This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of KISS‘ debut album: KISS. The band is celebrating the occasion in myriad ways, one of which is by releasing the 40-track compilation KISS 40. This set includes one track from every major album release (i.e., studio, Alive and compilations), as well as three live selections from the 2000-era and an unreleased demo from 1977.
What I Like
I love that this collection has 40 tracks and that there’s one from each album. This great concept is one many hardcore KISS fans would like to see the band apply to its live setlist (i.e., a 20-song set with one track from each of the band’s 20 studio albums).
The audio quality of the tracks is superb. While I don’t believe anything has been newly remastered, all of the tracks are crisp and clear.
While there’s only one unreleased studio track on the album, I’m glad the 2000-era live tracks are on here. Three of them are from soundboard recordings during tours with the current lineup (i.e., Rock The Nation, Alive 35 and Sonic Boom Over Europe). We’ve all heard the studio recordings of these songs a million times, so having commercially unreleased live versions helps freshen them up.
What I Don’t Like
My only gripe with KISS 40 is some of the songs included on the album are questionable. Is “Down On Your Knees” really the best song off Killers? Of course not. Many fans, including myself, would argue that “Nowhere To Run” blows it away. How about “Hold Me, Touch Me” from Paul’s solo album? It’s a great song but should it be on here instead of “Tonight You Belong To Me”? And why is Paul’s demo of “God Of Thunder” on here instead of the iconic version by Gene? Also, because KISS 40 adheres to the one-track-per-album rule, certain KISS classics aren’t included, such as “Calling Dr. Love,” “Black Diamond” and “Sure Know Something,” just to name a few. That’s the problem with collections like KISS 40, you could endlessly debate what should or shouldn’t be on it.
Track selection aside, KISS 40 is the best two-disc KISS compilation available. It comprehensively chronicles KISS’ amazing career, while paying tribute to all band members and albums – something the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame failed to do, but I digress. Whether you’re looking for a great sampling of KISS’ music or you simply want to celebrate this iconic band’s 40th anniversary, KISS 40 is a worthy addition to your music collection.
1. Nothin To Lose
2. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
3. C’mon and Love Me
4. Rock And Roll All Nite (Live)
5. God Of Thunder (Demo)
7. Hard Luck Woman
8. Reputation (Demo) – PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
9. Christine Sixteen
10. Shout It Out Loud (Live)
11. Strutter ‘78
12. You Matter To Me (Peter Criss)
13. Radioactive (Gene Simmons)
14. New York Groove (Ace Frehley)
15. Hold Me, Touch Me (Paul Stanley)
16. I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Single Edit)
18. A World Without Heroes
19. I Love It Loud
20. Down On Your Knees
21. Lick It Up
22. Heaven’s On Fire
1. Tears Are Falling
2. Reason To Live
3. Let’s Put The X In Sex
4. Forever (Remix)
5. God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II
6. Unholy (Live)
7. Do You Love Me? (MTV Unplugged)
8. Room Service (Live)
9. Jungle (Radio Edit)
10. Psycho Circus
11. Nothing Can Keep Me From You
12. Detroit Rock City (Live)
13. Deuce (Live 2004) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
14. Firehouse (Live – 1999/2000)
15. Modern Day Delilah
16. Cold Gin (Live 2009) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
17. Crazy Crazy Nights (Live 2010) – UNRELEASED COMMERCIALLY
18. Hell or Hallelujah