George Starostin's Reviews



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David Lyons <> (15.12.2000)

Nothing particular to say, other than to offer my condolences on having to review one Kiss album, never mind four. You should sue them for the hours of your life you wasted.

Jeff Melchior <> (22.12.2000)

Yes - I hang my head in shame - I like Kiss. I don't LOVE their music by any means, but "like" is probably accurate. Half of it's in the sentimentality, of course - for days when four sexist guys in clown makeup could make it big on the strength of little more than a handful of power chords and a keen sense of self-promotion.

Kiss are a guilty pleasure much like comic books and Saturday morning cartoons, and there's an obvious connection. Hey, everybody likes super heroes, and these guys even had their own comic books, drawn in their own blood for some stupid reason that could have only made sense in the '70s.

I went to see Kiss on their farewell tour this past summer, and yes, it was an amazing show. They pulled out all the stops - delivering everything their public wanted with as much accuracy as I imagine they would have had 23 years ago. Problem is, Kiss are just a little bit too willing to pander to the audience. I really thought it was dumb when, at the end of the show, Paul Stanley holds up his guitar and basically asks the audience if they want to see him smash it. Caught up in the euphoria of what was a genuinely amazing performance, they did, and he did - as meaningless a gesture as it was.

And that's why Kiss will never rank up there with the greats. The public is like a woman - kiss their asses too much and you will ultimately earn their contempt.

Unlike many, however, I don't think Kiss' success was completely in the gimmickry. Even without the make-up, Kiss would have been a successful band. Not huge, maybe, but a perrennial opening act. Their songs were, if nothing else, damn catchy, and Ace Frehley's lead guitar playing - even though it rips off every Page and Hendrix cliche ever begat - is indeed fiery. He beats the hell out of the rotating troupe of EVH-wannabes that played on their unremarkable '80s albums.

<> (26.12.2000)

I know this isn't really relevant to rock music. And to some, I may be over-fanatical about comics, but I'm not. I'm just trying to give the straight facts. Comics and cartoons are separate mediums. People who work in these mediums labor hard to produce fine works and turn around public perception of them. Labeling them "guilty pleasures" and putting them alongside an inadequate rock-band is the kind of act I would expect from the very people who either perceive comics and cartoons as "childish" entertainment or wants to keep that way. There's no difference between the widespread attitude that comics are for kids and the non-existant attitude that music is for kids. If a person looks hard enough they will find that there are comics written for the human populace in general. The way Kiss has exploited comics to promote their own image is a gross abuse of the medium, and if even one person comes to think that's what comics are all about, it's a real tragedy indeed. Go on sites like ebay or Amazon and try to find comicbooks like 'Stuck Rubber Baby', 'Cages', 'Tale of One Bad Rat', 'Stray Toasters', and go from there. As for cartoons, saturday-morning cartoons are not a pleasure at all, let alone a guilty one. Stick to the pre-1950's Warner Bros. cartoons. People often complain that these are the same things over and over again, but I don't see how they are anymore repetitive than Beatles' songs. There's variety in styles of drawings, animation, pacing, timing, etc. There may not be a wide variety of plots or subject matter, but there isn't in Beatles songs either. Lastly, I hate the term "guilty pleasure". If something's a guilty pleasure, get away from it. I've done much to weed out the "guilty pleasures" in my life and I'll do more if I have to. Kiss' dilution of their image into these art forms is a gross misuse, and I don't even have to hear any of their music to see just how cheap that is. I don't see Genesis trying to promote themselves by posing for action figures! Just think, a Peter Gabriel with little flute and slipperman costume, and a Tony Banks with light finger tapping action so you can make him fondle the included toy synthesizer...

Jeff Melchior <> (11.01.2001)

Sorry, I just had to respond to that last post. Point well taken and my apologies, but that Genesis action figure set actually sounds like a really fun idea. A Peter Gabriel with interchangable costumes, including that giant, mutated brain thing he wore on the one tour? Sounds like a barrel 'o monkeys to me! Personally, I would use the Tony Banks action figure to portray what a huge megalomaniac he is ("Get out of here, Steve. I'm da keyboardist. I'm da leader").

Morten Felgenhauer <> (17.01.2001)

I realize that the masks and the stage shows is appealing to eight-year olds, but their image certainly ruined any possibility of being taken seriously. It is, however, important to judge their music objectively and without thinking of their visual image. What we hear is good (but not very good) hard rock which isn't any worse than many of their contempraries. It's better than Sex Pistols anyway! Get a "best of" to hear what it's all about. (I have heard all of the original mask period albums.)

<> (30.01.2001)

100% Trash and 110% Garbage but I think they're rich now so they must be good.

<> (06.03.2001)

i,ve been a kiss fan for 25 years and i like all their albums,kiss has been slagged from day one and your reviews are nothing new,you can have emerson, lake and palmer,i'll take kiss. whatever happened to e.l.p. anyway....hmmm

Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

Kiss are great and they are among my favourites! I know, it will not change your general attitude to band, but I want to contradict your critique a little. At first, you said, that thier music is derivative. It's absolutely not correct, because they have the unique style of their qwn, which is easy to recognize from a long distance, and it means, that Kiss music is not derivative, but original. Then, you said, their music is not diverse. My contradiction: (for example)  "Strutter", "Let Me Know", "Deuce", "Black Diamond", "Goin' Blind", "Watching You", "Strange Ways", "Rock Bottom", "God Of Thunder", "Beth", "Hard Luck Woman", "Naked City", "The Oath", "Only You", "Under The Rose", "A World Without Heroes" are different songs with different melodies and harmonies, and when speaking about Music From The Elder album, it's easy to notice, that Kiss are serious composers and their music has got a diversity.

Besides, Paul Stanley has a gorgeous vocal (and other guys also have got a good vocals)! Kiss are a very professional band: Paul Stanley plays a rhythm-guitar good, Gene Simmons is a superb bassist, Ace Frehley is a brilliant guitarist and Peter Criss also plays the drums well. At their concerts, they show a big professionality and competence. And you can't deny the fact, that their songs are damn catchy! The features mentioned above allow them to be one of the greatest bands, which they are.

[Special author note: Excuse me? Am I supposed to understand that if a band's style is instantly recognizable, it cannot be called derivative? Or am I supposed to understand that if a band writes songs with different melodies, it means they are diverse? Geez, even Britney Spears has different beats in her songs. And am I supposed to admit that if Kiss once tried to venture beyond three-chord cock-rock and schlock balladry (with mixed success, to say the least), they were 'serious' composers? And sure I CAN deny the fact that their songs are damn catchy. A few of them are, but for the most part, if you want catchiness, go visit ol' Motorhead instead.]

The music can't arise without the certain influence and that's why is the band derivative or not is very relational question. Of course, not every band which style is instantly recognizable can't be called derivative. But when the band got an individuality, it hardly can be called derivative (I mean, "recognizable" is not equal to "individual"). And, I guess, one can't argue, that Kiss has got such an individuality. Besides, the band with such a great influence (The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix) can't be bad by definition. Well, I haven't exactly meant, if the band has got different melodies, it has a diversity, but every album of KISS is slightly different from previous one. When speaking about the music of Kiss, they're no less diverse, than music of Slade, for instance (and I know, what I'm talking about, I heard a lot of Slade stuff and liked it).

But the originality or diversity is not the main argument of band's greatness to my opinion. The main parameters are the professionalism and, yes, catchiness. And I insist, that KISS is a very professional band; all the people, who attended their concerts, can prove it. The band has a zest and this zest is called catchiness, by the way, songs of Kiss are no less, even more catchy, than songs of Motorhead. One more note: KISS are still playing allready 28 years (!) and no average band can exist and be remembered 28 years. I'm sure, that nobody will remember primitive crap like Limp Bizkit or Slayer in 28 years. But good music like Kiss is eternal.

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

Not that the number of chords has anything to do with the merits of a song, but listen, you've got this wrong. I don't know many Kiss songs with only three chords. Most have plenty of chords. You seem to hold Unicorn of Tyrannosaurus Rex in high regard (so do I). Well, those songs are mainly three chord songs I believe. Kiss however, no way, I'm afraid. I think their songs are hard to play.

<> (17.06.2001)

I think people sometimes try to overanalyze music to much. Yes, I'm a huge kiss fan, for about 22 years. As for many people, when they saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan it changed their lives. That was what Kiss did for me. I was a huge horror movie and comic book fan when I was a kid. Music is supposed to be fun. Don't get me wrong I like ELP, King Crimson, etc., but give Kiss a break. They should quit They have drug this out to long I agree. Three chords? Come on. What did the Beatles do, the Stones? Everyone needs an influence, Kiss had many. The two bands I just mentioned as well as Alice Cooper, Motown, Zeppelin, Sabbath. It's music just have some fun with don't try to break it down. As Aerosmith says "Just Push Play."

<> (15.08.2001)

i ain't no big time Kiss fan by no means, but you inadvertantly gave 'em the best possible review you could have: "sounds like a junior high school band getting together for the first time". You have messed me all up, now i got to go out and buy a bunch of their CDs. Thanks, dude.

mark from frankfort

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

I wanna bash Kiss, I wanna bash Kiss.... let me bash Kiss.... oh, goodie, a Kiss reviews page, well, that's just what I needed. Hmm, but you reviewed only their seventies albums ? No matter, the ones from the eighties suck enormous ass, and those that are here just suck BIG ass. That's almost the same, isn't it ? Okay, some of their albums we're quite enjoyable, but still not managing to surpass that quite bit. What can I say about the claim that the members of Kiss aren't musicians ? Sometimes they can play pretty good and professional enough, but sometimes... oh, well... What can I say about their singer ? Nothing, cause they don't have one, they have four of them, and all of them blow. No, actually, Stanley and Simmons are more or less good, but I just loathe Frehley and Criss. Sure, none of them can't even rank up with awesome singers like Robert Plant (shudder), although, I have to say, he wouldn't be a bad choice for them, especially after the cock rocky Manic Nirvana. Now, let's talk about the songwriting. Lyrics are often pure horse shit, but that doesn't bother me (because you would be foolish to take Kiss seriously, and besides that, I've heard quite a lot of Uriah Heep and Dio). Overall, their songs are often catchy, sometimes groovy, BUT too often very simplistic, and don't be mistaken, that catchiness I mentioned mostly comes from repeating some corny line like "Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud" for a gazillion times. Kiss made some good music in their time, but that kind of music I call "NO BRAINS INCLUDED music".

Tony Souza <> (10.11.2001)

I don't take Kiss's music too seriously because their whole thing is wrapped up in their show. They're the musical equivalent of professional wrestling-- all bluster, no substance. It's not their songs or musical ability. If it were left up to just that, they would have never became as big as they did. But people went to their show, were blown away by what they saw, and became fans for life. The main reason I don't respect them to much is that if you strip away all the glitz, could they have made it this big solely on the strength of the songs they wrote? I think not.

<> (22.03.2003)

Of all the reviews I've read on this page, I've enjoyed this one the most. Hands down. Very amusing reading. Well done George. Now for my humble opinion...Kiss was a band that to me picked up the ball that Alice Cooper fumbled and ran with it for a touchdown. Nothing more. They certainly don't possess any great musical skills. Gene Simmons is a terrible singer. As for his bass playing, I'm more inclined to annoint him as "bass holder." But his visual image was certainly important since that was what Kiss' bread and butter was. I have to admit however, that I do have a lot of respect for Paul Stanley as a vocalist. The man truly does have a very good voice, ample of ballads, falsetto, and just plain scream till it hurts singing. The fact that he would eventually moonlight as the Phantom in the stage show of Phantom Of The Opera would certainly attest to this. Must disagree with George on one minor point, if you have to own a Kiss cd, first I would recomend seeking medical attention, but if that doesn't work, I believe that Destroyer is the one to get. That one and Alive should be all the Kiss you need. These are just really decent albums to crank up in the car when your going out on a Saturday night and you have the top rolled down. 'Do You Love Me' and 'King Of The Nightime World' are great songs. When Kiss rolled through Tampa a few years ago on the reunion makeup tour, not having ever seen them, or having been into them much in their peek, I got a ticket and went. You know, I got it. It was like watching pro wrestling. You know it was fake but you had a good time. They put on a great show. Everything blew up. Gene Simmons spit bllod and breathed fire, Ace Frehley's guitar smoked, all the things they were supposed to do...and the crowd went wild. After enduring too many god awful depressing songs on the radio about hating yourself and wanting to kill was real nice to hear teenagers get back to feeling good about themselves and 'Rock and Roll All Nite' and 'Party Everyday'. I certainly have no reason to criticize that.

Breck Brizendine <> (15.07.2003)

Kiss is the ultimate idiot trash band that reduced inspiration to calculation and transformed concerts to blatantly manipulative circuses that would have made Goebels proud. I truly pity anyone who was influenced by this band -and oh God I know there are many- and that explains why Rock in general keeps getting so repetitively shitty -every time bands really try to accomplish something, some damn reviewer or set of fans scream, "But it's not stupid like Kiss anymore!" so rock remains trite and childish. May criticism of this pathetic band flourish, and may their fans just GROW UP, for a change.

Ryan Failla <> (19.07.2003)

I love Kiss. My favorite bands are The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and The Who. But KISS is also one of my favorites. See, I approach them with an open mind. I don't expect their music to sound brilliant. KISS IS diverse. Sure, they tend to be lumped in with a bunch of crap bands of the 70's, but both musically and image wise, they do tend to stand out. Funny how they are still going, right? George, I agree with almost all of your reviews on every band youve reviewed, but this is where I have to disagree. If you want some fun, hard rockin tunes, throw on some KISS. Simple as that.

Jeremy McMillan <> (15.05.2004)

Your Kiss reviews blow and show everybody how stupid you actually are,true,some of their stuff does suck but nowhere near as much as you obviously do so fuck ya!

<> (22.08.2004)

best band OF ALL TIME!!!!!! the first two albums are hard rock classics, and alive! is the best live album ever. wow.

Tim Blake (15.08.2006)

Man...sheesh. KISS. Gawddamn, these guys SUCK. What a terrible band. I mean as a big funny fad for the kids of the 70s it must have been a great ol' time, but come away the glam, bang and spectacle and we're left with a huge back catalogue of turds. To be fair I've only got Dressed To Kill and Destroyer. I've listened to each numerous times and by my money 'Detroit Rock City' is the only halfway decent track on either of them. Turds like 'Room Service', 'God Of Thunder', 'Sweet Pain', 'Come On And Love Me' so on...make me want to vomit up me insides onto a pancake. The lyrics are so, so, so, so, so bad. Simmons is borderline legally retarded he's so stupid. And the musicianship runs the whole gamut of poor to below average. The songwriting is embarrassing. Musically, I HATE Kiss. Put them next to Deep Purple (or nearly any other rock band, hell even AC/DC), though I wouldn't recommend it, and you'll suffer a laughing fit that may lead to a stroke. Be cautious. They are devoid of content, character, musical quality, pretty much everything except stupid looking costumes and lots of flames and hot wimmin'.

PS. One of the best things I ever saw - Gene Simmons had a TV show called 'Rock School', and on one episode they had a guest. The one and only Tony Iommi. In interviews the kids said Gene's plan might have back-fired, because now all of them were wishing they were learning from Iommi, not Simmons, and how they respected and liked Black Sabbath a lot more than KISS. I laughed my ass off. Seems some good taste is more common than I thought.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

It's a very good start! This album is adorable and shows the great musical abilities of Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter to the full. It's one of the "golden albums of rock". "Strutter" is admirable song and one of the best Kiss songs ever. How brilliant sounds Stanley's vocal, how click the band plays! Catchy "Nothin' To Lose" is worthy continuation with groovy rhythm, this song moves. "Firehous" is a little worse, but nevertheless good and exciting. Not everybody can like Hendrix-influenced "Cold Gin", but I like it. You had noticed right, that "Let Me Know" is nice and uplifting. "Kissin' Time" is decent and then comes superb song of Simmons named "Deuce". Excellent song with a superb drive! "Love Theme From Kiss" is rather beautiful, "100,000 Years" is another groovy song from Kiss, and the last track "Black Diamond" is the third best song on this album (along with "Strutter" and "Deuce"). Magnificent!

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

I cannot understand how anyone can think these songs sound similar. OK, the tempo stays more or less the same, but all the songs have very distinct, unique and IMO original melodies. I love this album, especially 'Strutter', 'Nothing to Lose' and 'Cold Gin' (15 chords for your information).

<> (08.04.2001)

My 3rd favorite Kiss record,depending on my mood.Best song?'Black Diamond'.I agree with Eric Rogozin, very good start!

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Imagine this. Kiss have entered the studio for the first time in their life. They all sit around the table, and then Gene says: - Hey guys, we have to do some tracks for our first album, but I don't know how to do it. Do you know how, Ace ? - Ace says: - Sure, Gene. Well just distort our guitars to the max, and make some tuneless sissy noise. And then someone should write some lyrics. Hey, how about you and Paul ? Between the two of you I'm certain you'd make some great songs. - Gene thinks for a few seconds and says: - Yeah, why not ? I have an terrific idea already ! How about screaming some stupid word like "strutter" over and over again until everyone stops to listen to the lyrics and they all just concentrate on the music ? - Great idea. - concludes Ace.

See, that's how they made 'Strutter', and that's the best friggin song here. And that means the rest is even worse, so, apart of some slightly passable tunes like 'Black Diamond', 'Cold Gin' and 'Deuce', everything else here blows like a hurricane. And that means, say, two stars.

David Dickson <> (08.08.2006)

So. Finally, here I am, treading into the uncharted waters of "Stoopid." Y'know, we have all sorts of -rock subgenres in our library. We got prog-rock, roots-rock, country-rock, jazz-rock, kraut-rock, bed-rock, and pet rock. And this bunch of macho sexist clowns in Halloween costumes happens to be the pioneers of what we in the scientific classification community entitle, scientifically, "dumb-rock."

I think they do a good job of it. Not perfect or anything--as a rock and roll unit, they very nearly tie with Black Sabbath for "most wussy god-awful mixing ever afforded to a heavy band in the early '70's." And my GOD are these songs slow. Slow as a macho drunk stoned elephant (Simmons. Wotta tubalard HE'S become. And he won't let his daughter date. That is possibly the most hilarious thing in the history of mankind. Silly '70's parents with their do-as-I-say-not-as-I-DID-TO-THE-NTH-DEGREE complex--but that's another reader comment entirely). Thankfully, I was prepared for such things before I picked up this album for $3.99 at the car wash.

I'm going to have to go out on a rhetorical limb and say this band's style is, to a degree, "original." I think that's less because of the individual elements of their sound and more from the "vibe" they create. It's theatrical, yet unlike glam, masculine. It's masculine, yet, unlike other '70's blooze-rock, theatrical. And unlike pretty much all the macho bands around at the time, including Alice Cooper, New York Dolls, and especially Aerosmith, they do not sound dangerous at ALL. They sound. . . well, dumb and horny. But good-timey. Aerosmith, on the other hand, at least around '75, sounded mean and tough in addition to all that. Kiss just wantsta have dumb macho stoopid fun. Hard to describe in words, yeah, but like I said, it's all in the VIBE. Glam rock would likely have remained sexually androgynous and un-heavy without a band like this.

(To compare, the Dolls are far too fast and punky (and their rhythm section sucks too much) to be considered "heavy." I DO go on.)

Well. As for the music. . . well, it's mostly catchy, and it rocks to a degree, despite the really bad production and the fact that half the songs are based on varying permutations of the "Brown Sugar" riff. But the first side, in particular, is damn near flawless. I, like you, despise the "Love Theme From Kiss" instrumental, and "Black Diamond" just gets worse and worse with every succeeding listen. But "100,000 Years" has one of the cooler minor-key guitar solos of 1974, and "Let Me Know" does the same thing in the major key. Perhaps I should dislike "Kissin' Time," but it has a different, more punishing guitar tone than everything else on the album, so it must be good. I don't remember how "Deuce" goes even after three listens, but I don't remember it offending me, so it probably doesn't suck.

Overall, I dunno--it's about as dumb as dumb can be, but for some reason, it's mad appealing, and it's got some genuine rock and roll energy without being anal and "revolutionary" about it, a la Clash/Jam/etc. circa 1977. And most of the songs are catchy. I don't think it's the best rock album of '74, but I CAN understand why AMG would call it a "classic." In any case, it's better than any given Stooges album, so I'll give it an 8 1/2. And when I have kids, I'll try not to be as ridiculously morally inconsistent as Mr. Simmons. (Yah right. I say that now. . . )


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

"Goin' Blind" is marvellous ballad and I can't understand, why somebody can dislike it! It's the best song from this album! Simmons is a good songwriter! "Parasite" and "Watchin' You" are awesome and the closing track "Strange Ways", which is written and performed by Frehley is glorious!

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

As I've said I couldn't care less about the number of chords in a song, but you (along with most rock critics) seem to have a chord fixation. Well, then you should at least know what you are talking about. 'Hotter than Hell' is most definitely not a one chord song. Seven Chords would be more accurate I believe. But does it matter? Traditional Indian music is one chord music and those melodies are twisting, twirling and beautiful. As a matter of fact I'd say that boring melodies as a rule needs a little bit of adventurous harmonising. Strong melodies however don't depend on the chords. Marc Bolan's song are perfect examples of this.

<> (08.04.2001)

Second album,not quite as good as their first ,but not at all bad.Best song-Goin' Blind

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Basically the same album, with slightly re-written songs. I kinda enjoy 'Goin' Blind' and... and... NOTHING else. Okay, 'Parasite' is kinda nice too, but, that's it. The riffs are kinda better, the lyrics are even more funny/stupid, and the songs are for the most part slow. In my humble opinion this is their worst album in the seventies, so I'll give it NONE stars. Oh, excuse me, what I wanted to say is ONE star.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

What? It's my favourite Kiss album! All the songs here are frigging good. It's a masterpiece! It doesn't matter, plays Ace Frehley three notes for exactly two minutes or not in "Rock Bottom" (actually, it's a beautiful chord sequence), because he does it AWESOME, this intro sounds nice, and the song itself is probably the best song here (it means, that it's probably my favourite song here). The following song "C'mon And Love Me" is the second best tune here (in general, it's hard to say, what are the best tunes here, I would like to say, that the best songs from "Dressed To Kill" are all songs except "Room Service" and "Love Her All I Can", which are a little worse) - it's amazing, how not a very complex from a point of songwriting song can become a masterpiece in the hands of Kiss. The songwriting of both Paul Stanley ("Rock Bottom", "C'mon And Love Me") and Gene Simmons ("Two Timer" (what a good song!), "The Ladies In Waiting" (I'm allready tired to find epiphets, but all these songs are magnificent), "She") is on a very high level. "Getaway" of Ace Frehley is also colossal. The old proverb "All genial is simple" is really true this time.

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

Yes, this is indeed a magnificent album. I'm not too fond of the intro to 'Rock Bottom' (broken chords), but I wouldn't call it simple. The song is great though, like most of the other ones. The 'Rock'n roll all night' Dsus 4 - D riff is probably my all time favourite riff. I even prefer it to the 'Telegram Sam' riff. I'd say Kiss and T.Rex (and maybe Stones) have the best riffs in rock. AC/DC? Don't make me laugh. Their riffs are boring and all sound the same. No melodies at all. Just standard Blues phrases.

<> (08.04.2001)

Hell yeah,another great kiss album.This is my second favorite Kiss album,one of the things that make this record so great is Gene's bass playing (he kicks ass here ,George).Another is ,of course the killer songs,okay it's got a couple duds on it ,but I don't quite understand how you could only give it a star and a half,man!One of the duds ,I think is the only one you like ,rock n roll all nite,maybe it's just overplayed.The best song here ,though is (damn,there's so many of them)is probably She.Did you say Ace copied a guitar solo from Kreiger,so what!!Kiss fans don't listen to The Doors! Not the real ones anyway.Ace also kicks on this one ,who cares if he only plays "exactly three notes for exatly two minutes" it's the best intro to a song i've ever heard next to the one in Detroit Rock City.One hll o a ock classic and one of kiss' best ever!

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Is this even worse ???!!! No, because this time I really like at least one song, and that is 'She'. AAAAAAAAAAAAH !!!!! What did I just say ? I meant 'Rock And Roll All Nite', naturally. 'She' is a okay song too, and I'm kinda sad that they took that solo, cause if they didn't took that one from the Doors, they could rip-off some Jimmy Page solo, and I sure wouldn't mind that cause Page probably lifted all of "his" solos from some obscure old bluesman that no one ever heard of. That's better, I wanted to say that for some time now. Oh, yeah, the album. I kinda have sympathy for 'Love Her All I Can' and I don't mind 'C'mon And Love Me', but I do mind all of the other songs. Two WHOLE stars.

AKIUS KATSMAN <> (30.06.2002)

I like this album. I give it a 7 out of 10 (I like to rate my albums in a 10-point scale). The only song that I can't stand is "Anything For My Baby" because I think it's so stupid. But I like all the other 9 songs. "Get Away" is my favourite, along with the classic "Rock And Roll All Nite". I think "Rock Bottom" should have been an instrumental (only the intro) because the intro has NOTHING to do with the second part of the song. "Love Her All I Can" has a KILLER riff and "She" reminds me of Led Zeppelin (in the riff) and it's cool. But George, you ain't the only to notice the similarity in this solo and in "Five To One", I had noticed it also! It's exactly the same! Paul Stanley should be sued and go to jail! Ha ha, just joking...

jack flash <> (23.07.2004)

i see you don't like "rock and roll all night." you know, this song is a lot similar to "yellow submarine." the same chorus over, and over, and over.......... and yet, somehow somones wishes to live in a yellow submarine with all their friends is better and more realistic then having a good time for your whole life, and somehow, a ridiculously overrated band gets the more respect for the reason that they're ridiculously overrated, while a hard rock band who wrote anthems for the kids that had to suffer through disco and ballads for 10 f***ing years, wrote a song similar to YS, gets no respect because they're not ridiculously overrated!!!!! i'm sure "rock & roll all night" gets repetitive, but doesn't "yellow submarine?" of course not, because the beatles are ridiculously overrated!

[Special author note: What? 'Rock And Roll All Night' IS the only song I DO like on this album!]


<> (08.04.2001)

Nothing to say other than this is probably the best live album ever!

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

"It's alive, ALIVE !" I think that's from some old Frankenstein movie, or something. And the album, you ask ? GREAT, I do agree this is the only album anyone needs from Kiss, and that too goes for Alive II, but not for Alive III, cuz no one needs that one. It's NOT the best live album ever, by any means, but it does filter some crap and all the songs do sound heavier when heard ALIVE !!!. All in all, a nice little party record, that I like to put on when I'm certain that no one can hear me, and I'm all ALONE. I would even give this five stars.

matt <> (22.02.2004)

greatest live recording ever???

Gene Simmons even admitted that this record was not even live. On a VH1 Behind The Music episode he said that the band played in the studio, while producer Bob Ezrin taped the crowd noise at a Styx concert.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

This album is very diverse: wonderful is ballad "Great Expectation" (Simmons got a really good voice), wonderful is the opening track "Detroit Rock City" (a term "another frigging fresh and exciting dose of rock'n'roll" is also aplicable to Kiss), wonderful is authentic "God Of Thunder", in one word, all is wonderful! This album is a little autobiographic, hey, and it's better than all the Nineties-crap put together. I like this album. Is that clear?

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

One of the best rock albums of all time.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Destroyer sounds terrible, but this time it's more EZRIN-horrendous, then KISS-horrendous, cause his influence is all over the place, notably in 'God Of Thunder', which I think isn't half bad, but it's still light years away from Black Sabbath or Alice Cooper standards. And the lyrics on that song are probably the worst they ever did. 'Do You Love Me', 'Beth' and 'Detroit Rock City' are the well-known classics here, and they're good. The last of those really gets my ass shaking around in the beginning, but then I realize what I just did, and I suddenly feel very ashamed. Pop stuff like 'Great Expectations' is just obnoxious, and 'Flaming Youth' sounds pretty much like Alice Cooper, but it isn't as good. Oh, yeah, I really hate the silly orchestration on 'Beth', cause it's very similar to the one that The Beatles used on 'The Long And Winding Road', and I didn't like it there, so why should I like it here ? Somehow, all this still deserves three stars, which kinda leaves me wondering am I a little bit insane at this point in time.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

I'm glad, that you appreciated this album, it's exactly raw and brilliant rock'n'roll. One more Kiss classic (it means, another great album), what else to say?

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

You write a lot of excellent reviews George and you have a keen ear for things I don't even notice, but you sure write some silly stuff too. Mr Speed - a generic riff? What!?? I thought you liked the 'Get it On' riff. Ok THAT ONE is kind of generic, but still special and that is what makes it so good (and much plagiarised). And the 'Mr Speed' riff IS the 'Get it on' Riff, only embellished and further developed to make it sound anything but generic. And about the unimpressive "chord sequences" - please stop it. Enough is enough. It is not relevant and above all it is not true!  

Ladies Room is a most impressive song. Not only did Kiss write wonderful melodies, they wrote LONG melodies. I like to compare Kiss to T.Rex as I find their sense of melody and riffs similar. As Marc Bolan was an awesome melody writer he could get away with songs like 'Metal Guru' and 'Spaceball ricochet', whose melodies were nothing more than endlessly repeating five bar phrases. Kiss on the other hand wrote melodies every bit as stunning. But there are generally more (and longer) phrases in a typical Kiss song than in a typical T.rex song. There were after all four songwriters in Kiss. Marc Bolan was on his own. Both Kiss and Marc were however very prolific writers.  

On a final note I'd like to add that I agree with you on the subject of Kiss lyrics. Haha! Yes, they are often funny and "Spinal Tapish". Still, I don't think they are much inferior to the efforts of other groups. I don't care about lyrics anyhow.

P.S. As I said in an earlier comment that I considered Kiss. T.Rex and Stones the premier riff writers of rock I should maybe point out that The Ladies Room riff is not that far removed from Stones' Brown Sugar riff. The same goes for Bolan's Laser Love riff.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

The same thing again, and again, but this time without Bob Ezrin. All the better, I say ! And the album ? Generic ? Forgettable ? News flash: "ALL OF THEIR ALBUMS ARE LIKE THAT !!! " But this is actually one of their best albums, with quite a lot of great songs like 'Calling Dr. Love', 'Hard Luck Woman', 'I Want You' and 'Makin' Love'. Want I want to say is that I like this album a lot. I dunno why, but I do. The overall sound is more rawer and more similar to Alive!, then to Destroyer. Three and a HALF stars this time.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

George, I see, sometimes you tend to whip excellent albums, for example, this time! I admire this album and I don't see something wrong with it. These songs are really VERY CATCHY (all the time I'd like to put this record on); well, it has not always standard 4/4 beat, there ARE clever variations in singing on "Love Gun", and there is a 'fall-down' (if I understood what you mean) in "And Then She Kissed Me". OK, it's the cover of Phil Spector (and I respect this guy very much), but Kiss treat the song well. But what is really awesome, it's the title track! You can swear it, but it seems to me, that it's one of the best songs of Kiss ever! And what else I'd like to mention, it's "I Stole Your Love" by Stanley and "Almost Human" by Simmons. Excellent songs! And the guitar solo of Ace Frehley in "Shock Me" (which was written also by him) proves, that this guy is very talented guitar player.

It seems to me, that you have a strong bias against Kiss, try to listen to them without that bias. As for me, I always considered Kiss as a serious musicians and composers.

Ola Hansson <> (05.04.2001)

Yes, the songs on display here are all incredibly catchy, well crafted compositions. Lean, clean and mean. No dead meat. Business as usual in other words. Paul Stanley's singing can't by anyone's standard be classified as pedestrian. He is a marvellous singer, don't you agree?

'Shock me' is probablu my favourite track here. The riff in particular is pure magic.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

COCK ROCK at it's finest, especially in songs like 'Plaster Caster', and well, in every song to be more exact. 'Love Gun', 'Plaster Caster', 'Shock Me' and 'Almost Human' are good and 'Christine Sixteen' positively sucks ass. Like always all of them sing everywhere, so I won't try to be smart and pretend like I actually know the difference between their voices. They all sound alike to me. Jeeez, what more to say, it's basically the same album they always make, with a few cosmetic touches here and there. Two and a half stars, but only because I like 'Love Gun' very much, which reminds me, I have to do my lobotomy today. Oh, well, that shouldn't prevent me to review some more Kiss albums tomorrow, now would it ?


<> (05.04.2001)

I first heard this album when my aunt bought it brand new in 1977,it was the first kiss album I ever heard,and it pretty much changed my life.I played it so many times that she just gave it to me.When I wore out the grooves on the album,I went out and bought another one,in fact I've had it on eight-track ,casette,and just bought the remastered c.d. about 2 months ago,I'ts a recording I can't seem to go without.The only other live album I can think of with as much energy and excitement is Kiss Alive! Damn ,I love this band .What more could you ask from a rock n roll band?They gave us great tunes,something to look at,and the best live show you will ever see.If you missed the farewell tour,you missed the biggest,baddest stage show ever put on by any band before them.Who the hell is going to fill their shoes when they're gone,George? If you want to know why Kiss has been around for as long as they have , while other supposed real musicians like Yes and E.l.p. have dissapeared,it's because of loyal fans like me and many others who bought every one of their albums,seen all they're shows , and supported them from day one.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

"It's alive, ALIVE !" I think that's from some old Frankenstein movie, or something. I figured I could very well use this sentence again, cause the band always uses the same songs over and over again. My point is, when you strip all of those songs to the basics you'll find this is the same stuff that you heard on their previous live album. It's the same songs like before, but preformed in a different manor and in new packaging. So what ? Kiss are not a studio band, they're a live band who records albums only to be able to go on tours. However, I'm sure that it's much more enjoyable to see their show, than to hear their live album. So people, instead of buying this, just buy one of their video documented tours, or go to see the show, and leave me alone so I can listen to my Made In Japan album in peace. Three stars.


Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Awesome. The best Kiss album that really isn't a Kiss album. I like 'Rip It Out', 'New York Groove' and 'Speedin' Back To My Baby' and the rest is very good too. How come Ace didn't leave Kiss after such a good album. Sure as hell, I would rather hear more of his solo work than more of Kiss. The only song that I hate is 'What's On Your Mind', and 'Fractured Mirror' too, but that isn't really a song. Is it ? And the album ? I would give it four stars.


Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Enjoyable enough, but still bad. Hell, it's just your average Kiss record, which isn't essential to anyone with a good taste. And the rating ? Somewhere near the two murky looking stars that I'm currently watching through my window.


Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

I don't want to discuss this crap at all. Dreck rockers, schlock ballads. How come Stanley didn't slip his throat after releasing this horrendous abomination that beats all standards in repulsiveness set up by the likes of Uriah Heep, Kansas, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, 'N Sync AND the Backstreet Boys put together ???!!! None stars. NONE.

<> (02.03.2003)

I don't think that this album's that bad. While I definitely wouldn't take it over Ace's, I would surely take it over Gene and Peter's which were absolute embarrassments in my opinion. The songs are slightly better written and it does feature some nice lead guitar playing from Meatloaf's Bob Kulick. 'Tonight You Belong To Me' is a highlight with a very good acoustic intro. I've always thought 'Ain't Quite Right' had a really nice feel to it. MY personal favorite is 'Take Me Away (Together As One)' which features some stellar drumming by none other than Carmine Appice. 'Hold Me, Touch Me' though is indeed pure garbage not even befitting the likes of Air Supply. I've heard a lot of the Kiss albums and this one is certainly as good as some of the better ones. These songs were written as a showcase for Paul's incredible voice. I think it accomplishes that.


Year Of Release: 1978

Ivan Piperov <> (09.09.2001)

I don't know if you're right about drummers' solo-albums when hearing Phil Collins' face Value and Roger Taylor's Fun In Space. But then again these could be just exceptions. As for this album, I haven't heard it, but I guess it would be kinda cool to have the solo album of Kiss' drummer in your record collection! I Just imagine that...

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Well, the balladeering drummer comes third with this nice little studio endeavor. He came up with a couple of decent songs like 'I Can't Stop The Rain', 'Kiss The Girl Goodbye' and 'You Still Matter To Me', but also with quite a lot of bad songs. Still, this is nowhere near as terrible as the contribution of Paul Stanley's solo album. Yeah, two stars.


Eric Rogozin <> (12.06.2001)

I like this album very much. Great! "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and "Sure Know Something" are certainly the masterpieces! Of course, it's less good than previous Kiss album, but nevertheless great. There is something intriguing in the way Gene sings the verse lines "Is it my fortune or my fame? Is it my money or my name? Is it my personality or just my sexuality..." in "Charisma", really really intriguing. Cool lyrics too. It's good, that Kiss have lyrics, which are always in harmony with music. It's very good, because some bands do have lyrics, that don't chime with music. Speaking 'bout Dynasty, all songs here are catchy, well-written and interesting. It's similar in concept with The Game by Queen, both released in 1979, both have superb, interesting and well-crafted melodies, both have celestrial predecessors but both are nevertheless good.

Bass playing in "Sure Know Something" is brilliant (by the way, in general, bass playing on this album is brilliant; Simmons was always a fantastic bassist, but he really shines on this record like on previous one, remember "Almost Human"? - It's amazing, that the best bass players are those who also are singers and songwriters, we all know the perfect examples - Paul McCartney (the best bass player ever), Glenn Hughes and now Gene Simmons proves this rule).

But the star of a disc is Paul Stanley, I guess! It's not because he's a major star of a disc (rather on the contrary, all members are activated on Dynasty, rather Ace is a star of a disc), it's because I'm so much impressed by his vocal and by his vocal delivery!! He also shines here! His vocal is marvellous in "I Was Made For Lovin' You", "Sure Know Something" and "Magic Touch"! Also he does play guitar solo in "Sure Know Something".

Speaking 'bout Ace, he is colossal here! He sings three songs on Dynasty, including beautiful Stones cover "2000 Man". Cool!

Especially I adore "I Was Made For Lovin' You"!!! SuperCATCHY masterpiece and one of the best Kiss songs ever! Celestrial!

And this album was also my first acquintance with KISS. Like I said before, it's a little worse than "Dressed To Kill" or "Love Gun", but nevertheless a classic and very good one. Sure worth buying.

Ratko Hribar <> (29.10.2001)

What exactly is this crap ? Disco ? Sing-along arena rock ? Now, this is Kiss at their most diverse point, but does that means it's good ? Hardly. The sleaze factor is somewhat lower than usual, but the songs are just TRASH. 'I Was Made For Loving You' is an extremely irritating song, but at least it's enjoyably stupid. 'Sure Know Something' is basically a shallow sing-along, but catchy. 'Save Your Love' isn't a disaster I thought it will be, but it also isn't a real highlight. '2000 Man' is, well, a decent enough stab at the Rolling Stones, although it's still laughable. 'Hard Times' rocks a little but it isn't nowhere near as good like, I dunno, 'Strutter'. I suppose, this is probably a nice throwawayish forgettable party record, since it sounds not unlike the Bee Gees at their sleaziest. Two and a half stars.

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