Friday, May 16, 2014

"A World Without Heroes" by Kiss

Song#:  0848
Date:  12/12/1981
Debut:  92
Peak:  56
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  It will happen. A successful artist will take a "new direction" (typically after a career decline) and will usually hit bottom. Kiss reached that point when they recorded the concept album "Music from 'The Elder'," a botched attempt to create a "Wall"-type rock piece with a storyline. Guided by the co-producer of Pink Floyd's "The Wall," Bob Ezrin, the recording of the album was shrouded in secrecy. Upon release, the LP was a failure peaking at a lowly #75 and not even going gold - their first album to not be certified. It didn't help that the story was a bit incomprehensible and dialog that was to move the story along was cut from the album. Plus, the track order was moved around to put focus on the singles to be released, which then made the storyline almost impossible to follow. The group was also splintered with Ace Frehley not liking the new direction (but outvoted by the others) and recording his parts separately, submitting via mail. This eventually led to his departure the following year. The reception to the album was so bad that a planned tour in support was cancelled. It was obvious that Kiss had to regroup and focus, or just die off. Luckily, they did come back and rebuilt their dynasty. But before that, this single from "The Elder" album got near the top half of the chart, but didn't really help to promote any sales of the LP.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure what to make of this. On it's own, the song is not bad. I don't think it is really single-worthy, but it is interesting. However, knowing this came from Kiss just makes it very strange. In a way it kind of sounds like Pink Floyd meets Alan Parsons. I don't know what the guys were thinking here. Were the looking for more artistic cred or something? Whatever the motivation, it just didn't work - and they found this out very quick. However, it did make a pretty good Cher track (see below).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Original group member Peter Criss had left the band the year before. Kiss then hired Paul Caravello to replace him. Caravello chose the stage name Eric Carr and he remained with the group until his death from a heart cancer in 1991 (oddly, the exact same day as when Queen's Freddie Mercury died). This album was his first with the group.  2) This song was covered by Cher for her 1991 album "Love Hurts." Cher and Kiss band member Gene Simmons dated for a while in 1980.


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