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|Live album by Kiss|
|Released||March 12, 1996|
|Recorded||August 9, 1995, Sony Studios, New York City, New York|
|Genre||Rock, hard rock, acoustic rock|
Kiss Unplugged is an MTV Unplugged album by American rock band Kiss. On August 9, 1995, the band performed on MTV Unplugged. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate. Fan reaction to Criss and Frehley at the show was so positive that, in 1996, the original lineup of Kiss reunited, with all four original members together for the first time since 1979.
"The sound was deafening: the sound of rock 'n' roll history coming full circle in a TV studio," wrote Kerrang!'s Don Kaye in a review of the taping at New York's Sony Music Studios. "Complete pandemonium ensued as they struck the opening chords to '2,000 Man', and it continued when Ace's voice rang out in the clear, sardonic manner we all know and love."
It marked the only time the original lineup performed publicly without their trademark makeup, and was also the only time Frehley and Criss shared a stage with Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick. It was the first time Singer had part of a lead vocal on an album (shared with Criss on "Nothin' to Lose"). On March 12, 1996, the concert was released on CD and, on December 18, 2007, on the Kissology Volume Three: 1992–2000 DVD set. This included the original DVD release of the concert plus five previously unreleased songs: "Hard Luck Woman" (with Stanley on vocals), "Heaven's on Fire", "Spit", "C'mon and Love Me", and the infamous country version of "God of Thunder". The LP version of the album includes a poster and some were pressed on yellow marbled vinyl.
A stand-alone VHS and DVD documentary was produced around the same time as the CD release, with archival footage of the bands' rehearsal sessions at SIR Studios in New York. It also shows the first "KISS Konvention" appearance with Peter Criss joining the touring members onstage to sing a few tunes earlier in the year. According to Peter, this invite gave Gene the idea of reaching out to both he and Ace to be a part of the Unplugged taping in an unannounced reunion. Because of the contentious split, the worldwide fan base never thought this would happen, and it was kept a closely held secret until the day of the event.
Allmusic gave the album three out of five stars and said, "They exceeded expectations and, given their newfound energy, charisma, and love for the music, their performance provided the catalyst for the beginning of a successful world reunion tour."
"Cheatingly, the ambience is muscularly electro-acoustic," observed Danny Eccleston in Q, "but the tunes happily hail from the classic slap period, throwing the simply great pop of 'Goin' Blind' and the Beatley 'Sure Know Something' into pin-sharp focus."
|1.||"Comin' Home"||Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley||Stanley||2:51|
|2.||"Plaster Caster"||Gene Simmons||Simmons||3:17|
|3.||"Goin' Blind"||Simmons, Stephen Coronel||Simmons||3:37|
|4.||"Do You Love Me?"||Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kim Fowley||Stanley||3:13|
|6.||"Got To Choose"||Stanley||Stanley||4:01|
|7.||"Sure Know Something"||Stanley, Vini Poncia||Stanley||4:14|
|8.||"A World Without Heroes"||Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin, Lou Reed||Simmons||2:57|
|9.||"Hard Luck Woman"||Stanley||Stanley||3:10|
|10.||"Rock Bottom"||Frehley, Stanley||Stanley||3:20|
|11.||"See You Tonight"||Simmons||Simmons||2:26|
|12.||"I Still Love You"||Stanley, Vinnie Vincent||Stanley||6:09|
|13.||"Every Time I Look at You"||Stanley, Ezrin||Stanley||4:43|
|14.||"Heaven's On Fire"||Stanley, Desmond Child||Stanley||3:46|
|16.||"C'mon And Love Me"||Stanley||Stanley||2:52|
|17.||"God of Thunder"||Stanley||Simmons||2:00|
|18.||"2,000 Man"||Mick Jagger, Keith Richards||Frehley||5:12|
|19.||"Beth"||Peter Criss, Ezrin, Stan Penridge||Criss||2:50|
|20.||"Nothin' to Lose"||Simmons||Eric Singer, Criss||3:42|
|21.||"Rock and Roll All Nite"||Stanley, Simmons||Simmons, Frehley, Criss||4:20|
The track listing including "Got to Choose" is only available on vinyl and on CD releases in Japan.
- Paul Stanley - acoustic guitar, lead vocals
- Ace Frehley - acoustic guitar, vocals
- Gene Simmons - acoustic bass guitar, lead vocals
- Peter Criss - drums, vocals
- Bruce Kulick - acoustic guitar
- Eric Singer - drums, vocals
- Phillip Ashley - piano on "Every Time I Look at You"
- Jon Grindstaff - conductor, string arrangements on "Every Time I Look at You"
|Chart (1996)||Peak position|
|Australia ARIA Albums Chart||4|
|US Billboard 200 ||15|
|"Rock and Roll All Nite"||US Mainstream Rock Tracks||13|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Kerrang! #564, 23 September 1995
- Kiss Unplugged at AllMusic
- "Kiss - MTV Unplugged". Melodic.net. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "KISS: UNPLUGGED (1996)". Metal.nightfall.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- Q, April 1996
- Q, April 1996
- Saulnier, Jason (14 March 2011). "Bruce Kulick Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "ARIA chart history database-Kiss albums". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Billboard chart history-Kiss albums". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Billboard chart history-Kiss singles". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Argentinian album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
- "American album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- "American video certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Video Longform, then click SEARCH