Love them or hate them, with Alive!, KISS created the live album as we know it, but they didn’t stop there. Over the course of the band’s nearly fifty-year history, KISS has consistently put out live music. Let’s dig into all of those albums, some of which may surprise you, and see how they stack up.
Now, when it comes to Vinnie, he’s always been something of an enigmatic outlier, and his place in KISStory is no exception. Still, the two albums Vinnie Vincent was involved with a member of KISS, Creatures of the Night, and Lick it Up, were, and are some of the fiercest, heaviest, and consistent material that bad has ever put out to date.
Among other things, we touch on Jim’s early years on the Buffalo Rock circuit, his early ties to Billy Sheehan’s Talas, making headway as a solo artist in the 90s, recording and touring with Carmine, and Vinny Appice, the infamous Vinnie Vincent, the formation of Scream Taker, and a whole lot more.
Very few drummers have impacted Rock and Heavy Metal music in the way Carmine Appice has. Carmine is a rare case of a drummer that has transcended genres, and generations, and in the process, has influenced droves of musicians who came after him.
Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Rich Kosak, the founder, and de-facto frontman of the world’s greatest KISS tribute, Mr. Speed. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, the origins of Mr. Speed, how the band puts on such a world-class show, all things KISS, what’s next for Mr. Speed, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.
KISS’ legacy runs deeper than “Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night,” “Beth,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” Sure, those are great songs, but KISS’ music is so much more than that. I hope you dig this article, and I hope it inspires you to dive deeper. KISS may be at the “End Of The Road,” but they aren’t done quite yet. I hope you double back. I hope you take the journey.
In Unmasked, and Creatures of the Night, we find the band spiraling out of control, and yet still managing to craft what I would deem quintessential albums. They were unpopular then, and they’re underrated, but at least in some ways, retroactively appreciated now. These two records are very different, yet forever linked, and both are tremendously important to the band’s development.
There is no denying that “Space Ace” has a special swagger about him…that certain something that simply makes him special. Ace is both unable and uninterested in reading music and is generally averse to playing by anybody else’s rules but his own. Still, Ace has managed to forge a fifty-year career in music and has seen the wildly unheard-of success that street-walking guys from the Bronx don’t often see.
KISS has always been a polarizing band that people either loved or hated. Even if you are not the biggest fan, there is one message I want you to take away from this article: Go back to those seldom listen to tracks, by the artist you love, and give them a listen. You might discover a new favorite song and start making your personal “top lists.”
Robert V. Conte is an editor, writer, and pop-culture consultant who, armed with his vast memorabilia collection, utilizes his expertise on a myriad of officially licensed products, including Godzilla, KISS, and Sesame Street.