Sunday, March 25, 2007

KISS-Crazy Nights, 1987

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This is one of those KISS albums that both hardcore and casual fans seem to disagree on. It was the late 1980's and KISS had been at it for almost 15 years. A lot of hard rock bands that were popular in the 1970's had to make "adjustments" to keep up with the hard rock/metal trends of the 1980's. Some of the bands were Aerosmith, AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent and of course KISS. From the moment they took off the make-up on MTV in 1983 KISS seemed comfortable with the changing metal scene. Yet a few years later it was starting to feel a bit like they were just churning out an album just so they could tour. I am going to do this review with a song by song breakdown so here it is.

1. Crazy Crazy Nights-The music is a little thin, but it's fun song and the chorus is instantly stuck in my head. Yet how come the album title has one crazy, the song title has two and the chorus actually has three?
2. I'll Fight Hell To Hold You-Not bad because it rocks a little, but kind of clunky. Feels like they don't quite have a handle on the pace of the song.
3. Bang Bang You-It's pretty stale cheese I am afraid. Not all that fun or entertaining. Bruce's solo is kind of good though.
4. No, No, No-The guitar stuff at the beginning is cool, but the rest of the song is quite messy. It's just kind of repetitive and you can probably stop it after a minute because you will get the idea of the whole song at that point.
5. Hell Or High Water-Pretty decent song with a simple, but effective riff. This track actually shows some energy and that's a plus at this point.
6. My Way-The keyboards are way to much and take any edge off this song. Just let Paul sing because his vocals would have carried this song without the overuse of keyboards.
7. When Your Walls Come Down-Not a bad rock song at all. There's actually a decent groove to it and they really seem in control.
8. Reason To Live-Did Foreigner lose a song because KISS seem to have have found it. Just a bit of a snoozer I am afraid
9. Good Girl Gone Bad-It's alright, but just one of those faceless KISS songs. You won't remember it an hour after the album ends.
10. Turn On The Night-Kind of weak and bouncy, but I like the vocals.
11. Thief In The Night-I like the main riff and the heaviness as this album could have used more of that. It's a decent song, but overstays it's welcome just a little. Not anything you have not heard before from KISS.

Overall it feels like Paul had more of a hand in the writing than normal as it's a little more commercial at times. Also there is just too much keyboards here. Keyboards can be used well if they are used to compliment the music. The keyboards here seem to obscure the music and even the vocals at times. These guys were going just fine without keyboards before so why change? The band had a solid foundation and Paul's voice was just as good as it was a decade earlier so somethings didn't need to be changed. Ultimately this is just an okay album for me. There are some good songs, some weak ones and some so-so tracks. Not one of the best moments for these guys, but not one of the absolute worst either.
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***So this is the last week for March Metal Madness which means this same album has been reviewed over at Hard rock hideout, Heavy metal addiction,Pulses, verses and other flotsam. So go check them out. These last four Mondays have been fun doing this. Thanks to the other three bloggers for participating. Also a special thanks to Rob at Hard rock hideout for designing and sharing the March Metal Madness logo that we have all been using these past few weeks.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I find no fault in your analogy and think we're somewhat harmonious overall. This was just one shocker of an album when it came out, but I think it fingerpointed that Kiss would simply do whatever necessary to stay alive. Good job, Mark.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

Yes I used to have this album and I must admit - the only song I can really remember off it was Crazy Nights. After your review it reminds me why. Better to get a best of ... album than this one.

1:38 AM  
Blogger JP said...

'Did Foreigner lose a song..'

Heh, that was harsh. But funny.

2:49 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Nice review. Of all my KISS albums, this probably gets the least play (OK, maybe Hot in the Shade matches it). Mostly forgettable stuff.

-- david

2:53 AM  
Blogger RockDog said...

I hated this album. The title track drove me to the edge of many times can one person be expected to hear the word crazy without they themselves going crazy. I have it this album, but rarely rarely play it...can't remember the last time I did.

Great writeup always!

Rock ON!

6:07 AM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

The title track was a huge hit over here in the UK and I remember seeing them on the tour for this album.

A lot of the album is forgettable pop-rock and Bang Bang You is cringeworthily bad! Strangely I quite like Turn On The Night and maybe play just that track once in a while whilst rarely listening to the whole album. That was released as the third single over here so maybe that's why???

Good review and enjoyed the 4-way comment thing even if you did pick two albums I'd got on my list to review causing a re-think over here!!!

7:37 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

I like this album. I know, I know, but it is catchy at times and stuck with me. "Crazy Nights" is one of my favourite Kiss songs.

You're very right about the keyboards, I'll admit it does wuss the album a bit.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Next month I will get back to doing one 20 year old album review per month. So next week I will have up a review of Appetite for Destruction by some band called Guns and Roses. I wonder what ever happened to them?

2:35 PM  
Blogger On My Watch said...

did Foreigner lose a song??


I wonder what ole Gene would think about that. hilarious.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Hard Rock Hideout said...

The title track was an awful way to start this disc. The rest of it was significantly better than the first track. It is better than I remembered it be.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Aunt Jackie said...

I have to admit this album brings back some memories for me, and yes although it isn't the greatest of their albums, it's still KISS :)

6:26 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I agree. It wasn't their best but it was far from their worst.

3:53 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I actually liked this album a bit at the time and I still do. It's held up better for me that Asylum and Animalize, but it's not quite as good as Lick It Up. I have the suspicion it's also better than Hot in the Shade, but I haven't heard that since around when it was released.

10:51 AM  

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