PAUL STANLEY rocked ’78

“TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME” > Track 1, Side 1 of Paul’s ’78 solo album, the 2-part ambitious epic boasts a lush acoustic intro, majestic core guitar riff and subsequent lyrics that serve emotionally as ample precursor to the Stanley / Vinnie Poncia / Desmond Child penned mega-disco hit a year later “I Was Made For Loving You” (Dynasty). Maybe the best song or the album, certainly the hardest to shake off.

“MOVE ON” > A Kissin’ cousin to his “Tomorrow & Tonight” (Love Gun), Stanley’s raw “Move On” lavishes in a ballsy humbucker rock attack. qausi-blues-lyrics about ‘Mama’ and Stonsey/Motown phrasing that further expose Stanley’s more central, non-metal roots.

‘AIN’T QUITE RIGHT” > Expanding the KISS musical kaleidoscope significantly, and aided by the late/great Bob Kulick’s emotive lead guitar work (as throughout most of the album) “Ain’t Quite Right” is a smooth side of Stanley that only the freedom of solo album project would have afforded us (or a one night stand?).

“WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW ME” > Another cocksure Stanley KISS-off rocker showcasing not only the Starchild’s adept knack for hooks but his (then) growing affinity for relatable, title worthy, cut-to-the-quick quips that burn, ‘a la ‘I Stole Your Love”.

“TAKE ME AWAY (TOGETHER AS ONE)” > Acutely at odds with KISS’s general attitude, delivery and sound, “Together As One”, for yacht rockers who may have missed it, helps takes the edge off 70’s KISS as “Beth” had done in ’76.

“IT’S ALRIGHT” > Immediately comfortable like old blue jeans, or an old record that skips a bit but you don’t care, “It’s Alright” serves as tight aural facsimile for what Stanley’s all about. My favorite cut on the album, the groove, vibe and message recall The Faces and Rod ‘The Bod’.

‘HOLD ME, TOUCH ME” > A super catchy if slightly forced guilty pleasure, ‘Hold Me’ is a precious timepiece that can only be truly appreciated in the context of the fact that at the time Paul Stanley was every bit the sex symbol that Gene Simmons was. For good measure, Stanley’s guitar solo on it may be the high point of the album.

“LOVE IN CHAINS” > Provocative title intended, “Love In Chains” benefits from a crunchy chorus hook and may be the one cut on the album that would fit perfectly on almost any KISS album as a poppy upbeat upgrade to Gene’s “Sweet Pain”.

“GOODBYE” > A groupie ‘make-good’ lament of sorts, “Goodbye” affords a glimpse of Stanley perhaps only as far fetched conceptually as his ‘Starchild’ persona, and yet somehow just as convincing! “It’s only for now ….”


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