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. Wigru

    Wigru Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Belgium
    Oh, you're serious.

    Elvis even made several crappy movies. Got panned by the critics. Can't say Elvis can't compete with The Beatles.
     
  2. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen

    Elvis even made a movie, Tickle Me, that has a plot line that you could almost say was stolen from a Scooby-Doo episode, except that Scooby-Doo didn't show up for another 3 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  3. Wigru

    Wigru Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Belgium
    There is a reason some people thought Elvis was a visionary.
     
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  4. ranasakawa

    ranasakawa Forum Resident

    I saw the movie in the 1970s and remembered it was OK.
    Kiss biggest problem is the quality of their music and 'attitude' the movie didn't affect their future as the original poster is claiming.
    It's all about good songs and respecting each other which Kiss have not been good at.
     
  5. Crawdad

    Crawdad Detroit Rock Citizen

    You sure convinced me. :sweating::sweating::sweating:
     
  6. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Christgau's ignoring of KISS and Bee Gees after 1979 directly corresponds with the buying habits of Americans who abandoned those two acts in droves in 1980-1981. The Phantom and Sgt. Pepper's movies were merely introductions in the process of repelling many longtime fans. It isn't to say that KISS and Bee Gees incorporating disco into their act didn't give them a short term boost of casual fans and record buyers. We're just saying that bad movies and disco hurt these acts long term with sustaining a loyal and robust fanbase.
     
  7. Cachiva

    Cachiva Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    You said that he didn't review Steely Dan albums for the next
    20 years. Gaucho was in 1980, and then, 20 years later, came
    Two Against Nature. That is why he didn't review Steely Dan
    albums for 20 years. They didn't record any.

    You called out another member for having their head in the sand.
    I believe yours is somewhere else, less arid.
     
  8. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    The point is that Christgau stopped reviewing Bee Gees and KISS albums and kept reviewing Rolling Stones and Steely Dan albums, regardless of how often they released them. It's actually more of a slap in the face to KISS and Bee Gees, because they released more albums than Steely Dan during that time period yet Christgau never bothered to review even one album.
     
  9. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    You realize that Bee Gees' use of disco is what made them hugely successful in the mid-late 70s, right?

    Their "loyal and robust fanbase" had bailed on them until they went toward dance music in 1975...
     
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  10. Glass Candy

    Glass Candy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greensboro

    Completely wrong on the Bee Gees' career.
     
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  11. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Spirits Having Flown came after Sgt. Pepper yet was still a big hit. The disco backlash did them in, not a bad movie. Frampton was hurt more than Bee Gees by that movie. They had two more #1 albums and 3 more #1 singles before they fell out of style. Frampton never made the top ten again.
     
  12. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midland, Michigan
    Would Critics View KISS More Favorably If 'Phantom' Were A Blockbuster Hit Film?

    No.
     
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  13. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Disco gave Bee Gees a shot in the arm, but it wasn't where their heart was at by 1981. Otherwise, they would have made another album with enough upbeat dance numbers to keep their new disco fans coming back for more.

    Relative to Spirits, Living Eyes tanked. They never enjoyed a top 40 USA album again and only one top 10 hit. I don't think anyone would argue that Bee Gees, essentially, were dance music to the core. They did it well, as they used it to carry great songs. Their core is more of a love for pop/rock in general rather than dance music. If dance was "their thing", they would have been doing more of it and more prominently earlier in their career.

    They're like KISS in their affection for a broad range of pop and rock, except for the more common lighter textures and feels. We wouldn't say that because KISS has enjoyed a big disco hit during one portion of their career that they are "disco to the core". Same for Bee Gees.

    Neither act sustained a big USA fanbase in 1981-82 because they were in transition and had hurt themselves by grasping at too many different genres in a short period of time. The Sgt. Pepper's movie is actually truer to who Bee Gees were in 1967 than what they were in 1978. It's no surprise that people didn't stick with them after doing a psychedelic rock movie ten years too late and a disco movie. Who did they think they were, The Disco Beatles?
     
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  14. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    As I've pointed out to you multiple times, Christgau stopped reviewing Kiss after 1976, two years before they did anything remotely disco. So disco had no effect on his choice to not review them.

    On the flipside, he stopped reviewing the Bee Gees after they abandoned disco. So clearly, their incorporation of disco into their music was not the reason he list interest in reviewing them.
     
  15. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    On the contrary, the only interest for most critics in KISS was their cultural relevance. Once that had been explicitly dealt with, contemptuously as they deserved, there was nothing more needing saying about them.
     
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  16. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Christgau doesn't review every studio album of new material from every major artist that he follows. He does for the Stones, as he's a huge fan. He ignored Elton John, however, from 1980 to 1981 and 1983 to 1989 when Elton's studio albums had generally lost the cultural relevance of his 1970's studio work.

    KISS and Bee Gees had lost the same cultural relevance to their studio albums after 1979. That was due to combined factors of disco and poor career choices having a stigma that affected their newer music. They lost many fans who weren't willing to simultaneously embrace multiple genres of music.

    For KISS, embracing disco bought them some short term fans, but cost them older fans and cultural buzz. For Bee Gees, disco was an artistic and financial boon, but wasn' t where their heart was at long term as they made a non-disco album in 1981 to declining fortunes.

    Bee Gees, KISS, and Elton John continued to find audiences for their studio albums during the 1980s, but had lost the type of cultural relevance that they had enjoyed in years prior. Christgau chose not to focus on acts who had lost so much cache.
     
  17. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Okay, I think this will be literally the fourth time I have said this, so I will put in in bold to emphasize it:
    Robert Christgau stopped reviewing Kiss albums after 1976.

    He stopped reviewing them when they were at the peak of their popularity in 1977. He ignored two of their biggest selling albums, Love Gun and Alive II. These albums had absolutely no disco-influenced music on them. These albums came out before Phantom of the Park was broadcast. So from this we can conclude that his reasons for ceasing to review them had absolutely nothing to do with "loss of cachet." They also had nothing to do with their later embrace of disco/pop influences. And they had nothing to do with the low quality of their TV movie. I think you are overestimating the importance of Christgau as a cultural barometer anyway, but whatever his reasons for not reviewing Kiss' post-1976 work, they had nothing to do with the factors you've cited.
     
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  18. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    "Shot in the arm"? The disco era was easily their most successful. They came back from commercial obscurity to top the charts for years once they went "dance".

    Disco went through a massive backlash by 1981 and Bee Gees were viewed as Discosona Non Grata. They weren't gonna continue to pretend it was 1979 and disco ruled the charts, no matter where their hearts were at the time.

    The Bee Gees had lost their supposed large/loyal fanbase by 1975. They succeeded with a new fanbase until that audience tired of them.

    No matter how hard you try to blame "Pepper's" for their commercial decline, it's not true...
     
  19. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Sgt. Pepper's hurt their critical standing, as I stated in the OP.
     
  20. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Christgau doesn't review every studio album from every artist. He didn't review buzz heavy Stone Temple Pilots' Tiny Music in 1996 despite the cultural relevance. Given that Christgau actually gave a B grade to Dressed to Kill shows that he can like their music enough to take an interest when the hipster buzz attracts him.

    No one is deluded enough to believe that Christgau was diametrically oppossed to reviewing KISS again, were they able to regain their cultural relevance in 198x or 199x. Their studio albums after 1979 were always devoid of hipster energy and press hysteria like they had enjoyed during their heyday, though. It was KISS' job to recapture that hysteria, but it remained elusive as a Christgau album review. Christgau had no imperative to review them, as they had fallen off the hipster landscape.
     
  21. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT

    :laugh:
     
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  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Christgau reviewed every Kiss album from Dressed to Kill through Rock and Roll Over. Then he stopped. He stopped in 1977, not 1979. The year of the stopping was 1977, and 1977 was the year he stopped. 1978 was not the year, nor was 1976. 1979 was right out.

    So again, speculating that he stopped because of factors present in 1979 but not present in 1977 makes no sense. Unless Christgau had a time machine and traveled from 1977 to 1979, he did not stop reviewing Kiss because they had become "devoid of hipster energy or press hysteria." He did not stop reviewing them because of "loss of cachet." He did not stop reviewing them because of disco influences in their music. He did not stop reviewing them because of Phantom in the Park. He did not stop reviewing them because of Anton Figg's drumming. He did not stop reviewing them because Gene Simmons was dating Cher. Whatever his reason, it was none of those things, since none of them had happened yet at the time he stopped reviewing them.

    What evidence can you cite to back up this claim?
     
  23. The Space Ace

    The Space Ace Active Member

    There was no way Phantom was ever going to be a critical success, just because of the whole premise of it. It was a campy kid's show, plain and simple. And the critics who hated Kiss already made up their minds, so even if Phantom was somehow good, it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

    I think what really came of Phantom, though, was the beginning of distrust among Kiss's own fanbase. First they did the stupid movie, then they did a disco album, then they did a pop album, then Peter (officially) left, then they did a really weird concept album as the soundtrack of a movie that was never released, then they did a metal album, then Ace (officially) left. This all happened in the span of about 4 years, and I think it's easy to see why a lot of people would jump ship.
     
  24. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Assumed that people on this board were familiar with critics lambasting the movie. It's currently at 12% fresh at rottentomatoes.com. Ebert was actually relieved and said that he was glad that he wasn't known for writing the worst movie anymore. Ebert handed that award to the Sgt. Pepper's writer, Henry Edwards.

    Not a wise career move for anyone associated with the movie, though. Not just Peter Frampton.
     
  25. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    To repeat a joke I have heard elsewhere, the uncredited writer and producer of that film was named Cocaine and he made a lot of the key creative decisions. :laugh:
     
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