Kiss – Music From
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192kHz | Time – 00:42:47 minutes | 1,81 GB | Genre: Pop/Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © UMe Direct 2
The ninth studio album by KISS is, perhaps, most significant for being the band’s greatest misstep. Not the poppy, disco-inflected sheen of Dynasty, and not even the self-implosion of Unmasked could have prepared fans for the overblown, vacuous narcissism of Music From the Elder, which came out on Nov. 10, 1981.
Having lost drummer Peter Criss, who left two months after they started tracking The Elder, KISS hired Eric Carr to take Criss’ place. Feeling the urge to make a bold, larger-than-life statement following the commercial collapse of Unmasked, Kiss decided to come back swinging with hard-hitting songs that resembled their pre-“Love Gun” material.
In addition, the band felt that only an ambitious, concept album would gain them back the credibility they lost when they softened their sound and the respect they never received from mainstream critics. And so, KISS ill-advisably started to craft their version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall – even bringing in The Wall architect Bob Ezrin to produce.
“It’s a movie, in itself, of just absolute folly,” Paul Stanley told me about the release. “It’s us overstepping our goals and tripping over our own feet. I’m not ashamed of it by any means, but that and KISS Meets the Phantom stand out as two examples of us getting off at the wrong exit.”
If KISS intended to make a louder, heavier album than Unmasked they probably shouldn’t have hired the American Symphony Orchestra and St. Robert’s Choir to add symphonic and operatic flavor, let alone incorporate a storyline that makes Lou Reed and Metallica’s Lulu look like The Who’s Tommy.
By the end of 1980, Kiss knew that their next album had to be a strong one, a glorious return to hard rock à la their classic Destroyer. New drummer Eric Carr had refueled the band’s desire to rock, and the quartet began working on a straight-ahead rock album in early 1981. Midway through, the band felt that they were rewriting past songs, and the sessions were aborted. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley then came up with the idea of recording a concept album, based on a mythical original story by Simmons. Destroyer producer Bob Ezrin was back and encouraged the band’s concept album idea (against both Ace Frehley’s and Carr’s wishes). Simmons and Stanley had high hopes for Music from “The Elder” (such as a movie, an elaborate tour, a follow-up record, etc.), but it completely bombed upon release. The reason? The music is totally uncharacteristic of Kiss — it resembles heavy prog rock for the most part. Some of the songs could have been classics if the pompous and/or hard-to-decipher lyrics were replaced, such as “The Oath,” “Only You,” “I,” and “Just a Boy.” Only two tracks resemble the Kiss of old (Frehley’s “Dark Light” and the instrumental “Escape from the Island”), while the rest is downright embarrassing (“Odyssey,” “A World Without Heroes,” “Under the Rose”). Music from “The Elder” was the final straw for Frehley, who would leave the band in 1982. – Greg Prato
1. Kiss – Fanfare
2. Kiss – Just A Boy
3. Kiss – Odyssey
4. Kiss – Only You
5. Kiss – Under The Rose
6. Kiss – Dark Light
7. Kiss – A World Without Heroes
8. Kiss – The Oath
9. Kiss – Mr. Blackwell
10. Kiss – Escape From The Island
11. Kiss – I