Part 36 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!
KISS – Greatest Kiss (1997 European, Japanese, North American versions)
The Reunion Tour was a tremendous ongoing success. As Kiss hit different markets, different releases were prepared. Europe got Greatest Kiss first,and I paid almost $30 for it with tax on import from an HMV store in early ’97.
While we, the fans, were not happy that it had been five years since the last studio album, we still bought this new compilation for one “new” track: A live version of “Shout It Out Loud” from the Reunion Tour. I’ve heard though that the song was recorded in the studio or at rehearsal, not the live Detroit concert as claimed. Either way, this song was released as a promotional video, so it was nice to have a CD version of it.
Also, much as You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! was a taster for the remastered live albums, Greatest Kiss was a taster for the remastered studio albums, about to be released through 1997 in groups of three.
The CD is otherwise made up of your standard original era hits. Both North America and Japan had their own track listings, and I ended up getting all three:
Here’s the most familiar around here, the North American version:
1. Detroit Rock City
2. Hard Luck Woman
3. Sure Know Something
5. Do You Love Me
6. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
7. Calling Dr. Love
8. Christine Sixteen
11. Cold Gin
12. Plaster Caster (yes! nice to see this on a compilation)
13. Rock And Roll All Nite
14. Flaming Youth
15. Two Sides Of The Coin
16. Shout It Out Loud (Live ’96)
Europe had 20 tracks, adding “Black Diamond”, “God of Thunder”, “She”, “Love Gun”, “Goin’ Blind”, “”Shock Me”, and puzzlingly “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II” which was not by the original band. Europe lacked “Flaming Youth”, “Two Sides of the Coin”, and “Christine Sixteen”, however.
Japan also had 20 tracks. Their CD is almost identical to the European one, with “Flaming Youth”, “Two Sides of the Coin”, and “Christine Sixteen” missing. They subbed in “C’mon And Love Me” and “Rock Bottom” instead of “Cold Gin” and “Plaster Caster”.
Personally I’m not partial to this CD. The one “new” song is now available on the Kiss Box Set so there’s nothing exclusive. Today the novelty of the Kiss remasters project is old hat, so there’s not much here to entice a buyer. There are other compilations on the market, and I’m going to discuss them all. If you only want original Kiss, then this one works as well as any.