Archive for Gene Simmons

Great Metal Albums of 1987: KISS- Crazy Nights

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to most KISS fans and fanatics I know, “Crazy Nights” is not the best KISS album. In fact, many put it near the bottom when rating KISS albums. However, to the world, it was one of the highest charting albums KISS had made in a number of years charting in at least eleven countries and even hitting the number four spot in both the UK and Finland. So it begs the question, why was such a successful album not held in the same esteem by so many metalheads and KISS fans? The truth is out there.

One thought could be the fact that the first single “Crazy, Crazy Nights” went all the way to number four in the UK singles charts. While universally agreed by British metalheads that it’s not KISS’s greatest song, it was always great to see a metal song do well in the charts during a time it was dominated by bubble synth pop from the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman. We saw it as sticking it to the trendies. On a personal note, the lyrics of the song has always had meaning for me. In a world that had it in for heavy metal, it reminded us that metalheads were a force to be reckoned with and not to give a crap as to what the rest of the world thinks of us. I even quote the lyrics towards the end of “Rock and Roll Children.”

They try to tell us that we don’t belong

That’s all right, we’re millions strong

This is my music, it makes me proud

These are my people and this is my crowd.

Three singles were released from the album and “Crazy, Crazy Nights” is the only one of those which doesn’t have keyboards. When KISS went to record the album, they were looking for something which would bring them back to their glory days. They brought in producer Ron Nevison to help and he shaped the sound of the album. Another point of KISStory here is that Gene Simmons was off doing other things so his contributions on “Crazy Nights” were minimal. Bruce Kullick stepped in and got four song writing credits and Eric Carr had one. They also had assistance from outside writers such as Desmond Child.

As for the album itself, after the biggest charting single opens it, things continue for the next three tracks. Each of those tracks reminds me of the KISS I had grown up with over the years. “I Fight Hell to Hold You” is the hidden gem on the album as it’s hard and heavy. I can say the same for “Bang Bang You” even if the lyrics would be considered not woke these days. They do make reference to ancient times when Paul sings that he’s going to shoot his love gun.

Let me be blunt here, in my opinion and that’s just what it is, I think that Bruce is the star of this album. His shredding on the majority of the songs is what makes them. If not his shredding some of his opening riffs like “No, No, No” for example. “When Your Walls Come Down” is another great example of Bruce’s brilliance. The two tracks before it are okay but don’t make me want to get up and headbang away to them. “When the Walls Come Down” injects new life into the album and save it from descending into mediocrity. Furthermore, it’s his guitar solo on the single, “Reason to Live” that I would show any interest in it. Otherwise, it would have been just another power ballad.

Bruce Kullick

Talking about Gene, while he only writes on four of the eleven songs on the album, three of them are very good. One of them I already mentioned. He writes with Bruce on “No, No, No” and that’s probably why it’s good. Gene lets Bruce do his thing on that one. “Good Girl Gone Bad,” which reminds me of the single “Tears are Falling” from their previous album and the closer “Thief in the Night” are both strong tracks. The closer is definitely more old school KISS. So I can theorize here that while Paul was looking for commercial viability, Gene, when he was around, kept KISS truer to its more metal roots.

Track Listing:

  1. Crazy, Crazy Nights
  2. I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
  3. Bang, Bang You
  4. No, No, No
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. My Way
  7. When the Walls Come Down
  8. Reason to Live
  9. Good Girl Gone Bad
  10. Turn On the Night
  11. Thief in the Night
KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar

I’ll be blunt again, there are better KISS albums than “Crazy Nights” but I do like the fact that it and the singles stuck it to the trendies in 1987. My main takeaway from listening to it again after a long time is that Bruce Kullick needs more credit than what he’s actually given.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson