Posts Tagged ‘KISSology’

One of the things I decided at the end of 2006 was to buy more music DVDs in 2007. I bought somewhere between 25-30 DVDs this year and about half were from 2007. It didn’t matter if the DVD was a live concert, a documentary, or archival footage, I bought it and watched it! Some of these DVDs are multiple hours long so there were many late nights and many weeks spent watching a certain release critically. Unfortunately, I didn’t review as many DVDs as I did CDs but that’s something I’ll correct in 2008. Just like with new CDs, the money for new DVDs has to be spent wisely and the following list certainly gave a lot ov quality and value for the money spent. So here is my list of the Top 5 Music DVDs of 2007:

#1

KISSology 3 DVDKISSology Vol. 3 (1992-2000)

I know I’m a biased KISS fan but this release was by far my favorite of the year. Starting with a full concert from the Revenge Tour, to Unplugged, to the Reunion, and thru both the Psycho Circus and Farewell Tours…..KISS delivered a solid package for the second time this year. What makes this so special to me is the Reunion footage, it’s nice to re-live the era again and to feel the awe and excitement I did when I finally witnessed my dream of seeing the original KISS live. I watched 10.5 hours of solid concert footage over 5 DVDs (the bonus DVD was different depending on where you bought KISSology 3). If you add the other 2 copies I bought (from Wal-Mart & Best Buy) for the exclusive bonus DVDs, I spent another 2 hours in front of my TV watching my favorite band. Excellent value and decently priced ($25 at most retailers).

#2

KISSology 2 (2007)KISSology Vol.2 (1978-1991)

It may be a bit too much KISS for some people but KISSology Vol.2, released August 14th, is as solid as Vol.1 and Vol.3 with only one minor hiccup keeping it from the top spot: KISS in Attack Of The Phantoms movie. This is the Australian version that had better music but it could have been released separately giving way to more live concerts. Vol.2 has more clips than performances until Disc 3 but the clips are good to have for the KISS kollector that doesn’t frequent the trading circuit. This version could have a little more non-makeup/’80s era KISS for my taste but I think Gene & Paul are saving that for future volumes. Would have been nice to finally get the old VHS concert Animalize: Live Uncensored on U.S. DVD but I understand there are some legalities to straighten out. Nice to relive the Crazy Nights Tour ’88, that was my first KISS concert.

#3

AC/DC - Plug Me In front artworkAC/DC – Plug Me In

With AC/DC on the shelf about rleasing a long-awaited new studio album, the band decides to release an archive set of performances from both the Bon Scott & Brian Johnson eras. Brilliant! I bought the limited edition 3 DVD set and it was worth the extra $10. After watching over 7 hours of concert footage, I really want a new AC/DC record and tour. This set would have been #1 if KISS hadn’t released the KISSologys.

#4

Heaven & Hell - Live at Radio City DVD (2007)Heaven & Hell – Live At Radio City Music Hall 2007

The Dio-era of Black Sabbath is my favorite lineup and I was really into the reunion even if there had to be a name change. I caught the tour twice and was not disappointed, even the new songs came off well live. The best part of the concerts and DVD are the inclusion of songs from the DEHUMANIZER (1992) album: ‘I’, ‘Computer God’, ‘(After All) The Dead’. It’s an extremely underrated album and is usually forgotten around classics like HEAVEN & HELL and MOB RULES. Looking forward to the new album and tour planned for 2008.

#5

Saxon - To Hell And Back Again (2007) 2 DVD setSaxon – To Hell And Back Again

The bias is showing again because Saxon is in my Top 5 favorite bands. I enjoyed the documentary but I would have enjoyed a full show more. A small complaint because we don’t get to see Saxon here in the U.S. as much as the rest of the world does. It was cool to see Lemmy, Doro, Andi Deris, and Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo) makes guest appearances in concert. Good to hear the LIONHEART album performed live and it’s nice to have the videos from the album on a proper release rather than just found on YouTube.

KISSology 3 DVD

KISS – KISSology Vol. 3 1992-2000 (2007, VH-1 Classic)

DVD Tracklist: (I’m going to cheat here and post a picture of it. Click the picture to the right and then click on it a second time to zoom in.)KISSology 3 sales sheet

The bonus DVD inside is the one available at the majority of retailers: The KROQ Weenie Roast – 6/15/96 at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. (There are two other versions of the bonus DVD, one from Best Buy and the other from Wal-Mart.) The KROQ setlist is 58 minutes and includes:

  1. Deuce
  2. Love Gun
  3. Cold Gin
  4. Calling Dr. Love
  5. Firehouse
  6. Shock Me
  7. 100,000 Years
  8. Detroit Rock City
  9. Black Diamond
  10. Rock And Roll All Nite

Musicians:
Paul Stanley – Vocals & Guitars
Gene Simmons – Vocals & Bass
Ace Frehley – Vocals & Guitars
Peter Criss – Vocals & Drums
Bruce Kulick – Guitars
Eric Singer – Drums & Vocals

(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = 10 hours & 24 mins for 5 DVDs)

KISS official website
Paul Stanley official website
Gene Simmons official website
Peter Criss official website
Bruce Kulick official website
Eric Singer official website
VH1 Classic

I have a hard time reviewing KISS related products, that’s because I’m a diehard, card carrying member of the KISS Army. I own KISSology Vol.1 & Vol.2 but I decided not to review them because of my bias but, after watching all 10+ hours of Vol.3, I knew it was time for a review.

To many KISS collectors, most of the footage on KISSology 3 may be nothing new. Most of the shows have been readily available in trading circles for years. The notable exception being the 1973 show at The Coventry in New York City during the band’s formative years. Collector’s got a taste of that show as an “easter egg” on the previous KISSology Vol.1 but the whole show has never been released until now.

As with all things KISS, the package is top quality: full-color digi-book with slipcase, full color booklet with band member notes and pictures, bonus DVD, and top quality picture and sound. There is sound extras: 5.1 Surround, etc. but my favorite is the commentary as the programs run.

11/27/92 – The Palace Of Auburn Hills (Detroit, Michigan): This show was in support of REVENGE (1992) and features the band doing older songs that hadn’t been played in years (‘Watchin’ You, ‘Parasite’) alongside four new tracks. The band is really tight and is full of energy: Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley have a youthful exuberence on stage and Bruce Kulick & Eric Singer prove why they are considered some of the best in the business. The band is in your face, raw, and live…..putting the music first and then the show. There still is a show, check out the Statue Of Liberty behind the drum riser. This concert was recorded for part of the ALIVE III record in 1993 and parts of the video footage was released on a previous KISS VHS release, KISS Konfidential. Konfidential was released on DVD with another VHS tape, KISS Xtreme Close Up, but no additional footage of this concert was added in. I caught the Revenge Tour in Boston, MA (when the band did a round of club dates to break in Eric Singer) and in Worceter, MA at The Centrum months later.

MTV Unplugged (Behind The Scenes) & MTV Unplugged 8/9/95: Unplugged was released on Cassette, CD, VHS, & DVD in March of 1996 and the DVD quickly became out of print commanding large sums at online auctions. A lot of the footage from Behind The Scenes was included on a later KISS DVD release, THE SECOND COMING (1998), that celebrated the Reunion Tour. The only difference is that the commentary is by MTV/VH1 producer Alex Coletti instead of Matt Pinfield on The Second Coming. The actual concert includes some songs that were left off previous releases and only found on the raw bootleg that makes the rounds with collectors: ‘Hard Luck Woman’ with Paul on vocals, ‘Heaven’s On Fire’, ‘Spit’, ‘C’mon And Love Me’, and a Country version of ‘God Of Thunder’. This was the show KISS fans had waited years for: the reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

MTV dropped the ball on this show. It was filmed in August ’95, aired on Halloween that year, and was released March 12, 1996. I had already seen the 3 hour uncut video that I paid top dollar for through a KISS collectible dealer but I still waited in line outside Strawberries Records & Tapes to buy the official copies.

6/28/96 – Tiger Stadium (Detroit, Michigan): Opening night of the Reunion Tour. This is the show that the live ‘Shout It Out Loud’ video was recorded to promote GREATEST KISS (1997). Another widely traded show but never officially released, although clips were shown on THE SECOND COMING DVD. It’s nice to have a show on DVD from the Reunion Tour, I saw the tour in Boston, Worcester, Springfield (all in MA), and Providence, RI. Watching this, I still feel the excitement I felt in Boston for my first reunion show. Probably KISS at their best aside from their ’70s heyday.

9/4/96 – MTV VMA Performance at The Brooklyn Bridge (New York, NY): Only one song was televised on the MTV Video Music Awards but the band did give a short performance for the crowd that was lucky enough to attend. Highlist here is ‘New York Groove’.

10/31/98 – Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA) – Parts 1 & 2: Opening show of the Psycho Circus Tour and it was a special show that was broadcast over Westwood One Radio. I took the night off and listened to the show, I also taped it but it got lost somewhere along the way. I saw this tour in Boston, MA on the first two nights after the Halloween L.A. show and in Hartford, CT a couple weeks later, I had great seats each time and I thought the shows were really good. Notable performances from the L.A. show: ‘She’ & ‘Nothin’ To Lose’…..these two songs were pulled from the set after this concert.

8/9/99 – Detroit Rock City movie premiere party (Los Angeles, CA): I went to the movie opening night and left it feeling taken advantage of. The movie was not much better than KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM and the new KISS song, ‘Nothing Can Keep Me From You’, was pure sap. I would have rather seen this performance in the theater.

6/27/2000 – The Last KISS (Pay-Per-View), Continental Airlines Arena (East Rutherford, NJ): Filmed for a 90 minute pay-per-view special that aired 10/7/00. This is not the full show from that night but it is a good representation of the band on their Farewell Tour. Saw this tour multiple times as well and the highlight was the original band doing some of the ’80s tunes: ‘I Love It Loud’, ‘Lick It Up’, and ‘Heaven’s On Fire’. Only ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ appears on KISSology Vol. 3 and that’s too bad because I thought the band was better on the Farewell Tour than the Psycho Circus Tour and Peter & Ace did a solid job on the songs they didn’t record. A small complaint but I’m still glad to have it.

12/22/73 – The Coventry, (Queens, NY): The holy grail for KISS fans! There was a teaser as an “easter egg” on KISSology Vol.1 but having what seems to be the full show on DVD is worth the money. If memory serves, former manager Bill Aucoin had this footage in his personal archives and released it to Gene & Paul. Probably the earliest video recording to date of KISS live in concert. This is my favorite part of the video so far.

Bonus Disc :
6/15/96 – KROQ Weenie Roast, Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (Irvine, CA): This is the bonus DVD on the regular edition found at all retailers except Wal-Mart & Best Buy (they have their own bonus DVDs). This was the pre-tour tune-up show for the reunited KISS to see how the live show would translate to an audience. I’ve never seen the video of this show until now, I did buy an audio bootleg a month after the show but the sound quality was fair. Again, nice to finally get this professionally done.

Bottom Line:
If you like KISS, this is essential. If you’re a casual KISS fan, this is essential. If you aren’t a KISS fan…..well, that’s your problem! In one year, KISS has released KISSology Vol. 1 and Vol.2 DVD sets and they are top notch products, professionally done, and full of extras…..Vol.3 is no exception. The whole thing is a highlight, I can’t find one thing I don’t like. My favorite shows: Unplugged, Tiger Stadium, and The Coventry ’73 show. Price of admission is worth it just for the Coventry footage but that’s coming from a guy who worships at the platforms of KISS.

KISS has struck gold (and multi-platinum) with the KISSology series and I hope they continue releasing archival footage. Gene & Paul are smart business men and they know that releasing concerts on audio/video will be what sustains them when their touring days are over. I hope they put the same care and quality into possible future releases as they have with KISSology 1, 2, and now Vol.3.

****** KISSology Vol.3 (1992-2000) is to be released on Tuesday 12/18/2007. There are 3 different bonus DVDs available, Best Buy and Wal-Mart have different bonus discs than this general release.

From KISSonline.com:

KISSONLINE Q &A with Ken Gullic Sr. – VP for Fontana. Fontana distributes the KISSOLOGY DVD series. (Ken is pictured here with Gene)

Gene Simmons & Ken Gullic Sr.

KOL: Will there be three bonus discs, as there have been on the first two volumes?

KG: Yes! Three in total, on initial pressings only. 1) The KROQ Weenie Roast/Irvine, CA 6/15/96 (first reunion performance in make up) [58 minutes]; 2) Madison Square Garden/Reunion Tour 7/27/96 [1 hour, 42 minutes]; 3) Sao Paulo Brazil 8/27/94 (Revenge/Alive III tour with Sphinx stage) [1 hour, 34 minutes] Sao Paulo is my fave of the three actually. Intense performance, they look fresh… different and classic tunes. Though the Weenie Roast is a trip to see again. RETAILERS AND COMPLETE SET LISTS PER SHOW T.B.A.

KOL: Will there be any limited edition bonus goodies (like the back stage pass in Vol. 1, or the Phantom ticket in Vol. 2)?

KG: Yes, and no. The Coventry show (12/22/73) replaces any bonus goodies this time out, and will be available only on initial pressings, as well. There will be a cool full color booklet with comments again, of course.

KOL: Easter eggs?

KG: Yes, this may still be in play, but I believe there will be three of them. Besides the amazing/surprising coolness of the Carnival of Souls studio footage, one other that I know of will be a soundcheck song (w/o make up) before the Brooklyn Bridge/MTV awards taping. Not sure which song, but safe to assume it ain’t “The Oath” or “Always Near You/Nowhere to Hide”… sorry kids!

KOL: Don’t we already have THE PALACE ’92 performance on KISS KONFIDENTIAL?

KG: Nope. The footage on Konfidential, as cool as it may be, was a bit of a mash up between different shows, put to the Alive III audio only. I was lucky enough to see this footage in the editing studio w/Roger and Alex Coletti. It’s crystal clear, and I felt I had seen very little of it. It’s the pure Detroit audio/video… untouched/affected like Konfidential was. Though they did point out where a mic had cut out here and there, and other vox had to be flown in. It’s cool that “War Machine” made it, obviously. As well as “Parasite”.

KOL: Have we seen the Behind the Scenes for “Unplugged”?

KG: Very little of it. What I have seen so far was super cool stuff, mostly narrated by Alex Coletti (Kissology and Unplugged producer). It’s very cool that he is shedding some light on his experiences (especially since he is such a fan and was clearly living a dream)… there’s riveting stuff. Ace and Peter almost back out of Unplugged, at the last minute… so songs like “2,000 Man” are rehearsed w/o them on the actual Unplugged stage (If I remember correctly, Paul takes a crack at it!) and THE highlight for me was when Alex sneaks behind the piano during the 6 man rehearsal of “Nothin’ To Lose” (at SIR) and plays the piano part. Peter smiles from ear to ear when it happens. Awesome!

KOL: Don’t we have Dodger Stadium in bootleg circles?

KG: Nope… not this edit. This version is special because Alex and Roger and his crew unearthed the single camera feeds from each member and have constructed their own edit of the entire show. Conspiracy theorists unite, though, as Peter’s solo feed did not materialize… so the men (and women) behind the curtains admitted that they had to use dress rehearsal footage to fill in Peter whenever possible. This was not a Gene directive, kids, so relax!

KOL: Commentary?

KG: Yes, though I didn’t witness any of it, I know that Gene, Paul, Bruce and Tommy worked long and hard one day to get this all done. They did this right after we did our trophy presentation and all were in GREAT spirits. I do believe they all four did some stuff together where it made sense (e.g. convention/unplugged footage). Bruce later told me he heard and participated in some classic stories, as well as some all together new ones, with Gene and Paul. Sadly Eric Singer was on tour and couldn’t make it the one day this session was scheduled.

KOL: Will there be a KISSOLOGY 3 special on VH1 like there were for the first two?

KG: Yes, but this is for the band to reveal, I can say it will be very different, definitely bigger (like Volume 3 as a whole); some very cool surprises in store… I believe it will air LIVE at least a few weeks before KISSMASS! And that’s a wrap! (sorry.)

From KISSONLINE.com:

KISSOLOGY VOL. 3 1992-2000 in stores DECEMBER 18th!

KISSology 3 DVD

This is the biggest…the baddest…the most incredible of them all…

The third installment of the multi-platinum, hugely successful KISSOLOGY Series. KISS is back with their biggest statement to date – nearly TEN hours of KISS live on stage.

KISSOLOGY VOL. 3 also features – MTV’s UNPLUGGED performance, including songs that didn’t make it into the broadcast or CD version! Plus, a behind the scenes documentary shot during rehearsals and back stage – Never before seen!

And we teased this on KISSOLOGY VOL. 1 – the much heralded Queens, NY Coventry Show from December, 1973 – the band’s first ever concert filmed in make up in its entirety!

KISSOLOGY VOL. 3 1992-2000 has been super-expanded to four DVD’s – nearly TEN HOURS of KISS live and on stage! Includes over 100 live performances, commentary from Paul, Gene, Bruce Kulick & Tommy Thayer as well as a 20 page full color booklet!

FIVE CONCERTS included : DETROIT – 1992, DETROIT – 1996, LOS ANGELES – 1998, NEW JERSEY – 2000 and QUEENS, NY – 1973.

One version of the release will feature a FIFTH BONUS DISC of KISS’ performance at the KROQ WEENIE ROAST on June 15, 1996. Tracks include: “Deuce”, “Love Gun”, “Calling Dr. Love”, “Firehouse”, “Shock Me”, “100,000 Years”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Black Diamond” and “Rock and Roll All Nite”.

Pictured is the KISSOLOGY VOL. 3 Sales sheet from Fontana Distribution.

KISSology 3 sales sheet