Killers (Kiss album)
|Greatest hits album by Kiss|
|Released||June 15, 1982|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Producer||Michael James Jackson (new tracks)|
Killers is the second compilation album by American hard rock group Kiss. It was released only outside the US, but quickly became available as an import. Of the album's twelve songs, four were new compositions recorded specifically for it: "I'm a Legend Tonight", "Down on Your Knees", "Nowhere to Run", and "Partners in Crime". These new songs were recorded at the behest of Phonogram Records, in response to the commercial failure of 1981's Music from "The Elder".
By 1982, Kiss's commercial popularity was at its nadir. 1980's Unmasked barely achieved gold certification in the United States, and the band toured exclusively outside the US for the first time in their career that year, aside from one "introductory" show for Eric Carr as the new, official drummer in New York. Music from "The Elder" fared even worse, as it failed to gain any certification, and the band did not tour behind it at all. The album, released in November 1981, was off the charts by February 1982.
Part of this may have something to do with the fact that Kiss had alluded to a "back to their roots" hard rock album, only to have efforts in that regard trashed in favor of the conceptual album Music from "The Elder". It has also been indicated that among other things, this decision was the proverbial nail in the coffin for Ace as a member of Kiss, as well as a portion of his contributions being trashed. Creatures of the Night, released in October 1982, followed through with this promise--but failed to regain any of the fans they had lost by this point--resulting in Kiss ditching the gimmick of the make-up and characters in favor of a more "up-to-date" look, more common among other popular artists in the early-to-mid-1980s.
Phonogram Records (the parent company of Kiss's label Casablanca Records) requested that Kiss record four new songs, to be included in an upcoming greatest hits album. Phonogram requested hard rock songs specifically, in contrast to the progressive rock-style of Music from "The Elder". The album cover featured the streamlined look the band had adopted during the "Elder" period.
Numerous outside songwriters and session musicians were employed for the writing and recording of the four new songs on Killers. Songwriter and musician Mikel Japp, who co-wrote three songs on Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album, co-wrote "Down on Your Knees" with Stanley and Bryan Adams. Adam Mitchell, another outside songwriter, was brought in by producer Michael James Jackson.
Despite being pictured on the album's cover art (from the photo session for Music from "The Elder"), lead guitarist and co-founder Ace Frehley did not participate at all in the production of Killers. He had essentially ended his active involvement with Kiss in late 1981, although he would not officially leave the group until the end of 1982, after the release of Creatures of the Night. His replacement for the Killers sessions was Bob Kulick, who had previously subbed for Frehley on a handful of studio tracks on 1977's Alive II; however, whereas Kulick had been asked to mimic Frehley's playing style when recording for Alive II, he was permitted to employ his own techniques for Killers. The four new songs were considered a "primer" for Kiss' next release, while some fans have indicated that fan club memos at the time listed Ace as "temporarily out of action," possibly due to a car accident or something similar, and originally listed Vinnie Vincent as a temporary replacement for Ace Frehley.
Due to the large volume of Kiss live albums and greatest hits albums already available domestically, Phonogram decided to issue the album outside the US. The album sold in moderate numbers, reaching its highest chart position of #6 in Norway. Killers peaked at #21 and #27 in Australia and Japan, respectively. In Sweden and the UK, it reached #41 and #42, respectively. None of the singles released from the album charted in any country. Also, due to the shape of the S in their band logo, there were two covers: one with the standard "S", and a more European friendly version with a "backwards"-Z shape.
|1.||"I'm a Legend Tonight"||Paul Stanley, Adam Mitchell||3:59|
|2.||"Down on Your Knees"||Stanley, Mikel Japp, Bryan Adams||3:31|
|3.||"Cold Gin"||Ace Frehley||4:20|
|5.||"Shout It Out Loud" (7" mix)||Stanley, Gene Simmons, Bob Ezrin||2:40|
|6.||"Sure Know Something"||Stanley, Vini Poncia||3:59|
|1.||"Nowhere to Run"||Stanley||4:32|
|2.||"Partners in Crime"||Stanley, Mitchell||3:45|
|3.||"Detroit Rock City" (Edit)||Stanley, Ezrin||3:53|
|4.||"God of Thunder"||Stanley||4:11|
|5.||"I Was Made for Lovin' You" (Edit)||Stanley, Poncia, Desmond Child||4:18|
|6.||"Rock and Roll All Nite" (Live)||Stanley, Simmons||3:58|
- The Japanese release featured two additional tracks not found on the standard edition: "Escape from the Island" (which is not on the Japanese release of Music From "The Elder") and "Shandi". Similarly, "Talk to Me" and "Shandi" were added to the track listing of the Australian release.
- The version of "Shout It Out Loud" found on this release features the single mix that has all the vocals in the center channel, whereas the original Destroyer version features Paul Stanley on the right channel, and Gene Simmons on the left. It also fades about ten seconds earlier than the album version.
- The version of "God of Thunder" found on this release is missing the intro found on "Destroyer".
- Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
- Gene Simmons – bass guitar, lead vocals
- Ace Frehley – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Peter Criss - drums
- Eric Carr – drums
- Anton Fig - drums on "I Was Made for Lovin' You" and "Sure Know Something"
- Bob Kulick - lead guitar on the new songs
- Killers (Kiss album) at AllMusic
- Lendt, C.K. KISS and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup, Billboard Books, 1997. ISBN 0-8230-7551-6
- Gooch, Curt and Jeff Suhs. KISS Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History, Billboard Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8230-8322-5
- Gill, Julian. The KISS Album Focus, Volume 1 (3rd Edition). Xlibris Corporation, 2005. ISBN 1-4134-8547-2