The greatest KISS CD never made? That is what some folks consider punk rocker Wendy O. Williams debut CD, WOW.
Why is that you ask? Gene Simmons produced the album, and wrote five of the nine song on the disc. Ace Frehley plays lead on the tune “Bump and Grind”, Paul Stanley plays guitar on “Ready To Rock”, Eric Carr plays drums on “Legends Never Die”. Stanley, Carr and Vinnie Vincent also have partial song writing credits.
So how is the album? It is quite a departure from the music that Wendy O. Williams did with The Plasmatics, but it is good nonetheless. “I Love Sex” sounds like a distant cousin to “I Love It Loud”.
If there is one song that should have been a hit on WOW, it is “It’s My Life”. This tune written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley is ridiculously catchy. (See the video below).
If the title “Thief in the Night” sounds familiar, it should. This song appears on the 1987 KISS CD, Crazy Nights. I kind of like the version Wendy O. Williams did a little better. Her coarse vocals are a better match with this song.
There are a few more cool tunes on this disc, including the heavy rocker “Ready to Rock”, “Bump and Grind”, and “Aint None of Your Business”. This CD’s only fault, aside from pretty much being a KISS CD in disguise, is that it is a little on the short side with it being less than 37 minutes in length. Nonetheless, I love Wendy O. Williams voice with this type of hard rock. Her razor sharp vocals sound great with the heavy guitar riffs played on WOW. If you haven’t heard her sing before, this is a good place to start.
Sadly, Wendy O. Williams committed suicide back in 1998. Here death is a shame, but she did leave plenty of music for fans to check out. WOW is definitely a CD worth checking out. If you are a fan of KISS, or an 80’s hard rock fan in general, you will probably like this. WOW has been out of print for quite some time, but you can find copies of the CD at this link. For more information on Wendy O. Williams, check out this tribute myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Love Sex (And Rock and Roll)
2. It’s My Life
4. Thief in the Night
5. Opus in Cm7
6. Ready to Rock
7. Bump and Grind
8. Legends Never Die
9. Ain’t None of Your Business
Wendy O. Williams – Vocals
Wes Beech – Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Michael Ray – Lead Guitar
Reginald Van Helsing – Bass Guitar
T.C. Tolliver – Drums
This weekened marked the 20th Anniversary of the KISS CD, Hot in the Shade. This is the last CD to feature the late Eric Carr, and the first to feature song writing credits of current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer.
Once upon a time, I didn’t care for this KISS album very much, but I decided to revisit, especially with all of the hoopla over the new KISS CD, Sonic Boom. Much to my surprise, I like this album a lot more now, than when it was initially released. I am glad that I got reacquainted with Hot in the Shade.
“Rise To It” is a great hard rocking cut to lead off the album with. I can’t understand why this song doesn’t get played live by KISS.
Gene Simmons handles the vocals on “Betrayed” and does a solid job. The catchy sing-along chorus in this tune really works. This is a very under rated KISS tune.
The Paul Stanley/Desmond Child penned tune “Hide Your Heart” was a modest hit for KISS. I am not a huge fan of the song. It is maybe a bit too pop for my tastes. I like Ace Frehley’s version of this song (on Trouble Walkin’) better.
“Read My Body” has a total hair metal feel, and is a pretty cool tune to boot.
“Forever” is the ultimate KISS ballad, and one of the band’s biggest hits in the nineties. I was glad to see this one show up on the Greatest Hits CD in the Sonic Boom package.
The late, great Eric Carr sings on the song “Little Caesear”. Carr may not have been the best vocalist in the KISS, but he does a damn fine job on this hard rocking tune.
Overall, this is a better album than I originally remembered it to be. There are quite a few solid tunes, but Hot in the Shade is not without some filler material. It is worth picking up if you can find it cheap, and you can at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rise To It
3. Hide Your Heart
4. Prisoner Of Love
5. Read My Body
6. Love’s A Slap In The Face
8. Silver Spoon
9. Cadillac Dreams
10. King Of Hearts
11. The Street Giveth And The Street Taketh Away
12. You Love Me To Hate You
13. Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell
14. Little Caesar
Gene Simmons – bass guitar, lead vocals
Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Bruce Kulick – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Eric Carr – drums, percussion, vocals
Today is the 17th anniversary of the death of KISS drummer Eric Carr. He past away in 1991 after a battle with heart cancer.
I still remember the day I heard the news of his death. I was in complete shock. I could not believe that Eric had died.
I still enjoy the music that Eric recorded with KISS today. I still have a lot of fond memories of his time in KISS.
The videos below are a small representation of the songs that Eric recorded with KISS. Check them out!
Rest in Peace Eric…..you are missed!!
KISS – Lick It Up
KISS – Heaven’s On Fire
KISS – Tears are Falling
KISS – Uh! All Night