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Cherry Pop

Title - 'KISS - IKONS [4 CD Set] ' (Mercury)
Artist - KISS

Not that anyone needs yet ANOTHER KISS compilation (or should that be kompilation?), this one actually almost does something that I've been thinking they should have done a long time ago. Since they don't seem keen on putting out an album of new material, put out a newly recorded CD of under-appreciated old songs instead of just the same old hits. So they did the "newly recorded" part with that new Japanese CD, and they got the under-appreciated old songs with this set...now they just need to meld those two ideas.

Ikons pretty much hits the nail on the head with the choices for the lesser known songs on this. "Ladies Room," "Charisma," "Almost Human," and "Larger Than Life" would definitely be Gene choices I would consider for my dream compilation. Something like "She's So European" with a real rock production instead of the pop of Unmasked could really make that song cool if it were re-recorded. Getting back to this set, I probably would have chosen either "Mr. Make Believe" or "Man Of 1,000 Faces" over "Radioactive" if I had to choose only one song from his solo album to include.

"Mr. Speed," "All American Man," "Take Me," and "Wouldn't You Like To Know Me?" are pretty much exactly what I would list as the best Paul Stanley songs nobody knows. How "Wouldn't You Like To Know Me?" wasn't a single or at the very least on the Best Of The Solo Albums compilation was alway a mystery to me. An awesome Paul song that may finally be getting some recognition!

The Ace tunes make sense. The only ones he sang on a KISS release that weren't included are "Torpedo Girl" and "In Your Face." I probably would have replaced either "Snow Blind" or "Save Your Love" with "Torpedo Girl," but I'm fine with "In Your Face" being left off. Still would have been nice to have ALL the Ace KISS songs one one disc just for the heck of it. I'm REALLY happy to see "What's On Your Mind?" on there. Definitely the forgotten gem on his solo record, and the one that deserves to be heard.

All of Peter's KISS songs are on here. The only decision you have to make is what songs from his solo album you put on there to fill out the 14 songs. "I Can't Stop The Rain" and "Easy Thing" are by far the best songs on the record. After that it's kind of a toss up. I probably would have chosen "You Matter To Me," "I'm Gonna Love You," or "Hooked On Rock 'N' Roll," but they're all about the same.

All in all I'd say this is a pretty good compilation. Nothing new for the die hards (although pretty cool packaging), but would be something good for a new fan to get so they could be exposed to some of the best of the deeper cuts. The guys in my band came in one day knowing how to play "Plaster Caster" and "Two Sides Of The Coin"...I'm like, how do you guys know THOSE songs?

Because they had Greatest KISS and liked those songs that the casual fan had never heard that just happened to be on that compilation. So people really do like those songs that at first glance may just seem to be filler material. You can absolutely tell that real fans had a hand in choosing the songs for this ikonic kompilation.

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