KISS – Music From “The Elder”
Posted by Metal Misfit
KISS – Music From “The Elder” [Remastered] (1997, Mercury Records)
Original Release: 1981, Casablanca Records
1. “Fanfare” … 1:21
2. “Just A Boy” … 2:25
3. “Odyssey” …. 5:36
4. “Only You” … 4:17
5. “Under the Rose” … 4:51
6. “Dark Light” … 4:18
7. “A World Without Heroes” … 2:40
8. “The Oath” … 4:31
9. “Mr. Blackwell” … 4:52
10. “Escape from the Island” … 2:52
11. “I” … 5:03
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Ace Frehley – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Eric Carr – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Bob Ezrin – Bass
Allan Schwartzberg – Drums
American Symphony Orchestra – Ensemble
Produced by: Bob Ezrin
Honestly, this is one of my favorite KISS albums. Upon release, it was bashed by fans and critics alike and failed to be a commercial success, but has since found a home in the heart of many KISS fans.
At the time, it definitely wasn’t the album that the band needed. They were losing their hardcore fanbase and Music from ‘The Elder’ was just about the nail in the coffin that the band had been hammering with their disco flirtations from Dynasty and Unmasked. Instead of delivering a killer rock album to show the world and their fans they hadn’t gone soft, they gave the world a fantasy concept album based on a Lord of the Rings-inspired story idea from Gene Simmons.
There was a dual purpose to this release. The first reason was that KISS, instead of playing to and for their slipping fan base, wanted to critic cred. They wanted to be viewed as serious musicians. Secondly, the band also had plans to produce a movie, called The Elder, hence the “Music From” portion of the album’s title. The band brought back successful producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare, KISS’ Destroyer) to help construct the album.
Having the perspective of being fresh ears to KISS at the time of buying this, I loved it, and I still do. Yeah, I’m sure if I was old enough at the time of this album’s release (it was released just days after I was born!) and a longtime KISS fan, I probably would’ve hated it at first. But many of those haters have come to respect the album for what it is.
Interest in the album was so poor, this is one of only two KISS album to not go at least Gold (Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions is the other one) and the band didn’t even bother to tour to support it. Oh well, the album was a serious commercial misstep for the band when they really needed to get back to meat-and-potatoes rock, but creatively, it’s enjoyable (though cheesy).
And can you imagine being Eric Carr? His first album with KISS and he has to play these songs and then he’s told they won’t be touring at all because the album tanked! This album was also the ‘final straw’ for Ace.
Posted on May 9, 2009, in KISS and tagged Ace Frehley, Bob Ezrin, Classic Rock, Eric Carr, Gene Simmons, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, KISS, Metal, Paul Stanley, Rock, Rock & Roll, Rock 'N' Roll. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.