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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
KISS FOLLOW UP TO MONSTER 2013
January 2013


chris dale

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Chris Dale is a Heavy Metal bassist. He is currently the bass player in TANK whose recent live DVD, 'WAR MACHINE' is out now. He has previously played with lots of Metal bands and projects, most notably a two year stint in Bruce Dickinson's solo band.

Chris fronts the pop-group Sack Trick, DJs occasionally on Bloodstock Radio and in his spare time works on tour as a roady for anyone going to a hot climate...

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My wish for 2013 would be another Kiss album before the end of the year. 'Monster' was great, I'm looking forward to the European tour in the Summer and I'm sure they'll be touring the world well into Autumn but I still want more.

They'd probably say they didn't have time to write one by Christmas 2013 with their busy schedule but that's the cunning point - they don't have to write one. It's already done. They just have to record it and that would take them a month at most..

Van Halen got a bit of flak from some fans on their recent album 'A Different Kind of Truth' because songs such as 'Tattoo' and 'She's The Woman' were not newly written songs but re-workings of demos the band had recorded back in the 70s.

Van Halen have particular form in that area. 'House Of Pain' was demoed back in 1976 (with Gene Simmons producing), a full eight years before it was finally recorded and released on their '1984' album.

You can hear all the original demos on YouTube. I don't see anything wrong with that. They're Van Halen songs, they wrote them and most importantly, they're great tracks. The only shame is that we had to wait so long to hear them done properly.

I reckon Kiss have got at least an album's worth of unused material lying around. The thing is as I started to compile this list for fun, I realised it's not just another Kiss album, it's actually one of their best. There's some excellent tracks out there that they demoed but did not make it onto the finished albums for one reason or another.

You should of course bear in mind that the demos you are about to hear are not all of the best sound quality. The very meaning of a demo is a recording of a song to demonstrate the idea of it. They were only ever intended to be heard by the inner circle of the other band members, the producer and possibly a few of the management and record company. They were certainly never supposed to be heard by the fans and the world in general. Thanks to YouTube.

These recordings are mostly third or fourth generation cassette copies of unfinished and roughly mixed songs. Some of them were recorded with what sounds like the cheapest toy drum machine money can buy these days but those things were high-tech state of the art back in the 70s.

Other songs are layered in unflattering keyboard sounds that were all the rage in 80s home recording. Try to ignore these downfalls and appreciate the songs for the potential they undoubtedly have.

I'd like you to imagine these songs with the live drums, big guitars and general attitude that Kiss recently put into the 'Monster' recordings. This is VERY IMPORTANT!

1. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE DARKNESS

OK, let's start our dream Kiss album with a stomping Paul and Gene shared vocal song. It's a cover. They've got previous for opening with covers. 'Is That You?' was written by Gerard McMahon, a young British artist yet it still sounds like a great Kiss tune when the boys rock it up.

This one is called 'What Happens In The Darkness'. It was written by Tamy Lester Smith and was originally recorded by Infinity back in 1971. Gene and Paul recorded it in 1972 for their band Wicked Lester long before they met Ace and Peter. A couple of other Wicked Lester songs made it onto later Kiss releases. Both 'She' and 'Love Her All I Can' were recorded by Wicked Lester prior to their appearance on 'Dressed To Kill'. I think they should use this one as well.



2. KEEP YOUR TAIL BETWEEN YOUR LEGS

Like so many Kiss albums, I'd like to hear a good Gene song in second place. 'Keep Your Tail Between Your Legs' was written by Gene and Howard Rice (who was also Gene's writing partner on 'Anyway You Slice It'). It was demoed in early 1984 for the 'Animalize' album. It's difficult to imagine why they eventually chose 'Burn Bitch Burn' over this one for the final album. I especially love the very cool double tempo middle section.



3. SWORD AND STONE

Track three on a Kiss album is a key point. It's often where they put Paul's best song. 'Sure Know Something', 'Lick It Up' and 'Hide Your Heart' are all third tracks on their respective albums. This song stands up there with them.

It was originally written for the 'Crazy Nights' album around an idea by Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick and Desmond Child. Desmond Child was also Paul's co-writer on 'I Was Made For Loving You', and later on 'Reason To Live' and Hide Your Heart'.

It was Paul who introduced Desmond to Jon Bon Jovi. Jon and Desmond went on to write 'Living On A Prayer' and 'You Give Love A Bad Name' with Richie Sambora. The rest, as they say, is history.

Desmond has since written dozens of hit singles with loads of artists including Aerosmith's 'Dude Looks Like A Lady', Alice Cooper's 'Poison' and 'Livin' La Vida Loca' with Ricky Martin. Oh, well - they can't all be favourites can they?

It's been said that Ron Nevison, the producer of 'Crazy Nights', wasn't keen on 'Sword And Stone'. Maybe he felt they already had enough strong Paul songs on there. It still seems crazy that this song never got released later down the line.



4. AUDIO VIDEO (CATCH ME WHEN I FALL)

Next up let's have an Ace Frehley tune. Oh, I know Ace isn't in the band any more. So should you imagine this with Tommy's guitars and vocals or Ace's? I'm going to sit on the fence here and advise you to enjoy it 'Anyway You Want It'.

If you want a genuine Tommy song instead maybe you should imagine Kiss playing Black 'n Blue's 'Nasty Nasty'. Then again that's already as much a Kiss song as a Black 'n Blue one by having Mr Simmons credited for putting the middle eight of 'Only You' into it. Funny world isn't it?

Anyway, this unreleased Ace song that I'm recommending is called 'Audio Video' or 'Catch Me When I Fall' by other sources.

I like the combined title 'Audio Video (Catch Me When I Fall)' but I've always been a sucker for brackets in a song title.

I've really never understood why this song was never released by Frehley's Comet. It was by far and away the best new song in the early Comet setlist yet did not make it onto their debut album a couple of years later. My band, Sack Trick recorded a cover of it on our 'Sheep In Kiss Make Up' album (you can find that on YouTube too).

Anyway, here's Ace's demo of the tune from around 1985. The keyboard sound alone dates it pretty accurately.

It was recorded by the Frehley's Comet line up of Ace himself on guitar and lead vocal, Richie Scarlet on guitar, John Regan on bass, Anton Fig on drums and Arthur Stead on the over the top 80s keyboard.

Please turn it down, mate. What was everyone thinking back then?

Still it can't spoil a great song.



5. DEADLY WEAPONS

Here's another top class Paul song. This is one of the first demos Eric Carr recorded in Kiss back in early 1981 and ironically one of the last ones Ace did. I think the Mark II line-up of Kiss is probably my all time favourite. I'm sure Paul Stanley loved Eric's obvious Zeppelin influences too.

Back then they were planning a heavy rock album to follow up 'Unmasked'. The project was eventually dropped in favour of working on a concept album that would eventually become 'The Elder'. Gene later used part of the chorus of this one on the 'Asylum' album but I prefer the original Paul Stanley version by far.



6. I AM YOURS

On our fantasy album, I'd like to close side one (yes, I still think Kiss records work best that way) with another Gene tune. 'I Am Yours' is a rocker that also shows Gene's mellower side.

I've always liked Gene's softer songs (as you'll hear more of later) but this one has such a powerful chorus that it's strange they didn't take it further than this half-finished demo. It was probably written and demoed by Gene and friends around 1997.



7. IT'S MY LIFE

Let's open side two with an anthem. Wasn't 'I Love It Loud' so perfectly placed on the 'Creatures Of The Night' album?

This is a great rock anthem written by Gene and Paul that has somehow never made it onto a Kiss album before. It was demoed and rejected twice for different albums. The first time was in 1982 for 'Creatures Of The Night'. The backing track from that version was used on the 1985 Wendy O'Williams album.

The second time Kiss considered the tune was for the 'Psycho Circus' album in 1997, as heard here. Gene sings the lead, Paul's vocals are excellent and Ace sings the third verse. Could things get any better?



8. BEST MAN FOR YOU

Side two, track two is always the ballad moment for me. 'I Still Love You', 'Million To One' and 'Reason To Live' all held that position. Unbelievably Paul still has quite a few great unreleased ballads.

This is one I like which was written by Paul and Jean Beauvoir. Jean was the bassist in the Plasmatics with Wendy O'Williams before fronting Crown Of Thorns. He also co-wrote and played bass on 'Thrills In The Night', 'Who Wants To Bbe Lonely' and 'Uh All Night' for Kiss.

Unfortunately 'Best Man For You' was demoed with those stupid over the top keyboards in around 1987. Let's calm down and imagine it with a gentle guitar instead of the synthetic curse of the eighties.



9. AIN'T NONE OF YOU BUSINESS

We're going to need a Peter vocal song too (or a song for Eric Singer to sing, if you really prefer it that way). Rather than go for a ballad like Peter often seems to get lumbered with (and of which there are many more around) let's have a rocker.

'Ain't None Of Your Business' was suggested to Kiss by Bob Ezrin during the 'Destroyer' sessions. It was written by Becky Hobbs and Lew Anderson.

As with all the other songs on this page, for some reason Kiss decided not to use it. Peter sings this Kiss demo of the song and puts one of his best ever rock vocal performances into it.



10. IT AIN'T THE SMOKE

Let's stay old school for a moment with this Gene and Paul song they recorded around 1975 possibly for inclusion on 'Destroyer'. It might well be Bob Kulick ripping away in the solo on this version. It sounds a bit too clean for Ace.

Overall the song rocks but perhaps it was too rock and roll for Bob Ezrin's vision of the album he wanted Kiss to make. To me however, it is pure classic Kiss in their early prime.



12. IN YOUR FACE

Now let's have another Ace vocal number shall we? Why not? It's our fantasy album and we can have what we want on it.

This is one was recorded for 'Psycho Circus' but oddly didn't make it onto the final record. As with much of that album it's probably Kevin Valentine playing drums on it.

Perhaps it wasn't included because it was written by Gene for Ace rather by Mr Frehley himself. I personally think that Kiss sometimes write their best songs for each other. Remember Paul wrote both Gene's signature 'God Of Thunder' and Peter's classic 'Hard Luck Woman'.

Either way, I think Ace's attitude comes across great on 'In Your Face'. It's also got one of his blistering solos which I just wish was mixed a little bit louder.



13. I HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT

This a great song to finish with. It's an anthemic ballad by Gene. He recorded this demo in early 1979 with Chuck Billings on drums and Tom Moody on guitar, both from the band Virgin. I just can't believe again that this song has gone to waste. It's got such a strong melody and positive vibe.



14. FEEL LIKE HEAVEN

Do we have to finish already?

Come on then, as its going so well, let's have a CD bonus track for Japan. It's our dream album and I just don't want it to end quite yet.

I know I said we were on vinyl before but this extra one is truly great. Maybe it could be an extra flexi-disc put in with the limited edition vinyl album?

It's a quick Gene demo from the 1981 aborted album sessions.

This version is definitely NOT SUITABLE FOR UNDER 18s!



In conclusion, there were two very interesting points I noticed during my researches for this article. I listened to literally tons of Kiss and related rough songs.

The first of these interesting points was the sheer number of unreleased Kiss songs that are out there. When I first thought about this idea, there were a few tunes that sprung instantly to mind but when I started searching YouTube there were loads more that I had never heard before and in choosing the final list it was quite hard to leave some out.

Some of the better songs I missed out were 'Howling For Your Love', 'When Two Hearts Collide', 'Don't Let Go', 'Reputation', 'Nobody's Perfect', 'Shocker' and 'Rotten To The Core'. They're all on YouTube, look them up.

There were other demos that I didn't include that had been released on the Boxed Set such as 'Time Traveller', 'Ain't that Peculiar' and 'Don't Hesitate' and others still that have not turned up in public yet such as the Kiss version of of Vinnie Vincent's 'Back On The Streets' or Eric Carr and Bryan Adams' 'Don't Leave Me Lonely' which were both allegedly demoed for 'Creatures of the Night'. There's also a whole album and more of Wicked Lester tunes.

The second interesting thing I noticed was that while Gene's songwriting has often been criticized (and he himself admits his focus wasn't at his best in the eighties) it's strange how Gene-heavy my final choice of unreleased material ended up. Gene even wrote one of Ace's vocal numbers. It just seems that so many of Gene's best ideas remain largely unheard.

So after that guided marathon through various Kiss demos, would that not make you want to hear them all recorded properly? I'm not the only one thinking this would be the basis of a very cool album, am I?

Also when we look at the titles together they're a pretty fearsome bunch, full of threats and weapons. This would be Kiss back to their 'Creatures Of The Night' peak!

Reference Sources and Recommended Reading:
kissfaq.com
The Kiss Album Focus: Kings Of The Night Time World 1972-82 by Julian Gill
The Kiss Album Focus: Hell or High Water, 1983-1996 by Julian Gill
Black Diamond by Dale Sherman
Behind the Mask by David Leaf and Ken Sharp
... and of course the many Kiss rarities uploaded onto YouTube!




MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
February 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



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patrick kistler PATRICK KISTLER ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEPARTING ELUVEITIE
"In the end the majority but not all of the band decided to expel me from the Eluveitie hood by a democratic vote, we're still very Swiss..."

sanctuary SANCTUARY ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR
The tour starts next March with a very special show in London before they join the mighty Overkill for a run of mainland shows...

metal all stars METAL ALL STARS POSTPONE EUROPEAN DATES
All November and December dates, including Brixton Academy, will now be rescheduled to Spring 2015...

ac/dc AC/DC: 'ROCK OR BUST' STREAMING NOW ON iTUNES
AC/DC may be going through it, but it sounds like it's all worth the wait. 'Rock Or Bust' is streaming now for free on iTunes...

absolva CHRIS APPLETON OF ABSOLVA RELEASES FREE SONG FROM FORTHCOMING SOLO ACOUSTIC ALBUM - LISTEN HERE
Absolva frontman Chris Appleton is to release a solo acoustic album, 'Restless', on 2nd February 2015...

arthur brown ARTHUR BROWN ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2015
The Showman Of The Year will be telling his story in his own unique style and also performing shows with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown...

system of a down SYSTEM OF A DOWN ANNOUNCE A ONE-OFF SHOW AT THE SSE ARENA WEMBLEY
April 10th 2015 sees System Of A Down play their first UK indoor show in ten years...

krushfest KRUSHFEST TO TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER 2015
Classic Rock Tours honour the icon and legend Krusher Joule with his own festival...

eluveitie ELUVEITIE PARTS WAYS WITH PATRICK KISTLER
"After six years and four albums, he leaves big shoes to fill..."

heat H.E.A.T ANNOUNCE 'LIVE IN LONDON' ALBUM
The powerful performance of the Swedish rock sensations is captured here, from their date at The Garage in May 2014...

revolution saints REVOLUTION SAINTS TO RELEASE EPONYMOUS DEBUT ALBUM
Put three rock titans together - Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich - and you have the new exciting supergroup of melodic rock...

ufo UFO ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND 2015 TOUR DATES
"A Conspiracy Of Stars is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas..."

battle beast BATTLE BEAST RELEASE NEW TRACK 'TOUCH IN THE NIGHT' - LISTEN HERE
"'Touch In The Night' is probably the farthest away from typical Battle Beast sound we've ever gone..."

sebastien SEBASTIEN RELEASE NEW LIVE VIDEO FROM MASTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
The track is a version of Black Sabbath's 'Headless Cross', recorded earlier this year...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH DEBUT FIRST SONG FROM 'APEX PREDATOR - EASY MEAT' ALBUM
A first online teaser from the new album is now available. Napalm Death are currently on tour in Europe...

audrey horne AUDREY HORNE ARE NOW ON TOUR
'Pure Heavy' comes to Europe with an extensive run of dates..."

peckham cowboys THE PECKHAM COWBOYS UNWRAP VIDEO FOR 'BROMLEY GIRLS'
The song is a tale of "a young aristocratic lady of high breeding, led astray by a terrible man. Only the names have been changed, because we forgot them..."

abgott ABGOTT PLAY ONLY UK SHOW OF 2014 IN DECEMBER
The Black Metal heroes will play the Boston Music Rooms on December 5th...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY CANCEL EUROPEAN TOUR
Fear Factory will be concentrating on finishing their new studio album and will return in the Summer of 2015...

download KISS AND MUSE ANNOUNCED AS DOWNLOAD 2015 HEADLINERS
British rock trio Muse will headline the Saturday night of next year's event, which runs between June 12th and 14th...

magnum MAGNUM RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'ON CHRISTMAS DAY' ON DECEMBER 1ST
The poignant song is based on a true life incident in the WW1 trenches...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA DANCE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA IN HILARIOUS NEW VIDEO FOR GENESIS COVER 'I CAN'T DANCE'
"The experience ranged from no one even paid too much attention to us to people looking a little scared..."

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE GERMAN DATES FOR 2016 WORLD TOUR
The German dates are just the first of many live appearances, with plenty more to be announced. "And for 2016, we will have more surprises and an even bigger production..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ANNOUNCE ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE FOR 2015
"Kippo kicked our asses to make us do the very best, and you can hear that in this album. It's a killer album with killer sound. I'm very proud to a part of this masterpiece..."

hellfest BREAKING NEWS: HELLFEST ANNOUNCE MOTORHEAD, SCORPIONS, ALESTORM, SLASH, ZZ TOP, VENOM AND MANY, MANY MORE FOR 2015
Hellfest have announced a stellar line-up for the 2015 edition of the festival which will take place at on June 19th to 21st 2015...

download BREAKING NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST, SLIPKNOT AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR DOWNLOAD 2015
Slipknot will play the main stage at Donington on Friday June 12th, following Judas Priest...

chris appleton CHRIS APPLETON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC ALBUM & TOUR
In the downtime between Absolva projects, Chris Appleton applies his skills to solo album 'Restless'...

out and loud NAPALM RECORDS ANNOUNCE LABEL NIGHT AT OUT & LOUD FESTIVAL 2015
The German festival gets off to a quality start with the warm up night on July 3rd featuring a fine cross-section of the label repertoire...

jeff loomis ARCH ENEMY WELCOME JEFF LOOMIS AS NEW GUITARIST
The ex-Nevermore guitarist will debut for Arch Enemy on the European tour starting November 26th as Nick Cordle's replacement...

wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2014 CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE
The two day showcase promises to give Glasgow a Rock and Metal party to remember...

periphery PERIPHERY ANNOUNCE DUAL ALBUMS FOR 2015
There will also be plenty of touring in next year, including a stint on the road with Devin Townsend Project...

anathema ANATHEMA ANNOUNCE 'RESONANCE' SHOW AT SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE IN APRIL 2015
This special show will be a celebration of the entire history of Anathema music...

cradle of filth CRADLE OF FILTH SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"For the full frontal assault we have planned for the awesome new album, Nuclear Blast are the perfect war stallion to carry us screaming into the heart of the next chapter of COF's dark, enigmatic history..."

yardbirds THE YARDBIRDS RETURN TO LONDON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS SOME VELVET MORNING
The Yardbirds will play Bush Hall on November 21st, fifty years after the release of the seminal 'Five Live Yardbirds'...

marilyn manson NEW MARILYN MANSON ALBUM 'THE PALE EMPEROR' COMING JANUARY 19th
The album is available for pre-orders now...

udo UDO, ONE OF GERMAN CLASSIC ROCK'S GREATEST, ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
'Decadent' is mastered and due for release in January 2015...

fozzy FOZZY LAUNCH VIDEO CLIP FOR 'DO YOU WANNA START A WAR'
"Fog, slow motion camera shots, and chicks in military uniforms. Touchdown!..."

phil rudd 'PROCURE TO KILL' CHARGE AGAINST AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD DROPPED BUT OTHER CHARGES REMAIN
Rudd is on bail and is scheduled to reappear in court on November 27th and still faces one charge of threatening to kill...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN TO RELEASE 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR' IN FEBRUARY 2015
"A story between science fiction and fantasy. While there used to be several passages between the worlds, there is only one gate left now: The Red Mirror. It has to be found at any cost..."

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