The ride was over but the story doesn’t end, he took her heart
She looked him in the eye and said they couldn’t meet again
You could see The Trouble Start
And a special thanks to my friend Kurt, who not only got this right, but pointed out that several other artists performed this song between 1988-89. It was written by Paul Stanley, Desmond Child and Holly Knight.
It was first performed by Bonnie Tyler in 1988:
Next, it was covered by Molly Hatchet in 1989:
Then Ace Frehley covered the song on his Trouble Walkin’ album, which was released 4 days before Kiss’ Hot in the Shade in 1989.
And the last version released in 1989 was by Robin Beck. This is probably my favorite:
Welcome to the new series – Albums of the ’80s! I will try to post at least one album a week. We will go over some classic albums of the ’80s as well as some lesser known ones. We’ll have some fun remembering songs we haven’t heard in a while, and maybe we’ll hear “new” old music we missed the first time around. I hope you enjoy this. Let me know if you have any suggestions of albums you would like to know about, or if you have any favorites that you want people to hear.
I plan on jumping around to different years. But the first two albums I will cover happen to be from 1980. They are the first two that I ever owned. We will start with:
Kiss – Unmasked
Unmasked was the first album (well technically cassette) that I ever owned. I got it as a present along with a tape recorder to play it on. I still have the tape, and it is still in pretty good shape – especially considering the number of times it has been played.
So, my first album came at a transitional period for Kiss. Unmasked was the last studio album to feature the original lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss until the band reunited. Peter Criss technically was not even involved with the album. Anton Fig played drums on all the tracks, and was uncredited for it. After the album came out, Eric Carr would go on to be the permanent drummer for Kiss, until his death in 1991.
Although the album was titled Unmasked, this is not when the band did away with their makeup. The cover art was actually a comic strip. It featured a goofy photographer trying to catch the band members without their makeup on. Finally, Ace told him that if he dropped the camera they would take their masks off. They took their masks off, only to reveal that they had their makeup on underneath. Since I had this on cassette, I would read the comic with a magnifying glass!
The real unmasking of Kiss came on MTV on September 18, 1983:
Now let’s get into the music. Unmasked wasn’t one of their most popular albums. Even some of the band members did not like it! According to Paul Stanley:
“Unmasked? I would give that one star. A song like “Tomorrow” is really a great song, but I think ‘Unmasked’ is a pretty crappy album. It’s wimpy. A lot of those songs started out much ballsier, and much more rock’n’ rolly. Somehow they lost something on their way to vinyl.” p331, Kiss-Behind the Mask
Nonetheless, I loved this album, and still like most of the songs on it. Here is the playlist:
1. Is That You?
The album started out wi a bang. Or actually a Paul Stanley scream. This Paul Stanley song is probably the hardest rocking song on the album. A great way to start.
Another Paul Stanley song. This time a ballad. This song was a hit in several countries. It peaked at #47 in the U.S., but reached all the way to #5 on the Australian charts.
3. Talk to Me
I love this Ace Frehley song. The song was not released as a single in the U.S., but was released in several other countries where it reached the top-10.
4. Naked City
Hehe. He said “Naked”. As a ten year old, that was awesome! Of course, the Naked City, in this Gene Simmons song, refers to New York, and not a city where people are actually walking around naked. But it’s a pretty cool, if not depressing, song.
5. What Makes the World Go ‘Round
There were 3 songs on this album that I played over-and-over again. And this Paul Stanley tune was one of them. Warning: This song could possibly give you an earworm! Not a bad song to have stuck in your head though.
This is song #2 that I played over-and-over. This is another great Paul Stanley song. I really like the guitar solo as well.
7. Two Sides of the Coin
I like this Ace Frehley song a lot. If you liked “Talk To Me” earlier in this album, then you’ll like this one.
8. She’s So European
Back to Gene Simmons. Not a bad song. Not exactly the best song on the album, but still good.
9. Easy As It Seems
The last of the Paul Stanley songs. It’s probably my least favorite Stanley song on the album, but it’s still not bad.
10. Torpedo Girl
Ugh. This Ace Frehley song is somewhere around 3 1/2 minutes, and I think he repeats the title of the song for the last 2 1/2 minutes. The song after this was one of my favorites so I would always try skipping by this one. But since they repeat the same thing over and over and over again, I could never tell when it was almost over. Then I would skip too far, and have to rewind, and keep going back and forth. All you guys that used to listen to cassettes know what I’m talking about. Eeesh, It would have been faster to just listen to the whole song.
11. You’re All That I Want
This Gene Simmons song was one of my favorites. Great way to close out the album.
Question: What bubble gum brand was hyped by a Wild West “gumslinger” who calmly noted: “Big bubbles, no trouble”?
Last Question: Which Kiss member kissed the group good-bye in 1982:
A) Peter Criss
B) Ace Frehley
C) Vinnie Vincent
D. The Makeup
Answer: B) Ace Frehley
Guitarist Ace Frehley was not happy about recording the concept album that was 1981’s Music from “The Elder”. So, he and the band had a falling out. He started his own band, Frehley’s Comet, and Kiss brought in Vinnie Vincent to replace Frehley.
Vinnie Vincent was the last member of Kiss to join during the original “makeup” era and toured as “The Ankh Warrior”.
He was with the band for the Creatures of the Nightand Lick It Up albums. However, Vincent refused to sign a contract with the band. Then on tour, he would go on extra long guitar solos, and frustrate the rest of the band. So, he was fired from the band in 1984, and replaced by Mark St. John.
Drummer Peter Criss was the first original member to leave the band. He became addicted to drugs, which resulted in a serious car accident in 1978. He was not the same after that. His behaviour became erratic, and he did not play much on 1979’s Dynasty, and did not play at all on Unmasked in 1980. Soon after the album was released, Criss’s departure was officially announced. He was eventually replaced by Eric Carr.
Sensing it was time for a change, Kiss made the decision to abandon their trademark makeup and costumes. They officially appeared in public without makeup for the first time on a September 18, 1983 appearance on MTV, which coincided with the release of the band’s new album, Lick It Up.
Whoa! I set the time machine too far back! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Let’s jump back into the ’80s. I’ll pick a song from my first cassette – “Tomorrow” from Unmasked by Kiss was one of my favorites:
In honor of Ace Frehley’s 60th birthday today, this week’s selection is “I Love It Loud”, which was the last Kiss video that featured Frehley:
“I Love It Loud”, which came off of Kiss’ 1982 album, Creatures of the Night. This was also the last video that featured Kiss in their famous make-up before unmasking in 1983. This was also the last Kiss single to feature Simmons on lead vocals until “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II” in 1991, and the last to feature Simmons as the sole lead vocalist until “Unholy” in 1992. He was however the lead singer of every song on the ‘B’ side of every single they did through the “Crazy Nights” album.