Monday, June 26, 2006
As an esteemed Kisstorian, people stop me on the street constantly and ask me questions about KISS lore. Why just yesterday, a guy came up to me in the supermarket and said "Hey Sweatpants, what's the deal with that Killers album? It seems pretty hard to find on both vinyl and cd and it's not available on ITunes. Are those 4 new songs really worth seeking out?" I thought that was a great question so I'd like to answer it once and for all.
The year was 1982. KISS was at a crossroads. After the colossal, career threatening failure of the concept album known as Music From "The Elder", the Killers album was whipped out as a way of apologizing to the many bewildered KISS fans as if to say "don't worry, the Elder was merely a quick detour. We're still the same crazy rockers that we used to be." It bought them some much needed time to plan their next move (the fantastic yet underappreciated Creatures of the Night.) Killers is basically a German import greatest hits collection that contains 4 exclusive tracks, all with Paul on vocals. You'll notice that the S's on the album cover differ from their normal logo. This is because the similarities between the "S" and the swastika were deemed offensive in Germany. Personally I don't see it. But let's break down the 4 songs, shall we?
1) I'M A LEGEND TONIGHT - Sounds like training montage music for a Rocky movie with Paul singing about how great he is. It's not bad.
2) DOWN ON YOUR KNEES - One of Paul's most vulgar songs as the title implies. The chorus sounds kind of like the Saved by the Bell theme song. Also not bad.
3) NOWHERE TO RUN - This song is the template for all of the half-assed garbage that KISS threw at us in the 80's.
4) PARTNERS IN CRIME - Interesting because it couldn't fit on any KISS album and yet it's unquestionably KISS. Really makes you think.. about KISS.
So to summarize - Q: Is Killers worth the effort and money to try and find a copy? A: Barely.
I should add that the "hits" that were chosen for this compilation are superb. But the "look" from this era was very awkward. Gene's short hair is questionable at best and Paul's bandana is... unnerving.