Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Crazy, Crazy Nights" by Kiss

Song#:  3272
Date:  09/26/1987
Debut:  94
Peak:  65
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Kiss' track record in the 80s was a bit up and down. They had personnel changes, went "unmasked," changed up their sound, and did a concept album. Despite not securing a major hit on the Pop chart (and only three Rock Top 20s), the band remained popular enough to still get all of their albums, except for one, to go gold or platinum. Their 1985 LP, Asylum, would get to #20 and go gold, but it did little to expand their core audience. For their next effort, Crazy Nights, the band decided to take a detour into slick modern 80s radio-ready rock. The heavier guitar-driven sound of their glam rock was reshaped with keyboards and synths courtesy of producer Ron Nevison (who successfully guided Heart into the 80s). This first single was issued out and it got to #37 at Rock while missing the top half of the Pop chart. Regardless of those results, the associated video did well on MTV and people bought the album. It would get to #18, which would end up being the band's highest peaking LP of the 80s. It would also become their eighth studio album to go platinum.

ReduxReview:  While this track wasn't awash in big keyboard sounds, it also wasn't the heavier, glam rock sound of the Kiss of yore. With bands like Heart, Bon Jovi, and even Poison burning up the charts with accessible mainstream rock, Kiss it seems didn't want to get left behind and attempted to make catchy, radio-ready tracks that would result in hits. It sort of worked. The band got lots of exposure on MTV, ended up with a hit overseas (see below), and got another platinum album, but critics and long-time fans were not happy with the walk down Mainstream St. Indeed, it just didn't sound right. Kiss wasn't meant to sound, well, pop-ish. We already had a Survivor, why did we need another? I thought some of their previous arena rock tracks like "Tears Are Falling" were doing well at keeping Kiss current while still maintaining some of their hard rock cred. But tracks like this single were blatant stabs at getting hits. Worse yet were keyboard-driven tracks like "My Way" and "Turn on the Night," which was a co-write with pop hit songwriter Diane Warren. The tunes sounded like desperate hail Mary passes from a band that was losing their relevancy.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  While the band was still striking out on hit singles in the US, this song became a hit in other countries. Particularly in the UK where it reached #4 and received a silver certification for sales. It would end up being Kiss' highest charting single in the UK. The album would also be their best effort there reaching #7. The song was also a Top 10 hit in other countries like Norway and Ireland.


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