This is quite possibly the only perfect Kiss album, with each track as good as the next.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: Creatures Of The Night
SERIAL: NBLP 7270
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Paul Stanley – guitar, vocals * Gene Simmons – bass, vocals * Eric Carr – drums * Ace Frehley – guitars
Additional Musicians: Rick Derringer – guitars * Vinnie Vincent – guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01 Creatures Of The Night * 02 Saint And Sinner * 03 Keep Me Comin’ * 04 Rock And Roll Hell * 05 Danger * 06 I Love It Loud * 07 I Still Love You * 08 Killer * 09 War Machine
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Kiss’ early 80’s decline was hardly the fault of their music, more their stale makeup gimmick, which in a fad orientated business, was outmoded to say the least. There are numerous highlights on their 1980, mostly AOR ‘Unmasked’ and its follow up, the failed concept, 1981’s ‘The Elder’, most of which have been forgotten.
You can’t argue with the likes of ‘Easy As It Seems’, ‘Naked City’, ‘The Oath’ and ‘I’, which easily rank as some of Kiss’ finest moments. But it didn’t translate into sales and the decision was made for the next studio effort to return to the original heavy sound of the early years.
Ace Frehley wanted no part of Kiss however and failed to record anything on the album. Regardless he was credited and featured on the cover, the band worried about the fans reaction to his imminent departure. Vinnie Vincent and Rick Derringer, amongst others, added guitar to an album which to this day is Kiss’ definitive heavy metal statement.
While ‘The Elder’ contained moments of metallic force, it pales to the onslaught of ‘Creatures’. The title track was an initial disappointment to these ears, as a live version I heard prior to the studio original tears it to pieces. This has often been the case with Kiss, their studio recordings far too restrained compared to the hyped up live cuts. It sets a tone regardless, the riffs driving precedings along full force. Eric Carr’s drum sound is clear and precise, probably the heaviest drumming on any Kiss album.
The majority of ‘Creatures’ goes for ‘the jugular vein’ as Simmons sings during the vicious ‘Killer’, only slowing down once, for the six minute power ballad ‘I Still Love You’. This and the timeless anthem ‘I Love It Loud’ remain the best known cuts off the album, but there isn’t a wasted track.
Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance are credited with Simmons on the outstanding ‘Rock And Roll Hell’ and the barnburning ‘War Machine’, a piece of metal savagery. Where Adams pulled this out I have no idea, the man never once wrote anything in this class for himself.
Paul Stanley chimes in with the relentless might of ‘Keep Me Comin’ and ‘Danger’, both thunderous and well paced, staggering strength with the propulsive drumming and riffing.
This is quite possibly the only perfect Kiss album, with each track as good as the next. It failed to sell once more, and the tour was the least successful US wise for Kiss ever, but the point that Kiss were at heart a metal band was not lost. Frehley appeared in a couple of promos for ‘I Love It Loud’ but looked like a lost zombie in both, clearly unfamiliar with the material. Vincent took his place on the tour, officially replacing the troubled Frehley.
Vincent’s makeup persona, ‘The Pharoah’, was more than dodgy though. This led to the removal of the makeup, a wise move commercially, which saw renewed sales and a string of superior albums, ‘Lick It Up’ and ‘Animalize’ at the forefront. They still couldn’t quite overshadow the power of ‘Creatures’, an album which demonstrates at their peak, Kiss were perhaps the best of their kind.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)
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