Revenge (Kiss album)

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Revenge
Studio album by Kiss
Released May 19, 1992
Recorded February 1991 – March 1992 in Rumbo Recorders, Canoga Park, CA; Track Records, North Hollywood, CA; Cornerstone Recorders, Chatsworth, CA; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA; Acme Recording Studios, New York City, NY; The Enterprise Studios, Burbank, CA; A&M Studios, Hollywood, CA[1]
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 48:51
Label Mercury
Producer Bob Ezrin
Kiss chronology
Hot in the Shade
(1989)
Revenge
(1992)
Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions
(1997)
Singles from Revenge
  1. "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II"
    Released: August 22, 1991
  2. "Unholy"
    Released: May 4, 1992
  3. "Domino"
    Released: 1992
  4. "I Just Wanna"
    Released: 1992
  5. "Every Time I Look at You"
    Released: 1992

Revenge is the 16th studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on May 19, 1992. It was the band's first album after the death of long-time drummer Eric Carr in November 1991. Carr was replaced by Eric Singer. It was Kiss' first album since the 1979 Dynasty to reach Top 10 in United States. The album was a success over the world, reaching the Top 20 in seven other countries. It was certified gold by the RIAA on July 20, 1992.[2]

The album was dedicated to Carr, and the last track ("Carr Jam 1981") was a demo he had recorded soon after joining the group. One modification to the song was the dubbing of Bruce Kulick's guitar over Ace Frehley's, which originally appeared. The main riff of the song was used as the basis for the Frehley's Comet song "Breakout", from the 1987 album Frehley's Comet. "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II" and "Unholy" have remained regular Kiss live staples. "Domino" was performed during the Revenge Tour and Kiss My Ass Tour. "I Just Wanna" and "Take It Off" were only performed during the Revenge Tour, while "Every Time I Look at You" and "Spit" were, along with "Domino", performed during the MTV Unplugged show.

Album information[edit]

In February 1991, Kiss were asked by the producers of film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure to record a song God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You by the English rock band Argent, which would be produced by Bob Ezrin. The band agreed, and reunited with Ezrin after 10 years and the failure they had with Music from "The Elder". Gene Simmons was not sure it was the right move "especially after the bad experience of The Elder".[3] Simmons, Ezrin and Paul Stanley rewrote the song which they recorded with both Eric Carr and Eric Singer, with Singer playing the drums while Carr (who was not able to play the drums due to health problems) sang the a cappella line "...to everyone, he gave his song to be sung". The song was featured in the sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey with a 40 second long Steve Vai solo instead of the Kiss' intro found on the album. It was a major success, breaking the Top 30 in seven countries, including United States (on Mainstream Rock Tracks), United Kingdom and Australia. It was good enough for the band to continue with Ezrin on a Hot in the Shade follow-up.

Carr went to the hospital and was diagnosed with heart cancer. He underwent open heart surgery in April 1991 to remove tumors. Shortly after the surgery, Carr joined the band to perform in the "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II" music video. According to Simmons, Carr had lost all his hair due to chemotherapy, and had to wear a wig for the shoot.[4] After the shoot, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons persuaded Carr to take care of his health and not worry about the band. Kiss' original plan was for Singer to play drums with the band, until Carr was healthy enough to return. Unfortunately, Carr's health turned for the worse and he died in November 1991, and Kiss brought in Singer as their new drummer.

In December 1991, Kiss and Ezrin returned to the studio to work on a new album. In a surprising move, they sought help from former guitarist Vinnie Vincent. According to Simmons: "Vinnie Vincent came up to me and apologized for causing the band all the grief while he was a member. He wanted to patch things up and wondered if I would consider writing some songs with him. Sure, I said. I wanted to let bygones be bygones. I called Paul and told him that Vinnie had apparently changed. Paul wrote songs with him as well. But before the album was released, Vinnie was up to his old tricks again. He reneged on a signed deal we had made and decided that he wanted to renegotiate. He eventually sued us and lost. As far as I was concerned, he was persona non grata forever."[5]

Stanley wrote a song "Do Ya Wanna Touch Me Now" with Dave "The Snake" Sabo of Skid Row. Stanley said about the exclusion of the song from the album: "It's a great luxury to have an album that's so good that another song is only going to detract from it rather than make it any better. As good as the song is, we didn't need it."[6] The two met when Stanley was on the phone with Nikki Sixx who had Sabo on the other line. They later discussed Stanley's possible appearance for Skid Row's recording of Kiss' song "C'mon and Love Me" for an all covers EP B-Side Ourselves. That was never made, so the two wrote a song in L.A.. Stanley also worked with Jani Lane of Warrant on a song "If You Could See Through My Eyes". The collaboration started before the recording sessions for "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II", and during the recording sessions for Warrant's most successful album Cherry Pie Stanley also penned "Take It Off" with Kane Roberts formerly of Alice Cooper which was featured heavily during the tour of the Revenge album.

Simmons went to work with Bob Dylan. The music was written at Simmons' guesthouse, and while Simmons was to write the lyrics to the song, he thought they were not completed and asked Dylan to write them. Dylan insisted that Simmons write the lyrics. Simmons explained the meeting with Dylan: "I wanted to write a song with Dylan. So, like most things I do, I bull headedly picked up the phone, tracked down his manager and said 'Hi, I'm that guy who sticks his tongue out and I wanna write a song with Dylan,' or words to that effect. The results could only be 'yes' and 'no.' Dylan said yes. He came over to my house a few years back and we sat down and started throwing ideas around. Bob came up with a melody/chordal pattern... I chimed in with a melody/chorus idea and voila, we had a song. Lyrics weren't written as yet. I demoed the track with Tommy Thayer. Bob came down to visit and listen. When the demo was done, I asked Bob to write the lyric. He said no, why don't I write it. I have tried to write a meaningful lyric, but it has eluded me. I've bumped into Bob a few times... in Tokyo, while he was on tour and every time I ask him to write the lyric and he always says, 'Mr. KISS, you write it'." The song, originally titled "Laughing When I Want to Cry" was later renamed to "Waiting for the Morning Light" and released on Simmons' second studio album Asshole.

The recording of the album was finished in March 1992. Additional personnel include Dick Wagner of Alice Cooper band on guitar solo on "Every Time I Look at You"(Wagner had previously performed as a ghost player on Destroyer),[7] Kevin Valentine on drums on "Take It Off"(Valentine later performed drums as a ghost player on Psycho Circus),[8] Jesse Damon and Tommy Thayer[9] on backing vocals. Thayer later became the lead guitarist for the band, replacing Ace Frehley. The songs "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II" and "Carr Jam 1981" were not planned to be featured on the album, but after the death of Eric Carr, the two were included and the album was dedicated to Carr. During the Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991 special aired on VH1 Classic, Simmons stated the importance of the song "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II": "It's not just a cover song for a soundtrack, but a testament to Eric Carr, and I think a lot of people don't realize that."

The first single released from the album was "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II", which was a big hit in the UK and Switzerland reaching #4.[10][11] It peaked at #21 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart and #18 on the Australian Singles Charts. "Domino" was the next single from the album, peaking at #26 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.[12] The third was "I Just Wanna", which peaked at #34 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.[12] The last single was "Every Time I Look at You", charted only in Sweden, reaching #31.[13] "Unholy" was promotionly released in the USA, but it was released as second single in other countries. It reached Top 30 in five countries: United Kingdom and Germany where it reached #26,[10][14] Netherlands where reached #28,[15] Sweden where the song reached #19[13] and Norway where "Unholy" reached its highest, #2.[16] Music videos were made for each single, with Revenge being the Kiss album with the most produced music videos.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[17]
Vista Records 4.5/5 stars[18]
Billboard Magazine (favorable)[19]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars[20]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[21]

The album received mixed reviews. John Franck of Allmusic said: "Some of the cuts are excellent, delivered with conviction and panache, but for all the hype, the album is also tainted with filler."[17] He gave the album three out of five stars saying that Ezrin made Kiss sound "fresh again".[17] Rolling Stone's review was harsh as usual, giving the album one out of five stars.

Erik Rupp of Vista Records said of the album: "Sonically, Revenge is outstanding as well. The drums are mixed just right - not too big and boomy, but big enough to sound right with these songs. The snare drum has a snap to it to go along with the depth and presence that gives each song a firecracker-like energy. The guitar tones are not super distorted, and they aren't as up front in the mix as on an album like, say, Asylum, but when the complementary rhythm parts are played together they sound big and bold anyway. They cut through. And the bass sounds both fuller and punchier than on any previous KISS album."[18] He gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Revenge debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and was Kiss' first Top-10 album in the United States since 1979's Dynasty. The album reached the Top-10 in Australia (number 5), United Kingdom and Sweden (number 10), Switzerland (number 6), and Norway (number 4). Despite the high debut, the album quickly fell off the charts, but sold enough for gold certificate in the United States and Canada. As of February 12, 2007, the album has sold over 596,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan.[22]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Unholy"   Gene Simmons, Vinnie Vincent Simmons 3:40
2. "Take It Off"   Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kane Roberts Stanley 4:50
3. "Tough Love"   Stanley, Bruce Kulick, Ezrin Stanley 3:44
4. "Spit"   Simmons, Scott Van Zen, Stanley Simmons, Stanley 3:32
5. "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II"   Russ Ballard, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin Stanley, Simmons 5:18
6. "Domino"   Simmons Simmons 4:01
7. "Heart of Chrome"   Stanley, Vincent, Ezrin Stanley 4:02
8. "Thou Shalt Not"   Simmons, Jesse Damon Simmons 3:59
9. "Every Time I Look at You"   Stanley, Ezrin Stanley 4:38
10. "Paralyzed"   Simmons, Ezrin Simmons 4:14
11. "I Just Wanna"   Stanley, Vincent Stanley 4:07
12. "Carr Jam 1981"   Eric Carr (instrumental) 2:46

Personnel[edit]

Kiss[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Bob Ezrin - producer
  • Chris Steinmetz - engineering
  • Niko Bolas - engineering
  • George Tutko - engineering
  • Pete Magdaleno - assistant engineer
  • Dick Keneshiro - assistant engineer
  • Bart Stevens - assistant engineer
  • Andy Udoff - assistant engineer
  • Julie Last - assistant engineer
  • Richard Hasal - assistant engineer
  • Mick Guzauski - mixing
  • Rall Rogut - mixing

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Australia ARIA Album Chart[24] 5
Austrian Albums Chart[25] 14
Canada RPM100[26] 11
European Albums Chart[27] 25
Finnish Albums Chart[28] 15
Germany Top 100 Albums[14] 16
Hungarian Albums Chart[29] 27
Japanese Albums Chart[30] 14
Netherlands Mega Album Top 100[15] 46
Norway VG-lista[16] 4
Sweden Albums Top 60[13] 10
Switzerland Albums Top 100[11] 6
UK Albums Chart[10] 10
US Billboard 200[12] 6

Singles[edit]

"God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II"

Chart (1991) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[12] 21
Australia ARIA Singles Chart[24] 18
Switzerland Singles Top 100[11] 4
UK Singles Chart[10] 4
Germany Top 100 Singles[14] 9
Sweden Singles Top 60[13] 24
Ö3 Austria Top 40[25] 16

"Unholy"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[10] 26
Norway Singles[16] 2
Sweden Singles Top 60[13] 19
Dutch Top 40[15] 28
Germany Top 100 Singles[14] 26

"Domino"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[12] 26

"I Just Wanna"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[12] 34

"Every Time I Look at You"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Sweden Singles Top 60[13] 31

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[31] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[2] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kiss - Revenge Back album cover. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "American album certifications – Kiss – Revenge". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  3. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-Up. Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943614-0 (Page 218 line 16) Retrieved July 16, 2011
  4. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-Up. Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943614-0 (Page 218 lines 5-6;28-32) Retrieved July 16, 2011
  5. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-Up. Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943614-0 (Page 220 lines 18-27) Retrieved July 16, 2011
  6. ^ Kerrang! magazine May 16, 1992. Issue #392. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  7. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS - 20 Years Of Revenge Part III; Bob Ezrin's "Go-To Guy" Dick Wagner. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS - 20 Years Of Revenge Part II; Valentine's Day. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS - 20 Years Of Revenge Part I. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e UK Albums Chart Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Swiss Music Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Billboard charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Sverigetopplistan Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d Media Control Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c MegaCharts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c VG-lista Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Franck, John. allmusic (Revenge - Review) Allmusic. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  18. ^ a b Rupp, Erik. Vista Records Review - Revenge Retrieved July 16, 2011
  19. ^ Billboard Review - Revenge Retrieved July 16, 2011
  20. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide - Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011
  21. ^ Sputnikmusic Review - Revenge Retrieved July 16, 2011
  22. ^ Blabbermouth.net KISS: SoundScan-Era Record Sales Revealed - Feb. 12, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  23. ^ Saulnier, Jason (14 March 2011). "Bruce Kulick Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  24. ^ a b ARIA Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss NOTE: The list shows only albums and singles which charted since 1989. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  25. ^ a b Australian Music Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  26. ^ RPM100 RPM100 albums chart history - June 13, 1992 July 16, 2011.
  27. ^ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jg8EAAAAMBAJ&lr=&rview=1
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ http://zene.slagerlistak.hu/archivum/kereso-eloado-cim-szerint
  30. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/57696/ranking/cd_album/
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kiss – Revenge". Music Canada. 

External links[edit]