Kiss Meets the Phantom (Goodtimes Home Video)
Kiss' 1978 made for TV movie. Filmed at Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA, May - June 1978. Live segments filmed at Magic Mountain on May 19, 1978. Mad Scientist played by Anthony Zerba. Features a song called "Rip And Destroy which is "Hotter Than Hell" with different lyrics. The movie premiered on October 28, 1978 on NBC gaining massive viewing ratings. Click on cover for a short clip. Executive Producer Joseph Barbera, Produced by Terry Morse, Jr. and Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. Directed by Gordon Hessler.
Kiss - Exposed (Mercury/Universal) 1987
Compilation of videos and rare live performances mixed in with an goofy interviewer, a monkey, lots of clowning around from the band members and, of course, half-dressed women! Filmed at Grey Hall, Beverly Hills, CA. Gene and Paul are, of course, the stars of the show with Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick getting much less exposure. However, the Eric Carr material does paint him as the more comical Kiss member. Sort of a fun watch once in a great while, but not a frequent viewer due to the amount of silly crap you'll have to endure. With the abundance of material offered on the Kissology releases, this one is nothing more than a Kiss collector's item for the anal Kiss fanatic.
Detroit Rock City (New Line Home Video) 1999
. Kiss - The Second Coming (Image) 2000
Sort of a VH-1 Behind the Music approach to this video that highlights the reunion of the original four Kiss members. Starts off with a short history of the band before going into how the reunion started and where it was headed. Lots of quality live material, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. It's interesting to watch and hear the differences in the way the band talks about each other, as opposed to how they talk about each other after the Farewell Tour.
I had originally purchased the 2-VHS version of this release, which also came with a nice booklet with photos and such. Found the DVD version cheap and decided to pick it up as I very rarely watch VHS tapes any longer. Buyer beware, this is not a DVD you can watch as a family. There is full frontal female nudity in some scenes.
KISS - Live in Las Vegas (Pixelon) 2002
1. "Shout It Out Loud"
If there were such a thing as a DVD EP, this would be it. Four songs from Kiss October 29, 1999 concert in Las Vegas. According to the liner notes, this show was to be broadcast over the web, but wasn't due to computer problems. The concert footage itself isn't bad, but the crowd seems a bit unenthusiastic. Apparently the crowd was made up of invitation only celebrities, promoters, investors and such, as opposed to the usual Kiss Army. What makes this DVD unique is that it offers various ways to watch the four songs. You can choose between the director's cut, or from several different multi-camera angles. Still, only four songs is a bit pathetic. The inclusion of a Kiss tribute band's material is a bit odd as well.
From all that I have read, this DVD wasn't actually an "official" release, although it's not a bootleg either. From what I can make out of the situation, the band attempted to stop the release of this DVD, but failed due to the rights to the show belonging to someone else. Not sure how that works, but that's the situation as I read it. I have also read that some of this material is lip-synched to a live recording. Not sure if this is true of not, but was worth mentioning since I read it on various sites.
Overall, this is not one of the better DVD releases from Kiss. Buy used and cheap or pass.
Kiss Symphony - The DVD (Sanctuary) 2003
Like the CD release, the DVD version of Kiss Symphony is broken down into acts, however, the DVD also offers the additional footage of rehersals, inteviews, candid footage and such, making for an interesting watch. Disc one features a majority of the bonus material, although disc two features an additional performance of "Sure Know Something" for an Austrialian TV show with the Symphony Orchestra as well as some web links. The camera work on this disc is spectacular, offering many views and angles. Unlike many rock videos that switch cameras as such speed and are so jumpy that you don't feel like you are actually watching the concert, this video is very enjoyable. The sound is also quite good in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. As with the CD version, I was slightly disappointed that Ace was not a part of this fourth ALIVE recording, especially when Kiss Alive IV was suppose to be taken from the farewell tour. However, I quickly got over it as Tommy Thayer does a commendable job filling Ace's platform shoes. (Although there is no replacing the original.) For a more thorough review of the show itself, check out the review of the Kiss Symphony CD.
Kiss - 20th Century Master-The Best of Kiss-The DVD Collection (Mercury) 2004
Love It Loud"
Unfortunately this disc, while not bad by any stretch, is short on songs. The band had a slew of other videos from the 80's that could have, and should have been put on this disc as well. It actually would have been very cool to have had all the non-makeup videos of Kiss on one DVD, so that I could watch them without having to watch all the cheese from Gene and Paul on the EXposed DVD. I really can't understand why "Forever", their biggest hit of the era wasn't included. The five music videos that are included, covering a period between 1982-1987 are fun however. By 1982 lead guitarist Ace Frehley was literally in the band to keep up appearances. He didn't play on Creatures of the Night but is pictured on the album cover and he's in the ģI Love it Loud" video included here. I use to love this video back then. Seeing it again now, it's a bit funny as the effects, especially at the end of the video are very poor. This video helped Kiss to regain their "dangerous" image that had been lost by the end of the 1970.s A white, middle-class, suburban family sits down for dinner while their teen-age son turns on the TV and watches Kiss perform the song as household appliances melt and explode. Simmons blows fire of the TV and subsequently the father's newspaper catches fire. The kid is hypnotized by Kiss and sports the glowing white eyes that Kiss displayed on the original album cover. He eventually joins other affected teens in the streets; the Kiss Army has recruits! Probably my favorite video on this collection. It's cheesy, but a classic. The rest of the videos make up the bigger MTV hits from the 1980's. By this time the band was the Paul Stanley show, which is obvious from these videos. While Gene seems lost without the demon make-up, Paul is perfectly comfortable as the glammed out rock star he became in this era of Kiss. This short DVD is a decent overview of a small part of Kisstory, but certainly far from extensive. Mostly a collection for the fans of the hits and for die-hards like myself who own everything with the name KISS printed on it.
Kiss - Kissology, Vol. 1 1974 - 1977 (VH-1 Records) 2006
My first impression of this DVD collection was that that of being impressed with the wealth of material included. Frankly, I still find it to be an incredible collection. Even for collector's who already possess most of this stuff on bootleg, it's nice to have in one collection, officially released. Kissology is a full of all the fire-breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitar, make-up, platform shoes and mayhem that made Kiss a phenominon in the 1970's. For those who purchased the disc at the first pressing, Kissology is a 3 DVD collection. I can only imagine that for the casual fan, a collection this big would be overkill. However, since this collection was certified platinum in January 2007 and is now over 6x platinum, I could very well be wrong. It seems the masses still love 1970's Kiss.
Disc one features some of the worst audio and video quality. This is to be expected since the technology just wasn't there, nor were Kiss yet the media darlings they would become in a few years. The footage throughout these discs vary. We are presented here with amateur footage, 16mm film and 70s TV footage. As expected, none of it compares to today's standards. Some of the material is grainy, noisy, has bleeding colors, fades, drop-outs, etc. Frankly, it's across the map. However, that is part of the appeal of this release. It's Kiss in the raw as many 30 and 40-somethings will remember them.
"Acrobat", from Long Beach, CA, 1974 features atrocious audio & video, but it's still great to see Kiss in their early form. This was KISS' first performance on the West Coast and came after their first Canadian tour. It would have been even cooler had they released the coveted Coventry material on this disc. ("Duece" from that show is included as a hidden easter egg. Also, the entire show was later released on Kissology III as a bonus disc on the initial pressing of that DVD.) Several days after the Long Beach show the band filmed their first national television appearance for Dick Clark in Los Angeles. A few things are missing from this performance including Paul saying "Hey World, we're KISS" as well as the performance of "Duece". However "No"Nothin' To Lose," "Firehouse," and "Black Diamond" are outstanding, although again the audio and video are far from perfect. I would have expected this to be better considering it was recorded for TV.
KISS appearance on the Mike Douglas show was filmed in late-April 1974, apparently during a break in touring activities. This show is heavily edited on "Kissology." Missing is the segment with the kissing contest winners, the whole purpose of the interview in the first place. However Totie Field's hilarious "nice Jewish boy" comment remains and the performance of "Firehouse" is spectacular. The whole of the show was released in 2003 on the "Lost 1976 Concert" DVD. It's unfortunate that it was edited here.
The Winterland material is in black and white but is awesome to watch. The black and white footage only adds to the age appeal. However, the crown jewel of this disc in the Cobo Hall Detroit, MI material from 1976. Being that I was in grade school at the time, 1976 was about the time that I became a KISS fanatic. To me, this performance alone is worth the price of the disc. This performance is from the second night of the band's three night stand at Cobo Hall. The picture quality is a bit grainy, but as I said with the other material, I sort of expect this. The performance itself is quite good, proving that Kiss were not the hacks many people claimed they were. The band were still hungry and clawing their way to the top and they never sounded so aggressive.
Disc Two starts off with the "So It Goes" interview clip. This is a full news clip featuring an interview with all four members as well as concert footage from the band's first UK tour. It might be notable to some Kiss fanatics that the band performs songs from "Destroyer" but were still wearing their pre-Destroyer costumes. The Paul Lynde Halloween Special is one of those broadcasts that have been widely traded by Kiss fanatics, but it's nice to have it included here. However, this is an incomplete clip omitting both "Beth" and "Detroit Rock City" from the original broadcast.
The Budakon Hall material from 1977 is spectacular as well. This was Kiss a just about the peak of Kiss mania. Being that Rock and Roll Over is one of my favorite Kiss albums, this material is quite appealing to me.
The Don Kirshner's "Rock Concert" 5/28/77 features Kiss lip-syncing for TV. It's still a fun watch as they perform "I Want You", "Hard Luck Woman" and "Love Em and Leave Em".
Probably the best material on disc two, however, is concert from Houstin in 1977. Many Kiss fans hold he "Love Gun" tour as the pinnacle of Kiss' live shows. The show presented here is the full show and the audio and video quality is quite good for '77. However, there is something odd happening during "Rock and Roll All Nite" around the third verse. It's almost like they used a different source tape for the end of the song. Odd, but not overly distracting.
Depending on where you purchased the DVD, initial pressings came with one of three possible bonus discs. Largo, Dec. 20, 1977 was only available at K-Mart stores and sold out quickly. Madison Square Garden, Feb. 18, 1977 is the most common bonus disc as the majority of stores and web shops had this version. However, it only features seven tracks from the show and is un-chaptered. The disc I purchased was Cobo Hall, Jan. 25, 1976, which was only available at Best Buy locations. This disc features ten songs from night one of the three night KISS' "Alive!" shows in Detroit. Unfortunately it too is annoyingly un-chaptered. Still, a nice bonus for those who were at the stores the week it was released. All three bonus discs features shows that are incomplete, although the Largo/Wal-Mart show features the most songs and was the most sought after. Personally, I wanted the "Rock and Roll Over" material.
Kissology features two cool easter eggs. To gain access to the easter egg on disc 1, press the up arrow during the main menu to highlight the KISS logo and then press enter and you will see a performance of "Deuce" taken from an early Coventry gig in 1973. Repeating the same procedure on Disc 2 takes you to an impromptu jam during Ace and Jeanette Frehley's wedding ceremony in 1977 without make-up.
This collection is packaged in a quadruple gatefold sleeve and comes with a nice thick booklet of vintage photos featuring thoughts by the band members. It also includes a reproduction of an early KISS backstage pass. A very nice collection indeed. Kissology set the bar for follow-ups. While most Kiss fans were not happy with the editing of certain things, overall I can't imagine anyone could actually complain that they were not given their moneys worth.
KISS - Kissology Volume 2 1978-1991 (VH-1 Records) 2007
Kissology Vol. 2 features the years when Kiss' popularity was waning in the U.S. up through their triumphant rise back to popularity in the mid-80's when the band removed their trademark make-up. There is a lot to love and hate about this five disc package. What is to love is the abundance of material included here. Disc one includes the entire European theatrical version of KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Apparently the U.S. version, which I have on VHS, has scenes cut. For sure, the score is different on the European versin with several songs from the solo albums included. KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park is a 70's campy, cheesy, made for TV movie, but for those who grew up with Kiss in the 70's, this movie is a ton of fun. The Tom Snider interview, which most Kiss fans have seen a million times, is also included on this DVD. The interview is one of the best and funniest ever. Ace is a stitch while Gene Simmons comes off as a cranky old man with a broomstick up his butt. Unfortunately the full interview is not included. I would have opted to have the rest of the interview included instead of the Land Of Hype And Glory with Edwin Newman. We want SPACE BEAR!!!
Disc Two includes some gems from the early 80's. While Kiss' popularity was declining in the U.S., they were still mega-stars internationally. The footage from Australia is worth the price of this package alone. The concert and promotional footage is fantastic. As well, the rare footage from Fridays is also a great inclusion. Kiss didn't tour for "Music from the Elder" so this video features some rare performances of those songs.
Disc Three is a bit disappointing. The Brazil 1983 show was heavily edited by the TV network that aired it, and as such a few songs have been shortened in this presentation. I can't believe that the band doesn't have better footage from this classic tour. The "Creatures of the Night Tour" with Vinnie Vincent is one of my favorite eras of the band, so it was disappointing to me that there wasn't more footage included. Including the MTV unmasking was a good way to start the non-make-up era of the band. I attended the show at the Spectrum in 1987. They should have included more songs from the Philadelphia show. The band was clicking on all cylinders, and it would have been nice to have more of this show. What is also disappointing about this DVD is how they only briefly covered the years from 83-87. I was a huge Kiss fan during this era and saw the band several times. My favorite was watching from the edge of the stage during the Animalize tour in Philadelphia. I also saw the band at the War Memorial in Rochester, NY. The is nothing included from the Animalize or Asylum tours and very little from the "Lick It Up" and "Crazy Nights" tours. Animalize Live Uncensored is a glaring omission from this collection. The Auburn Hills show from the 1990 Hot in the Shade tour is a nice inclusion. This show too was edited. "Rise To It" is missing; they show the bluesy intro but skip the actual song. Also, Eric Carr's drums solo is shortened. I must say that the editing was nicely done though so it's not even noticeable. Also, the band's performance is excellent and the track listing includes some songs from those ignored mid 80's eras.
Two easily overlooked gems can be found on this disc in the form of easter eggs. Insert the third disc of the DVD set and on the Main Menu select the 'Credits' menu entry. Watch the credits and make sure you keep it running all the way to the end and you will see a 2-minute home video made by Eric Carr of himself in his hospital bed after he had open heart surgery on April 12, 1999. It's amusing and sad at the same time. A very cool inclusion. Another hidden gem can be found on the disc's Main Menu. Press the 'Up' arrow key to highlight the 'KISSology' logo and then press the 'Enter' key to unlock it. You will now get to see a one-minute clip of Gene Simmons being interviewed with guitarist Mark St. John. Sadly, the clip ends stating that St. John died in early 2007.
There were three possible bonus discs available with the initial pressing of this CD. I had wanted the Largo disc from '79, but ended up with the The Ritz, New York City, NY from 88. (More on that story below). This show features a rare live performance in a club without all the theatrics usually seen in a Kiss performance. The quality isn't great, but isn't bad either. I've only watched this disc once as of writing this but I believe there is only one camera used that was in the back of the club. As such, this seems a bit more bootleg-ish than the rest of the material included in this collection. Still, a nice inclusion for those who snagged an initial pressing from Best Buy Stores. The other bonus disc that was available included nine tracks from Nippon Budokan- Tokyo, Japan April 21 1988.
My biggest complaint actually has to do with the bonus discs. I was determined to get the Largo bonus disc (Capital Center Largo, MD- July 8 1979 ) that was sold directly through Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. I showed up at Wal-Mart early in the morning the day this DVD was released. I was told by a store employee that the DVDs had arrived but had not been put on the shelves yet, which I thought odd since the store was advertising it was on sale for that day only. I waited around for an hour while an employee rummaged around in the back of the store. She finally came out and said she couldn't find them but knew they were there somewhere. She took my name and promised to hold me a copy when they found them. I headed off to work and checked the internet which was buzzing with the news that Wal-Mart stores across the country had already sold out. I called around to a couple other Wal-Marts in New Mexico and none of them seemed to have copies on the shelf yet. Later that afternoon I headed back to the Wal-Mart that promised to hold me a copy. They still had none on the shelves and I was again told that they had not been put on the shelves yet. Another employee went to the back to look for them. I waited around for a while and left the store again. Finally, late that evening I headed over to the store again. None of the day time employees were there so I had to explain my story to them. Apparently my name was left for the DVD but they could not find their shipment, nor could the other two Wal-Mart stores nearby. I kept in contact with the store for the next couple days and even contacted the store manager about it. Apparently the stores here never received their initial shipment and thus buyers in my area were not able to get a copy. It was at this point I rushed over to Best Buy to at least get their Bonus Disc version, which they still had in stock. I did get to see the Largo material and I must say the quality isn't great, however, it's still an excellent show complete with one song from each of the four solo albums. The show was edited, omitting "King Of The Nightime World" and "2,000 Man".
Kissology Vol. 2 is a good continuation of what they started with Vol. 1. Despite my complaints, I still have enjoyed this DVD collection. With a history as long as Kiss' there is no way that the band could include everything. Also included in the package is an expanded 25 page booklet with unreleased color photos and a reproduction ticket from the 1978 Magic Mountain concert that was filmed for the "Phantom" movie.
KISS - Kissology Volume 3 1992 - 2000 (VH-1 Records) 2007
Volume three of the Kissology DVD series is the biggest and baddest yet. This one includes over 10 hours of video footage. The most immediate thing about Vol. 3 is that it includes the MTV Unplugged show, nearly in it's entirety for the first time on DVD, including songs that didn't make it into the broadcast or CD version! Like Kissology I and II, there are things most fans will love and hate about this collection. Kissology II was marred slightly by edited and shortened concerts. With Kissology III they have again included a few edited concerts. The biggest omission has to be "Detroit Rock City" from the '96 Tiger Stadium show. Who thought it would be a good idea to omit this song that was being played in the city that inspired the song? From the Detroit '92 show, several songs were omitted, probably to allow room for the entire unplugged performance. On final note on missing stuff, I would have liked to have seen some of the band's various television appearances here, especially their awesome performance on Saturday night live where they destroy Michael Jackson. Also, Arsenio Hall 1993 or Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1993 would have been cool. However, this is a minor note from an obsessed fan. Obviously the band cannot give every fan everything they want on one collection.
Disc one features the the 1992 Detroit show. While "KISS Konfidential" and "Alive III" featured a combination of several shows from this tour, this DVD concert is strictly from the single show with authentic audio. It includes material not featured in the "Konfidential" video. The performance is quite entertaining to watch. Many KISS fans agree that the band was outstanding on this tour. Tracks 19-29 are the remixed, remastered, and extended version of the MTV Unplugged concert that Kiss performed to celebrate their 25th Anniversary. This version includes more of the set than was originally released. As previously stated, owning this on DVD is almost worth the $26 I paid for it in itself. The songs all translate quite well in the acoustic setting and since the band were fresh off that acoustic/Kiss Konvention tour, they were tight as could be. Plus this recording features some songs that were not often played by the band. Paul Stanley voice is outstanding on this recording. Also included is some behind the scenes footage from this historic performance that reunited Peter and Ace, together with Gene, Paul, Bruce and Eric.
Disc two starts off with the show from Detroit, MI 6/28/96, night one of the "Alive/Worldwide 1996-97" Reunion Tour. While a few songs were edited out, this performance is a great watch. The original four members of Kiss reunited was spectacular to see. It was awesome to see live and is awesome to see on this DVD collection as well. However, the band wasn't exactly tight yet. Lots of screw ups in this show, which is understandable as it was the first show of the tour. Ace's guitar solo is messed up when at first the smoke mechanism in his guitar wouldn't work, then at the pinnacle of the solo the sound went out on the guitar. A few missed notes, bad chords, and drop-outs due to not singing directly into the mic, but overall a great performance. Personally I liked the honest and raw live performance. I'm glad it wasn't messed with. Loved the double neck guitar during "Rock Bottom" and Gene's blood spitting antics. The only thing I really didn't like was the complete blackness in between songs an during part of Gene's bass solo. I believe the reason for this is because what we are watching is the footage that was shot and then projected on the video screens behind the band during the performance. So you're watching something that was basically only meant for the people who were actually there at the time. This is also why most of the material is close-up and there are no wide shots of the stage or shots of the pyro going off, because those things could be seen without the use of the big screens. Still, it's nice to have
Tracks 18-22 are from the MTV Video Awards (9/4/96). It's a bit odd hearing "Rock and Roll All Nite" twice in a row, but that's just the way it works out here. Most of this performance was previously unreleased and only "Rock and Roll All Nite" was broadcast. This show was performed live under the Brooklyn Bridge and also features a big fireworks show, which is shown from arial shots.
Tracks 23-33 from Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA in 1998 from the "Psycho Circus Tour". Disc three picks up with part two of the '98 Dodger Stadium show and includes one of my favorites songs from that album/tour, Ace Frehley's "Into the Void". It's actually cool that this show is complete and unedited. This show, along with the MTV Unplugged material, are the standouts on this collection. Next is the DRC movie premiere mini-set, 8/9/99. Lastly there is the East Rutherford, NJ show, which I watched on pay-per-view. This show, of course, was bootlegged heavily, but it's very cool to have an official release.
All the initial pressings of Kissology III will also include a fourth disc. This disc is way out of chronological order, unlike the rest of the collection, but is perhaps one of the coolest extras included. It is the complete Coventry show from December 1973 that they teased about on the first Kissology release. (It was an easter egg of "Duece".) The show is Kiss as a hungry new band in the clubs and is some of the earliest footage of the band available. The recording is basically one camera from the back of the room, so the quality isn't perfect, but it's still a great bit of band history. It's odd to see Kiss playing in front of an audience that doesn't have their eyes glued to the band's every move. At times you wonder if the audience even realizes the band is there.
There are 3 easter eggs on the first 3 discs: a 5 minute behind the scenes during the recording of "Carnival of Souls" that was interesting for the most part - but it could have had more on it. There is a soundcheck/rehearsal for the MTV awards and a countdown to 2000 and the song "2000 Man" on the other easter eggs.
I picked up the Best Buy version of Kissology III which features a fifth CD, in this case the Monsters of Rock, Sao Paulo, Brazil 1994. I felt this bonus disc offered the best value of three possible bonus discs. Whereas the other discs are with the original line-up and only nine or ten songs, this disc features the "Revenge" line-up and features almost the entire performance. Twenty one tracks in all. Also, the song selection here is outstanding with such classic songs as "Parasite", "Duece", "Cold Gin", "Got to Choose", "War Machine", "Black Diamond", "Makin' Love", etc. The sound is a little uneven, with the bass and drums more up front in the mix, but certainly isn't bad. The video footage is excellent with multiple camera angles, close-ups, full stage shots, etc. Overall, a great performance. Other discs that were available are KROQ Weenie Roast, June 15, 1996 or Madison Square Garden, July 27, 1996. The Weenie Roast show features ten songs and was KISS' first gig with the original line-up only, in make-up, since December 1979. This was the more common bonus disc.
Volume 3 is BY FAR the best of the 3 volumes with regard to the sound and video quality, which only makes sense because these shows are more recent and the technology has improved. Volume 3 is a massive offering with at least 7 versions of "Rock and Roll All Nite"! While any Kiss fan will lament something that they wish were included, I doubt anyone will accuse Kiss of not giving the fans a quality product. All three of the Kissology releases are well done and well worth owning.