KISStorian ranks KISS’s ‘unmasked’ studio albums

KISS_LickItUp-costumes2Helmets tight KISS Army …I sat and looked at the album covers, accessing the part of my brain that governs KISS related decisions to figure out which album I really wanted to listen to most, and 2nd most, and so on and so forth. A short blog piece on a Herculean task. Please forgive me.

LICK IT UP > back on the streets  …hey, hey have you read the news? this album is as good as Creatures of The Night and is the make-over that saved the KISS brand.

ASYLUM > alive n’ kickin’ …guh-guh, guh-guh, guh-guh, guh-guh get the message sugar: Asylum is Kulick/Carr KISS hitting their best 80’s stride.

ANIMALIZE > once bitten, twice shy …Stanley’s triumph in fret-frenzied St. Johns wood; had Simmons given a damn, or Vincent remained on-board, Animalize might have been as good as LIU.

REVENGE > cult of personality …KISS was cool again but I’de give the album higher marks were it not for Stanleys somewhat labored contributions under the rose w/ Ezrin.

HOT IN THE SHADE > these happy days are yours and mine …KISS lighten up to become almost human with “Forever” and a fun album.

CRAZY NIGHTS > desperate, but not serious …KISS buffed to 80’s money-shot oblivion by the grace of Nevison’s hand. 

CARNIVAL OF SOULS > return to sender …unmasked KISS fade to black with a grungy dirge.






  1. This is awesome… and your quote from Asylum was great. I love Lick it Up so pleased to see it come out higher. I’d have bumped Crazy Nights up a bit and knocked Revenge down myself. Just something joyless and lumpen about that album… Can’t really get into it. Great post!

    • Thanks HMO! I agree on Revenge …Gene’s tunes are great but Paul’s are hit and miss: great verses with weak choruses (“Take It Off”, “Heart of Chrome”) that sound labored over. I do love Crazy Nights for what it is but, if I were trying to convert a new Army member, I might wait till the recruit is ‘ready’ for “Fight Hell To Hold You” and the like:) Thanks for your kind words!

      • Yeah, I agree on Revenge. And Crazy Nights… it’s a personal thing mainly. First album of theirs I heard (big hit for them in the UK) which helps too. I love it but… wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to a newbie!

  2. Nice little quick bolts of one liners after each album! This was awesome! I am now a follower! Haha…

    • thanks deKE! BTW…I recently picked up Crazy Nights on vinyl and had to tweak the system quite a bit to find the meat. That said, “Good Girl Gone Bad”, “Hell or High Water” and “Thief In The Night” do still get the demon blood boiling a bit. When C-Nights first came out and I popped it on I felt slightly ill by the third or forth track. I am now more adept at surviving songs like “My Way” by thinking of them as time pieces if you will. Cheers rocker.

      • For sure I know what u mean by looking for there meat! Nevison made a Kiss/Heart album…I reviewed it a while back myself actually tomstart of there 80s output I have covered ….

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