By STEVE MASCORD
THE make-up adorned, blood-spitting original glammers – who at their best were the biggest band of the seventies -are back, according to the hype. “They have again released a real KISS album.” Well, sort of. Except for the synthesisers and the Heart songs…
Yes, that’s right, Crazy Nights, produced by Bad Animals (Heart) man Ron Nevison. is almost a return to the KISS’ glory days; with the
exception of a Bon Jovi-esque ballad, a slick single and kick-ass synthesiers. Some songs sound more like the Wilson sisters than
Stanley and Simmons.
Mind you. it’s still a very good album. I’d love to say an earth-shattering album, ‘cos these guys have earned some compliments
over the past 17 years. But it isn’t quite Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet or Def Leppard’s Hysteria. It’s still slick, which means less origi-
nality than the excellent 1985 release Asylum but… infinitely more sales.
This offering is characterised by the first single “Crazy Crazy Nights”, a ditty that is nothing if not a chart chaser. Its already gonetop ten in Britain. While Paul Stanley’s vocals ensure it is essentially a KISS song, it certainly doesn’t seduce you like “Heaven’s On Fire”,”Detroit Rock City” or ‘UH! All Night”. But it may well be more successful than these HR masterpieces, because it has the two Cs —cute and catchy. Its main strength, though, is an infectious chorus and typically American sentiments like “People try to take my soul away but____”
Hardcore facepainters need not be disappointed, with the usual dose of anthemic sleaze being dished up after this commercialrelapse. There’s the comparatively normal KISS fare of “I’ll Fight Hell To Hold You”, and then a typically blunt screamer “Bang Bang You”. In the
tradition of “UH! All Night”, “Bang Bang You” won’t sell any singles, but is bound to cause a few domestic bustups.
KISS at their commercial height had the guts to use choirs, orchestras and piano on their records. It didn’t necessarily work but Simmons. Stanley and Co always had the courage to try. The more you listen to “Crazy Nights “, the more it divides itself into two distinct parts: the stylized Nevison tracks and the unrelenting KISS songs. “Reason To Live” is a ballad that BJs, Van Halen and just about anybody would be proud of: it’s In a class of it’s own. “Reason To Live” was co-written by Desmond “You
Give Love A Bad Name”/”Livin On A Prayer”/”I Was Made For Loving You”/UH! All Night”
Child. Apparently Paul Stanley is the man who introduced him to Jon Bon Jovi. But anyway … Crazy Nights — overall — has more in
common with ultra-pop Unmasked album of seven years ago than with 1982 ball-tearer Creatures Of The Night. But there’s enough
rock to keep the KISS Army happy and enough pop to keep the cash register clicking. Even if it does have a bit more Heart than balls.
— STEVE MASCORD