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The Definitive Kiss Collection Cofanetto
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CD audio, Cofanetto, 5 nov 2001
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3.Keep Me Waiting - Wicked Lester
4.She - Wicked Lester
5.Love Her All I Can - Wicked Lester
6.Let Me Know (Bell Sound Studios demo)
7.100,000 Years (Bell Sound Studios demo)
8.Stop, Look To Listen (Paul Stanley demo)
9.Leeta (Gene Simmons demo)
10.Let Me go, Rock 'N' Roll (Bell Sound Studios demo)
11.Acrobat (Live at The Daisy)
12.Firehouse (Bell Sound Studios demo)
13.Nothin' to Lose
15.Hotter Than Hell
19.Anything For My Baby
20.Ladies In Waiting
21.Rock and Roll All Nite
1.C'mon And Love Me (Live)
2.Rock Bottom (Live)
3.Cold Gin (Live)
4.Watchin' You (Live)
5.Doncha Hesitate (demo)
6.Mad Dog (demo)
7.God of Thunder (demo)
10.Do You Love Me
11.Bad, Bad Lovin' (demo)
12.Calling Dr. Love
13.Mr. Speed (demo)
15.Hard Luck Woman
17.I Stole Your Love
18.I Want You (Soundcheck recording)
19.Love Gun (demo)
20.Love Is Blind (demo)
1.Detroit Rock City
2.King of the Night Time World (Live)
3.Larger Than Life
5.Tonight You Belong To Me
6.New York Groove
8.Don't You Let Me Down
9.I Was Made For Lovin' You
10.Sure Know Something
12.You're All That I Want, You're All That I Need (demo)
13.Talk To Me (Live)
14.A World Without Heroes
16.Nowhere To Run
17.Creatures Of The Night
19.I Love It Loud
1.Lick It Up
2.All Hell's Breaking Loose
3.Heaven's On Fire
4.Get All You Can Take
5.Thrills In The Night
6.Tears Are Falling
7.Uh! All Night
8.Time Traveller (demo)
9.Hell Or High Water
10.Crazy, Crazy Nights
11.Reason To Live
12.Let's Put The X In Sex
13.Hide Your Heart
14.Ain't That Peculiar (demo)
16.Forever (single version)
1.God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II
4.Every Time I Look At You
5.Comin' Home (live unplugged)
6.Got To Choose (live unplugged)
7.I Still Love You (live unplugged)
8.Nothin' To Lose (live unplugged)
9.Childhood's End (with coda)
10.I Will Be There
12.Into The Void
14.I Pledge Allegiance To The State of Rock & Roll
15.Nothing Can Keep Me From You
16.It's My Life (original version)
17.Shout It Out Loud (live)
18.Rock And Roll All Night (Kiss Alive IV)
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This was announced early on to be mostly rare, unreleased, live and demo material. Unfortunately most of it comes straight from the bands studio albums. When I first saw the track listing I was pretty disappointed. Being a major Kiss fan for 26 years, at first glance I could see that I already owned most of what was considered rare material. To my surprise these versions were different from what I have. Here is a run down disc by disc.
Disc1 has some of the best rare tunes in the set. The highlights are an early version of "She" which has flutes playing throughout the song. "100,000 Years" is a studio track which sound a lot like the version on "Kiss Alive". "Firehouse" has someone's voice in the control room stopping the song and having the band retake it from the top. The highlight on this disc is "Acrobat" which would be cut down and renamed "The Love Theme From Kiss" on the bands debut album. This version moves into a rocking segment that sounds a little like the beginning of "Detroit Rock City". This part of the song is full of energy and really kicks (...). Overall this disc has some quality material on it.
Disc2 has another batch of rare tunes on it. The highlights are an in the groove demo called "Doncha Hesitate". "Bad, Bad Lovin'" is an early version of "Calling Dr. Love". It is interesting to see the changes of the final product. "Love Is Blind" is a song by Gene that would have fit in perfectly on his 1978 solo album. The highlight of this disc is the demo of "God Of Thunder" which is a faster rockin' version with Paul on vocals and slightly different lyrics. Disc 1&2 are the gems of the collection.
Disc3 is where the set falls off. It is made up of mostly album tracks. This disc kicks off with the studio version of "Detroit Rock City" and is blended right in to a live version of "King Of The Night Time World". The demo version of "Radioactive" is cool. Other than that, this disc is nothing more than a "Greatest Hits" package. It really does nothing to add to the collection.
Disc4 too is not much as far as rarities. The highlights are a demo called "Time Traveler" sung by Paul. "Ain't That Peculiar" is a rare gem featuring the late Eric Carr on vocals. Written by Eric, it was an early version of what later became "Little Caesar". The studio material on this disc is actually very strong and a great representation of the band during the 80's.
Disc5 too only has a couple rare pieces. "Domino" is an early version of the song with slightly different lyrics. The disc repeats two tunes from Disc 1 - "Nothin' To Lose" and "Rock And Roll All Nite" both done live on this disc. The highlight of this disc is an anthem called "It's My Life". This song never made it on a previously release and I don't know why. One of the bands best and strongest anthems, it features Gene and Ace on vocals. This song needs to be released as a single with a video to go with it. One of the highlights in the whole set.
The Book is a great piece of information. It has comments from band members (mainly Gene and Paul) on each of the tracks in the set. It also lists when and where the song was recorded, who wrote it, played on it, produced it, and what album it appeared on. It's interesting to see who actually played on some of the songs. You might be surprised to see that as few as one band member actually played on a track that made it on an album. I would love to see a whole book on every Kiss song recorded and released but with input from "all" members past and present.
This set could have been more of a treat for die hard fans like myself. There are only 26 rare, unreleased, live and demo tunes. The other songs come from the bands albums.
Missing are many rare and demo tunes such as "Sword and the Stone" and "Don't Run" which later became "Dark Light" off of "The Elder". Even the Wicked Lester album in it's entirety could have been added to the collection. Some time back I found 30 demos on Napster. Only one of those is in this collection.
A 70's concert video or DVD would have been a nice addition. But if they added too much, they would have less material for similar future releases. I wouldn't be surprised to see the band re-release their albums with added demo tracks as Motley Crue did a couple years ago.
All in all, the set in nicely packaged. Each CD has it's own cover and some cool photos of the band inside. The book is a great addition too. Over all the set is a nice addition to any Kiss collection. Even though I would have liked to see more rare material. I have to admit that Gene and Paul know how to market the band and I still admire them. But c'mon guys, you would still have enough material to keep us die hard fans spending our hard earned cash for the next twenty years, even if this whole collection was comprised of rare material.
If you're an avid Kiss fan, get the mini guitar case version. If you like Kiss but are not a collector, pick up the standard box version. If you just enjoy their music you might want to stick to the studio albums that you can pick up as you feel the need to.
My problem is why do they constantly re-release the same old songs over and over again?
Thos Wicked Lester recordings are realy good to listen to,but probably strictly for Kiss fans only.They were trying to sound like bands who were around at that time,and hadnt developed that Kiss sound.But i enjoyed listening to them.
The rest of the 1st Cd goes into the normal album versions,with no variations,and i think that stinks.
Cd 2 starts off with re-releases from Alive 1.Then we have a few rarities,some demos.I like to hear the variations,after all i already have the album versions,so why do i need them again?
The rest of the Cd is a mixture of normal versions and demo's.
Disk 3 gets a bit more disappointing with far fewer alternate versions, 2 demo's only and one live version of Talk To Me.
Disk 4 has got 2 unreleased songs,but no demo's.
Disk 5 has a demo of domino,and 2 songs not released on Kiss albums.
Dont get me wrong this collection has some excellent Kiss songs on it.There is one hell of alot of music here.
But im a Kiss fan of almost 30 years,and i know all their songs.
For new fans this should be a real treat,but i would much rather have alot more rare recordings,demos etc.I believe there is much more out there.
I know songs like Lick It Up are great songs,but how many times do i have to have it?
I realy miss the days when we used to love getting a new album or Cd,and listening to the new songs.Also it was interesting to see how new songs would fit into the next stage show.
Those were the days my friend,i thought they would never end,but for now it seems they have.
Granted, there aren't as many rare tracks as I had originally hoped for, but the ones we did get are excellent. The Bell Sound Studios demos of "Let Me Go Rock n' Roll" and "100,000 Years" are arguably superior to the final cuts, and "Acrobat" from the highly sought-after Live at the Daisy show blows away the previous muffled bootlegs.
The second disc offers "Doncha Hesitate," which could have been a KISS classic, "Mad Dog (better off after it evolved into "Flaming Youth"), and the strangely Beatles-esque "Love is Blind." Compared to Gene's demonic anthem from Destroyer, Paul's original (disco?!) version of "God of Thunder" is sure to raise an eyebrow. Discs three and four fall a bit short with only six rare tracks between them, some of which many fans already owned.
Disc five ends the set on a positive note with a few good tracks. The very rough cut of "Domino" with slightly different lyrics was a nice inclusion, as was "Got to Choose," which was left off the official MTV Unplugged cd. "Outromental" from the Carnival of Souls bootleg is tacked onto "Childhood's End" in a somewhat a choppy manner, but "It's My Life" from the Psycho Circus sessions rocks like KISS should. Of course, the box set has to end with "Rock n' Roll All Night," and we get the one from Alive IV. Seeing as how Alive IV will now be the Melbourne Symphony show, this may be the only track from the concert to be released.
Basically, this set serves as a career retrospective for new KISS fans while throwing the devoted followers a few scraps to hold them over until the inevitable second set. Gene has been quoted as saying that there is enough material in KISS' vaults to keep the fans happy long after the band is no more, so as long as there is a market for KISS Kaskets, you can bet there will be more to come.
With that off my chest, on to the review. Overall, I was very pleased with the audio content of this set. They included most of the "hits" that the casual fan would appreciate, while also including some great demos and some never before released songs that the more dedicated fans would love.
The mini-guitar case and hardback book that are included with the Deluxe version is very well done. The case displays nicely, and the song-by-song commentary in the book is very interesting to read (along with some great pictures of the band!).
So if you're a casual fan, stick with the standard set. But if you're a hardcore fan like me, the Deluxe set is the way to go!