Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, it's been, what? 2-3 months. I really need to write more. Anyway, I'll finish up my ruminations on KISS by listing my track list for "The Untitled 1978 Album by KISS." That's a track list culled from the solo albums of 1978. As a whole they're a singular unimpressive lot. The band essentially tried to stretch an album's worth of songs into four separate albums with predictable results.

So, here's my hypothetical album in a somewhat logical track order, with a play length that would have fit on the old 33 rpm LP back in 1978:


Radioactive (Gene)
Move On (Paul)
I'm in Need of Love (Ace)
Ain't Quite Right (Paul)
Snow Blind (Ace)
Tunnel of Love (Gene)

Rip it Out (Ace)
See You Tonight (Gene)
Wouldn't You Like to Know Me? (Paul)
What's on Your Mind? (Ace)
Burning Up With Fever (Gene)
Love in Chains (Paul)

It would have been an album not too different from 1979's "Dynasty" and 1980's "Unmasked," although a bit harder hitting. Like those two albums, the highlights would be Paul's and Ace's songs. Gene would have a few decent numbers with Peter being basically absent. I suppose, it's unrealistic that Peter wouldn't have had at least one vocal spotlight, but I don't know whether the band would have tried to salvage something from the tracks on his solo album, or given him the lead on one of Pauls's or Ace's songs. I think he would have sounded pretty good on "Love in Chains" or "Rip it Out." Also, the biggest hit from the solo albums, Ace's cover of "New York Groove" didn't make my cut. And if my hypothetical album were reality, it probably would have been included. Maybe replace it with "Snowblind" and try to imagine Peter singing "Love in Chains" to get what the hypothetical 1978 album would have really sounded like.

For what it's worth, I've always thought Peter was the secret weapon of KISS's original incarnation, a great drummer with a wonderful Rod Stewart meets Bob Segar voice. I think a lot of his songs were the highlights of the early albums (admittedly, many of these were written by Ace or Paul). However, if Peter had done a solo album of songs of the quality of, say, "Hooligan" or "Baby Driver" (both of which were written by him and his frequent co-writer, Stan Penridge), his album would have been fantastic. Unfortunately, according to Black Diamond, the Unauthorized Biography of KISS by Dale Sherman, Peter was still recovering from a severe auto accident and was not able to write any new songs for the solo album, using some songs from an old pre-KISS project that was decidedly un-KISS-like.

I'll get back soon, with my last guilty pleasure, and then start posting much more regularly.

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