79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2005
In the early 80s, KISS was in trouble. After a string of classic hard-rocking albums, the band started to change direction and follow a disco path with Dynasty and Unmasked (the former being excellent and the latter not being up-to-par). Their troubles were confounded by tensions with drummer Peter Criss and he did not play on either album (although he is credited). Criss was soon replaced by the very talented Eric Carr. KISS next tried its hand in making a concept album with 1981s "Music From The Elder." Although this album was interesting and adventurous, it didn't click with the fans and was an almighty flop. "Killers," a greatest hits album was released the following year with four new rockers, in an attempt by the band and its label to regain some credibility and popularity.
1982s "Creatures of the Night" was going the be the bands make-it-or-break-it album. Although Ace Frehley is depicted on the cover, he neither wrote for, nor played on the album. This album actually has a few people stepping in for Ace Frehley--Steve Ferris, Bob Kullick, and most importantly Vinnie Vincent.
This album was a true return to form for the band. After a lack of focus, they came back with their finest album since "Love Gun" (1977). The band sounds superb. Simmons and Stanley sound committed, as if they wanted to prove that they still had it in them to rock. Although a few different guitar players stepped in for Ace, the band sounds very cohesive. Eric Carr really shines and his drumming is intense. His playing was more proficient and superior to Criss. His drumming gives the album a real shot of adrenaline. And although Ace Frehley was a huge part of the band, surprisingly, his presence is not really missed. The guitar playing by Steve Ferris, Bob Kullick and Vinnie Vincent is superb. Vincent soon became Ace Frehley's permanent replacement.
The songs on this album are all excellent. This is probably the most heavy KISS album in their catalogue. All rockers, with only one balled, the beautiful "I Still Love You." It was Simmons and Stanley's best work in years. Vinnie Vincent also co-wrote three of the songs and proved to be a good writing partner. There are no filler songs here. Every song is a winner. The album opens with the classic title song. It has a killer riff and awesome solo by Ferris. The album never looses momentum, it has one killer song after another. Other standouts include "Rock and Roll Hell," "I Love it Loud" "I Still Love You," and "War Machine."
KISS attempted to regain focus, credibility, and popularity with this album. Although the album was not a huge hit at the time of its release, they mostly succeeded in achieving their goals. The band was reborn with this album and used it as a springboard to regain popularity with a sting of platinum albums in the 1980s. This album was also the end of an era, as it was the last KISS album to feature the band in makeup.
This is probably the best post Criss/Freley KISS album. If you are starting to build a KISS collection--this is one of the first albums to buy--along with ALIVE, KISS, Destroyer, and Love Gun.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2003
From the original album cover (thankfully brought back) to the last metallic note recorded, this album is one of THE BEST hard rock albums of all time! KISS is my personal favorite band and I prefer the original lineup, but this album deserves praise for the songwriting and recording. It is an incredibly heavy album for KISS. I use "metallic" to describe it. Other descriptive words that come to mind would be "thunderous" (Eric Carr's drum sound is one of the biggest in recorded hard rock), "powerful" and "in your face". There is NO filler on this disc. It's not a long disc, so listen to it start to finish. One of my favorite tracks is "Danger". "Creatures of the Night" is an amazing track and kicks the album off properly. That song sets the tone for the tracks to follow. "I Love It Loud" is a terrible song live (IMHO), but here it is a masterpiece in it's simplicity. "Saint and Sinner" is one of Gene's shining moments. "I Still Love You" is an excellent power ballad. The recording of this album is a critical part of it's magic. If Eric Carr's drums sounded weaker, the album won't be nearly as bombastic. Just a great, great album. KISS didn't record many like this. "Lick It Up" followed and has some of the same elements ("Not For The Innocent" and "Young and Wasted"), but misses the mark overall when compared to "Creatures". Forget your friends who tell you Revenge is heavy. Not even close. This is one of the best KISS albums. Period. It might even be the best overall. I've been a fan for 25 years and have listened to more bootlegs than most average KISS fans own of their released albums. You know how people talk about "desert island" albums? Pack this one.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Time has been kind to 1982's "Creatures of the Night." After the commercial failure that was "The Elder," the band decided to take a back-to-basics approach, and apply a heavier sound. This would set the stage for the band's rebirth w/o makeup for their comeback album, "Lick it Up."
When the album originally came out in 1982, Ace Frehley had left the band and Vincent Cusano (Vinnie Vincent) took over on lead guitar. Yeah, Ace is on the cover, but no, he's not on the album. Nevertheless, it's still my favorite Kiss album cover. While "I Love it Loud" got airplay, it only peaked at #102 in the US. The album peaked at #45, then dropped of the charts with nary a whimper.
It seems that fans redicovered how good this album was after Kiss started gaining a foothold again in the music industry in the mid-80's. After "Lick it Up," "Animalize," and "Asylum," new fans began looking back for more and latched onto "Creatures" again.
It ranks in the top five of my Kiss favorites ("Destroyer," "The Elder," "Dynasty," "Rock & Roll Over," "Creatures"). Much of that has to do with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons having something to prove at the time. They were hungry again and had the desire to reestablish Kiss as a force in the music industry. It has since become a fan favorite as well as a favorite of the band's.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1998
metal lineage. Highly recommended, especially now that it is finally remastered with a better mix and the original cover artwork. Even the non-remaster cranks. Gene is demonic-sounding as ever on tracks like "Killer," "Rock and Roll Hell," "I Love It Loud," and "War Machine." Paul gets a bit funky on "Keep Me Comin'" but cooler heads prevail on the notoriously heavy title track. Only letdown is that dreaded power ballad-type-thing goin' down with "I Still Love You." (Blech) Do chicks really dig that drivel? Creatures of the Night is chocked full 'o power chords no thanks to Ace Frehley, even though his name appears in the credits somewhere and his mug is on the cover- doesn't sound like Ace played a lick anywhere. Vinnie Vincent seems the likely culprit here, making KISS once again vital in the HM/HR scene. Oh man, Eric Carr sounds so good on this record, it should be illegal. Classic, classic drum sound. Carr was way too talented for KISS; he will forever be sorely missed. Yep, this is the album before they took the make-up off. Dig it, cause it'll be a few years before anything else fom KISS becomes crank-worthy. -David Newman 1998
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Considered by many (including myself) to be KISS' heaviest album, "Creatures of the Night" rips open with the title track and surges on through eight more rockers. While I have personally labeled a few single tracks on other KISS albums as "blistering," "Creatures" features almost nothing but "blistering" tracks. Even the pop-tinged "Keep Me Comin'" and "Danger" have a brutal tone to them. The lone ballad, "I Still Love You," holds its own as well.
Standout tracks include the title track, the banging "Killer," the anthemic "I Love It Loud," and gritty "War Machine."
As many have already stated, "War Machine" gives the listener a taste of the old Demon persona that put Gene Simmons on the map. Paul Stanley works all of his tunes with perfection, proving to listeners that despite the absence of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and the lackluster reception of a few earlier albums, KISS was alive and well in the early 80's. While Frehley might be on the cover, he's nowhere on the album. Instead, his shoes are filled by a number of players, most notably Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick.
The most important piece of this particular KISS album, however, is drummer Eric Carr. While he was featured on "Music From The Elder" and the new tracks released on "Killers," Carr shines on "Creatures." It's the first full-length album to showcase Carr's rocking drums. From the opening track to the end, Carr's superior drumming drives this album.
This particular version of "Creatures" features the band (including Frehley) on the cover in makeup with modified graphics and has been remastered. There are a two other covers available to KISS collectors, the original and an "unmasked" cover featuring Bruce Kulick. As with the original release, it is dedicated to Neil Bogart, the founder of Casablanca records. The liner notes featured behind the disc on the remastered version are excellent, primarily for the fact that a failed tour, personnel issues, and the removal of the legendary KISS makeup are bluntly (albeit briefly) addressed.
Along with "Revenge," I believe that "Creatures of the Night" is one of the best non-original lineup KISS albums. I think that it will satisfy even the staunchest Frehley/Criss fans and defenders. It's in my top five KISS list, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a taste of the best KISS from the 80's.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2006
This is without question KISS's best album. Not because it's the the heaviest one, but because it's the most musically coherent album in KISS's catalog. The band's albums, both before and following 'Creatures' were plagued with annoying songwriting inconsistencies that kept me from being a full-fledged fan of the band. Owning 'Double Platinum' and 'Alive' were enough for me.
For example, having a song like "Detroit Rock City" on an album with "Beth" never made sense to me. It doesn't show diversity in my opinion, nor does it show the work of good songwriters and an understanding producer. No, it just shows that KISS's record company was harassing them to make money with singles. In those conditions, songwriting and album production suffers.
Not this time, buddy. One can tell that KISS was ANGRY...not just at eachother, but at their producers, their record company, and the world. And with 'Creatures of the Night', KISS for probably the first time in their career showed everyone they meant business. Of course, this would quickly disappear with 'Lick It Up' - gotta love Gene and Paul, right? (The anger wouldn't make a comeback until 'Revenge' in '92).
Bottom Line: Did you ever wish that KISS would have just made an album full of Deuce's, Detroit Rock City's, Larger Than Life's, She's, and Heaven's On Fire's? Look no further.
Also recommended: Revenge (1992)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2005
Creatures of the Night was released in 1982. It is Kiss' tenth studio album. Nine tracks are contained; one of these--"I Still Love You"--is a power ballad. Overall, I think the album's songwriting is worthy, the musicianship is tight, and the sound quality is satisfying. The material is in a straight-ahead hard rock musical direction. My favorite songs are "Creatures of the Night," "I Love It Loud," and "I Still Love You." I like the backing vocals on the refrain of "Creatures of the Night." Gene Simmons' industrious, no-holds-barred vocals, Eric Carr's driving, in-your-face, memorable drumming, a captivating chant, and an indelible chorus make "I Love It Loud" a remarkable, unforgettable composition. The well-written power ballad "I Still Love You" displays a nice guitar solo. Examples of other cuts I enjoy are "Saint and Sinner" and "War Machine." "Saint and Sinner" sports an engaging guitar solo with an interesting-sounding tone, while "War Machine" provides pleasing rhythm guitar work. The song lyrics are included in the CD insert. An informative essay is behind the CD tray. As for the album cover illustration, it is cool. The disc is almost 39 minutes. Creatures of the Night is a recommendable piece of work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2005
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT(1982).KISS' eleventh(studio)album.
By the time it was 1982,even though KISS had been the biggest band of the late 70's,things had not been going to well for them lately. After Peter Criss had been fired from the group and Eric Carr(RIP)had taken over for Criss,KISS' 'Music From The Elder' concept record and their 'Killers' compilation had both not faired well,and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley wanted to get themselves away from their concept record,which had turned a lot of people against them. How would the new KISS record,an attempt for the band to reinvent themselves and get away from the corny image they had given themselves after 'Music From The Elder' meausure up? Read on for my review of this:
This record has proven to be one of KISS' best albums--and definitely one of their most underrated albums also. When this CD came out,not only had Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley been trying to get away from all of the crap they had been getting lately(which was due to firing Peter Criss and the following KISS records:DYNASTY,UNMASKED,MUSIC FROM THE ELDER,and KILLERS)but they had been having a lot of trouble with Ace Frehley. As already mentioned above,even though Frehley's face is on the cover of this album,Ace himself is nowhere to be found on here--the only reason why Ace's face is on this album cover is because he had not officialy left KISS when this album came out,and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley needed sort of needed the Spaceman's face on the cover of their new album(and again,there are a bunch of different guitarists on this CD). The album itself? Read on for my review of this and you will get a rundown of every song on here:
CREAUTURES OF THE NIGHT:WOW!!!! What a great way to open an album. Eric Carr's drumming welcomes this song in a strong,harsh,and absolutely brilliant way,and after Carr's excellent drum intro and the loud and heavy guitar on this track(Steve Farris is the guy who is playing drums on this track)have begun,Paul Stanley's lead vocals....which are some of Paul's best vocals ever...do a brilliant job at taking on the rest of this track. This song is heavy and great filler from top to bottom. 10/10
SAINT AND SINNER:Wasn't strong enough to be a hit or a single(and it wasn't)but still a really good track. It is really catchy and has a really good hook to it,and the fact that Gene Simmons wrote and sang this song and the other fact that this song has the lyrics "Without You,it's Aces high" should tell you all you need to know about this song.9/10
KEEP ME COMIN':The heavier sequel to CALLING DR. LOVE.10/10
ROCK AND ROLL HELL:Written by Gene Simmons,Bryan Adams,and Jim Vallance and sung by Gene,this song tells the story of a rock star in sort of a hell for rock stars only who wants to get out. Far fetched,a little bit of a stretch,but still a really good track that shows the heavy metal edge Bryan Adams used and applied in his songwriting before he became famous. 7.25/10
DANGER:A suspenseful track that has really strong and worried lyrics and music to it,and a track that also has the words "I'm going insane and I like it" written all over it. Need I say more? 10/10
I LOVE IT LOUD:The best track on this whole album(in my opinion)and the guitar playing on this track(which was played by Vinnie Vincent)and Eric Carr's awesome drumming are the highlights of the show here. One of KISS' best songs that is real fun to play LOUD!!!!!!!! 9/10
I STILL LOVE YOU:A heavy ballad that has love and heavy metal written all over it. Sung from the point of view of a guy who has upset his girlfriend and still loves her...when Paul Stanley sings this song,he sings it with a lot of care and concern,and his vocals sort of the bring this song to life. And we thought that Paul and Vinnie Vincent(who helped Paul write this song)didn't have hearts. 10/10
KILLER:A quite intersting song about a female killer...quite intersting and really good though,and maybe a little bit of what you would call a "mind" song. 8/10
WAR MACHINE:A really good song,and a very succesful way to close an album. Another collaboration between Gene Simmons,Bryan Adams,and Jim Vallance,and it is killer heavy from top to bottom--Gene Simmons' vocals and the guitar on this track(which I believe was played by Vinnie Vincent)shred on this track.
There you have it all. If you buy this expecting a sequel to DESTROYER,ROCK AND ROLL OVER,and/or LOVE GUN,then you probably won't like this CD....however,if you buy this CD knowing everything you need to know about it,then you will be blown away by this album.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2000
FINALLY! After the bland Elder,Dynasty and Unmasked albums, KISS crashed back to reallity and knew they had to regain the fan base that made them stars in the first place. Without ACE and without Peter, KISS went into the studio with a single mission, TO ROCK! This is probably the heaviest album they ever did. I Love it Loud, War MAchine, Rock and Roll Hell are the staples here. Vinnie Vincient was the guitarist on this album even though ACE was on the cover. I don't know why they had re-released this album in the eighties with an 'Unmasked' photo featuring Bruce Kulick. Anyway I'm glad they went back to the original one. This album rocks hard and it's great to drive to. The only part I usually skip is I Still Love You. It's another Paul ballad that Vinnie actually co-wrote. I really don't like it. It just seems to last forever with Paul screaming the song title. The only good part of the tune is Eric's cannon-like drumming. His drumming style is felt all through the album. KIS had finally let him loose and the album sounds good because of it. Unfortunately, KISS fans at this point was so sick of 'pop' disappointments, that they didn't even give this record a chance. In fact the 10th year anniversary was cut short and cancelled while touring behind this album. Thank goodness this classic has been rediscovered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2008
First, I usually don't pick favorites in bands, but, for me, it's hard not to favor Ace Frehley. Peter Criss is probably my second favorite although most people despise him for his solo effort; I feel that he is one of the best jazz drummers to be in a rock band, but having studied with Gene Krupa probably helps. The truth about Ace and Peter is that the two of them care most about the music, while Gene and Paul seem to care most about the audience (and maybe also the money).
Peter Criss was voted out of KISS after Unmasked, which he didn't do any recording on, and before that, he only played on one track from the album before that, Dynasty. Criss was replaced by Paul Caravello, who became known as Eric Carr. They recorded Music from "The Elder," which was their first and only album for the critics. Those three albums had been moving them away from the rock and roll style that KISS were so famous for. Right before recording what would become Creatures of the Night, Ace Frehley decided to leave.
The other members of KISS, hoping that Ace might change his mind, had Steve Farris, Adam Mitchell, Bob Kulick (who almost was the lead guitarist before Ace joined), and the legendary Robben Ford filling his shoes for tracks. When they realized that Ace wouldn't change his mind, they found Vincent Cusano, who would soon become known as Vinnie Vincent, take his place for the rest of the recording process.
This album is actually my favorite KISS album. As a line-up, I prefer the original line-up. However, with their six studio albums as a band, and two live albums, they had more than enough TOTAL AWESOMENESS. It's not that much better than Love Gun and Alive!, probably my two favorite original line-up albums.
Vinnie Vincent didn't get much of a chance to express himself in his way, like he did with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, but the guitar solo he did for "War Machine" is truly Vinnie. I think that the members of KISS wanted to try to hide the fact that Ace was gone, so they had these other guitarists try to imitate him. However, they failed to bring in that Ace Frehley style, but what they brought in, I feel, works much better for the songs.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have their heaviest songs written on this album. Even the power-ballad, "I Still Love You" is heavy. This album also, I feel, tops the energy of Alive!, Alive II, and even their new live albums. Every single track is incredible, which is what makes this album so great. This review should really just be one sentence...
THIS ALBUM IS A HARD ROCKIN' ALBUM THAT IS SURE TO BLAST YOUR SPEAKERS!!!