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Kissology, Vol. 1: 1974-1977

4.6 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Oct 31, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Monumental 6 Hour 2-DVD Box Set chronicles the ascension of KISS from New York glam rockers to Hottest Band In The Land. Never before seen footage of the band's rise to music stardom with more than 70 live performances and four full concerts. Disc One of Kissology Volume One 1974-1977 takes a look at early bar-band KISS quickly on the rise. 1974 is covered with a live concert in Long Beach as well as KISS' televised appearances on ABC's "In Concert" and an interview/performance on "The Mike Douglas Show." By 1975, KISS was playing San Francisco's fabled Winterland, headlining NBC's "Midnight Special" and making videos for "C'mon & Love Me" and "Rock And Roll All Night." In 1976, KISS came to Detroit for an incendiary concert at the Motor City's Cobo Hall, also captured on Disc One. Disc Two picks up the threads of 1976 with the bands interview and performance of "Black Diamond" on "So It Goes" a must-see and much-discussed interview and performance of "King Of The Nighttime World" on "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special," and personal band footage from May 1976. The 1977 material on Disc Two captures the band at the pinnacle of its international fame, performing to tens of thousands of fans at the legendary Budokan Hall in Tokyo in April '77 and, a little more than a month later, headlining "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert." Disc Two closes with scorching concert footage from The Summit in Houston, TX on September 2, 1977, showing KISS doing, quite simply, what the band still does better than anybody else: Rock & Roll all night and party every day!

As KISSology - Vol. 1 (1974-1977) announces loudly, all the chutzpah and bombast that made KISS so huge--the fire-breathing, the blood-dripping, the kabuki-mask make-up and platform shoes, the synchronized head-bobs--were in place from the very beginning. KISS's 1974 concert in San Francisco is virtually identical to their 1977 concerts in Japan and Houston, at the peak of their popularity. For hardcore fans, this opportunity to bask in the nuances of five performances of "Black Diamond" and six performances of "Firehouse" is essential viewing, but for the less committed the pleasures of KISSology lie in the bizarre collisions pop culture is heir to: Gene Simmons, in full costume, declaring himself "evil incarnate" on The Mike Douglas Show; Margaret Hamilton, done up in her Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the West garb, introducing KISS to the ever-cackling Paul Lynde on Lynde's 1976 Halloween special (the footage from this special doesn't include the tender ballad "Beth", undoubtedly due to the estrangement of drummer Peter Criss, who sang the band's highest charting U.S. single); and the truly surreal incident where KISS went to Cadillac, Michigan, and had breakfast with the entire city council wearing full KISS makeup before the band made a spectacular exit by helicopter. Rock & roll is full of strange phenomena, but KISS is one of the most inexplicable: An adolescent fever dream of superheroic hedonism that somehow achieved world-wide stardom and kept its career alive for over 30 years. KISS started as a deliberate cartoon, became a bad joke, and have re-emerged as a fond memory, still cranking out pyrotechnic spectacle. Three volumes of KISSology is probably excessive, but why stop the excess now? --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: KISS
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Restored, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VH1 Classics
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 379 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KJU1MS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In the 70s Kiss was it. It was cool to be into Kiss. In the 80s, it was the exact opposite. By the late 80s and early 90s the makeup was off and Kiss were a (no pun intended) washed up "bunch of posers."

This DVD dispels the myth that Kiss were ever posers. They indeed were always great musicians and they were the inspiration for many metal bands rocking your world today (rumor has it that while backstage at a 70s Kiss show Eddie Van Halen's signature guitar tapping was inspired while seeing Ace Frehley do it). And Kiss so happen to have put on one of the most theatrical shows in rock and roll history.

And that history is captured on this 2-disk DVD, albeit mostly with terrible video quality.

Man, did I ever enjoy being able to see the original line-up of Kiss perform on these disks. The thing is that the awesome performances on these disks are mostly footage from 1974 - 1977 live shows, so the quality is early 70s video...and that ain't good. Often times in the live performances there are major reminders that the video is dated: horizontal lines across the picture, complete picture blackouts and just plain old low quality video.

On the other hand, the audio on the first two disks is a completely different story. The audio wizards cleaned up the sound on Disks 1 & 2 and they've offered it with a terrific 5.1 Dolby mix.

After enjoying what was more of a front row seat experience with the quality HD video and surround sound on the awesome, 5-star Rock the Nation 2004 DVD by Kiss, the live performances in the Kissology set were reduced to mere DVD viewings. However, it was great to reminisce and watch as Gene, Paul, Ace & Peter went through their classics of the era.
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Format: DVD
If you are a big KISS fan like myself, then you probably have seen 95% of what this DVD has to offer.Read more ›
8 Comments 85 of 95 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
6 hours of hedonistic KISS on video for around 20 bucks? You can't go wrong. For the die-hards - yes, there are a few Pro Shot videos that they left out of the two-disc set (Houston 8/13/76, Anaheim 8/20/76 and Houston 9/1/77) - but the footage that is on here (and boy is this thing jam packed) is for the most part super.

I've been collecting KISS video for over 25 years, and I have gone through many different versions and varying quality copies of the footage on this set, and here is my take:

2/17/94 Long Beach: Old 8mm slient footage of the song "Acrobat". Quality is about the same as the footage that has been in bootleg trading circles for the last few years. This is only a portion of the source tape. The silent footage has had an audio track from 4/17/74 Memphis dubbed in.

4/29/74 Mike Douglas Show: Outstanding quality of the Gene Simmons interview and "Firehouse", probably culled from the shows' master reels. My question is why was some of the interview portion cut out? Only 1 minute folks. They could have kept the "kissing contest" in.

1/31/75 San Francisco: Outstanding quality of the entire show (minus the ending which does not exist). The copies that have been circulating in bootleg trading trading circles are generally excellent, and they have some slow-motion video spliced over the damaged parts of the tape. This release looks untouched (and thats a good thing!), with a few warts left in. Superb audio. Only complaint is that the first 30 seconds of the video are cut out. We don't miss any music, but why not just let the reel go from the beginning?

4/1/75 Midnight Special: Great performances of "She" and "Black Diamond", but the quality could be better. I've seen cleaner copies on bootleg.
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9 Comments 19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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