Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1996 – Part 3.3: Kiss – Unplugged

I wasn’t sure I needed a Kiss “Unplugged” album but after pressing play, I became a fan of it instantly. The songs they selected worked so well in an acoustic setting.

For a band that was trying to find a way to fit into the mixed up 90’s, the “Unplugged” setting was perfect for them.

Apart from Stanley, Simmons, Kulick and Singer, they are also joined by Ace Frehley and Peter Criss for a handful of songs. In Australia it went to Number 4 on the charts. Argentina and the U.S certified the album Gold.

Comin’ Home

I wasn’t a fan of the distorted version that appeared on the album “Hotter Than Hell”, but goddamn I really like this acoustic version. By far the best song on the album and my go to version for this song.

Plaster Caster

I think this is the weakest one.

Goin Blind

Acoustically, it sounds like a progressive rock song from ELP, something which seems to be lost with the studio cut.

Do You Love Me?

A good song works in any format.

Domino

This song works so good in acoustic format, as it brings out its sleazy swampy Delta blues influence.

And how good is Bruce Kulick.

Sure Know Something

One of my favourite Kiss songs. Hated by American fans and loved by the Australian disco rockers.

A World Without Heroes

A perfect song for the “Unplugged” format. Paul Stanley is an excellent rhythm guitarist and Bruce Kulick shines here with the leads.

Rock Bottom

I didn’t think this would translate well, but it did.

See You Tonight

It’s like the Beatles walked into the building.

I Still Love You

This song is a masterpiece in hard rock balladry. The acoustic arpeggio riff which makes up the Intro and Verse is haunting and it sets the tone of the song.

Stanley delivers a killer vocal but the unsung hero is still Bruce Kulick. And check out Eric Singer, as he pounds those drums like the track is electric.

Every Time I Look At You

I’m not a fan of the studio cut, but it really works here and I like the way the guitar lead break sounds. And Stanley is a crooner, he loves doing vocals like this.

2,000 Man

Some members of the family are back, in Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. And I’ve always seen this Rolling Stones track as a punk rock song.

Beth

The big hit. I prefer it as an acoustic guitar led cut, instead of a piano led cut and this version rocks, even though the song is a ballad.

Nothin’ To Lose

It sounds like a Motown cut in this format.

Rock ‘N’ Roll All Nite

It’s a campfire song and a perfect closer, sing-a-long to end the night.

The “REVENGE” band sounds great and this show along with the “Kiss III” release serves as a great testament to their abilities.

But the magazines I purchased at the time, hated it and didn’t write kindly about it. But good rock and roll was never meant to be the critics’ darling.

Here are some reviews that I agree with.

And if you want to check out the views of 2Loud2OldMusic, who gave it an easy 5.0 out of 5.0, then click here.

Or from Mr Mike Ladano who also gave it 5/5 stars, click here.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Dokken – One Live Night

What do you do when you want to do an “unplugged” album but MTV doesn’t care for you?

In Dokken’s case, it’s simple.

Do a few unplugged shows, record em and release it. Now this CD was originally released for the Japanese market. It was successful there and it got an international release in 1995.

My CD version is a double and it was released in 1999 in Australia with the album “Shadowlife” attached to it.

But this review will be solely for the “One Live Night” album. “Shadowlife” is up next.

In the CD booklet, you open it up and see the cover to the Shadowlife album and lyrics to the live Album. It’s bizarre to say the least and I already had the “Shadowlife” album purchased separately.

Now it’s not all unplugged as Lynch does plug in for his solos.

Into the Fire

No one in the audience had any idea that the opening song was “Into The Fire” based on the opening strummed chords.

But when the arpeggios started, it was recognizable and the audience was on board.

I wasn’t sold on the plugged in lead break. I wanted Lynch to recreate a lead suitable for an unplugged setting.

“Who would have thought?”, said Don Dokken at the end of the song.

Yes, who would have thought.

Unchain The Night

Great song all round.

The Intro is excellent and I like the sinister acoustic verse riff.

But…

The electric leads over the verse riff detract instead of enhancing.

How powerful does the Chorus sound in this setting?

And the outro.

They are strumming Em to D to C and back to D and the vocal melody is hooky. The electric guitar comes in for the outro lead and it works. It’s restrained, but I still would have preferred an acoustic lead.

The Maze

Don introduces this song as one that Mr John Kalodner selected. For those that don’t know, Kalodner knew how to spot a hit.

But the 90s era was a different beast to the 80s era and a hit was harder to find especially when every promotion avenue ignored bands like Dokken.

Nothing Left To Say

Like the album version and Lynch delivers an acoustic lead like the album.

Perfect.

From The Beginning

The ELP cover works well here.

Tooth And Nail

They’ve rearranged it into a blues rock tune, almost Bad Company like with Wild Mick Brown on vocals who sounds like Jon Oliva from Savatage.

And it works.

But… why the lyric lead. An acoustic lead would have served this rendition well.

Just Got Lucky

You get to hear how poppy the Chorus vocal melody is in this setting.

I Will Remember

An instrumental from Lynch’s solo album “Sacred Groove”. It’s like a ballad with a lot of melodies and some super fast shred. A nice intermission.

Alone Again

How do you get the wall of electric sounds to sound so serene and haunting without losing the essence of the song?

They got it right on this one.

I like how the piano is the dominant instrument this time around. When you go unplugged, you need to be creative.

In My Dreams

This song works in any setting. The melodies are that anthemic it doesn’t matter if there distortion or acoustics.

Nowhere Man

I would have preferred a few Dokken cuts but everyone was trying to see if they could have a hit like Tesla and “Signs”.

It’s Not Love

It’s got that blues rock 70s vibe in the Intro. And the crowd has no idea the song title.

Then someone (I think its Mick Brown) yells 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the riff starts.

A perfect closer.

And no songs from “Back For The Attack” are on it. I guess they have their reasons.

This is the sound of Dokken fighting tooth and nail to stay alive in a hostile market place.

Crank it.

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