KISS has blessed us with some of the greatest hard rock songs of all time and as fans, we cherish them and hold them at the highest regard. That being said, KISS fans are a fanbase divided. There are KISS fans that take everything that the band does and considers it gold and then there’s us other KISS fans who are the critical fans; the ones who are more willing to speak our honest opinions on the works of our masked gods.
My buddy James and I were talking about the extra tracks from all the various KISS albums and I thought it would be fun to compile my thoughts on these songs. There wasn’t a whole lot of them but it was pretty fucking fun to go through these songs and give them the ol’ Brainfart 1-2. How did YOUR favorite KISS extra track fair? Read on and let me know in the comments!
All American Man
When I was a kid, I pretty much ignored this whole side of Alive II but as I got older, I definitely came to appreciate it for what it was. This particular song is a fucking burner. So much attitude and this is definitely one of Paul’s great moments. I refuse to admit that the lead solo on this was done by Bob Kulick mainly because he’s so ugly and he put out such a shitty solo album this year. I will continue to pretend that it’s Ace. Besides that, this song kicks ass. Paul rocks the fuck out of this one.
Rockin in the USA
It’s always funny to me when the most badass looking member of KISS has some weak ass moments. This song is definitely one of them. Good lord what a lame fucking song. How did he even do this one with a straight face? Before the song was over I pretty much wanted to stab myself in the face with a spork. They should’ve just called this one “Failin’ in the USA.” Ugh, be gone.
Larger Than Life
Ok, so from the fail of Rockin’ in the USA, here comes the Demon to redeem himself. It must’ve been feeding time for the demon because he was so full of fucking ‘tude and really belching this one out. The chorus is so fucking good but I have to say, that one lyric where Gene exclaims, “I’m larger than a life sized man” is pretty thought provoking. Just ponder on that one for a moment… just… ponder.
There is very little (if anything) that sucks about Ace Frehley’s KISS songs. I mean, even on the fucking Elder he had the best song (Dark Light). As silly and corny as it is, “Rocket Ride” is a fucking great song. Ace songs generally seem to the more fun, carefree, loose songs and I love that because Ace doesn’t try to be anyone but Ace. His voice is so oddly awesome but again, because he doesn’t try. This is a great, fun song that I never get tired of hearing.
Any Way You Want It
Man, talk about your filler. A Dave Clark Five song? Really? It’s like, they LITERALLY just needed to fill up a few minutes so they went to the lounge, learned it, and played it once. This is just fucking terrible. I mean, the original was bad enough but what a downer way to close out an album. Dishwater. Just horrible and lame.
What was the point of this? I’m sure KISS fans all over the world think the same thing. They added an extra “blickum” in the intro and then they took the mix and muddied it up so bad that it sounds weak and flat. What made the original version so good was the fact that it was so raw and so full of attitude. This version just sounds kind of fluffy and lifeless. What an absolute waste of time to do this.
I’m a Legend Tonight
Ya know, at first I wanted to like this song as it kind of reminded me of something from Asylum or something but the more the song went on and those horrible lyrics kept coming from the speakers, I hated it more and more. I mean, these are some seriously shitty lyrics even by KISS standards. Musically it had some promise to it but man, these lyrics. Just so bad.
Down on Your Knees
I definitely had an LOL about this one remembering that Bryan Adams co-wrote this one. I love the signature Paul “oh yeah, awlright!” at the intro. Musically it kicks off sounding pretty fun but the more this song goes on it just sounds uber lame. Honestly, it’s not downright horrible but this is like Asylum level lameness. It’s just kind of fluffy and, well, just there. It’s not suck but it’s so not good. It’s like the kind of song that if they played it live you’d go take a piss or grab a beer or something or just hang out and act like you knew the lyrics when you really didn’t because the song is so lame you keep skipping it.
Nowhere to Run
This song is pretty fucking bad ass. It actually reminds me a little bit of “Hide Your Heart” from Hot In The Shade. It’s got some great vocals from Paul and the hooks are downright infectious. Man, I really dig the fuck out of this song and I’m honestly surprised that it never made a proper 80’s KISS album. I still say this song would’ve sounded perfectly at home on Hot in the Shade and actually would have been one of the strongest songs on the album. Yeah, I dig this one… even that cheesy mellow breakdown after the solo. Good shit.
Partners in Crime
Wow. This song… not good. I mean, there are zero redeeming qualities to this song. Everything is just bad. The riff, the lyrics, even Paul’s vocals are just horrible on here. What makes it sad is that Paul really seems like he’s trying to sell this one but it’s just so bad. It’s like, I can’t even really type about it anymore because there’s nothing really else to say about it. Bad. Just bad.
SMASHES, THRASHES, & HITS
Let’s Put the X in Sex
That title alone is “LOL” and honestly, I want to hate this song so much. It’s ridiculous. “Let’s put the x in sex, love’s like a muscle and you make me wanna flex.” Really, Paul? Really? This dude made a career of writing songs like this. Anyways, this is one of those “Love to Hate” type songs. It’s a catchy fucking song and I do love the production but man, this song is just bad. It’s not a song I would ever go out of my way to listen to but if it’s playing, I won’t skip it but I’ll just sit there and make fun of it.
You Make Me Rock Hard
Ok, so lyrically this is a pretty shitty song but it’s a much better song than Let’s Put the X in Sex. It’s listenable and musically really sound but again, the lyrics are just horrible and it’s one of those things where even as a kid I can remember shaking my head: “tsk tsk tsk.” Again, the previous song, it’s not one that I would ever run to when I want to hear KISS but if it came on I wouldn’t be running for the skip button or anything. It’s horribly forgetful and forgetfully horrible all at once.
Beth (Eric Carr vocal)