REVIEW: KISS – Double Platinum (foil embossed CD reissue)

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!

5/5 stars

21 comments

  1. All I remember about this was that you had dug through the KISS section three times, looking for the Japanese Monster, and you grabbed that sort of as a consolation prize. I think it was on a 2 For $25 deal? And you got Tull for the other to make the deal?

    I think it’s cool that you have questions about this. I mean, you are the man, as far as people I know who are into KISS. I mean, in a loving but also sort of scary way. Your knowledge isn’t human. So to buy this and not know who recorded every single second, and who farted in the lunchroom and it was audible on track four at 3:37, I’m impressed.

    Indeed it is a pretty looking thing, anyway.

    As for Robert V. Conte… maybe it’s a play on words. Is there a Bob Viscount or some variation of that involved in KISS lore? Or maybe some guy named Robert they hated, named him as close to “cunt” as they could, and wrote up crap liner notes under his name? I dunno man, I bow to your superior knowledge on this puzzle.

    Like

    1. No he’s a real person. He wrote all the liner notes for the Kiss reissues, there was a big article about him in the official Kiss magazine and everything…but they are some of the worst liner notes you will EVER read. Kiss is great! This album is thunderous! Kiss is great! The masses were blown away! Etc. Etc.,

      Like

  2. Mike, this looks like a great purchase. I’m happy to see that they included a replica of the platinum record “plaque.” I still have my original pressing of the “Double Platinum” LP which includes the plaque (with my name written on it back in 1978). I was 12 when this was released, and Kiss was everything to me at the time. I had to save every penny from my allowance and paper delivery job to afford albums, and this one was very pricey (I seem to remember it was around $7.99 or $8.99, when a single album back then was about $4.99). I begged my father to give me an advance on my allowance so I could get it the day of release, not knowing it was a best of and I already owned all the songs (except for “Strutter ’78,” of course). I convinced him that I would never find it cheaper than that release-date price, and he agreed to buy it for me, but if the price came down within a month I would have to pay him back. Within a week another store had it for at least $1 less, and I think I did eventually have to repay him. Of course, he & my mom paid for college…so I guess we can call it even. Haha. All I know is, I have such amazing memories about collecting Kiss albums throughout the ’70s, and the Double Platinum package with the silver embossed gatefold sleeve is still something to behold. Enjoy your CD replica version.

    Like

    1. GREAT story Rich. Thanks for sharing!

      I remember when the 1997 jewel case version came out, one of the pages had the platinum award on it. One of my co-workers thought it would be a good idea to write my name on my copy. Needless to say, I was not happy because the CD was no longer mint!

      I still do not have this on vinyl, but I would love to have it. If you see the video that Aaron and I made in Toronto, we did find a few copies. None in good enough condition for me, though.

      They were also a lot more expensive than what your dad paid! So maybe you shouldn’t have owed him money after all!

      Once again thanks for sharing!

      Like

      1. I wish I had kept my Kiss albums in better shape, even though I wouldn’t have considered selling them. Although I was brought up to take care of my music collection, I played their albums so many times between 1976 & 1978 that they were bound to get worn out. The discs themselves have lots of surface scratches and smudges, and the artwork has been scuffed. Plus, I used to “pop” the Love Gun so often that eventually the paper ripped. I also have a copy of the sheet music for “The Originals,” which I only got for the photos & other non-sheet-music text. That front section came off the binding, so I imagine it’s not worth much…if anything. It’s funny how I’ve been willing to get rid of much of my original LPs from the ’70s if I replaced them with their CD counterparts, but Kiss and Zeppelin are the only ones I held onto (as well as Stevie Wonder’s “Songs In The Key Of Life,” one of the most important albums of my life).

        Like

        1. Rich, they were well loved and that is what matters most. I too was brought up to take care of all my possessions but just through sheer love and usage, not all are in the greatest shape today. Certainly my Kiss albums received lots of play and wear.

          I suppose if we were flush with cash, we could hunt for mint complete copies…

          Like

  3. This is Robert V. Conte, the person who wrote the “crappy” liner notes for this release. Fortunately for me and the fans whom like my work, my essays remain in-print.

    Now, whom are you? ;-)

    Just kidding. You’re entitled to your opinion. Have a great holiday!

    Like

    1. Well, now I feel like a horse’s ass!

      The notes are just not to my taste I suppose. But you’ve been published on Kiss albums and I haven’t, so there ya go.

      Thanks for commenting Robert, nothing personal, happy holidays to you as well!

      Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s