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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Kiss - 1982 Creatures Of The Night
Kiss - 1982 Creatures Of The Night

ALBUM: Creatures Of The Night
LABEL: Casablanca
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1997, Mercury, 532 391-2 * 2008, Mercury, 824 154-2 M-1


LINEUP: Paul Stanley - guitar, vocals * Gene Simmons - bass, vocals * Eric Carr - drums * Ace Frehley - guitars

Additional Musicians: Rick Derringer - guitars * Vinnie Vincent - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Creatures Of The Night * 02 Saint And Sinner * 03 Keep Me Comin' * 04 Rock And Roll Hell * 05 Danger * 06 I Love It Loud * 07 I Still Love You * 08 Killer * 09 War Machine


Kiss' early 80's decline was hardly the fault of their music, more their stale makeup gimmick, which in a fad orientated business, was outmoded to say the least. There are numerous highlights on their 1980, mostly AOR 'Unmasked' and its follow up, the failed concept, 1981's 'The Elder', most of which have been forgotten. You can't argue with the likes of 'Easy As It Seems', 'Naked City', 'The Oath' and 'I', which easily rank as some of Kiss' finest moments. But it didn't translate into sales and the decision was made for the next studio effort to return to the original heavy sound of the early years. Ace Frehley wanted no part of Kiss however and failed to record anything on the album. Regardless he was credited and featured on the cover, the band worried about the fans reaction to his imminent departure. Vinnie Vincent and Rick Derringer, amongst others, added guitar to an album which to this day is Kiss' definitive heavy metal statement.

The Songs
While 'The Elder' contained moments of metallic force, it pales to the onslaught of 'Creatures'. The title track was an initial disappointment to these ears, as a live version I heard prior to the studio original tears it to pieces. This has often been the case with Kiss, their studio recordings far too restrained compared to the hyped up live cuts. It sets a tone regardless, the riffs driving precedings along full force. Eric Carr's drum sound is clear and precise, probably the heaviest drumming on any Kiss album. The majority of 'Creatures' goes for 'the jugular vein' as Simmons sings during the vicious 'Killer', only slowing down once, for the six minute power ballad 'I Still Love You'. This and the timeless anthem 'I Love It Loud' remain the best known cuts off the album, but there isn't a wasted track. Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance are credited with Simmons on the outstanding 'Rock And Roll Hell' and the barnburning 'War Machine', a piece of metal savagery. Where Adams pulled this out I have no idea, the man never once wrote anything in this class for himself. Paul Stanley chimes in with the relentless might of 'Keep Me Comin' and 'Danger', both thunderous and well paced, staggering strength with the propulsive drumming and riffing.

In Summary
This is quite possibly the only perfect Kiss album, with each track as good as the next. It failed to sell once more, and the tour was the least successful US wise for Kiss ever, but the point that Kiss were at heart a metal band was not lost. Frehley appeared in a couple of promos for 'I Love It Loud' but looked like a lost zombie in both, clearly unfamiliar with the material. Vincent took his place on the tour, officially replacing the troubled Frehley. Vincent's makeup persona, 'The Pharoah', was more than dodgy though. This led to the removal of the makeup, a wise move commercially, which saw renewed sales and a string of superior albums, 'Lick It Up' and 'Animalize' at the forefront. They still couldn't quite overshadow the power of 'Creatures', an album which demonstrates at their peak, Kiss were perhaps the best of their kind.

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#1 | sabace on March 19 2006 13:46:41
I couldn't agree more with regard to the make up overshadowing the music KISS are truly the most underrated band of all time. SUPERB SONGWRITERS and PERFORMERS! . This lp is so good it deserves a place all its own in the pantheon of great rock lps . It has everything great songs, even greater performances and superb production! . The adage if you don't like this, you don't like rock 'n' roll applies! rock made in heaven!
#2 | Eric on April 13 2007 20:55:28
I have a soft spot for early KISS, although it's been said before, the fans didn't give up on KISS, KISS gave up on KISS. The early albums including the debut, 'Dressed To Kill', 'Alive', 'Destroyer' and even 'Love Gun' are all classics, but the 80's stuff I thought never came close to what they were. If I remember right I saw them on the 'Lick It Up' tour (with Vandenberg and Heaven) and while I thought they were good, I kept thinking 'Whats The Point?' The make-up was part of their schtick, so why get rid of it? It's part of the reason they were so fun to begin with.
#3 | sabace on April 03 2008 19:26:39
I saw them on the Lick It tour and thought they were brilliant! If my memory is correct they won best band and best live concert in Kerrang Magazine's Yearly Poll in 83!
#4 | reyno-roxx on July 15 2008 12:41:21
I idolised this band until this record came out. They did a signing session at Virgin Records in Oxford Street on a promo tour of Europe in late 1982. Queued all day. Gene and Eric were cool, Ace was so off his face that he fell over immediately after signing my album and Paul was an ignorant asshole. I went home and took down all my posters. I wound up giving them to Kevin Kozak of Rox. I was that disgusted with Stanley's attitude.
I've met them plenty of times since, many times for interviews, but I've never forgotten that initial meeting.
#5 | sabace on March 26 2009 13:42:17
may be you caught him at a bad time, given the frehley situation and by some accounts they spent 4 hours signing autogaphs that day .
#6 | Metal Loaf on June 18 2013 22:59:34
Easily their best album. They were absolutely full-throttle here in a way they'd never been and never quite would be again!
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