Here at rushonrock we’re real suckers for those over-the-top, overblown, oversized and overpriced box sets which bigger bands trot out from time to time knowing all too well that their fans won’t be able to resist – at any price.
But Kiss being Kiss – well, the best marketing men in rock music came up with one of the neatest ideas ever when they packaged the best of the band’s career (up to 2001) in a miniature flight case containing five CDs, a hardback book and faux red fur lining. Phew. It was worth that second mortgage.
Kiss – The Definitive Kiss Collection (Mercury Records) 2001
Just short of a century of Kiss classics, rolled out over five CDs in chronological order, this had grown men in wedge heel boots and black and white make up weeping with wonder and joy. Kiss fans, like their heroes, traditionally want it all and this really was absolutely everything the band had to offer.
Boasting previously unlreleased gems like a soundcheck recording of I Want You and a version of Acrobat live at The Daisy, this superb career retrospective really appealed to the Kiss Kompletionist.
But it also delivered all of the hits in some way, shape or form with tracks from the band’s 70s heyday – Beth, Calling Dr Love and Shock Me among the very best – sitting comfortably alongside cuts from Kiss’s ultra professional take on 80s hair metal. Crazy Crazy Nights, Reason To Live and Hide Your Heart may have rubbed so-called die hards uop the wrong way but these slick tracks introduced the unmasked band to a whole new generation of MTV addicts.
The 120-page hardbound book features track-by-track commentaries from the original band members plus a slew of exclusive pics and a specially commissioned article on the US phenomenon.
In fact the biggest challenge facing Kiss fans was – and still is – how to do justice to this incredibly detailed and lavishly packaged tribute to one of the most influential rock bands on the planet. We’re still trying but boy it’s been fun.
And were we the only owner of this exquisite rarity to whisper You’re All That I Want, You’re All That I Need shortly fater handing over well in excess of £150 to a wide-eyed record shop employee…