Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Not For The Innocent

My friend, Doug, is over in Japan right now, and he is killing me with all the photos of records that he keeps texting me. I'm jealous over all the cool shit that he is finding. Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath on vinyl, Japanese singles from Dokken, and Venom 7 inches...fuck me...I'm so envious.

I can't get over to Japan, so I had to order some Japan to be delivered to my door.

I never liked Kiss as a kid, and then when I started to finally check them out around 2005, I had a hard and fast rule that I was only going to bother with the first six. I knew that shit started to go downhill with I Was Made For Loving You from the Dynasty album in '79, so I stopped short of that record, and spent the next 10+ years pretending that anything after Love Gun didn't exist.

As I was digging deeper and deeper into hair metal earlier this year, I decided to give some of the Kiss albums from that era a shot, and I downloaded the songs from Lick It Up.

I remember really hating Kiss back in the day, but considering where I was musically when Lick It Up was released in '83, I'm surprised that I resisted this band like I did. I mean, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot and Motley Crue were some of my favorite bands at the time, so this album should have been right in that mix...but I guess that I couldn't get past the stink of the Beth single from the mid-70's. What a terrible oversight on my part, because this album is too much fucking fun. I became obsessed with it, and since downloading it back in February, I've already listened to it more than any of those first six records.

When I started looking at Discogs to figure out which pressing I should buy, I absolutely fell in love with the Japanese pressing. I've never been a big Kiss collector, and I haven't paid any attention to getting their older records with all the cool bonus inserts, but with that unique OBI cover sheet that was only for the Japan release, I knew that this was the only way for me to go.

To make things a bit more difficult, I was also going to need to pick up the Japanese pressing with the bonus sticker sheet included. Prices for copies without the sticker sheet were manageable, but I was all-in for Lick It Up, and I wasn't cutting any corners, so I put up the big bucks to get the full package.


Johnny said...

I started really digging into KISS in the mid-90s but I only listened up through Love Gun and eventually pushed it up to Dynasty and included the solo albums. Some time in the early 00s, I started delving into the 80s and 90s stuff too. It's such a fun but often difficult period. Some of the records I really love straight through and others have some really standout songs and are just weighed down with complete and utter filler. At the end of the day though, the only two records with the name KISS on them that I do not like a single track from are Peter Criss' contribution to the 78 solo albums and Carnival of Souls.

Mike said...

Good info, Johnny! I've stayed away from all the solo albums, but have heard that the Peter Criss one is the worst...such a shame because the songs he sings with Kiss are killer!

Johnny said...

Oh man, you seriously need to check out Ace's 78 solo record. It is, in my opinion, a top 3 KISS-related album easily. Just some searing rock n' roll. Paul's and Gene's could be condensed into one 9-song decent KISS album (Paul's has a couple of really standout tracks and a lot of filler and Gene's ranges from pretty good to filler to terrible ha). And I agree about Criss' songs with the band, they number among my faves off their respective records.