KISS – 20th Century Masters: The DVD Collection (2004 Universal)
These 20th Century Masters DVDs were a fun way to pick up key music videos from major bands at a cheap price. Today this role is largely filled by sites such as YouTube. The Kiss edition features five of their biggest from the 1980’s: One with makeup, four without. One each from Creatures, Lick It Up, Animalize, Asylum, and Crazy Nights.
“I Love It Loud”, of course, features the band in full makeup and costumes, including Ace Frehley, even though he did not play on Creatures of the Night. This brilliant video spoofed the popular “rock and roll is brainwashing our kids” fears of the 80’s. In this video, Kiss use their incredible brain powers to do that very thing. Gene can even melt objects with his fire breathing, through a fucking television set.
Let me set the stage for you in the clip for “Lick It Up”: It is the Future. Nuclear war has seemlingly reduced America to a wasteland, the population are dressed in rags. The only human beings left alive are women…and of course the four guys from Kiss (now including Vinnie Vincent on guitar). Only they can bring salvation (and music) to the surviving ladies.
“Heaven’s On Fire is a pretty standard 80’s video. The band frolic with babes, Gene wags his tongue, Eric shakes his hair. This video is however notable as the one and only appearance of guitarist Mark St. John (who replaced Vinnie Vincent) on lead guitar.
The clip for “Tears Are Falling” isn’t the best. It’s a better song than a video, but there’s a cool part where Bruce plays a guitar solo in the rain. It’s too bad that Kiss chose the Asylum period for a garish set of sequined covered bathrobes, a popular 1985-86 trend.
“Crazy Crazy Nights” boasts some pretty big production values and the debut of the “new” late-80’s KISS sign. I hated the softening of the musical and visual direction of Kiss in this video. This is the beginning of Paul Stanley merely dancing with his guitar in videos, rather than playing it. Watch the video. At no point is Paul doing anything more than wearing or dancing with his guitar!
Eric Carr was the drummer on all tracks, rest his soul.