Thursday, December 20, 2007

DVD: Kiss - Kissology Vol 3 1992-2000

Label: VH1 Classic Records

Released: December 18, 2007

Frankly, I expected the third volume of the Kissology to be the least essential. While the Revenge tour material was likely to be decent and the Unplugged reunion with Ace and Peter shouldn't be missed, the rest followed them through their years of touring with the make-up back on and the stage show back in all its supposed splendor in what can only be explained as an attempt to milk both their first generation fans for another go around as well as a new brood of mesmerized adolescents. I mean didn't they bring back Eric Singer at one point and have him put on the cat costume?

So, my hopes were low, but I had forgotten how exciting the Unplugged performance was and how that electricity extended into the initial reunion tour in 1996. Whether it was a money-grubbing scheme or not, they did bring their best and those performances show it, particularly the MTV VMA awards show under the Brooklyn Bridge. Disc three shows them at their worst (at least since the Elder) as everyone but Paul seems to be going through more of an ordeal than a good time. To Paul's credit, despite Kiss' numerous blatant money-making ploys, he seems to have always tried to adhere to the old Motown model of making a fortune by making the best product possible. However, his audience had become nostalgic middle-aged guys, evidenced by the crowd shots (did you see that goofball with his one sleeve rolled up to show off his the Kiss Army tattoo?) and that almost never produces good rock n roll.

Disc four was a nice surprise. It's Kiss' earliest filmed performance from December 1973. Why wasn't it included on Vol. 1? In typical Kiss fashion, they're more concerned with presentation than anything else and it was felt that the footage was too raw to kick the project off. It ended up being a good decision. Kiss, love them or hate them, had a long, successful run and it would be sad to see it end with a farewell tour where their hearts weren't entirely in it (once again with the exception of Paul). After the waning energy of the Farewell Tour show from 2000 which shows them as innocuous as apple pie (though not nearly as good), it's nice to be blown away by how shocking they must've been 27 years earlier. Can you imagine having been there?

None can compete with the first volume which finds Kiss first hungry to succeed and then at their peek where they still believed that the best way to make money was to produce a quality product, but Vol. 3 really does have some essential moments, even for the cursory fan.

Rating: 7/10

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Blogger Jeff said...

I just got this not too long ago to review, I haven't had the opportunity to watch it yet. I'm not a big Kiss fan so we'll see how I feel...

11:20 PM  

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