on March 24, 2005
To be honest, I really hated "Crazy Night" when I first heard it. After a few listens, however, it has grown on me. It's not one of their best albums (even from their 80s output) but it's still a fine album.
It's no secret that since "Dynasty," KISS has often embraced the current sound of what is hip for the day. In the late 70s it was disco pop (Dynasty, Unmasked), in the mid 90s it was grunge (Carnival Of Souls), and in the late 80s it was pop-metal with "Crazy Nights." But even if KISS has not always been original, they have, for the most part, always put out good albums. KISS has always had the gift for following a trend, but still make it sound like KISS. KISS's stab at pop-metal works out nicely with this tight, solid collection of songs. One thing that I like about this album is that although it's very slick and has a very glossy production, it's also somewhat dark, as song titles like "I'll Fight Hell to Hold You," and "Good Girl Gone Bad" would suggest. This makes for an interesting contrast.
The KISS lineup of this album was Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr, and Bruce Kulick. Paul Stanley has always been one of rock's more underrated singer/songwritters. The albums' highlights' are the Stanley numbers. And his delivery sounds as passionate as ever, especially in the magnificent "I'll Fight Hell to Hold You" and the mid-tempo "Reason to Live," two of the albums' highlights. The Simmon's songs aren't quite as strong, but are still solid, especially the closing track "Thief in the Night." Guitarist Bruce Kulick may not have been as technically gifted or as flashy as Vinnie Vincent or Mark St. John, but he was still a great guitarist. His solos throughout "Crazy Night" are awesome, yet are not over-the-top or self-indulgent. Eric Carr's drumming is exciting and dynamic and gives the songs an added kick.
This CD has a good pace and is about 45 minutes in length. There isn't a whole lot of filler. Some of the songs sound very dated and are somewhat embarrassing-- "Bang Bang You," and "No No No" for example, but even those are fun songs with good, albeit cheesy sing along choruses. All of the songs on "Crazy Nights" have catchy hooks and strong melodies--which ultimately makes the CD a winner. And, as mentioned previously, beneath the gloss and slickness, there is an element of darkness which gives an edginess to the album, which separates "Crazy Nights" from other albums of the pop-metal genre.
In conclusion, although "Crazy Nights" isn't all that original, or the best KISS album, it's still a good CD. If you are a KISS fan and hate this album, I would suggest giving it another spin with an open mind and you may gain a fresh perspective.
on October 28, 1999
I must admit that I really like this one. I'll agree it's probably the least heavy Kiss album besides Dynasty and Unmasked, but it's awfully fun. Basically, they tried to be Bon Jovi and Def Leppard who were hot at the time and for my money this is much better than both of them. Most of the songs are Paul's and they are fast, polished, and fun. If you don't want to sing along with Crazy Crazy Nights, Bang Bang You, Reason to Live, and Turn on the Night then you really take yourself and your music way too seriously. Gene's song's are good, but they're not the usual 'demon' inspired stuff that would have made this a perfect 5 star disk. This is the first Kiss album I ever got - I have them all now and I still find myself listening to this one a lot some 12 years later.
on September 21, 2000
It's a dire shame that Crazy Nights was released as a Kiss album. Allow me to explain...and please, bear with me.
Kiss had dabbled in less hard rock-oriented styles at occasional points in their lengthy career. While this upset (and continues to upset) fans of the down-and-dirty Kiss era for which they are immortalized, it also proved that - despite some moans and groans - Kiss (or particuarly, Paul Stanley) could craft a trendy tune and stand ground alongside other output from 15-minute bands. If you're into factual premise, Billboard echoes the reality: Kiss' three biggest hits in the US, chart-wise, were (in this order): "Beth" (#7), "I Was Made For Lovin' You" (#11), and "Forever" (#8). Two ballads and a disco tune. Oh, and in the UK, look what their biggest charting single was! "Crazy Crazy Nights" (#4)! Now that is bound to make the earliest of fans shake their fists and say "well that's just commercialism - it reflects nothing of Kiss' cult status." You're absolutely right. But Crazy Nights was all about selling out. The 1980's were all about selling out. So cut it some slack.
On to the album itself. Like I said before, if a four-letter word (starts with a "K", ends with "iss") had been innocently removed from the cover and replaced by some other name, this album wouldn't have earned the reputation is holds today as being "awful". In fact, it's stellar. It's not the Kiss that Kiss fans want, but that says nothing about the quality of the record. This record has more hooks than a kindergarten coatroom. The only other alternative I can think of that would have spared Crazy Nights from severe tongue-lashings is if Paul Stanley had released it as a solo album. After all, his tracks make the album what it is.
Specifically, "Crazy Crazy Nights" is infectuous and crowd-pleasing. It doesn't go beyond that - but that was clearly the target. "I'll Fight Hell to Hold You", in my opinion, is jaw-dropping in every respect. Wonderful. "Bang Bang You" - okay, it's a little rough around the edges in terms of recycled "principles" (if you can call them that) but it's still listenable and sentimentally Kiss. "My Way" - get over it, people, this song is good. I don't think it will be covered by any band anytime soon and it certainly hasn't aged well, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it! It will be forever etched in 1987, plainly put, but the song is inspirational, melodic and uplifting (play this one next to "War Machine" from '82 and see what I mean). "Reason to Live" is a picture-perfect 1980's power ballad and whether we like it or not, Paul Stanley's forté is directed, more often than not, to balladry. Big points for that one. "Turn on the Night" (welcome aboard, Diane Warren!) could essentially have been any song on FM radio that year, but Paul carries it well and avoids dropping too far into the despairs of sentimentality. Gene Simmons (a name not-too-oft spoken that year, I don't suspect) gives only a mediocre performance - the reality is, he's much better at metal than at power-pop. He's so good at being a demon that he doesn't look good in a tutu. That's the best analogy I can give. "No, No, No" is my favourite (?) Simmons track on Crazy Nights.
So if you're just getting into Kiss and you liked Destroyer or something like that, and you want to expand your Kiss collection, I wouldn't suggest moving forth with this record. However, if you have it in you to kick back a bit and just enjoy what was happening with music at the time, this album will remain appealing. By any other band, this album would have been very well-received. By Kiss, it was torn to shreds.
But I like it, for what it's worth.
The opening title track is one of KISS's declaratory anthems that not only is about them but on life in general. Paul Stanley is giving a directly thanks you to the fans and to the listener when he sings "You are my people/you are my crowd/This is our music/We love it loud." Right between the eyes, oops, that was from another album. Other inspiring lyrics include "If life is a radio, turn up to ten." and "Yeah, and nobody's gonna change me/'cause that's who I am." Why this didn't make it on the Smashes, Thrashes & Hits I have no idea, but this song alone is worth buying the album.
Normally, in a group sporting more than one lead vocalist, I need a good mix, but with "Bang Bang You," which is the third song in a row from Paul, following the hurricane that was "I'll Fight Hell To Hold You," it's reasonable. "Bang Bang You" incorporates the title words from an earlier album: "I'll shoot you down with my love gun, baby."
The relentless "No, No, No" is Gene's first song on the album and he gets plenty of support from Bruce and Eric. It almost makes me forget about Gene. Comparing his vocals here and Hot In The Shade makes me wonder if something happened inbetween these two albums. His voice is fine here and on the other songs he does.
"My Way" is another valuable gem of a KISS anthem, with an inspirational synthesizer accompanying Paul. Basically it's about doing things one's way and to heck with everyone else. Examples: "It's tough to be strong in a world that makes you crawl... I'm never gonna give up in the fight," "I'm never gonna run, I'm never gonna tell myself a lie/'Cause after it's all said and done, I've got the right to decide." And the message is there to see from the chorus: "I'm gonna talk like I talk, walk like I walk, my way/I'm gonna go where I go, ain't taking no, my way/And if you don't play my game, I won't play/I'm gonna do it my way." Tell'em, Paul! The same music style can be found on the equally vibrant "Turn On The Night," also sung by Paul.
"Reason To Live," which follows the crunchfest of "When Your Walls Come Down," ranks as one of the best power ballads of all time. Again, why wasn't this included on Smashes, Thrashes, Hits?
"Thief In The Night," which closes the album, is a slow rocker, and was covered by Wendy O'Williams on her W.O.W. album.
Ron Nevison, who resurrected the careers of Heart and Ozzy Osbourne, produced Crazy Nights, puzzling as Animalize and Asylum were very popular KISS albums. Oh well, maybe he figured he was on a roll. I have to admit that Gene is my favorite KISS singer, but on this album, Paul wins hands down--he's incomparable here. This is a different sound for KISS, but I attribute that to Ron Nevison's production. (Compare his work on Heart and Bad Animals to their early 1980's stuff) Then there's Bruce Kulick's guitars, which don't sound the same on Asylum. Eric Carr's drumming is more pronounced than ever. Next stop, the sphinx and Hot In The Shade.
on October 29, 2004
My 3rd favorite KISS Album of all-time. Crazy Nights was the (...) growing up in the late 80's and being a teenager when it was released made it even better. I love almost every song on Crazy Nights and here's a quick review:
#1: "Crazy, Crazy Nights" Awesome from beginning to end, sounds even better in concert! 5 stars.
#2: "I'll Fight Hell To Hold You" Good song, too bad it was never played live. 3 stars.
#3: "Bang Bang You" Another awesome song BUT the live version of this song from Tokyo Japan in April of 1988 BLOWS the studio version AWAY! 5 stars.
#4: "No, No, No" decent song from Gene and co-wrote by Eric and Bruce. The guitar intro is great. 3 stars.
#5: "Hell Or High Water" My 9th favorite KISS song. I've loved this song since the first time I heard it back in '87. 5 stars.
#6: "My Way" Great Paul song with great vocals. KISS has always done it their way :) 4 stars.
#7: "When Your Walls Come Down" Cool song, love the lyrics. 4 stars.
#8: "Reason To Live" Awesome ballad from Paul. This song is so good! I just wish they would play it again live ;( 5 stars.
#9: "Good Girl Gone Bad" Cool song, love the opening riff from Gene. 3 stars.
10: "Turn On the Night" My 7th favorite KISS song, GOD I love this one. But it's never been played live ;( WHY? 5 stars.
11: "Thief in The Night" Great song from Gene, one of Gene's best songs from the CRAZY 80's :) 5 stars.
Don't have Crazy Nights? Then you're NOT a TRUE member of the KISS Army!
on July 12, 2004
This album has everything a KISS album should have:hard rock anthems, fast-fingured guitar solos, explosive lyrics, heart-felt power balads and the fun spirit of KISS. If I were to recommend a KISS album to anyone it would be this one simply because its just a really fun album that has something for metal fans as well as ballad loving folks. Songs like "I'll Fight Hell to Hold You", "No,No,No", "Hell or High Water" and "Turn on the Night" all contain some of the best guitar work I've heard on a rock album and show that the band still had the same great sound after over 14 years of making music. If you're into depressing, boring and pompous Seattle garage drivel steer clear of this one, but if like high adrenaline, guitar-driven fun metal then this is a must have for your collection. Forget what some pompous self-rightous critic who listens to whatever they hear on corporate radio or M TV tells you, this is a great C.D. and if you like KISS, you'll love this album.
on October 3, 2015
Paul apparently doesn't like this album because he seems to have a problem with the 1980s and "hair bands" and considers this their "hair band album". I would say Mr. Stanley's problem is that he can't sing the songs anymore and he's grown into a grumpy old man. That said, this is a solid fun 80's album with some great songs.
on May 31, 2013
I must say that my feeling about "Crazy Nights" is more positive than negative. However when I was listening to this stuff for the first time it did not catch my attention at all. I needed to spend more time on playing this disk to realize that this CD is not worse than: "Animalize", "Asylum" and "Hot in the shade". Moreover "Crazy Nights" contains several great hits. In my opinion it is actually even more "pop rock" than "real heavy metal rock" CD by KISS. It does not bring us as tough and heavy material as those three CDs which I have already mentioned. The music that can be heard from certain songs of "Crazy Nights" can be regarded as similar to the sound of pop music played by many hugely popular bands such as Asia, Rainbow, Journey or even Whitesnake. Hetherto, the proper examples could be: "I'll fight hell to hold you", "My way", "Reason to live", "Turn on the night". I guess KISS might have reached new fans of pop music recording these hits. Fortunetely, we may encounter also harder songs on this album. To sum up, this album really rocks. Those who are fond of heavy metal should be fancy with such tracks as: "Bang, bang you"; "No, no, no"; "When your walls come down"; "Hell or high water"; "Thief in the night", "Crazy crazy nights". There is no doubt that the best song of the whole CD is the ninth one entitled: "Good girl gone bad". Certainly, it is only my opinion.
on September 13, 2015
Classic KISS.. Anything else won't compare to most or all KISS music!! If you have heard of KISS an I'm sure you have.. IF you don't have their music.. I recommend buying Gene an Paul's tunes.. They are not just some colorful show with explosions with no musical hear. KISS KICKS Butt.. All kinds of good an enjoyable music here.. I think there is a good variety of music on Crazy Nights. You'll love the song Crazy Nights too. I have been a KISS FAN since 1988.. so ya it's all goood
on May 8, 2002
No, 'Crazy Nights' is not a heavy album by any stretch. It's a poppier, radio friendly KISS. I'm not denying this. But the songs are so good, I can't help but love this record.
This was the 80's, metal music was on top and fans were going to KISS concerts as much to dance as to head bang. The band replied with an album chock full of arena-friendly anthems and sing-alongs. From Paul's opener 'Crazy, Crazy Nights' to Gene's sultry 'Thief in the Night' this is the best KISS record of the 80's. Gene finally seems to have returned to the band full-time and hits with 'Good Girl Gone Bad,' 'Hell or High Water' amongst others. His weakest effort 'No, No, No' has a sort of punk to it that might have made it a better fit on the later 'Revenge' record.
Not only was there a power ballad in 'Reason To Live' but Paul Stanley delivers two absolute 'lost classics' here: The rockin' 'I'll Fight Hell To Hold You' and the bright 'Turn On the Night.' Each song features a powerful lead vocal from Stanley and tunes that rival the best the songwriter has produced.
'Crazy Nights' was not for every KISS fan. But it was absolutely for this fan. Anyone interested in strong songwriting should love this record. Metal purists may not be as impressed.