It’s been forty years since the flamboyant four-piece released their self-titled debut and follow up Hotter Than Hell, so New York rockers Kiss have decided to celebrate that fact with a behemoth of music. Kiss 40 is a two-CD compilation album spanning Kiss’ entire back catalogue and more. It features one track from every major album along with a host of live cuts, as well as an unreleased demo from 1977, totaling a grand number of, you guessed it…forty tracks.
Kiss are a band to rarely do things by half and Kiss 40 is definitely no exception. They have thrown years of music at this, indulging the fans as much as one band possibly can. The album contains studio versions of the classics you’d expect, such as I Was Made For Lovin’ You Baby, Nothin’ To Lose, Lick It Up and C’mon and Love Me. It’s a reminder of Kiss at some of their loudest and possibly most defining moments. Thrown into the mix are a number of live renditions of other previous hits. Shout It Out Loud, Rock and Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City and Cold Gin take us out of the studio and into stadium territory. The band are on form and the recordings are clean. If this wasn’t enough, a previously unheard live version of Crazy Crazy Nights is included and a treat to behold, and one for the real Kiss-nuts – a never before released demo of Reputation is a sign of Kiss giving us a peek into their past. It’s tight, well produced and not at all your typical demo level of production.
The album is, if you get the picture, a Kiss marathon. From start to finish we are thrown through the stages of their long-spanning career, turning corners we haven’t travelled down before. If you aren’t particularly a fan, it will of course be a little overbearing. Perhaps even if you don’t mind the odd bit of Kiss, it still could eventually feel a little like you’ve been dragged through forty years of relentless glam meets hard rock. And you have – It’s full on. Kiss 40 is really aimed at those die-harders, and to them the album will surely leave them wanting to Rock and Roll All Nite, and…you get the twist.