Saturday, December 19, 2020

"Reason to Live" by Kiss

Song#:  3352
Date:  12/05/1987
Debut:  98
Peak:  64
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's fourteenth studio album, Crazy Nights, would end up being their best performing of the decade reaching #18 and going platinum. The effort focused on a more mainstream sound with Ron Nevison, who produced Heart's 1985 comeback LP, helping the band along. While the title track first single wasn't a significant hit (#65 Pop/#37 Rock), the associated video proved popular on MTV and helped to sell albums and tour tickets. In addition to having Nevison on board as producer, the band also reached out to hit-making songwriters to assist in shaping their songs. Diane Warren would co-write a track while Desmond Child, who had previously worked with Kiss, helped out on three songs including this second single. It would perform nearly the same as the previous single topping out at #64 Pop and #34 Rock, but once again the video proved to be a hit on MTV. A third single, the Diane Warren co-write "Turn on the Night," wouldn't chart. While critics were mostly negative towards the album, Kiss fans showed up and made it a platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  Nevison and the band were shooting for a "These Dreams" kind of hit with this power ballad and they got fairly close. I'm not sure if it was Top 10 worthy, but it should have at least cracked the Top 40. My guess is that pop radio stations were not that willing to put a Kiss song in rotation even though this track leaned heavily towards Heart/Bon Jovi territory. The band's reputation for hard rock songs and stage theatrics were never really in-step with the pop world, so it was going to be a hard sell to get them accepted on mainstream radio stations. Whatever promotion the label did, it just wasn't enough and the song stalled the same way the title track did. Neither could get over that hump. While I wasn't a fan of the title track, I thought this was a good attempt by the band to keep up with current trends. It just didn't work out as well as it should have.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The last track on the Crazy Nights album was "Thief in the Night." It was written by Kiss member Gene Simmons along with Mitch Weissman. The song was originally recorded by punk rock/heavy metal singer Wendy O. Williams for her 1984 solo debut album WOW. Williams had led the controversial punk band The Plasmatics since 1978. In 1982, the band opened up for Kiss on some of their tour stops. Afterward, The Plasmatics went on a hiatus due to label issues, so Williams chose to do a solo album and secured Simmons for producer. Simmons would co-write five tracks for the LP and got members of Kiss to play on it as well. The album wasn't a big seller, but it got enough attention to earn Williams a Grammy nod for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. "Thief in the Night" was first recorded for the LP. Kiss then decided to cover the track for their Crazy Nights album. The lead single from the WOW album was "It's My Life." The tune was co-written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and first demoed by Kiss as a potential track for their 1982 album Creatures of the Night. The song didn't get a formal recording and was set aside. Simmons then revived it for Williams' album. Kiss would re-record the song for their 1998 album Psycho Circus, but once again it got shelved. The unreleased song would finally see the light of day on the 2001 Kiss compilation collection The Box Set.


No comments:

Post a Comment