about Bee Gees. Given George's intelligence and understanding of his musical contemporaries, and reading the contemporary reviews of the movie available on rottentomatoes.com, there isn't anything to disagree with in his interview regarding himself and critics in general seeing a poor display of musical theater in the movie.

    If you find a bunch of reviews to counter the consensus that the movie hurt their critical standing, feel free to share.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  7. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California, USA
    Who made the decision to cast Anthony Zerbe as Abner Devereaux? He's basically a Paul McCartney lookalike.
     
  8. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California, USA
    Plenty of members of famous bands have had solo albums with no loss of critical standing to the band: Steve Perry of Journey, Michael Jackson of the Jacksons, Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons, Rod Stewart of Faces, Neil Young of CSNY, and Buddy Holly of the Crickets.

    Other rock acts of the disco era tried their hand at dance music to critical success: Bowie, Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, etc.

    As far as massive amounts of merchandising, it has never hurt The Beatles' or Elvis' critical standing.
     
  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Most likely it was Cathy Henderson. I doubt any perceived resemblance to McCartney was the reason for casting him.
     
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  10. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    The release of this film and the comic books was the exact time that original fans like me started jumping off.
    We were replaced by a younger fan base that jumped on with Double Platinum, Dynasty and the
    solo albums.
     
  11. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I was 11 when the solo albums and this movie hit. I still loved Kiss but I never bought any new Kiss music after "Alive II" - and I honestly don't know why! :shrug:

    Actually, that's not true. When "Dynasty" hit, I'd recently become infatuated with the Beatles, and they sucked up my meager music budget.

    I really don't remember why I got none of the solo albums, though. All I can figure is that I felt it was all of them or none, and as an 11-year-old, I couldn't afford 4 albums at once so I skipped the whole lot!

    I also might've just thought solo wasn't interesting and I only wanted true band material...
     
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  12. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    Alive II was the last purchase for me too. I was 18 when this movie and the comic books came out.
    To me the band was clearly aiming for a younger fan base. Also, right or wrong "I Was Made For Loving You"
    was viewed as Kiss going disco, which to guys like me at the time was viewed as a betrayal and a sell out. I did
    buy Dynasty and Unmasked sometime in the 90's but rarely listen to them. I still love the early albums.
     
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  13. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California, USA
    Who woulda thunk that KISS would eventually aim for the geezer set with the KISS casket? Crazy world.
     
    steve phillips likes this.
  14. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    Indeed, from the cradle to the grave. :laugh:
     
    S. P. Honeybunch likes this.
  15. Sanctuary

    Sanctuary Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kenduskeag, Maine
    More than anything around this time , the Kiss popularity machine began to collapse due to a combination of changing tastes and losing focus. I still can find something to like on Unmasked or Elder but to outsiders and diehards it seemed like a rudderless ship.The movie, however, makes no sense even to those who sleep in Paul Stanley pajamas. It may be campy fun today, but when it was it was released it only served to confuse and alienate the diehards and newer fans. That’s not what you call a great career move.
     
    steve phillips likes this.
  16. painted8

    painted8 Forum Resident

    Would Critics View KISS More Favorably If 'Phantom' Were A Blockbuster Hit Film?

    possibly, but then the critics would have more unfavorable view of the public that made it a blockbuster hit
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  17. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    I found an original copy with mint poster last year so I bought it. Great album. Can't go wrong with Ace.
     
    carlwm likes this.
  18. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Location:
    Syracuse, NY USA
    What happened to Kiss happened to a lot of bands before or after. Their original teenage fans grew up and moved on. People are talking about Peter Frampton’s rock credibly from Humble Pie. I’m In You came out six years after he left. The 1971 Humble Pue fans had grown up, gotten jobs and started families by 1977. KISS’s problems started when they added children to their fan base. In the 1970’s, a “cool” factor was important to teenagers. Less so now, thank Satan, but no 15 year old wanted to like bands with “action figures” made for them and a stupid movie starring them. Kiss had a second act, because the children grew up to be teenagers in a few years. They had their faults, but they had great business instincts.
     
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  19. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    Finally found this [$5] right before COVID started;

    [​IMG]
     
  20. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    Wow, now that is cool. I'd love to find one of those.
     
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  21. JSUB

    JSUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    You can see Christgau's KISS reviews here

    Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 3130

    Also, if you follow the Meltdown link at the bottom, KISS is there as well. Which he defined as "Meltdown lists artists unworthy of the time it would take to dispatch them."
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    Comet01 and S. P. Honeybunch like this.
  22. steve phillips

    steve phillips Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC
    I agree with that. That's the way it was with Kiss. Fans like me that jumped on with Alive were late teens by then.
    I remember which store I was in when I saw the comic books, and all the hype about they mixed in their blood with
    the ink and all that. OK, I'm out. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    pig bodine likes this.
  23. uphoria6

    uphoria6 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ont. Canada
    I recently read the book Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup which is long out of print but I found a used copy. It really details the fall of KISS in the second half of the book. Phantom didn't sink KISS their hubris did. Super saturation of anything will lead to inevitable backlash.
     
    Comet01 likes this.
  24. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
  25. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    I was 16, but I guess I was dorkier than you. I didn't think the film was very good--although I didn't hate it, either, and I loved the comic books and never stopped loving the music. I liked disco a lot, too (and still do . . . and I'm still pretty dorky, I suppose)
     
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