The 80s would be an interesting time for KISS, a decade defined by lineup instability, the near-death of the band, the removal of their trademark makeup, and a return to gold and platinum level success. Yes, in rock’s glitziest decade, once gain, KISS found themselves in a familiar, yet frustrating position as a band who needed to prove their worth to both critics and fans alike.
If any single grouping of musicians in the history of rock has systematically polarized both fans and critics alike, it’s the favorite sons of NYC, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Gene Simmons.
Bob Kulick was an outlier, a maverick, a renegade, and a true blue, dyed in the wool heavy metal master, whose fingers screamed up and down the fretboard with style, and pizzaz that few – if any – have able been able to do since.
As for Revenge, while ranking KISS’ studio albums proves difficult, I can safely say that it’s top-five, perhaps even top-three, and aside from maybe Creatures of the Night, Revenge is handily KISS’ heaviest record, and definitely, its nastiest. Retrospectively, Revenge has got all of the ingredients required for a great KISS album, more so, it’s got all the ingredients for a great album in general. I will always remember this record fondly, and on the album’s 30th anniversary, I say cheers to all those involved in creating it, you did well here, and that’s something I think fans of all shapes and sizes can agree with.
I suppose it all depends on the perspective you take. If you take it for what it’s purported to be – a celebration of Eddie and Van Halen’s legacy – it could be fun. On the other hand, if you take it for what it may well be – an obvious cash-grab, and complete bastardization of a once-great band, by a group of players who together have no business calling themselves “Van Halen,” or “Van Hagar” – you might have different feelings on the matter entirely.
Some things are better left dead, and buried. The past is one of those things, and for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, that age-old adage rings painfully true.
Led Zeppelin, in my opinion, is rock music’s most legendary band, one which has no equal and probably never will. Attempting to rank their albums could be seen as a fool’s game, but still, I’ve endeavored to do so.
In the minds of many, the 1980s will forever be remembered as a decade characterized by innovation, overindulgence, and transcendent music. While some of the Sunset Strip faithful have since moved on from the days of big hair and excess, preserving the essence of their decade, the 80s hard rock genre has enjoyed a staying power unique to its era.
When I think back on the most underexposed bands of the 90s, for me, it’s hard not to lock in on Union. For those that haven’t heard of Union, which is sadly for too many, Union was a supergroup of sorts, and for me, it was a band that really moved the proverbial needle during a time when heavy rock music was getting a bit weird in some ways.
Peter is often perceived as “the least talented” member of KISS, and in general, he wasn’t given much of an opportunity to showcase his talents. As such, what too many fans don’t recall, or simply haven’t embraced is Peter Criss’ post-KISS solo career, which consists of four stellar albums, Out Of Control (1980), Let Me Rock You (1982), Cat #1 (1994), and One For All (2007).