Eric Carr - drums; Gene Simmons - vocals, bass; Paul Stanley - vocals, guitar; Vinnie Vincent - guitar
You wanted the best? You got the best!! Only, this time, they're not gonna be wearing any cool make-up. And remember Ace Frehley, their awesome guitar player? Yeah, he's been replaced by the soulless, mechanical wankery of Vinnie Vincent. Plus, Paul Stanley's stage banter is only slightly less embarrassing than wetting your pants on the first day of school - other than all that, THE BEST!!
After the inexplicable creative choices behind their 1981 release, Music from "The Elder," resulted in momentous commercial blunder, Starchild and the God of Thunder suddenly found themselves losing another ally in their trusty gunslinger, Space Ace, having already weathered the departure of, uh, Cat Drummer (who, despite showing little foresight in terms of choice in stage personas, managed to go out on top, prior to the release of 1979's Dynasty). With millions of dollars yet to be made, our intrepid heroes switched business models faster than a speeding bullet, trading grease paint and platforms for teased hair and spandex, to the delight of 12-to-25-year-olds everywhere.
When it came to rocking, New Kiss was pretty much the same as 'Original Recipe' Kiss, as evidenced by this recording from Nashville in support of the first post-make-up album, Lick It Up. Making dramatic changes to their appearance rather than their sound, the band musically turned the clock back to their totally classic mid-70s formula, this time hot-rodded for the '80s with the one-thousand-notes-per-second guitar assault of the aforementioned Vincent. The absence of any of the studio gloss rumored to have been administered to Kiss's commercial live releases only adds to the trashy excitement as they barrel through a set of raunchy hits.
Sure it's ridiculous - this is a band that used to spit fake blood and light each other on fire, after all. But at the core of their presentation is some mostly killer, always hilarious rock 'n' roll. Consider this Kiss Army boot camp.