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A Greatest Hits Compilation by KISS

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A "Killer" Greatest Hits Combo

  • Feb 27, 2012

I've always felt that in order to rate a greatest hits package properly, you have to look at the overall offering of tracks (these are, after all, supposed to be "great") and any extras that the album comes with (whether it be new songs, liner notes, or some type of freebie).  Killers came out in an era when CDs were still out of reach for mainstream music lovers and the LP and cassette tape ruled. 

While KISS is well known for giving their fans plenty of freebies (such as stickers, tattoos, and a punch-out "Love Gun"), Killers came with nothing new or free with the exception of four tracks.  The album was originally only released outside of the United States, and in true KISS fashion, there were multiple versions of it available for the buying public.  There was the original European version, a Japanese version featuring two extra tracks, an Australian version with two extra tracks, and a German version known primarily for having two backwards "zz" letters instead of the traditional stylized "ss" on KISS' logo due to the fact that the "ss" in the band's traditional logo resembles the old Nazi "SS" insignia.

I have the German version of the album on compact disc.  The cover features the altered KISS logo and a photo of the band from their Music From The Elder album shoot.  It also features bright pink and blue graphics.

 Musically, the album focuses primarily on tunes from Destroyer and Dynasty with nods to KISS and a live version of Rock And Roll All Nite.  The four new tracks have heavy power pop influences and would have fit comfortably on Unmasked.  The new songs are I'm A Legend Tonight, Down On Your Knees, Nowhere To Run, and Partners In Crime.  To be very honest, none of these tracks are worth buying the album for.  While they aren't bad songs, they just don't stand up to the hits in this package.  Nowhere To Run sounds like an early version of Thrills In The Night, aaa song that would appear on the group's 1984 album Animalize.  Down On Your Knees was co-written by Mikel Japp and Bryan Adams....yes, THAT Bryan Adams!

Paul Stanley supplies vocals for all four of the new songs and Bob Kulick (brother of future KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick) plays guitars on the tracks in place of Ace Frehley who was well on his way out of the band by the time Killers hit store shelves.

The album features an edited version of Shout It Out Loud, Detroit Rock City, and I Was Made For Lovin' You.  The edits are subtle and won't be noticed by general listeners of the group. 

Hardcore fans originally wanted this album because of its rarity outside of the US, but CDs, import sales, and the web have made it just another greatest hits package to own.  The German version is very easy to find and unless you just have to have every version of every album KISS ever released, I'd stick with the German version as the one to purchase. 

This is probably the most radio-friendly greatest hits release for general listeners to own.  It features tracks from the group's peak of popularity such as Love Gun and God Of Thunder, and leaves out lesser known tracks from the band's earlier albums (excepting Cold Gin, which is from their debut album).  

 The new tracks are forgettable and not really reason enough to buy this album, but for a casual fan, this is a decent purchase.  Hardcore fans and completionists such as myself will buy it simply because it is a KISS album. 

Recommended to casual fans and fans of greatest hits albums.


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February 28, 2012
I loved KISS and have a greatest hits album stored in my attic (with no turntable for it to be played on). Don't know if the extra 4 tracks would be enough for me to try to get this one.
February 28, 2012
I'd only buy it if you don't own any of the previous released tracks and want a copy of them. I have found this album brand new (the European and German versions) on Amazon for as little as $6.95. Used albums sell for a lower price. If you want a definitive collection, I'd buy Double Platinum or the three 20th Century Masters albums.   
February 28, 2012
Man...I always enjoy your write ups on this....your enthusiasm is so infectious! Nice one, Kendall.
February 28, 2012
Thanks, woo.  I'm patiently waiting for their new album, Monster.  It was supposed to have come out last November and now it's been bumped to "Spring '12," but exactly when in the spring, I do not know.
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Quick Tip by . January 24, 2012
Four new songs highlight this "Best of" compilation from KISS. It was originally only available outside of the US and released in a number of formats. Some editions featured additional tracks than the standard twelve and the German issue (which I own) features the backward "zz" instead of the "ss" due to the fact that it resembled the Nazi "SS" logo.
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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