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"Kiss My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved" (Mercury)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)

Only Gene Simmons of KISS would have the chutzpah to orchestrate a tribute album to his own band. Thankfully, Gene's got incredible business sense in addition to his artistic talent. The end result is a tribute album that hard rock fans won't be embarrassed to listen to and that might bring new fans into the KISS fold.

Cover songs on this CD include:
DEUCE by Lenny Kravitz - a funky, cocky version;
HARD LUCK WOMAN by Garth Brooks with KISS backing him - a pretty straight forward cover with Brooks' fine vocals;
SHE by Anthrax - another pretty straight forward version, a little slicker and tighter than the original;
CHRISTINE SIXTEEN by the Gin Blossoms; a gentler version of the classic;
ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE by Toad the Wet Sprocket - acoustic and ballad-ized. Interesting, but some fans will be turned off;
CALLING DR. LOVE by Shandi's Addiction - almost industrialized;
GOIN' BLIND by Dinosaur Jr. - Heavy, heavy bass, strange ethereal vocals. Fits the song surprisingly well;
STRUTTER by Extreme - another funkier sounding cover;
PLASTER CASTER by the Lemonheads - straight forward cover;
DETROIT ROCK CITY by the MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES - gravelly vocals, horns in the chorus. Not as energetic as one might expect, however.
BLACK DIAMOND by Yoshiki, an orchestral version that must be heard to be believed. Very cool, may be where the Australian KISS symphony idea began.

After over 20 years of existence, the world is starting to realize that - despite the garish makeup and explosive stage show - KISS wrote some pretty good songs. "Kiss My Ass" is evidence of that. And it's interesting to hear such well-established acts pay tribute to the band with these, for the most part, highly successful versions.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400.