KISS – Unmasked

KISS – Unmasked [Remastered] (1997, Mercury Records/Casablanca Records)
Original Release: 1980, Casablanca Records

1. “Is That You?” … 3:57
2. “Shandi” … 3:35
3. “Talk to Me” … 4:01
4. “Naked City” … 3:50
5. “What Makes the World Go ’round” … 4:12
6. “Tomorrow” … 3:16
7. “Two Sides of the Coin” … 3:15
8. “She’s So European” … 3:30
9. “Easy as It Seems” … 3:24
10.”Torpedo Girl” … 3:44
11.”You’re All That I Want” … 3:02

Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals, Bass
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Ace Frehley – Guitar, Lead Vocals, Bass
Peter Criss – Drums (credited, did not play)

Additional Musicians:
Anton Fig – Drums (uncredited)
Vini Poncia – Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Holly Knight – Keyboards (“Shandi”)

Produced by: Vini Poncia

There’s not a single KISS album that I don’t like. KISS is my favorite band and despite the disco pop found on this album, I still like it. It’s funny because if this was released by an actual disco/pop act, I’d have no interest it it. So, I know, I know… I’m biased. If pressed, I will admit that this is my least favorite KISS album, but it’s a  guilty pleasure and I’ve always enjoyed the goofy comic book cover. Unmasked would’ve been a great album title for Lick It Up. Given that it would be another 3 years before they actually did unmasked, the title doesn’t really make a lot of sense (and all suspense that the title would bring is erased by the cover art).

With the success of “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” from Dynasty, KISS basically decided to an all album full of “I Was Made for Lovin’ Yous” and Dynasty producer Vini Poncia was back again to help the band achieve that.

This was the final album from the original four members, until the reunion. Peter Criss was not involved in the recording/writing of this album at all and he was gone from the band shortly after Unmasked was released (Anton Fig recorded the drums and Eric Carr would play on the ensuing tour).

Many of these songs could have actually been solid rockers had the album’s production not been given a disco pop sheen. I especially think “What Makes the World Go ’round” and “Easy As It Seems” could’ve been great traditional KISS rockers.

Though the album went gold in the U.S. in short order, it was not a success at all and the album’s lone single, “Shandi” failed to break the Top 40. Apparently, the album went over well internationally and “Shandi” was a HUGE hit for the band in Australia (where they played it every time they tour there).

Highlights: “Is That You?”, “Shandi”, “Talk to Me”, “Naked City”, “What Makes the World Go ’round”, “Easy As It Seems”

Posted on August 13, 2009, in KISS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. >“Shandi” was a HUGE hit for the band in Australia

    Yeah, I’ve heard that:
    Beth” from “Destroyer” was their biggest hit in the U.S.,
    I Was Made For Lovin’ You” from “Dynasty” was their biggest hit in Japan,
    Crazy Crazy Nights” from “Crazy Nights” was their biggest hit in England,
    I Love It Loud” from “Creatures Of The Night” was their biggest hit in Brazil, and
    Shandi” from “Unmasked” was their biggest hit in Australia.

    I think that the best songs on this album are “You’re All That I Want“, “Easy As It Seems” and “Two Sides Of The Coin“.

  2. Unmasked is one of those albums that would have been great if they went with the mid 70s KISS sound instead of the disco/Rock lite sound. Its commercial but its still fun. The two Gene songs are the worst, I just can’t listen to Naked City or She’s So European anymore! Ace has some good tunes on this record, Two Sides Of The Coin, Talk To Me and Torpedo Girl are great.

    Heavy Metal Addiction

  3. I love Torpedo Girl, it’s a great song.

  4. I just did an interview with the artist who designed the “Unmasked” album cover:

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