Saturday, December 14, 2019

Take It Off Kiss Truly Unmasked- Greg Prato (Jawbone Press)

 Image result for greg prato take it off" 

   The non-make up era was when I first discovered Kiss and my first album of new music was Crazy Nights. Over time I've bought all their albums but it's this era I love the most and the band for the majority of their live sets choose to ignore it after putting the make up back on. The format is similar to his Kings X book earlier this year and there's a chapter on all the studio, live, compilation and tribute albums. Of course there's no input from Gene or Paul but plenty from Bruce Kulick including a rundown of the guitars used, the tracks demoed that didn't make albums and a frank discussion of the videos some of which haven't aged well.

   There's interviews with the expected like Eddie Trunk, Mitch Lafon, Ace Frehley, Ron Nevison and Toby Wright but what makes this book stand out is the unexpected. Greg includes a chapter on Creatures Of The Night because the re-release in 1985 featured Eric and Bruce on the cover, the inclusion didn't bother me as it's my favorite Kiss album. There's a section with Katherine Turman on misogyny in metal dealing with lyrics containing logs in fireplaces and such. KK Downing discusses bands softening their sound to fit radio and MTV like they did with Turbo, Curt Gooch the co-author of Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History brilliantly breaks down all the tours warts and all, Ron Keel tells us why Gene is a great producer, Eric Carr is remembered and if you are so inclined you can check out all Gene's acting appearances because they are listed to.

   So other then direct involvement with Gene and Paul what's missing. Well Eric Singer would have been nice as would Bob Ezrin, Michael James Jackson would have fleshed out Lick It Up more and I'm sure all were asked. The contributors are from what I can tell all located in North America and I think the book would have more balance if the likes of Mick Wall, Dave Reynolds or Howard Johnson from Kerrang shared their thoughts especially as Crazy Nights was a smash over in the UK. I have to say overall this is a super read and it made me go back and listen to some of those albums again.


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