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KISS: OK, I admit it

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Flatwound, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    The first Kiss album I bought was Alive. That was in maybe '75-76, right around the time I graduated from high school. Then I got Dressed to Kill. I'm still impressed by these albums and the musicianship of these guys. I was also listening to Led Zeppelin, Edgar Winter, and Jimi Hendrix in those days, but the tightness of the Kiss albums was really impressive, along with the fact that they could pull off those vocal harmonies live.

    Paul Stanley is an amazing vocalist. I sing lead and backup myself, but there's no way I could make it through the night screaming and hollering at the audience the way he does. In fact, the pitch control that he and Gene Simmons exhibit still amazes me. Live albums are often filled with flat notes, but not too much from these guys.

    I admit that some of Gene's bass lines are somewhat uninspired and/or cheezy, but some of them are great, IMO. "Love Her All I Can" is a standout for me. "Cold Gin," particularly the Alive version is pretty awesome as well.

    Gene's bass is also mixed up front in most of the stuff, so you can actually hear what he's doing. I've heard that Ace played the bass on some of the albums, and while I don't know if that's true or not, Gene still had to pull it off live. I learned a lot from the bass lines on those early albums.
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Some comments on your post:

    - I guess you've seen/heard this? It's one of my all-time favorite performances from Gene. :cool:

    - The studio version of "Cold Gin" is another terrific bassline. Specially the part accompanying the main riff, which has a fascinating hypnotic quality to me. Contrary to you, I like it better than the "Alive!" version.

    - Ace was the studio bassist for most of his songs: "Parasite", "Rocket Ride", "2000 Man" (not his song, but it was his idea to cover it), "Hard Times", "Save Your Love", "Talk To Me ", "Two Sides Of The Coin" and "Torpedo Girl".

    The guys from Kiss may not be virtuoso musicians, but creativity is what really matters in the end to be successful. And they have lots of it!
  3. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    Wasn't alot of the first Alive album re-recorded in the studio? I've heard that. Saw that on a documentary. Don't mean to be a troll here, but re-recording would account for the lack of flat notes and mistakes found on some live albums.
  4. I think that was alive2 that has overdubs.
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    The biggest doctoring made to the live portion of "Alive II" was recording "Hard Luck Woman" and "Tomorrow And Tonight" live in the studio with added crowd noise. The rest of sides A, B and C was recorded at the Los Angeles Forum with the exception of "Beth" and "I Want You", which were culled from a show at the Budokan Hall some months earlier.
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No Alive 1 is a sham as well, that crushed me, but makes a lot of sense.

    The pyro was too loud and would clip the mics amongst other things, Alive is not a live record by common standards, it is a mostly live record. It does what it needed to do though, capture the energy of Kiss live. There is a big difference between Kiss on record and Kiss in person.

    I am a huge Kiss fan, but Gene really ruined Kiss for me with his pompous attitude and rampant greed. I like him in the band setting, but he is a piece of spit in real life. I believe in Kissology 4 he goes off saying how Ace and Peter ruined Kiss with their addictions, at no point does he mention his own addiction to money (or sex) and how that is the real reason he wanted Kiss by himself.
  8. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    They may not be the best rock musicians... but they have certainly "influenced' some of the best rock musicians. Not many can claim that. BTW I did see thr Roc Doc where Gene stated that the live records were over dubbed later in the studio. So you got the live audience response to a wild show but with studio a performance.
  9. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    I learned how to play bass off the first 4 Kiss records. Alive has overdubs, but mostly some vocal fixes. I've seen them live 7 or 8 times, and I don't think there are many acts that could have touched them as far as how well they pulled off studio versions live. Gene has always amazed me the stuff he plays and sings at the same time.
    One of my favorite aspects of Kiss is that they readily admit they are not virtuosos...on the contrary, they say they were 4 lucky and determined slobs from NY with amazing dedication and work ethics.
  10. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    BTW...Kiss got me started, but very soon after that I discovered and was influenced by more diverse music. I was even recently told by a drummer I was subbing for that my playing reminded him of Rocco Prestia...pretty far from Kiss if I do say so myself!
    Thanks, tooting my own horn is over now. ;)
  11. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    I've always thought Simmons was an adequate bassist for the type of music kiss played. Back on the first album, songs like strutter and Firehouse change flavor if you change those bass lines. I don't think he overplayed or underplayed the style, or the band. He was just right.
  12. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Regarding overdubs: there are also some good live videos on YouTube that appear to be really live - that is, not overdubbed. While the playing and singing isn't as "perfect" as it is on Alive, it's still pretty good.
  13. Random thoughts Re; KISS-
    - I can take them or leave them.
    -Although i did see them a bunch of times during the Kulick/Carr years, and those were some killer concerts. RIP Eric Carr...
    - I actually learned walking bass lines from KISS records...
    - And i just scored a Cort GS2 Punisher Bass which i really like!

    Just my two cents...
  14. I'm a fan.
  15. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    A couple years ago I went through a big KISS phase. Then, I went through a snobby anti-KISS phase thinking that they were corny, not great players, etc. I got over myself and now I'm back to being a fan. They don't claim to be great players. That's not the point. It's the energy and the songs. The first KISS record is one of my favorite hard rock albums ever. I love all the vocal harmonies.
  16. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I still like the little lick he had for "Detroit Rock City." The tone there's pretty nice too.

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