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Kix - 1985 Midnite Dynamite

ALBUM: Midnite Dynamite
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 81267-1 (LP), 7 81267-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2014, Rock Candy Records, CANDY243
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Steve Whiteman - lead vocals, harmonica, saxophone * Ronnie Younkins - guitars * Brian Forsythe - guitars * Donnie Purnell - bass, keyboards, backing vocals * Jimmy Chalfant - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Additional Musicians: Anton Fig - drums, percussion on 'Lie Like A Rug' and 'Sex' * Mike Slamer - guitars on 'Walking Away' and 'Scarlett Fever' * Beau Hill - additional keyboards, guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Midnite Dynamite * 02 Red Hot (Black & Blue) * 03 Bang Bang (Balls Of Fire) * 04 Layin' Rubber * 05 Walkin' Away * 06 Scarlet Fever * 07 Cry Baby * 08 Cold Shower * 09 Lie Like A Rug * 10 Sex


I'm a big fan of Baltimore's best; Kix. I remember buying their 1981 debut LP without knowing anything about the band. I kept that LP for years. I wasn't so enarmoured with the 1983 follow up 'Cool Kids', but by 1985, the band had found their magic formula, and this kept them on the high-side all through the late 80's and early 90's where they maintained a healthy profile. 'Midnite Dynamite' saw the band work with producer Beau Hill for the first time. Beau managed to tame their AC/DC sound, and mould it into a radio and MTV friendly style that retained the AC/DC-ism's but also bolted on Def Leppard's youthful energy. We can also detect other contemporaries of the day, such as Black N Blue and Ratt. Sounds good?

The Songs
Oh yes. It was a perfect detour in the Kix travel-log, which would take them onto greater rewards with their next two albums, but this is where the change occurred for the better. Also adding significant influence on this album was songwriter Bob Halligan Jnr, who co-wrote seven of the ten tracks on 'Midnite Dynamite'. So, he wasn't just busy working with Icon during 1985! The other three were co-written with Crack The Sky alumni John Palumbo, CTS were another legendary Baltimore outfit from a few years earlier. The material here is aimed squarely at the glam-metal audience, and also the MTV viewers. They couldn't really miss with an album this good. However, the change to a more glamourised metal band didn't come without its problems. The production process with Hill at the helm did cause some issues, so too the relationship problems between the label and the band's Management. However, one can't deny there are some great songs here. The title-track 'Midnite Dynamite', 'Lie Like A Rug', 'Bang Bang (Balls Of Fire)', 'Layin' Rubber' and 'Scarlet Fever' all do it for me!

In Summary
As mentioned, 'Blow My Fuse' and 'Hot Wire' would see Kix reach their zenith during the MTV years. We'll get around to reviewing those albums too at some point. 'Midnite Dynamite' is easy enough to secure on CD these days. Either the original Atlantic CD or the 2014 reissued disc from Rock Candy Records. Your CD collection wouldn't be complete with this one. It's a goodie!

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#1 | gdazegod on June 29 2016 10:51:23
I'm surprised that no one has talked up this album on this site.
#2 | jeffrey343 on June 29 2016 17:33:15
I had never heard this album before today, and I can't recall whether I'd heard any songs from it back in the day. I gave it a spin on Google Play. It's OK - a decent slice of what was popular in the mid 80s. Not up there with RATT or Krokus, both of whom had albums around that time that I really enjoyed. Or that Icon 'Night Of The Crime' album. I don't think this would have been one that I would have rushed out to buy 30 years ago and still play frequently today. The first tune with Slamer - 'Walking Away' - is quite good.

Even though I'm in the U.S. and had plenty of exposure to this style of music at that time, I really didn't embrace many of the artists like these guys. Kix, Trixter, Slaughter, Warrant - for some reason, their appeal passed me by. Even Poison, although they had enough major hits to stick with me a little better.
#3 | reyno-roxx on June 29 2016 18:05:02
I saw Kix play at L'Amour in Brooklyn on the tour to support the album. Cinderella were second on the bill. For some reason i always think that they were the headliners, but Kix were. I wasn't overly impressed with them that night, but by 89 they were an awesome live band.
Mention was made of John Palumbo. I haf an opportunity to see Crack The Sky in Philadelphia in early 88, but as I had just spent 8 hours flying in I was too jet lagged to go. I do still have the band logo shirt I was given as a gift by the person who invited me tho. Wish I could afford the CD reissues!
#4 | Eric on June 29 2016 22:34:38
I saw them twice, headlining a show in a small theater in York, Pennsylvania around the time of their debut and a few months later on the bottom of a bill with headliner Ted Nugent and Krokus. I also met them at a record signing were Whiteman seemed a little inebriated, but that's rock n' roll.
#5 | reyno-roxx on June 29 2016 22:58:03
Another album in which Beau Hill brought in his 'go to' guys Mr Slamer and Mr Fig.

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