Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Heaven's on Fire" by Kiss

Song#:  2084
Date:  10/13/1984
Debut:  81
Peak:  49
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  With their album sales dwindling in the early 80s, Kiss decided to bring attention to themselves and their latest album (Lick It Up) by shedding their makeup and associated personalities. The ploy, which was highly covered on MTV, worked well with the album getting the band back to platinum status along with the title-track single hitting the charts (#19 Rock/#66 Pop). Now they had to follow it up, but this time without having some kind of gimmick to generate interest. With MTV still firmly on their side, the band chose to move in an even more commercial direction and came out with Animalize. This first single, co-written by Paul Stanley and up-n-coming songwriter/producer Desmond Child, set the tone and it became their biggest hit in years going to #11 at Rock and nearly cracking the Pop Top 40. The song would propel the album to #19 and it would eventually reach platinum status.

ReduxReview:  I remember this song quite well. It was a big hit at the skating rink where I was a DJ for a couple years. It was pretty much required that I play this at each session. The kids just loved it. The rink owners were a bit on the Christian conservative side and at one point they told us to quit playing the song because it could be construed as devil-related and they were not a fan of the song's title. However, the regular crowd complained so much to them about not playing the song that they relented and allowed it back in the rotation. After playing the song so much, I got hooked on it too. The tune rocks and has a hooky chorus that is hard to deny. Kiss' track record through the 80s was spotty, but when it clicked, like this song, it worked out very well for them.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Around this time, Kiss member Gene Simmons was also busy with other ventures including breaking into acting. His first major screen role came in 1984 when he was cast as the bad guy in the futuristic action film Runaway, starring Tom Selleck and Cynthia Rhodes. The film was written and directed by best-selling author Michael Crichton. The film was not a hit, but it did help Simmons get a few other roles including in the 1986 horror flick Trick or Treat and on an episode of Miami Vice. He would do other acting work, but for the majority of his appearances, he usually just appeared as himself.


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