Wednesday, September 13, 2006


All right fellow KISS fantatic(s), today we'll be concentrating on Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album known as KISS: Gene Simmons. As you are all well aware, the four members of KISS released solo albums simultaneously. They all went platinum. Ace's was awesome. But when discussing the '78 solo albums, it's easy to spend your time focusing on the baffling Peter Criss release.   Today we'll give the Catman a break and have a closer look at Gene's overblown pile of suck. 

In 1978, Ace was peaking musically while losing his Spaceman head in the clouds.   To keep Ace in the band but still maintain control, Gene and Paul quoth "Fine, do a solo album.  We'll all do solo albums. We'll put KISS in the corner to unite them." (Stanley 22:14) The game was on. 

Gene called in every favor available and hoped guest stars including Cher and the guy from Cheap Trick with the double guitar would be enough.  This approach failed miserably and Gene's '78 solo album forever rests in the "great album cover, shit album" category.  

A quick track by track breakdown: 

Radioactive: A barely acceptable head-bopping rocker to open the album. 

Burning Up With Fever: Straight up atrocious. Not so good on the ears.

See You Tonite: Ok, I love this song.  While miles away from the standard KISS tune, it shows that Gene was more than capable of writing a catchy, Beatlesy ditty when he wanted to.  

Tunnel of Love: By listening to this song you'll earn 3:52 of awful, made painfully worse by gospel singers.  

True Confessions:  Dreadful.  More gospel singers vomit on another forgettable track. 

Always Near You/Nowhere to Run:   I'm embarrassed that I just typed the title.

Man of 1000 Faces: Almost a guilty pleasure, but not quite... because it sucks. 

Mr. Make Believe: At this point in the album it's quite obvious that Gene has no intention whatsoever of rocking out.   Combine terrible with lame and sprinkle in a little more terrible = this horrendous song. 

See You in Your Dreams:  Here you'll find a mediocre song that was already released (Rock and Roll Over, '77) made much, much worse. 

When You Wish Upon a Star:  The Demon does Disney. Seriously. This song should be used for punishment purposes only.

1 comment:

JPX said...

Excellent review!

Yeah, the coolest thing about the Solo albums was the swell covers, which were so misleading! You look at the Gene cover and think, "Okay, I'm in for some bone-crunching metal from the Demon." Instead you get the gentile musical timings of Perry Como.

Imagine that you're a kid in the 70s and there's no way you'd be able to afford all four Solo albums. After much debate you decide to go for Gene's album. Imagine how upset you would be once you got it home and started playing it at full blast. Within 5 minutes your heart would sink as you realized that you made the wrong choice. Meanwhile your next door neighbor was astute enough to pick up Ace's sweet album. That Ace album is great, by the way. I listen to Snow Blind in an endless loop on my IPOD.