Next in line of my reviews from Record Store Excursion 2012! Check out the video below if you missed it. This one bought at HMV, in their 2 for $25 sale. What I came for was Japanese imports, which they apparently don’t carry anymore. Why?
MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO
KISS – Double Platinum (1978, 1997 foil embossed reissue)
For the record, until Record Store Excursion 2012, I’d never seen this before. It’s a pretty cool, pretty accurate CD reproduction of the original foil embossed LP. As far as appearances go, it’s superior to the usual jewel case version, and it’s even superior to the 1997 Japanese edition, which I also have. The cover is fragile, prone to scuffs and fingerprinting, so I’ve kept mine nice and safe in a sandwich bag.
I like that its embossed, not just flat cardboard. I like that the faces inside the cover are also embossed, just like the original LP. The photos don’t really do it justice. I wish I knew the story behind this. In all my years at the record store I never saw one, even though the year on the back clearly states 1997 (the same year as the other Kiss remasters). It even still has the same crappy 1997 liner notes by Robert V. Conte (who?).
I first heard this album back in 1985 or 1986, and it was my first exposure to songs like “Hard Luck Woman” and “Makin’ Love”. For years I would often recommend this album as one of the first Kiss albums for people to get. It is still an excellent introduction despite the fact that the market has been flooded with approximately 15 different compilations (rough guess) since then. It’s also still an excellent introduction even though most of the material has been remixed. (A lot of people can’t tell the difference anyway.) There’s also one “new” song, a disco-ish remake of “Strutter” called “Strutter ’78”. For me, these were the original versions that I heard!
The technical reasoning for the remixing was to make the band’s uneven catalogue sound more alike, when presented together in this fashion. The material produced by Bob Ezrin (Destroyer) sounded leaps and bounds different than the other stuff, so it was remixed to bring it to Ezrin’s level.
“Strutter ’78” was re-recorded with more compression on the drums. I still think it’s a great track, but it lacks the fire of the Kiss original. It’s more sleek. “Hard Luck Woman” has been remixed to highlight the acoustic guitars, leaving the band out until later in the song. “Rock Bottom’s” intro is presented here without the song itself, and it does work in that form, serving now as an intro to “She”. “Black Diamond” lacks the slow-down ending, and I kind of prefer this version: Instead, at the end, the song starts all over again and goes into a fade.
My only complaint about Double Platinum was always in regards to the CD version. Since the original pressing of the LP had the Kiss logo embossed on silver foil, I felt the CD reissues were cheap and didn’t do it justice, even the Japanese, which just has a dull paper cover. The domestic jewel case CD is just printed in silver ink.
Where did this come from? What’s the story? No idea. Comment below!