Dynasty (Kiss album)

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Dynasty
Studio album by Kiss
Released May 23, 1979
Recorded January - February 1979 at Electric Lady Studios, Record Plant Studios, New York City
Length 39:19
Label Casablanca
Producer Vini Poncia
Kiss chronology
Paul Stanley
(1978)
Dynasty
(1979)
Unmasked
(1980)
Singles from Dynasty
  1. "I Was Made for Lovin' You"
    Released: May 20, 1979
  2. "Sure Know Something"
    Released: September 30, 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
iTunes [2]
Pitchfork Media (2.0)[3]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[4]
[5]
Vista Records 4/5 stars[6]
TrueMetal (70/100)[7]
Metal Nightfall 3/5 stars[8]

Dynasty is the seventh studio album by American rock band Kiss, produced by Vini Poncia and released on Casablanca Records on May 23, 1979. It marked the first time that the original four members of Kiss did not all appear together for the entire album. In later interviews, the band admitted that they started to listen to outsiders about what direction the music should go around the time of Dynasty.

Album information[edit]

The album and the following tour were billed as the "Return of Kiss". Kiss had not released a studio album since 1977's Love Gun. Instead, the band released their second live album and each member had recorded eponymous solo albums, which were simultaneously released on September 18, 1978.

After pre-production and rehearsals were completed, Vini Poncia (who had produced Peter Criss), decided that Criss' drumming was substandard, an opinion shared by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Criss by this time was hindered by injuries suffered to his hands in a 1978 car accident. Kiss hired South African-born studio drummer Anton Fig, who played on Ace Frehley, to play on the Dynasty sessions. "On Dynasty, Peter was pretty much out of commission," reflected Stanley, "so I wouldn't point to it as a classic Kiss album."[9] With the exception of his song, "Dirty Livin'", Criss does not appear on the album, and he would not perform on another Kiss album until 1998's Psycho Circus, on which he would again only play on one song. Fig was again hired to replace Criss during recording sessions for the following album Unmasked. Eric Carr was hired as Criss' permanent replacement before the tour for the album began.

Frehley, who himself would depart the band about eighteen months later, sings three songs on Dynasty: "Hard Times", "Save Your Love" and a cover of the Rolling Stones song "2000 Man". Although he had frequently sung backing vocals and had written the Kiss classics "Cold Gin" and "Parasite", Frehley had only debuted as a lead singer on his song "Shock Me" on Love Gun as he lacked confidence in his ability as a lead singer.

Stanley's "I Was Made for Lovin' You" was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of disco music. It was one of their biggest singles ever, peaking at #11 on the American singles chart. He also sang on "Sure Know Something" and "Magic Touch". In contrast, Simmons sings lead vocals on only two songs: "Charisma" and "X-Ray Eyes". Giorgio Moroder was originally scheduled to produce Dynasty. .[citation needed] Escape from Hell was the subtitle of Dynasty's Japanese release.

The album includes a colorful jacket cover. The album cover is actually a collage of photos taken from the photo session, and not a group shot as it appears. The label shows a portrait of all four members instead of the usual Casablanca label. Inserts included a merchandise order form and a full color poster.

Poster versions[edit]

When the album was about to be released, the poster shows that all four members were wearing white strait jackets. This had been discussed by fans and various websites to see the original version of the poster. Unfortunately, Casablanca felt that the straight jackets are not appropriate for younger fans, so the strait jackets had been blacked out, pretending that they are wearing black shirts.

Reception[edit]

Dynasty would restore the band to commercial prominence, reaching #9 on the US Billboard album chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, and would be the last high-charting album by Kiss for several years. "I Was Made for Lovin' You" was Kiss' first songwriting collaboration with Desmond Child, who would show up later on Animalize, Asylum, Crazy Nights, Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, and Hot in the Shade. Sold over 3 million but never recertified. The Kiss remaster states it at double platinum.

Tour[edit]

Main article: Dynasty Tour

The Dynasty Tour spanned the entire second half of 1979 and was Kiss' most ambitious and expensive. It was their first tour since the Alive II tour ended on April 2, 1978 in Japan. Kiss sported new costumes featuring colors which coincided with the colors of their respective solo albums: purple (Stanley), red (Simmons), blue (Frehley) and green (Criss). The new production featured Simmons being hoisted to a small stage atop the scaffolding during his bass solo (typically played before "God of Thunder"). The harness malfunctioned on several occasions.

Frehley was similarly elevated for his smoking guitar solo. Stanley conceived of a headset which projected a laser from his right eye, but the idea was scrapped when it was determined that it could potentially cause eye damage to him and fans. Several shows were cancelled due to poor ticket sales. The last concert with all the original members took place at the Toledo Sports Arena, in Toledo, Ohio, on December 16, 1979.The tour was considered a financial failure and it would become the final tour featuring the original band until the 1996 Reunion Tour seventeen years later.

The Dynasty Tour, also known as "The Return of Kiss", was the first tour to feature the infamous flying stunt by Simmons. This was the first tour to feature Frehley's "light-guitar" and his rocket-shooting stunt. A trick was designed for Stanley that involved him putting on a headset and shooting a laser out of his left eye (to mock the effect seen in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park a year prior). After several run-throughs both Stanley and Bill Aucoin nixed the idea, citing the danger involved. The tour saw a decline in audience. Additional dates at Madison Square Garden and the Pontiac Silverdome were cancelled, while an additional night at the Los Angeles Forum was moved to the 10,000-capacity Anaheim Convention Center.

The tour is famous for being the only tour to feature songs from all four members solo albums. Simmons performed "Radioactive", Criss performed "Tossin' and Turnin'", Frehley performed "New York Groove" and Stanley performed "Move On". The two former songs were replaced early in the tour by more familiar songs. "Dirty Livin'" was reportedly rehearsed, but never performed. Frehley stated in various interviews that Kiss was becoming a youth-oriented band with kids attending their concerts with parents in tow.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "I Was Made for Lovin' You"   Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia, Desmond Child Stanley 4:30
2. "2,000 Man"   Mick Jagger, Keith Richards Ace Frehley 4:54
3. "Sure Know Something"   Stanley, Poncia Stanley 4:00
4. "Dirty Livin'"   Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, Poncia Criss 4:19
5. "Charisma"   Gene Simmons, Howard Marks Simmons 4:25
6. "Magic Touch"   Stanley Stanley 4:41
7. "Hard Times"   Frehley Frehley 3:30
8. "X-Ray Eyes"   Simmons Simmons 3:46
9. "Save Your Love"   Frehley Frehley 4:41

Personnel[edit]

Additional[edit]

Contrary to what some sources may state, Richie Fontana did not perform on "I Was Made for Lovin' You".[10]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[11] 2
Austrian Albums Chart[12] 13
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 6
Dutch Albums Chart[12] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[14] 27
French Albums Chart[15] 2
German Albums Chart[12] 8
Italian Albums Chart[16] 16
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[12] 34
Swedish Albums Chart[12] 17
UK Albums Chart[17] 50
US Billboard Pop Albums[18] 9
Singles
Year Nation Single Chart Position
1979 United States "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Billboard Pop Singles 11[1]
"Sure Know Something" Billboard Pop Singles 47[1]
Austria "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 6[19]
Canada "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 1[20]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 48[21]
France "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 2[22]
Germany Pop Singles 2[23]
The Netherlands "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 1[19]
Norway "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 10[19]
New Zealand Pop Singles 1[19]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 11[24]
Sweden "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 19[19]
Switzerland Pop Singles 2[19]
United Kingdom Pop Singles 50[25]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[26] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dynasty (Kiss album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ "iTunes - Music - Dynasty (Remastered) by KISS". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  3. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2003-06-26. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  4. ^ "Dynasty by Kiss | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Dynasty by Kiss | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "VISTA RECORDS - KISS - Dynasty (1979)". Vistarecords.proboards.com. 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Recensione: Kiss, Dynasty". TrueMetal.it. 2004-04-30. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  8. ^ "KISS : DYNASTY (1979)". Metal.nightfall.fr. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  9. ^ Kitts, Jeff: 'Back in black (and white)', Guitar World, September 1996, p68
  10. ^ http://www.rockpages.gr/detailspage.aspx?id=1510&type=13&lang=EN&SUB=K Richie Fontana interview
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=KISS&titel=Dynasty&cat=a
  13. ^ "Search - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  15. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/Albums_Detail.php
  16. ^ http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_yenda/lpe1979.htm
  17. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/_/kiss/
  18. ^ "Kiss Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Lescharts.com". Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  20. ^ "RPM chart archives at Collections Canada". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  21. ^ "RPM chart archives at Collections Canada". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  22. ^ "InfoDisc archives". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Media Control Charts-History". Retrieved May 23, 2010. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Lescharts.com". Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  25. ^ "The Official Charts". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kiss – Dynasty". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Kiss – Dynasty". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH