Killers (Kiss album)

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KISS Killers.jpg
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedJune 15, 1982
GenreHard rock, heavy metal
LabelCasablanca, Phonogram
ProducerKenny Kerner, Richie Wise, Bob Ezrin, Eddie Kramer, Vini Poncia, Michael James Jackson, Kiss
Kiss chronology
Double Platinum
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

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".[2]

Album information[edit]

By 1982, Kiss' commercial popularity was at its nadir. 1980's Unmasked had 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 show in New York which introduced Eric Carr as their new official drummer. Music from "The Elder" fared even worse, as it failed to gain any certification, and the band did not tour behind it at all.[3] The album, released in November 1981, was off the charts by February 1982.[2]

Before teaming up with producer Bob Ezrin again to make the conceptual album Music from "The Elder", Kiss had alluded to making a hard rock album more akin to their early material. Creatures of the Night, released in October 1982, followed through with this promise and, despite positive reception, failed to regain any of the fans they had lost by this point. Subsequently, Kiss made the decision to abandon their trademark make-up and characters in favor of a look more in keeping with other popular artists of the early-to-mid-1980s.

Phonogram Records (the parent company of Kiss' label Casablanca Records) then requested that Kiss record four new songs, to be included on 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.[2]

Numerous outside songwriters and session musicians were employed for the writing and recording of the four new songs on Killers, as well as the subsequent album, Creatures of the Night. 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.[4][self-published source]

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.[2][3] His replacement for the Killers sessions was Bob Kulick, who had previously substituted 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.[4] 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 Frehley as "temporarily out of action," possibly due to a car accident or something similar, and originally listed Vinnie Vincent as a temporary replacement for 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.[2] 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.[4] 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.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."I'm a Legend Tonight"Paul Stanley, Adam Mitchell3:59
2."Down on Your Knees"Stanley, Mikel Japp, Bryan Adams3:31
3."Cold Gin"Ace Frehley4:20
4."Love Gun"Stanley3:17
5."Shout It Out Loud" (7" mix)Stanley, Gene Simmons, Bob Ezrin2:40
6."Sure Know Something"Stanley, Vini Poncia3:59
Side two
1."Nowhere to Run"Stanley4:32
2."Partners in Crime"Stanley, Mitchell3:45
3."Detroit Rock City" (Edited version)Stanley, Ezrin3:53
4."God of Thunder"Stanley4:11
5."I Was Made for Lovin' You" (Edited version)Stanley, Poncia, Desmond Child4:18
6."Rock & Roll All Nite" (Live)Stanley, Simmons3:58
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • The version of "God of Thunder" found on this release is missing the intro found on Destroyer.



Additional musicians

  • Mikel Japp - rhythm guitar on "Down on Your Knees"
  • Bob Kulick - lead guitar on "I'm a Legend Tonight", "Down on Your Knees", "Nowhere to Run" & "Partners in Crime"
  • Anton Fig - drums "Sure Know Something", "I Was Made for Lovin' You", "Shandi" & "Talk to Me"


  1. ^ Killers at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d e Lendt, C.K. KISS and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup, Billboard Books, 1997. ISBN 0-8230-7551-6
  3. ^ a b Gooch, Curt and Jeff Suhs. KISS Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History, Billboard Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8230-8322-5
  4. ^ a b c Gill, Julian. The KISS Album Focus, Volume 1 (3rd Edition). Xlibris Corporation, 2005. ISBN 1-4134-8547-2