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Creatures Of The Night (Awaiting Repress)Celebrating four decades of decibels, KISS, Mercury Records and UMe proudly announce reissuing the legendary KISS albums on 180g audiophile vinyl
starting in 2014. Remastered to high definition 192kHz/24-bit audio for maximum fidelity, these albums have never sounded so amazing and now
vinyl collectors will get what they've been demanding. All posters, sleeve art, stickers, etc that appeared in the original LP release where applicable have
been faithfully reproduced for the KISS Army.
By 1982's Creatures of the Night, Kiss had finally ditched their plans of becoming respectable artists (starting with 1979's Dynasty) and had come to the realization that they were a loud, no-holds-barred heavy metal band. Easily their best since 1977's Love Gun, Creatures of the Night contains very little filler and sounds as if Kiss had been reborn (it also includes one of the heaviest drum sounds ever captured in the studio by any rock band). The band is inspired and enthusiastic throughout, especially on such rockers as the opening title track, Killer, War Machine, Saint and Sinner, and one of their great anthems, I Love It Loud. Also included is one of Kiss' better ballads, I Still Love You (later featured on 1996's Unplugged set), as well as Rock and Roll Hell, a song written about Ace Frehley, who would soon officially make his resignation from the band public. Guitarist Vinnie Vincent (real name: Vinnie Cusano) handles guitar duties here and was eventually named as Frehley's replacement, playing on the ensuing tour. Although Creatures of the Night deserved to be the album that put Kiss back on top of the charts, it performed below expectations (topping out at number 45), as did its tour. Hence, the album is one of Kiss' most underrated. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the makeup had grown stale and was now getting in the way of their music. The time had finally come for the band to unmask.
- Greg Prato (All Music Guide)1. Creatures Of The Night
3. Keep Me Comin'
4. Rock And Roll Hell
6. I Love It Loud
7. I Still Love You
8. Saint And Sinner
9. War Machine$35.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Kiss (Awaiting Repress)Kiss' 1974 self-titled debut is one of hard rock's all-time classic studio recordings. Kiss is chock full of their best and most renowned compositions, containing elements of Rolling Stones/New York Dolls party-hearty rock & roll, Beatles tunefulness, and Sabbath/Zep heavy metal, and wisely recorded primal and raw by producers Richie Wise and Kenny Kerner (of Gladys Knight fame). Main songwriters Stanley and Simmons each had a knack for coming up with killer melodies and riffs, as evidenced by Nothin' to Lose and Deuce (by Simmons), Firehouse and Black Diamond (by Stanley), as well as Strutter and 100,000 Years (collaborations by the two). Also included is the Ace Frehley alcohol anthem Cold Gin, Let Me Know (a song that Stanley played for Simmons upon their very first meeting, then titled Sunday Driver), and one of Kiss' few instrumentals: the groovy Love Theme from Kiss (penned by the entire band). The only weak track is a tacky cover of the 1959 Bobby Rydell hit Kissin' Time, which was added to subsequent pressings of the album to tie in with a Kissing Contest promotion the band was involved in at the time. Along with 1976's Destroyer, Kiss' self-titled debut is their finest studio album, and has only improved over the years.
- Greg Prato (All Music Guide)1. Strutter
2. Nothin' To Lose
4. Cold Gin
5. Let Me Know
6. Kissin' Time
8. Love Theme From Kiss
9. 100,000 Years
10. Black Diamond$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Boy (Discontinued)Its enough to make you stop and say, What is that? It being the gorgeous melodies and lean, spellbound guitar lines of Colin Caulfield, an English/French lit major whos about to change what it means to be a shapeshifting singer-songwriter in the YouTube age.
Just ask Bradford Cox. He knows. Why, just a year ago, the Deerhunter frontman stumbled upon Colin Caulfields organ-grinding rendition of Rainwater Cassette Exchange and said its fantastically superior to the original. It actually sent shivers up my spine, especially during the second verse.
Believe it or not, that chilling cover was just a warmup session. As killer as he is at capturing the very essence of everything from Animal Collective to Ariel Pink, Caulfieds true talent is in telling his own Young Man stories. The first chapter of which goes by the name Boy, a deceivingly-simple suite of songs about wanting to grow up without having the slightest idea of what being a man actually means.
Now thats a reason to hit rewind, from the tone-setting tenderness and psych-infused harmonies of Five to the restless rhythms (Caulfield was a drummer well before he became a singer/guitarist) and room-engulfing intimacy of Up So Fast. Both of which feature some of the most hopeful/haunting choruses youll hear all year.
And thats just the beginning, of course. Since Young Man was conceived as a concept project about the passing of time, love, and loss, Caulfield already has two loosely-linked LPs on tap, a faceless collection of fragile characters that could be any one of us, really.
A lot of its autobiographical, explains Caulfield, but its universal at the same time, because everyone goes through these things.
Listen closely. Itll all make sense soon enough. Trust us.1. Five
3. Home Alone
6. Just a Growin'
7. Up So Fast$11.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Van Halen II (Out Of Stock)Van Halen set quite a precedent with its self-titled 1978 debut, one of the most landscape-shifting albums ever released. How does a band follow something like that? By making a record that's even better. And Van Halen II fits the bill.
Granted, by the time this sophomore set appeared in late 1979, the world had already been introduced to Eddie Van Halen's pyrotechnic guitar skills and trick bags of jaw-dropping solos. And everyone knew about David Lee Roth's flamboyant singing, oversexed machismo, and vaudeville antics. But the quartet ups the quotient level throughout Van Halen II, which swaggers to a flawless batch of songs and phenomenal playing. There's not a weak moment or note here.
Moreover, as Eddie consistently delivers searing fills, acrobatic leads, and gravity-defying phrasings, Roth steps it up a notch, inserting himself in the role of the come-hither vocalist whose self-aware humor balances his glammed-up, spandex-clad, riser-leaping persona. Again proving itself deft with its choice of a cover (the lead-off You're No Good), Van Halen turns up the heat throughout, celebrating cheap and carefree sleaze, booze-soaked good times, and yes, the band's perennial favorite subject, women. There's no topping the soaring Beautiful Girls. It, and many of the songs here were actually aired in demo form for Kiss' Gene Simmons before the group signed to Warner Bros.
So, okay, the blonde bombshell and six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon don't come with this gorgeous pressing, but all of the sonic fun does. Play this awesomely remastered and cleanly pressed LP on a hi-fi system, crank the volume to the level where your neighbor leaves their house, and be prepared to be flooded by late-70s indulgences and one killer riff after another.
Mastered by Kevin Gray from the original analog master tapes, Rhino's stunning 180g LP brings brings the dynamics, details, and punch of the music into supreme focus, and also magnifies the group's famous characteristics and personalities. Close your eyes and you'll both hear and see Roth's frenetic energy and bawdy yelps; Alex Van Halen's drum-til-you-drop bluster and oversized percussion kit; Michael Anthony's Jack Daniel's-inspired bass runs and karate-chop kicks; and Eddie Van Halen's fretboard wizardry, so ahead of its time no one has yet to catch up.
Bottoms up!1. You're No Good
2. Dance the Night Away
3. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
4. Bottoms Up!
5. Outta Love Again
6. Light Up the Sky
7. Spanish Fly
9. Women in Love
10. Beautiful Girls$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock