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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss, Vol. 3

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Album Review

The majority of Kiss hits collections to surface since the late '90s (and boy, have there been a truckload of them) have focused primarily on the group's makeup years, which is understandable since that's when the dudes smeared the grease paint back on. But for the most part, their unmasked years have been glossed over on subsequent hits collections (or included in small quantities). 2004's 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss, Vol. 2 is the first Kiss collection ever to primarily focus on their non-makeup era, covering the years 1982 through 1990. While this certainly wasn't Kiss' finest era — neither commercially (with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley the only original members left by this point, Kiss saw their fan base dwindle considerably since their '70s heyday) nor musically (the group seemed to follow rather than lead the heavy metal pack) — there are a few hard rockin' gems included here. Opening things up with one of their heaviest compositions ever, the title track from Creatures of the Night (the band's last release with makeup), the early portion of the collection fares the best, as exemplified by such further strong rockers as the anthemic "I Love It Loud," "Lick It Up," and "Heaven's on Fire." Then...there's a bit of a road bump. As the '80s wore on, Kiss became more and more pop-metal-oriented by merely trying to replicate the chart toppers of the day (Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, etc.), as evidenced by such lackluster tracks as "Uh! All Night," "Crazy Crazy Nights," and "Reason to Live." If you're a newcomer to Kiss looking for solid, career-encompassing best of sets, such other titles as Double Platinum and The Very Best of Kiss are better bets. But if it's an overview of strictly the non-makeup era, then 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss, Vol. 2 is the collection for you.

Customer Reviews

Not so much

The nineties were better for Kiss than this collection makes it seem. I do not agree with most of the songs that were selected to represent this decade. Revenge was their best album in 10 years, but you'll only find two songs from it here. I don't think it was necessary to include a live version of "Domino," when the studio version would have been just fine. And where's "I Just Wanna"? Carnival of Souls is also represented, but the only single from the album ("Jungle") is nowhere to be found. Would have been great to see "Nothin' To Lose" from Unplugged on here, or maybe even "R&R All Nite". Both those songs featured Kiss as a 6 man band. Psycho Circus' "We Are One" is missing, instead we have "I Pledge Allegiance"...?? One great thing about iTunes is you can make your own greatest hits collection by just purchasing the songs you like. In cases like this, where the proper song selection is spotty, it's a great benefit.

Underrated but only for hardcore Kiss fans

When I got this album as a gift I was almost dissapointed. However I found most of the songs catchy, and classics for kiss fans. I can't on my consious mind advise you to cough up 9 bucks for this album. You need to be a hard core Kiss fan, and also own the 2 other 20th century masters albums of Kiss before I advise you to buy this album. PS VOTE HELPFUL FOR AC/DC ON ITUNES

Strange, but good

I don't think this album should've been made. They had no huge hits after 1989, so a disc documenting the 90's wasn't really a great idea. I definitely don't agree with the songs, either: From the Revenge album, they included 2 great songs, but I think the live version of "Domino" should've been scrapped for the single/video "I Just Wanna." They included 3 of the best songs from COS, too, but "Hate" and "I Will Be There" were not singles and should've been scrapped for the singles "Master And Slave" and "Jungle." From my favorite studio album, Psycho Circus, they included 3 GREAT songs, but excluded 2 great singles, "You Wanted The Best" and "We Are One." Now I know "Into The Void" and "I Pledge Allegiance..." were played live, but they weren't great live tunes and should be scrapped for the singles. But I digress. the songs that are included are good. Plus it was nice that they included the Unplugged version of "Got to Choose" and "Nothing Can Keep me From you," neither of which had appeared on an official KISS release previously besides the boxed set.

Biography

Formed: 1973 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Rooted in the campy theatrics of Alice Cooper and the sleazy hard rock of glam rockers the New York Dolls, Kiss became a favorite of American teenagers in the '70s. Most kids were infatuated with the look of Kiss, not their music. Decked out in outrageously flamboyant costumes and makeup, the band fashioned a captivating stage show featuring dry ice, smoke bombs, elaborate lighting, blood spitting, and fire breathing that captured the imaginations of thousands of kids. But Kiss' music shouldn't be...
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