Monday, October 25, 2010

Today In KISStory - 1982

The album 'Creatures of the Night' is released in the US. Guitarist Ace Frehley decides to leave the band to pursue a solo career. Frehley is replaced by Vinnie Vincent in time for the KISS 10th Anniversary Tour. Vincent is given the character of an Egyptian ankh.

The album represented a conscious effort on Kiss's part to return to the style of hard rock that had helped them achieve commercial success with Destroyer and Love Gun given that 1979's disco-inspired album Dynasty had started a sharp decline that bottomed out with and 1981's Music from the Elder. By 1982 Kiss knew it needed to deliver on their earlier 1980-81 promise of a heavy record, which they had failed to deliver, if they were to continue as a band.

The first key ingredient was songwriter/guitarist Vincent Cusano, with whom the band had recently begun writing and recording, and was soon to replace Ace Frehley as the band's new lead guitarist. Frehley didn't perform on Creatures even though his face (for contractual reasons) was still featured on the album cover; thus this was Vinnie Vincent's first album with the band. On the tour, Vincent was introduced with Ankh warrior makeup. (The band later re-released the album in their non-makeup era with a cover featuring Gene Simmons, Eric Carr, Paul Stanley, and their then current guitarist Bruce Kulick.)

Some of the earliest pressings of the album mistakenly contained one full side of John Cougar's American Fool. Both Kiss and Cougar were under the umbrella of Mercury Records at the time. Today, those mistake albums are highly sought after by Kiss collectors.

Creatures of the Night was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 9, 1994.

Kiss eventually incorporated "I Love It Loud", "Creatures of the Night", "I Still Love You", and "War Machine" into permanent rotation on their various tours, particularly during the tour for Revenge in 1992 out of which came Alive III.
Album cover

Three different covers of this album exist: the 1982 original issue, the 1985 reissue (featuring Bruce Kulick, who was not a member of the band for 'Creatures of the night' and the rest of the band without makeup), and the 1997 remastered version (same photo as the original, but with minor variations in the logo and lettering). However the differences do not end there. The ending of the song Creatures of the Night is more abrupt on the 1985 non-make up release and two songs are interchanged from side to side, Saint and Sinner and Killer.

There is also a bootlegged LP which shows up on ebay from time to time which states to be a Brazilian Promo version with Vinnie Vincent in makeup airbrushed over Ace Frehley. Initially this copy fetched upwards of several thousands dollars but it is nothing more than a common bootleg and people should be wary of spending outlandish amounts on it.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Creatures of the Night"   Paul Stanley, Adam Mitchell Paul Stanley 4:02
2. "Saint and Sinner"   Gene Simmons, Mikel Japp Gene Simmons 4:50
3. "Keep Me Comin'"   Stanley, Mitchell Stanley 3:55
4. "Rock and Roll Hell"   Simmons, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance Simmons 4:11
5. "Danger"   Stanley, Mitchell Stanley 3:54
6. "I Love It Loud"   Simmons, Vinnie Vincent Simmons 4:15
7. "I Still Love You"   Stanley, Vincent Stanley 6:06
8. "Killer"   Simmons, Vincent Simmons 3:19
9. "War Machine"   Simmons, Adams, Vallance Simmons 4:14