Saturday, February 26, 2022

"Let's Put the X in Sex" by Kiss

Song#:  3764
Date:  01/14/1989
Debut:  97
Peak:  97
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Hard Rock, Glam Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's 1987 album Crazy Nights got to #18 and returned them to platinum status. It got a boost from a pair of Rock Top 40 tracks that were also minor entries on the Pop chart. The LP saw less contributions from original member Gene Simmons, who at the time was starting to manage and produce other artists. That and some other internal issues had the band a little at odds. They needed to regroup and focus their efforts as a full unit for their next LP, but before that was to happen, it was decided that an interim compilation would be released to keep fans busy. Smashes, Thrashes & Hits would combine some of the band's best known songs along with two brand new tracks that could be used to promote the LP. "Let's Put the X in Sex" was one of the new recordings and it was issued out as the first single. It did little to help the LP with the song missing the Rock chart and only becoming a minor two-week blip at the bottom of the Pop chart. Still, a hits compilation with new tunes was catnip for fans and within a couple of months the LP would peak at #21 and go platinum. Seven years later, it would turn double platinum.

ReduxReview:  And yet another horny rocker from Kiss. Written by Paul Stanley and his sometimes collaborator Desmond Child, the tune is not all that different from what they had been slingin' out on their previous few albums. Kiss were known for their cheeky songs about sex. Sometimes they would be sly about it, other times more overt and even humorous. It worked well for tracks like "Love Gun," but fourteen years into their career, the joke was becoming stale. Clever innuendo was getting replaced with the humor of a teenager. Meanwhile, contemporaries like Aerosmith were hitting new highs with far better material while newer stars like Bon Jovi were leaving them in the dust. Kiss was always going to have a big, loyal following no matter what they did, but songs like this one were not going to expand their audience.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Although most hits compilations will include the original recordings, some artists opt to include updated versions of the tracks. Kiss chose to do that with the majority of the song on Smashes, Trashes & Hits. The compilation gave them a chance to remix some songs and even update/replace certain parts. While most of these changes may only be apparent to diehard fans and audiophiles, the band made one change that was significant. Kiss' biggest hit, "Beth" (#7, 1976), was originally co-written and sung by the band's drummer Peter Criss. Criss would leave (or was fired from) the band in 1980. His replacement would be Eric Carr. Instead of putting the original version of "Beth" on the compilation with former member Criss singing, it was decided that the song would be redone with Carr doing the vocals. The basic track from the original record was used with Carr singing a new vocal and adding some drum overdubs.


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