Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: KISS "The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982"

Wayne Parry, Associated Press

No act has been better at getting you to buy songs you already own in numerous formats than Kiss. With at least 18 greatest hits, compilation or box set albums on the market, here comes ye
t another one. Something in the neighbourhood of $145 will get you this latest box set, a re-release of 29 U.S. Kiss singles, each on 45 rpm vinyl records (remember those?)

Box sets have two main selling points: previously unavailable music, and way-cool packaging. Because these singles have all been out there for decades, this box set's appeal lies in its presentation. Weighing in at a hefty eight pounds, the set starts with the band's very first single, "Nothin' To Lose," with the flip side "Love Theme From Kiss" from way back in 1974. All but three of the singles come with decorative foreign sleeves with elaborate artwork, and, in the case of the Japanese sleeves, hilarious mistranslations of lyrics. A line from "C'mon And Love Me" morphs from, "The lights are out" to "Your lives are out." Even the misprints are faithfully preserved: Peter Criss' solo single "You Matter To Me" appears as "You Still Matter To Me" on the label.

Far and away the coolest are the singles from each of the band's solo albums, pressed in colored vinyl: red for Gene Simmons, purple for Paul Stanley, green for Criss and blue for Ace Frehley. Each of these four also comes with a cut-out Halloween-type mask of each member's face in Kiss makeup, a throwback to the days when Kiss albums came loaded with swag.

Die-hard Kiss fans will probably want to pick this up — provided they still have turntables.

More info at www.universalmusicenterprises.com/select/product

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