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Live To Win

206 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 24, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Live to Win is new the solo release from iconic KISS frontman Paul Stanley. The voice and songwriting force behind such KISS classics as "Detroit Rock City," "Black Diamond," Hard Luck Woman" and "Tears Are Fallin'," Stanley's career with KISS spans more than three decades and in excess of 100 million records sold worldwide. Stripping all the legendary bombast away, what becomes starkly clear is that besides rocking relentlessly, the power of human emotion and conviction on Live to Win can rattle not only the walls, but also touch the heart and soul of the listener. "What I wanted to do on this album was sing about my life because my life is not that different than anybody else's," he continues. "The truth is, what we all deal with in life is pretty similar. You change the names and the story's the same." "This album is purely a labor of love," says Stanley. "It is a labor of passion, and something where I was concerned with turning out the album I heard in my head, without regard for having glitz and star power from other sources. It was purely about making the album I wanted to make." While the heartfelt "Loving You Without You Now" was written without any outside collaboration, the remainder of the album reunites him with former KISS songwriting partners Desmond Child [Aerosmith, LeeAnn Rimes] and Holly Knight [Tina Turner, Pat Benatar], and introduces new collaborators including Andreas Carlsson [Bon Jovi, Britney Spears], John 5 [Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson] and Marti Frederiksen [Aerosmith, Faith Hill]. Seven of the ten tracks were co-written with Child and/or Carlsson, with Stanley and Child joined by John 5 on "Where Angels Dare" and Frederiksen on "Lift," and Knight teaming with the frontman on "It's Not Me." Live to Win is self-produced by Stanley, who provides lead vocals, guitar and percussion alongside a studio core of guitarist Corky James, drummer Victor Indrizzo and keyboardist Harry Sommerdahl. Also performing on the album are former KISS bandmate Bruce Kulick and guitarist John 5. "I've always believed that when you give somebody an album, it should be like a fresh newspaper, where you get ink on your fingers and it's today's news," says Stanley, who wrote and co-wrote the ten tracks on Live to Win specifically for the new release. "For me, this album is where I'm at now - This is where things are in my life, and my perspective on my music."

Amazon.com

It's taken a mere 28 years, but Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has finally followed up the, er, promise of his part of the band's 1978 quartet of post-Love Gun solo ego-trips. Yet he's mostly eschewed Kiss's fist-pumping histrionics and sonic clichés in favor of a darker turn into the melodic nu-metal of "Lift" and "Bulletproof," the pop-punk sheen of "Wake Up Screaming," and obligatory power ballads like "Second to None," "Loving You...," and "Everytime I See You Around." The latter sensibility belies the touch of popmeister Desmond Childs as co-writer with Stanley of most of the material. Yet Childs, who's been churning out similar, chart-ready slices of rock dramaturgy for artists great and small since the '80s, can hardly be blamed by the Kiss Army for turning their sassy, beloved Star Man into Bon Jovi. That honor goes to Stanley himself, who self-produced his own post-punk-inflected reincarnation as Big Rock Balladeer. "Where Angels Dare," indeed. --Jerry McCulley


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New Door Records
  • ASIN: B000I8OFZU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By KingV on October 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Outstanding solo effort by Paul Stanley. Live to Win is a batch of melodic hard pop-rock that delivers the goods. The songs are all catchy, maybe a bit cheesy at moments, but great none the less. You can tell this is a batch of fresh songs and not a bunch of old KISS demos that weren't good enough to make the cut on a KISS album. Paul enlists the help of some of the best songwriters in the business to help create a balance of great pop hooks with a hard rock edge. Highly recommend this one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Martin Gendron on January 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Maybe I was hoping for something different from Paul. The only thing that I found different from KISS on this album was the sampling and the way the guitar sounded. It's a good rock album nevertheless but basically, the themes are always the same. I've always found that Paul writes great love songs but to mix 10 songs (read: ONLY!!!!) around the same pattern, it's a little bittoo much for my taste.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Israel on December 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought the CD, listened to it from the beginning to end, 3-4 times and each time it got better. I think its great. A good balance of material from probably the #1 frontman in rock and roll.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dons Word on October 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Paul Stanley is a hero of mine. He and Mr.Simmons wrote the sountrack to my childhood. I always loved his voice and appreciated the fact that he showed some class, unlike Gene who stamps his name on anything that can make a buck. But i must admit to being a bit disappointed at this cd. Aside from the fact that he used co-writers on every track, i am very unimpressed with the quality of some songs here. Almost as if it were a connect the dots pop record. The guitars are a bit in the background and some of the cheesy 80's style keyboards are too much for my taste. A few tracks have potential, but overall an average cd that took a very long time to come out.

The fact that he had years to put this together and he had no contractual obligation to put out anything got me excited. I may have expected too much, but i dont believe so. All i wanted was a nice rock record with balls. Maybe in the vein of some of the 80s (Animalize) style Kiss records that were very good. And i do understand that Paul is in his 50's now and his musical taste is a bit different at the moment. I will grant him that. But this album is very cliched lyrically and the music is quite light. The most surprising thing is that with all the additional writers it is very generic. Thats what bothers me the most. Paul is a great songwriter in his own right, and this album does not let him shine. But this is what he wanted. Trying to cater to the 40+ age group with a light AOR style cd.

Kiss fans will buy this so im sure it will sell ok. And it is still better than Genes crap as*hole cd. Just wish it was a bit heavier.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Allister Fiend on October 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This just wasn't as good as I'd wanted it to be.

I was hoping Paul would crank out something with a little harder edge to it. Instead, Live to Win is a lot of mid-tempo stuff with the requisite couple of ballads thrown in. The title track isn't bad and Wake up Screaming is pretty good, too. But all in all, there's nothing all that memorable about this disc.

First of all, most of these songs were co-written with Desmond Child, who helped co-write a ton of huge hits with several 80's pop-metal bands (like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, & Kiss to name a few). So it should come as no surprise that Live to Win has a lot of 80's pop-metal sounding songs on it. The recording quality is top-notch, but Paul seems stuck in 1988 on here in terms of songwriting.

Another big minus (for me) is the fact that most of the musicians on each track are no-name studio guys. They're all fine players who have recorded with folks like Carrie Underwood & Lindsay Lohan--but do you ever listen to a Lindsay Lohan song and think, "Wow, that guitarist is AWESOME!!!" No, and you won't think that here, either. Bruce Kulick plays bass on 2 songs, and ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist John5 plays a solo, but the rest are studio guys who are indeed capable but not very memorable.

This album is like vanilla ice cream. It's good enough, but nothing to get too worked up about.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diane M. Comer Peterman on November 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Here is the most amazing and talented man as he is ~ Charismatic, Sincere, Good-Heart&Soul Intact, Pure and on-the-level. This CD will leave you crying for MORE!! Once you listen to it, you'll want to listen to it all over again and again. It's better than Great! & There is nothing comparable. Paul Stanley is Sheer Talent through and through on his own. Great writing ~ Great Music .
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daiho VINE VOICE on May 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The first time I listened to Live to Win I wasn't particularly impressed. But for some reason I kept coming back to it, and this week it won't leave me alone. Particularly bothersome are "Wake Up Screaming," and "Everytime I See You Around." These melodies keep popping up again and again, like a bad case of hiccups.

Live to Win has some great songs and shows that Paul Stanley still has a bit of juice left in him after all these years. While he was always the strongest composer in KISS (Detroit Rock City, Love Gun, Hard Luck Woman), it never hurts to have a little help. Several cowriters lent a hand, most notably Desmond Child, who has written and produced some of the most memorable rock anthems of the past two decades, including Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer," "Bad Medicine" and "Keep The Faith," Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)," and KISS' 80's hits, "I Was Made For Loving You" and "Heaven's On Fire."

Except for "It's Not Me," in which Paul eschews fame and stardom ("It's not me . . . . I'm not you're savior."), musically and lyrically Live To Win could have easily been the next KISS album. Yes, the sound is a little different than what you might be used to from KISS, but Stanley and Simmons have proven as adept at changing musical styles as they are at makeup and costumes.

If you're waiting for the next KISS album, you might like to pick this up in the meantime. Live to Win is a sold pop-rock album that just won't leave you alone.

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Topic From this Discussion
Holy crap: It's Paul Bon Jovi!
I have to agree. This album sounds like all that was bad about KISS in the 80's. Over produced, paint by number, and BORING!
Oct 17, 2006 by John Hall |  See all 13 posts
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EXCELLENT ALBUM -Paul Stanley always delivers.
Oct 16, 2006 by Bernard Casey |  See all 4 posts
South Park
DONT EXPECT A KISS CD FROM PAUL ON THIS EFFORT..THIS IS CALLED A 30 PLUS YEAR RIGHT TO EXPRESS YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF KISS, LIKE BRUCE, ERIC, GENE, ACE ...
Oct 10, 2006 by J.man |  See all 6 posts
this cd rocks!
I got one off of Limewire. You are right it is awesome. Typical Kiss/Paul Stanley music but thats what I love about it.
Sep 21, 2006 by Ray M. Mcgillivray |  See all 2 posts
ICK
hear hear, 80's hair band crap! even worse
Dec 19, 2006 by Daniel Russell |  See all 8 posts
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