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Kiss - 1985 Asylum
SERIAL: 826 099-1 M-1
CD REISSUE: 1998, Mercury, 558 660-2
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Paul Stanley - vocals, guitars * Gene Simmons - bass, vocals * Bruce Kulick - guitars * Eric Carr - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 King Of The Mountain * 02 Any Way You Slice It * 03 Who Wants To Be Lonely * 04 Trial By Love * 05 I'm Alive * 06 Love's A Deadly Weapon * 07 Tears Are Falling * 08 Secretly Cruel * 09 Radar For Love * 10 UH! All Night
Often dismissed in the Kiss canon of works, 'Asylum' appeared during a prolific period for the band following the removal of their makeup in 1983, despite shuffles in the guitar dept. Kulick made his first appearance in the studio, having replaced Mark St John on the 'Animalize' tour and would prove to be long lasting by Kiss standards, over a decade. 'Asylum' followed the excellence of 'Animalize', heavy and hook laden hard rock with some definite nods to speed driven metal. Simmons has said he wasn't totally committed to the band at the time due to his acting career, but his songs all work and the album was another significant seller.
Kiss were veterans by this point, but still able to hang easily with the likes of Motley Crue
, Bon Jovi
etc and to most extents top them. Kulick added a raw edge to the guitar work here, evident on opener 'King Of The Mountain', an indication of the heights of perfection Kiss could take anthems to. 'Any Way You Slice It' is even more infectious, try not singing along to that chorus for instance! Most importantly it retains the heaviness of the 1982-84 period, which would not be retained in later years. The bombastic ballad styled 'Who Wants To Be Lonely' was a marginal hit and is slick AOR, although with more rawness than anything off 'Crazy Nights'. Simmons 'Trial By Fire' is the weakest track melodically, but quickly forgotten by the speed metal rampage of 'I'm Alive', which is among the fastest Kiss tracks ever, pure metal with brutal axe work. In the same vein is 'Love's A Deadly Weapon', an aggressive Simmons' composition, really sealing this albums reputation as a classic. 'Tears Are Falling' is the most remembered track, another hit ballad of sorts. 'Uh! All Night' begins with Led Zeppelin
's 'Immigrant Day' riff and works into a special slice of Kiss raunch, another singalong frenzy.
This was the end of an era for the band in my opinion, as no new studio album appeared in 1986 and 'Crazy Nights', despite being a brilliant AOR effort from 1987, saw the metal quotient disappear that had been so prevalent on the last four albums, which started wth 1981's 'The Elder'. Future albums never recaptured the spirit of the makeup-free years and once the original lineup reformed, Kiss were for all purposes done as a recording band, save for one flop in 1998. 'Asylum' often gets lost in the shuffle but I often wonder why as it's as polished and accomplished musically as anything they had ever done, remaining one of my favorite albums of the band to this day.
Related ArticlesKiss - 1974 Hotter Than HellKiss - 1975 Dressed To KillKiss - 1976 Rock 'n Roll OverKiss - 1977 Love GunKiss - 1977 Alive IIKiss - 1979 DynastyKiss - 1980 UnmaskedKiss - 1981 The ElderKiss - 1982 Creatures Of The NightKiss - 1984 AnimalizeKiss - 1985 AsylumKiss - 1987 Crazy NightsKiss - 1989 Hot In The ShadeKiss - 1997 Carnival Of Souls - The Final SessionsKiss - 2009 Sonic BoomKiss - 2012 Monster
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