Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Over Rated Part Two

Sorry, Brian, this one's gonna hurt...


Exhibit B

KISS

Never got these guys at all. In fact, they were all I was against when it came to rock and roll bands. Can you play, write and sing? With these guys, my answer to each one was a resounding no. A friend of mine had their debut release in 1974 and brought it to my house. He lept and I wept. My first response was...what are they hiding? Sure, their shows are a hoot and I am pretty comfortable in my knowledge that they were in on the joke the whole time. A self marketer's dream but, to me, as I think of myself as a rock purist (my love for Journey notwithstanding), they represnted the side of rock and roll I didn't care for. The farewell tour lasted three years and came back to St. Louis twice. They do get points however for being nice guys. My interview with Paul and Gene at KSHE in 1994 was one of the best I have ever done. Personable and funny, but that don't mean nothin' when it comes to your place in rock and roll history. I think they will be much better known for the spectacle rather than the music. Over rated.

4 comments:

Brian Holland said...

I had a feeling this was coming! Fair exchange, I guess, since I included Springsteen on my overrated list.

I like Kiss for both the spectacle and the music, but as you've probably noted on my blog, I'm hardly a Kiss sycophant--I don't approve of some of the stuff they've done (musically and otherwise), nor do I think they're the greatest Rock band ever (The Who is the greatest, in my book), but Kiss is still my favorite band, warts and all.

Good commentary all the same, my friend! Keep 'em coming...

LAZY BONES said...

Ouch...but to each his own. I'll admit, truly there is nothing that will stick to your bones, but at the end of the day...its rock and roll. When I discovered them they made me forget the everyday hell known as High School...and for that I say 'cheers'. Granted any rock and roll band can do that...but with KISS it was a little more exciting. For more enjoyment (or disgust)...check out my latest venture....www.itsallforyoudemon.blogspot.com I miss you man...hope all is well.
Ric (worked with you in KC)

dr sardonicus said...

Kiss was the favorite band of about half of Belleville Township High School West around 1976, and no, I couldn't figure it out, either. My attitude towards Kiss has mellowed some over the years. Today I give them credit for some killer riffs in the early days - "Rock And Roll All Night", "Cold Gin", "Strutter". The best way to experience early Kiss is on Alive!, as their early studio albums were notorious for their muddy production. They had to be savvy writers and performers to come up with Destroyer, which stands head and shoulders above the rest of their work. The irony of Kiss is that these alleged representatives of the seamy side of the New York glam underground are best remembered today as a singles band.

Doc said...

Saw them live one time. I am always excited to see a drummer who I have never seen before. I figured as much as KISS had been working, and as big as they had gotten, surely peter Criss was going to show me a thing or two. He was the worst drummer I have ever seen on a major concert stage. I hate to begrudge anyone their success, but KISS was completely without musical value. That is not to say that they didn't do a great job of entertaining their target audience. But they were musically insignificant.

On another note, to say Springsteen is over rated is utter nonsense. I don't know Brian and I don't want to get personal, but Springsteen is historically significant in every dimension of music that an artist can be judged by. Singer, songwriter, musician, and performer...his artistic credentials are second to none. It's fair to say you don't like his music. Even the greatest of artists can't be everyone's cup of tea. But it is ludicrious to say he is over rated. He is one of the few musicians in rock history who are impossible to over rate. That's like saying Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, or Stevie Wonder are over rated. No credible critic or knowledgable music historian would agree with the assertion that Springsteen is over rated.

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