The KISS RE-REVIEW SERIES Part 39: bonus single review
Kiss took the unusual step of waiting six months before going out on tour to support Hot in the Shade. Bands were having trouble selling out arenas. In the meantime they released singles and videos. “Hide Your Heart” came first in October of 1989. It did alright; for fans the best part of “Hide Your Heart” was seeing Paul Stanley playing guitar again in the music video. The CD single was nothing special; just the Paul Stanley A-side, backed by two Gene Simmons B-sides, as had become the norm. “Betrayed” and “Boomerang” were among the better Simmons tracks to chose from Hot in the Shade.
In January of the new year, they dropped what they hoped to be the big single, “Forever”. The excellent music video was an MTV hit, going to #1, while the single went to #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. One reason the video was so well received is that it was a rare back-to-basics look at the band. It was just four guys playing together in a room. No girls, no gimmicks, no dancing. Featuring exceptional performances by Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick, “Forever” was one of those rare ballads with integrity. Having Bruce’s old Blackjack buddy, Michael Bolton, in the writing credits didn’t hurt.
Ace Frehley wasn’t impressed though. In the July 1990 issue of Guitar for the Practising Musician, he dismissed it as pop. He wasn’t wrong, but that doesn’t make “Forever” bad.
The single for “Forever” received a wider release on all three major formats (CD, vinyl and tape), and was expanded to EP length with four tracks. It also received something very rare for Kiss: a single exclusive remix, by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero. It has some difference in levels and echo. However, every CD copy of this single has a flaw, a skip at 1:40 that shouldn’t be there. It’s not even a damaged CD; if you look at the track times, the single version is encoded few seconds shorter. In other words a faulty master was used on every CD single. You won’t find one without the skip. Vinyl and cassette don’t have the flaw.
Fortunately this oversight was fixed when Kiss released their box set a decade later. The correct remixed single version without flaw was remastered and included in the set.
The included B-sides are an interesting mix. From the Hot in the Shade album, there’s the Gene Simmons throwaway “The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away”. The other two are, strangely, two of Paul’s “new” tracks from Kiss Killers. The logic here was the Kiss Killers was (and still is) unreleased in North America. At least this gave us an easy way to get the amazing “Nowhere to Run” on CD.
Too bad about that flaw on the CD version. Otherwise this isn’t a bad little single.
4/5 stars (cassette and vinyl versions)
0/5 stars (CD)
To be continued…