All posts tagged: Peter Criss

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Kiss Go Through Hell For “Hotter Than Hell”

It is nearly impossible to imagine a world without Kiss at this point. Whether you are a full-on soldier in the Kiss Army or you can’t stand them at all, you are always made aware that they exist even now. Gene Simmons’ combination of business savvy and brazen brand-whoring assures that. In October of 1974, however, things were much more tentative. A small group of fans had gravitated to that weird first album of theirs, more than a passing nod to one of Simmons’ idols The Beatles. The demonic kabuki makeup and glitter-bomb logo told a different story. Even in the rough ‘n ready world of hard rock in the early 1970s, the eponymous debut rougher, which is a polite way of saying it was recorded on the relative cheap and sounded that way. Even with the benefit of a little more money and a better recording studio, 1974’s Hotter Than Hell still wasn’t going to become an audiophile’s demo disc for their “killer stereo setup.” The material that would comprise Hotter Than Hell would …

Soul Serenade: Bobby Lewis, “Tossin’ and Turnin'”

This week I bring you another one of those classic soul songs that I just couldn’t stop listening to back in the day. I played the 45 over and over at home, and when I was in a place that had a jukebox, the song demanded my spare change like a homeless man outside an Acoustic ’80s gig in the Village. The single was so infectious that I just had to hear more, resulting in one of my very first album purchases. It’s one of those albums that I managed to lose over the years, but that’s it, over there on the left. “Tossin’ and Turnin’” was no minor hit. The Bobby Lewis single, released on Beltone Records, made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 10, 1961, and remained ensconced there for seven consecutive weeks. It was Billboard’s #1 single of the year, and in 2008, Billboard named “Tossin’ and Turnin’” the 27th biggest song of all time. The song has been covered a number of times, most notably by Steve …

CD Review: Kiss, “Sonic Boom”

Any good label manager would tell you: don’t name your album something a reviewer could turn into a catchy, snarky counterpoint. But as we know far too well, most of the labels are hanging by a thread, the management inside reduced to bean counters versus quality controllers and, heck, if Hollywood keeps naming their movies in blindly self-insulting ways, why can’t the record industry follow suit? Besides, we’re talking about Kiss here, who have built an iron-clad and insular fanbase that views such flaunting of common sense as an act of rebellion. Who cares if the new album Sonic Boom, the first since 1998’s Psycho Circus, opens itself up to opening paragraphs such as this, begging the question, “Boom or Bust?” What really matters is if the band has spent the decade-long downtime productively or not, and luckily for you, the Popdose staff has gone through the work of sussing it out so you don’t have to. Strap on your steel dragon-face boots, smear on your kabuki greasepaint and shake off your love gun. It’s …