Revenge (Kiss album)

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Revenge
Kiss revenge cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 19, 1992 (1992-05-19)[1]
RecordedFebruary 1991 – March 1992
Studio
GenreHeavy metal
Length48:51
LabelMercury
ProducerBob Ezrin
Kiss chronology
Hot in the Shade
(1989)
Revenge
(1992)
Alive III
(1993)
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 sixteenth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on May 19, 1992. It is the band's first album to feature current drummer Eric Singer, following the death of former drummer Eric Carr in November 1991 and is the group's last album to feature musical contributions from the latter. Marking a stylistic departure from the pop-influenced glam metal sound which characterized much of the band's 1980s output, the album reached the Top 20 in several countries, though it failed to reestablish the group back in the mainstream and its sales were equal-to or less than its predecessors, ultimately only being certified gold by the RIAA on July 20, 1992.[3]

The album was dedicated to Carr, and the closing track, "Carr Jam 1981," is a demo the drummer had recorded soon after joining the group in 1980. One modification to the song was the dubbing of Bruce Kulick's guitar over Ace Frehley's original work. The main riff of the song was used as the basis for Frehley's Comet song "Breakout", from the 1987 album Frehley's Comet.

Recording[edit]

In February 1991, Kiss was asked by the producers of the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey to record "God Gave Rock 'n Roll to You II" (a remake of the song "God Gave Rock 'n Roll to You" by the English rock band Argent). The band agreed and reunited with producer Bob Ezrin, ten years after the debacle of Music From "The Elder". Gene Simmons was not sure it was the right move, "especially after the bad experience of The Elder".[4] But Simmons, Ezrin and Paul Stanley rewrote the song, which they recorded with Eric Carr and Eric Singer: Singer played the drums while Carr (unable to play owing to health problems) sang the a cappella line "...to everyone, He gave His song to be sung." The song was featured in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey with a 40-second Steve Vai solo instead of the Kiss intro found on the album. It was a major success, hitting the Top 30 in seven countries, including the United States (on Mainstream Rock Tracks), the United Kingdom and Australia. Emboldened, the band continue with Ezrin on a follow-up to Hot in the Shade.

Carr was diagnosed with heart cancer and underwent open-heart surgery in April 1991 to remove tumors. Shortly after the surgery, he joined the band to perform in the "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll" music video. According to Simmons, Carr had lost all his hair due to chemotherapy and had to wear a wig for the shoot.[5] After the shoot, Paul and Gene persuaded Carr to take care of his health and not worry about the band. Kiss's plan was for Singer to play with the band until Carr was healthy enough to return. However, Carr's health continued to decline and he died in November 1991. Kiss officially hired Singer to replace Carr.

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."[6]

With Dave "The Snake" Sabo of Skid Row, Stanley wrote "Do Ya Wanna Touch Me Now", which ultimately failed to make the tracklist. "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," Stanley observed. "As good as the song is, we didn't need it."[7] 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's "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 "If You Could See Through My Eyes." The collaboration began before the sessions for "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II" and during the recording of 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.

Simmons went to work with Bob Dylan. The music was written at the former's guesthouse, and Simmons asked Dylan to complete the lyrics. Dylan insisted that Simmons write them. "I wanted to write a song with Dylan," the Kiss bassist explained. "So, like most things I do, I bullheadedly 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's second solo album Asshole.

The recording of the album was finished in March 1992. Additional personnel included Dick Wagner of Alice Cooper on the guitar solo for "Every Time I Look at You" (Wagner had previously performed as a ghost player on Destroyer),[8] Kevin Valentine on drums for "Take It Off" (Valentine later performed drums as a ghost player on Psycho Circus),[9] Jesse Damon, Tommy Thayer, and Jaime St. James[10][11] on backing vocals. (Thayer later became Kiss's lead guitarist, after Ace Frehley left the band for a second time.)

"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 that "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II" is "not just a cover song for a soundtrack, but a testament to Eric Carr".

"I'm usually most embarrassed by some of our records," Simmons remarked. "Some of the Kiss records, I could just kick myself in the butt for ever having anything to do with. [But] you learn by your mistakes. That's what enables you to make a good record… like Revenge."[12]

Release[edit]

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.[13][14] 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.[15] The third was "I Just Wanna", which peaked at #34 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart.[15] The last single was "Every Time I Look at You", charted only in Sweden, reaching #31.[16] "Unholy" was promotionally released in the USA, but it was released as the second single in other countries. It reached the Top 30 in five countries: the United Kingdom and Germany, where it reached #26;[13][17] the Netherlands, where it reached #28;[18] Sweden, where the song reached #19[16] and Norway, where "Unholy" reached its highest, #2.[19] 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
SourceRating
Allmusic[20]
Vista Records[21]
Billboard Magazine(favorable)[22]
Rolling Stone[23]

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."[20] He gave the album three out of five stars saying that Ezrin made Kiss sound "fresh again".[20] Rolling Stone's review was harsh, giving the album one out of five stars.

Erik Rupp of Vista Records gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5, saying: "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 upfront 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."[21]

Revenge debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and was the band's first Top 10 album in the United States since the 1979's Dynasty. The album reached the Top 10 in Australia (number 5), the 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 the 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.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."Unholy"Gene Simmons, Vinnie VincentSimmons3:40
2."Take It Off"Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kane RobertsStanley4:50
3."Tough Love"Stanley, Bruce Kulick, EzrinStanley3:44
4."Spit"Simmons, Scott Van Zen, StanleySimmons, Stanley3:32
5."God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II"Russ Ballard, Stanley, Simmons, EzrinStanley, Simmons5:18
6."Domino"SimmonsSimmons4:01
Side B
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
7."Heart of Chrome"Stanley, Vincent, EzrinStanley4:02
8."Thou Shalt Not"Simmons, Jesse DamonSimmons3:59
9."Every Time I Look at You"Stanley, EzrinStanley4:38
10."Paralyzed"Simmons, EzrinSimmons4:14
11."I Just Wanna"Stanley, VincentStanley4:07
12."Carr Jam 1981"Eric Carr(instrumental)2:46

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 5
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[28] 14
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[29] 11
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[30] 46
European Albums Charts[31] 25
Finnish Albums (The Official Finnish Charts)[32] 15
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[33] 16
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[34] 27
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[35] 14
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[36] 4
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[37] 10
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[38] 6
UK Albums (OCC)[39] 10
US Billboard 200[40] 6

Singles[edit]

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

Chart (1991) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[15] 21
Australia ARIA Singles Chart[41] 18
Switzerland Singles Top 100[14] 4
UK Singles Chart[13] 4
Germany Top 100 Singles[17] 9
Sweden Singles Top 60[16] 24
Ö3 Austria Top 40[42] 16

"Unholy"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[13] 26
Norway Singles[19] 2
Sweden Singles Top 60[16] 19
Dutch Top 40[18] 28
Germany Top 100 Singles[17] 26

"Domino"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[15] 26

"I Just Wanna"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[15] 34

"Every Time I Look at You"

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Sweden Singles Top 60[16] 31

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[43] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[3] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KISSMONSTER – Discography – "Revenge" (1992)". kissmonster.com. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ Kiss – Revenge Back album cover. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "American album certifications – Kiss – Revenge". Recording Industry Association of America.
  4. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-Up. Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943614-0 (Page 218 line 16) Retrieved July 16, 2011
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-Up. Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-943614-0 (Page 220 lines 18–27) Retrieved July 16, 2011
  7. ^ Kerrang! magazine May 16, 1992. Issue #392. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  8. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS – 20 Years Of Revenge Part III; Bob Ezrin's "Go-To Guy" Dick Wagner. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS – 20 Years Of Revenge Part II; Valentine's Day. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Lafon, Mitch. KISS – 20 Years Of Revenge Part I. bravewords.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Mosqueda, Ruben. Jaime St James of Black 'N Blue Interview. sleazeroxx.com. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Gitter, Mike (6 March 1993). "Talkin' 'bout revolutions". Kerrang!. No. 433. p. 39.
  13. ^ a b c d UK Albums Chart Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  14. ^ a b Swiss Music Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c d e Billboard charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d e Sverigetopplistan Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Media Control Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss July 16, 2011.
  18. ^ a b MegaCharts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  19. ^ a b VG-lista Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  20. ^ a b c Franck, John. allmusic (Revenge – Review) Allmusic. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  21. ^ a b Rupp, Erik. Vista Records Review – Revenge Retrieved July 16, 2011
  22. ^ Billboard Review – Revenge Retrieved July 16, 2011
  23. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide – Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011
  24. ^ Blabbermouth.net KISS: SoundScan-Era Record Sales Revealed – Feb. 12, 2007 Archived 2007-03-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 16, 2011
  25. ^ a b "Брюс Кьюлик комментирует Revenge. Часть 1... | KISS Army | VK".
  26. ^ Saulnier, Jason (14 March 2011). "Bruce Kulick Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Kiss – Revenge". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Kiss – Revenge" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2157". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Kiss – Revenge" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  32. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 166. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  33. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Kiss – Revenge" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 1992. 29. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  35. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  36. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Kiss – Revenge". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  37. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Kiss – Revenge". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  38. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kiss – Revenge". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  39. ^ "Kiss | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  40. ^ "Kiss Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  41. ^ ARIA Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss NOTE: The list shows only albums and singles which charted since 1989. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  42. ^ Australian Music Charts Albums and singles chart history-Kiss Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  43. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kiss – Revenge". Music Canada.

External links[edit]