KISS – Killers

KISS – Killers (1997, Mercury Records – German Import)
Original Release: 1982, Phonogram Records

1. “I’m A Legend Tonight” … 4:00
2. “Down On Your Knees” … 3:31
3. “Cold Gin” … 4:20
4. “Love Gun” … 3:17
5. “Shout It Out Loud” … 2:39
6. “Sure Know Something” … 4:01
7. “Nowhere To Run” … 4:33
8. “Partners In Crime” … 3:48
9. “Detroit Rock City” … 3:56
10. “God Of Thunder” … 4:11
11. “I Was Made For Loving You” … 4:20
12. “Rock and Roll All Night (live)” … 3:59

Band:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Gene Simmons – Lead Vocals, Bass
Ace Frehley – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Eric Carr – Drums
Peter Criss – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Bob Kulick – Lead Guitar (Tracks 1, 2, 7, 8; uncredited)

Producer: Michael James Jackson (Tracks 1, 2, 7, 8 )

I don’t care for compilations these days. Sure, I own tons of them, but I only bought them as an introduction to a band, I didn’t and don’t buy them in order to have a complete collection from an artist. Even if there was a band I was curious about, I wouldn’t dare go for the compilation in this day and age, I would just start with the album that is generally considered as their best and proceed from there.

Even the now standard trick of “let’s record one or two new songs to get longtime fans to buy it” doesn’t work on me, but for this 1982 KISS compilation, I have been willing to make an exception ever since I heard to four new songs that were written for it. After the great, but poorly received and poorly timed “fantasy rock” of Music From “The Elder”, the international side of KISS’ label wanted a compilation package to reaffirm to the world that they were indeed a hard rock act. Forgetting about the four new tracks, this is a great listing for a KISS compilation.

Of course there are tons of songs missing if you intend a true best of/greatest hits album and having only 12 tracks just doesn’t cut it, but they hit the most important songs (besides “Beth”, but that would’ve ruined the whole “we’re hard rock band!” thing they were going for). What’s really important are the new songs: “I’m A Legend Tonight”, “Down On Your Knees”, “Nowhere To Run” and “Partners In Crime” and they make this album well worth seeking out. The songs aren’t as heavy as Creatures of the Night (which would be released months later), but it’s a welcome return to the catchy hard rock KISS was previously known for and between the Killers (sometimes referred to as KISS Killers) sessions and Lick It Up, KISS was really on a roll delivering some of their best music to date.

It was only by chance that I found it while rummaging through a used record store across from the Michigan State University, but for $10, it was money well spent on this German import (notice the KISS logo). It was decided that 1976’s The Originals and 1978’s Double Platinum were already more than enough compiled KISS for America to handle, so that is why this album was only released in Japan and Europe. Which is a shame, but it still doesn’t explain why Japan got it on CD in ’93, Germany in ’97 and the U.S. still hasn’t gotten a proper release! Also, could someone explain why this type of “let’s not flood the market with compilations” thinking has fallen to the wayside post-’96 reunion?

To my knowledge, none of the four new songs have ever been performed live and only “Nowhere To Run” has shown up elsewhere (2001’s box set).

www.kissonline.com
www.myspace.com/kiss

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Posted on November 9, 2009, in KISS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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