REVIEW: KISS – Ikons (2008)

Part 46 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster

KISS – Ikons (2008, Universal)

Ikons, (a four disc set not be confused with the later Icon and Icon 2!), was released October 2008, just in time for Christmas, by Universal.  The concept:  Each disc showcases a member of the band, and key tracks that they sang.  It’s a neat concept in that the music’s never been presented this way before.  As such, as a fan, this is a set that I listen to a lot.

Because Ace and Peter didn’t have nearly as many lead vocals as Paul and Gene, there are songs included here that can’t be found on any other compilation. It’s actually quite fun to listen to the whole thing and hear the differing styles from the four guys.

The only flaw with the disc, of course, is that the people who sang the song didn’t always write the song. “God Of Thunder”, on Gene’s disc for example, was written by Paul Stanley. Gene did make it his own, but who does that song really represent, the singer or the writer? Regardless, there’s cool stuff here.  Check out Peter’s disc, which includes songs such as “Mainline” and “Black Diamond”, both incidentally written by Paul!

To the casual fans, they won’t care who wrote what. They just want to hear the familiar voices sing their best known songs. Are these the best known songs? Well, when it comes down to Ace and Peter who didn’t have as many lead vocals, I think they’re some of the best tunes if not best known.  Even the songs selected from their solo albums are my favourites. When you look at Gene and Paul’s discs, it’s less certain, since they had so many greats. Maybe Paul’s disc should have included “Got To Choose” for example. Maybe Gene’s disc should have included more stuff from his solo album such as the Beatles-y “See You Tonite”.

Also worth noting, nothing here from non-makeup albums, although Ace and Peter both get a track from the ill-fated Psycho Circus.

4/5 stars.  I have to credit the originality of the concept. Very enjoyable listen.

Disc 1 (Red): The Demon

  1. “God of Thunder” from Destroyer
  2. “Almost Human” from Love Gun
  3. “Calling Dr. Love” from Rock and Roll Over
  4. “Ladies Room” from Rock and Roll Over
  5. “Christine Sixteen” from Love Gun
  6. “Deuce” from Kiss
  7. “Rock and Roll All Nite” from Dressed to Kill
  8. “Cold Gin” from Kiss
  9. “Parasite” from Hotter Than Hell
  10. “Larger Than Life” from Alive II
  11. “Love ’em and Leave ’em” from Rock and Roll Over
  12. “Plaster Caster” from Love Gun
  13. “Radioactive” from Gene Simmons
  14. “Charisma” from Dynasty

Disc 2 (Purple): The Star Child

  1. “Detroit Rock City” from Destroyer
  2. “Love Gun” from Love Gun
  3. “Take Me” from Rock and Roll Over
  4. “Strutter” from Kiss
  5. “C’mon and Love Me” from Dressed To Kill
  6. “Hotter Than Hell” from Hotter Than Hell
  7. “100,000 Years” from Kiss
  8. “Rock Bottom” from Dressed To Kill
  9. “Do You Love Me?” from Destroyer
  10. “All American Man” from Alive II
  11. “Mr. Speed” from Rock and Roll Over
  12. “I Stole Your Love” from Love Gun
  13. “Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me” from Paul Stanley
  14. “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” from Dynasty

Disc 3 (Blue): The Space Ace

  1. “New York Groove” from Ace Frehley
  2. “Shock Me” from Love Gun
  3. “2,000 Man” from Dynasty
  4. “Rocket Ride” from Alive II
  5. “Snow Blind” from Ace Frehley
  6. “Speedin’ Back to My Baby” from Ace Frehley
  7. “Talk to Me” from Unmasked
  8. “What’s on Your Mind” from Ace Frehley
  9. “Rip It Out” from Ace Frehley
  10. “Save Your Love” from Dynasty
  11. “Hard Times” from Dynasty
  12. “Two Sides of the Coin” from Unmasked
  13. “Dark Light” from Music from “The Elder”
  14. “Into the Void” from Psycho Circus

Disc 4 (Green): The Cat Man

  1. “Hard Luck Woman” from Rock and Roll Over
  2. “Baby Driver” from Rock and Roll Over
  3. “Hooligan” from Love Gun
  4. “Beth” from Destroyer
  5. “I Can’t Stop the Rain” from Peter Criss
  6. “Black Diamond” from Kiss
  7. “Mainline” from Hotter Than Hell
  8. “Don’t You Let Me Down” from Peter Criss
  9. “Dirty Livin'” from Dynasty
  10. “Getaway” from Dressed To Kill
  11. “Strange Ways” from Hotter Than Hell
  12. “That’s The Kind of Sugar Papa Likes” from Peter Criss
  13. “Easy Thing” from Peter Criss
  14. “I Finally Found My Way” from Psycho Circus


  1. I like the idea too. That’s why I do still buy compilations. I like to hear the songs in different contexts, I think it makes for a fun listener experience. This was a great way to showcase the band. And you’re right HMO, Peter’s disc has some amazing material on it. “Mainline” is maybe my favourite he’s even sung!


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