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.

 

 

 

 

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ACE FREHLEY @ Gibson

meace1Thanks to my pal Dusty Wright of CultureCatch.com I got sit in on an interview with Ace Frehley done by Director of Artist Relations at Gibson’s NYC Showroom  Jim Felber about the release of the Epiphone Ace Frehley Budokan Les Paul Custom. Ace was so mellow and cool; he had just been on with Matt Laurer of NBC’s Today Show that morning in conjunction with the release of his autobiography No Regrets and was now doing a photo session as well as interview at Gibson. Good times.

Just prior to the interview as we were mic-ing him up for the interview, Ace picked up the Epiphone guitar and handed it to me saying softly, “can you tune this and give me a little distortion? yeah?…. thanks”.

Two nights before I had caught Ace at BB Kings in New York and he had fallen off the stage. He could have been hurt. When I told him I was at the show he said “yeah, that was a drag….falling…. the funny thing is the bridge of my Les Paul really took all the force of the fall and it snapped the bolts…. if it hadn’t I might have broken an arm or leg”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8M2-TVhIHU

Ace was not really what i had expected. Being completely honest with you: he came off like a wise old indian chief. He knew how to make everyone feel at ease and welcome and seemed happy to be there but not hell-bent on being the most important person in the room. Engaging but mellow.

And get this: at one point before the interview Ace’s right hand man /co-hort  Jon Ostronomy picked up my folder and started leafing through it remarking “whose is this?” and when I motioned it was mine Ace interjected…”dude, it’s Dave’s ……what are you doin?” (laughter)

It’s hard to tell on the video because of his shades but during the interview Ace would look around as he was telling a story and the couple moments we connected still fills the sails with a fresh Frehley “AWK” air!!

At one point Ace said, after playing a bit, “I’m better with my band” which really showed me a level of humility I had not really anticipated either. At was as if he assumed we were all guitarists there anyway and he was just another guy into them. That’s when I saw it for the first time; Ace the reluctant hero. The underdog who can jam,  The dude you were rooting for, waiting with each other for the guitar solo, picking his moments tp shine.  Hey, lady space? you better wake up fast!!!