Great Metal Albums of 1985: KISS- Asylum


KISS’s 1985 “Asylum” album is one album I refuse to buy. Oh, I’ve listened to the album, not long after it came out, a friend of mine had it on cassette and asked to put it in the car stereo and we listened to it then. Nor is it because I find anything wrong with the album. This could have been their best album from the non-makeup 80s years. No, there’s a different reason as to why I refuse to buy this album. That reason is that I was cheated out of a free copy of it.

In December 1985, a local club was giving free copies of “Asylum” to the first twenty-five people who went through the door. Therefore, I made sure I got to the club nice and early. Seeing the sparse club on my arrival, I inquired about the free album, there was definitely less than twenty-five people in the club when I went in. The doorman responded that they hadn’t started giving the albums out yet. When they did begin to give out copies to the later arrivals, they refused to give me one on the grounds that I arrived too soon. I was cheated out of a free copy and so I feel I shouldn’t have to buy what I should have had for free. Nowadays, I could probably sue. Back then, all the lawyer adverts were just starting to flood the TV ads so the idea didn’t enter my mind.

Now onto the album itself. My thoughts are that KISS tried to go back to their roots a little on “Asylum.” The track, “Anyway You Slice It,” does sound similar to 1970s KISS and I definitely detect more than a hint of the 1983 single, “Lick It Up,” on the track ” Trial by Fire.” One paradox is the third track, “Who Wants to Be Lonely.” There is a Led Zeppelin style intro but then the songs veers more towards their disco sounding “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” Actually, I still prefer “Who Wants to Be Lonely” to the disco song.

After the two fastest songs on the album, “I’m Alive” and “Love’s a Deadly Weapon,” the second half of the album gets better. It’s on these two songs where Bruce Kulick arrives with some great soloing. You have the two singles “Tears Are Falling” and “Uh! All Night.” The former received lots of play on MTV and it was that song that turned my attention to the album. In fact, it’s my favourite KISS single from this period. Plus, you get what looks like Paul pissing against the wall at the beginning of the video. I’ve always taken the latter of the singles with a bit of tongue in cheek amusement. Of course, you can’t forget my vote for hidden gem, which goes to “Secretly Cruel” though “Radar for Love” is a fairly close second. This song shows that when the band stops trying to be poseurs, they can play some serious metal. It, along with some of the other songs, cemented that after Vinnie Vincent and Mark St John, the band finally had a reliable lead guitarist in the form of Bruce. He really nails the intro and later the guitar solo on the hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. King of the Mountain
  2. Anyway You Slice It
  3. Who Wants to Be Lonely
  4. Trial By Fire
  5. I’m Alive
  6. Love is a Deadly Weapon
  7. Tears are Falling
  8. Secretly Cruel
  9. Radar for Love
  10. Uh! All Night



Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Bruce Kulick- lead guitar, backing vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Even though “Asylum” could be the best of the non-makeup 1980s albums, I still won’t buy it because I was cheated out of the free copy thirty-four years earlier. However, justice was mine in the end. Not long after, that club was busted for serving minors and had to start carding. It closed six months later.

Next post: Lee Aaron- Call of the Wild

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14 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: KISS- Asylum”

  1. They should have give that. Weird system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man, I wouldn’t have bought it either. You should send the story to Bruce because I bet he would send you a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very important album to me personally. And I was glad the rotating guitarists was over!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That move that the club did was not cool.
    Asylum is a good record but that last track is goofy. The music I have always liked but those lyrics have got to go!
    I need to acquire this on vinyl at some point. A few months back I did with Animalize and have enjoyed listening to it again especially when I’m in the mood for big dumbo rock like the Simmons tunes that are on it.
    Cool post-Sir!
    Look forward​ to the Metal Queen!

    Liked by 1 person

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