Category Archives: Paul Stanley

My thoughts on KISS getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and album reviews coming

If you follow the world of rock/metal online, you’d be hard pressed not to know that KISS is finally getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. You’d also have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the controversy surrounding which members are (and are not) getting inducted. It’s become quite a mess. Gene & Paul are having it out in the press with Ace & Peter, Gene & Paul are having it out with the HOF’s induction process, the fans are having it out with Gene & Paul, etc. It goes on and on.

Here’s what we know: the Hall of Fame is inducting only Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. The original four members of KISS and that’s it. They aren’t inducting anyone else and they don’t want anyone else (such as Tommy Thayer & Eric Singer) performing at the induction ceremony. Frankly, that’s silly, but look — KISS has been eligible for induction for a long time and for the Hall of Fame execs to put this restriction on the band is just their way to make the induction as painful as possible for KISS. It’s like they couldn’t put off leaving KISS out of the Hall any longer because the public was becoming too vocal about their exclusion but at the same time the Hall of Fame didn’t want to make it a fun/easy process for the band.

No one is arguing the founders shouldn’t be in but I think all members should be inducted and that they should be allowed to perform with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer (which the Hall does not want). My dream scenario is that everyone who has ever been in KISS gets inducted and then the classic line-up plays and then the modern line-up plays and/or they have all six of those guys (plus Bruce Kulick) jam together.

It’s not a big deal to induct every single member of KISS, so I don’t see why the Hall is resisting it:

  • No question, Eric Carr definitely deserves to be in. Great drummer and he contributed to the band for 11 years on many successful albums.
  • Bruce Kulick — same situation. He was there for 8 years and played on a number of KISS albums that went gold/platinum.
  • Vinnie Vincent. Not sure if anyone could even find this guy and he didn’t have the best relationship with Gene & Paul but even they would admit his guitar work and songwriting skills played a big hand in freshening up the band’s sound and giving them some of the best albums they’ve ever produced.
  • Eric Singer first joined KISS in 1991 after Eric Carr’s death, had a short stint in the early 2000s filling in for Peter Criss and has been their drummer since 2004 when Peter Criss once again left and has sung lead vocals on a handful of KISS tracks.
  • Tommy Thayer is a big force in the modern band. Great guitar player and he’s been playing with them since 2002 and has songwriting credits/vocal duties on the last two KISS albums. I could see someone maybe arguing against Tommy though given the time frame he joined, but I think he’s contributed enough to warrant the induction.
  • Given his very short tenure, Mark St. John is probably the only KISS member you could question for HOF status and say that he didn’t contribute much to the band… provided you consider playing on a platinum-selling album as not contributing much.

It’s nice that the band is getting inducted into something called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when you consider the people who run the Hall and the list of people who have already been inducted, it’s anything but a legit rock hall. No one in their right mind would argue that if there is such a hall that KISS deserves to be there, but it’s sad that the RNR Hall of Fame is refusing to acknowledge the entire career of the band and wants to focus only on the 1970s.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for some KISS fans but I actually applaud Gene & Paul for refusing to give in and play strictly with Ace & Peter. They want all eras of KISS to be recognized and they think Eric & Tommy deserve to stand on stage. I agree. I know there is the whole Gene & Paul vs. Ace & Peter thing, and that’s sad, but I don’t have a problem with Gene & Paul’s “all or nothing” stance.

Now, I recently noticed there’s a surprising amount of KISS albums I haven’t yet reviewed. I could’ve sworn I reviewed them all! Well, with all the buzz regarding KISS these days thanks to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the fact that this year is the band’s 40th anniversary, there’s no better time than now to finish reviewing the band’s catalog! Be on the look out for those reviews in the coming weeks.

PAUL STANLEY – Live to Win

Paul Stanley – Live to Win (2006, Universal Music Group/New Door Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Live to Win” … 3:08
2. “Lift” … 4:01
3. “Wake up Screaming” … 3:00
4. “Everytime I See You Around” … 3:28
5. “Bulletproof” … 3:01
6. “All About You” … 3:16
7. “Second to None” … 3:35
8. “It’s Not Me” … 3:19
9. “Loving You Without You Now” … 3:16
10. “Where Angels Dare” … 3:22

Band:
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Bruce Kulick – Bass
John 5 – Guitar
Corky James – Guitar, Bass
Brad Fernquist – Guitar
Tommy Denander – Guitar
Andreas Carlsson – Guitar, Backing vocals
Sean Hurley – Bass
Victor Indrizzo – Drums
Greg Kurstin – Piano
Zac Rae – Piano
Harry Somerdahl – Keyboard
Russ Irwin – Keyboard
CC White – Backing vocals
John Shanks – Backing vocals

Produced by: Paul Stanley

28 years after his first solo effort (1978’s Paul Stanley, which was part of the ‘KISS Goes Solo’ stunt), Paul is back! And the results? Well, it’s not KISS, but it’s still good. The album is very slick with modern rock/pop sound. Essentially, it’s what I expected a solo Paul Stanley album to sound like in the new millennium. I like it and listened to it over and over when it was first released and Paul’s voice still sounds great.

It got knocked by a lot of people for being too soft, but it’s PAUL STANLEY. You know… Starchild? You were expecting a heavy metal album? This is just a modern take on all of the pop rock songs Paul has been writing in KISS for decades, though it does retain it’s own identity. This is not Paul trying his best to sound like KISS, it’s Paul being Paul and that’s good enough for me.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three decades until his next solo release.

Highlights: “Live to Win”, “Lift”, “Wake Up Screaming”, “Bulletproof”, “All About You”, “Second to None”, “It’s Not Me”, “Where Angels Dare”

www.paulstanley.com

KISS – Paul Stanley

KISS – Paul Stanley (1978, Casablanca Records)

Track Listing:
1 “Tonight You Belong to Me” (4:40)
2 “Move On” (3:11)
3 “Ain’t Quite Right” (3:35)
4 “Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me?” (3:18)
5 “Take Me Away (Together as One)” (5:34)
6 “It’s Alright” (3:34)
7 “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think of Me When We’re Apart)” (3:40)
8 “Love in Chains” (3:33)
9 “Goodbye” (4:09)

Band:
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Guitar
Various people (including Carmine Appice & Bob Kulick) – Everything else

Of the four solo albums KISS released back in ’78, this is my favorite. What can I say? Paul Stanley is my favorite member of the band. I dig the songs he sings and writes in KISS and this is the most KISS-like of the simultaneously released solo albums, so therefore I dig this.

Ace’s album definitely rocks harder, but Paul turns in a great hard rock/pop effort here.

Hightlights: “Tonight You Belong to Me”, “Ain’t Quite Right”, “Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me?”

Lowlights: “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think of Me When We’re Apart)”

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