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Smashes Thrashes & Hits
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon August 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Of the three new songs "Let's Put The X" is another hot song by the foursome, with Bruce Kulick's guitars echoing Ace's. The woman in the song is another teaser in the same vein as the vixens in Animalize's "Murder In High Heels" and Asylum's "Secretly Cruel." As another line in the song says, "You're begging for an eyeful but you only get a peak." Tipper Gore would definitely "love" this song. "You Make Me Rock Hard" is okay, but more refined and smooth. Both lack the loud, sometimes overdone production Crazy Nights, but it's harder than anything on Hot In The Shade, their next studio album.
Eric Carr sings solo for the first time and he does not ruin "Beth," listed here as the Carr vocal version. His voice is considerably smoother than Peter Criss's rough but lovely vocals. Fans will have considerable debate on whether Eric Carr ruined a great song or did proper tribute to it. I like both versions, so that puts me on the fence as I find myself on many occasions.
This is the second official greatest hits compilation after Double Platinum, which comprised everything from KISS to Love Gun. S,T&H is pared down in term of representative hits, one or two key tracks from nearly each album. Here's a breakdown:
KISS "Deuce", "Strutter"
Dressed to Kill "Rock And Roll All Nite"
Destroyer "Detroit Rock City", "Shout It Out Loud"
Rock And Roll Over "Calling Dr. Love"
Love Gun "Love Gun"
Dynasty "I Was Made For Lovin' You"
Creatures/Night "I Love It Loud"
Lick It Up "Lick It Up"
Animalize "Heaven's On Fire"
Asylum "Tears Are Falling"
As one can see, tracks from albums considered lesser, such as Hotter Than Hell, Unmasked, and The Elder, as well as the solo albums, have been omitted. What, "Reason To Live" from Crazy Nights wasn't considered good enough to be included?
As for the older songs, "Detroit Rock City" is the radio edit version, minus the opening diner sounds and radio and the crumpling kerrang of metal that leads to "King Of The Night Time World" on Destroyer. "Shout It Out Loud" has a sudden ending, not the gradual fade of the original. KISS and Destroyer have two songs each, justified considering the importance of the songs.
So what does this selection imply? My theory is as follows: KISS was five years without makeup and the post-makeup songs stress the importance of the present. However, there wouldn't have been a present without a past, hence the need for the classics. The song ratio is 8:7 makeup, non-makeup (I count Beth '88 as non-makeup). As Double Platinum was "the story so far" aimed for late-Boomers, this compilation was for MTV era Generation X-ers, who grew up with Lick It Up through Crazy Nights and who now had an opportunity to go back in time and get the other albums--hey, that's what I did.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have been a big Kiss fan from the beginning and after all these years, i am still waiting for a decent "hits" package.What i want to know is, who keeps getting the bright idea to remix a good deal of the songs? Was it the band? Some stupid record executive? Sure, some of the early tunes don't stand up to todays recording standards but so what! Those are the versions we all know and love."Detroit Rock City" and the E.C. version of "Beth" just don't cut it.When i hear them, frankly, i feel ripped-off.Now don't get me wrong....I am all for remastering....Add a little high end, a nice big bottom end, get rid of some of the analog tape noise, but "leave the actual songs alone!" Don't change the guitar solos, don't add extra voices or special effects (For instance, "Calling Dr. Love" on "Double Platinum"), and by all means, "don't chop up a song from what may have been five minutes and reduce it down to three!" Here is my sugestion....Take "double platinum", "Smashes, Thrashes And Hits" and "Greatest Kiss" off the market....like they never exsisted....fans who own them will have collectors items.Celebrate the year 2000 with a brand-new deluxe 4 disc set that spans the best of the entire career from "kiss" all the way up to "Psycho-Circus".Leave all the songs in their original versions and charge $59.99 for it.Better yet, if anyone from the Kiss camp reads this, fly me out to Los Angeles and i will put together the track lists for this massive project myself....No Joke! What a better way to ensure a top-notch high-quality product.For the fans, by a fan.I can see it now......
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Let's get through this, track by track. 1.) "Let's Put the X in Sex" is one of those super cheesy songs that's difficult to admit liking. Yeah, it's kinda catchy, but has anyone in the band ever considered a hint of subtlety?? Yikes. 2.) "You Make Me Rock Hard" is a pretty hard rockin' tune, not bad for a regular studio album but not quite what I'd consider a worthy addition to a greatest hits disc--maybe a "decent hits" disc. . . ."Love's like a glove and it fits just right." Hmm, need I say more?! 3.) "Love Gun" is a classic rock masterpiece--Ace Frehley sure shows he can move his hand up and down that guitar on this one. Great harmonies, great guitars, great catchy refrain, great track. 4.) "Detroit Rock City" is quite possibly Kiss' best song. If you're a fan of this one, try catching the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' cover of this song on the "Kiss My A**" tribute album. 5.) "I Love it Loud" is one of those songs where Gene Simmons' deep, growly vocals work well. This is his song; when you tire of hearing Paul Stanley wail away, this is the track you might fire up. 6.) "Deuce" ain't bad. It's one of those Kiss songs you expect to see on a greatest hits disc, even though it's not one of my favorites. On a scale of one to three, this track is worth a deuce. Sorry, had to say it! 7.) "Lick it Up" showcases Vinnie Vincent's guitar skills; it's a rocker that's a little more upbeat and, dare I say it, happy and frolicky than most of Kiss' songs. "Don't wanna wait till you know me better, let's just be glad for the time together/Life's such a treat and it's time you tast it, There ain't a reason on earth to waste it . . .Lick it up." Hmm, what exactly is being licked here anyway? Regardless, it's a great tune; one of their best. 8.) "Heaven's On Fire" is a track I usually skip. It's a hard rockin' tune, and it's got an anthem-like refrain, but it's just not a tune I listen to often. Sorry. 9.) "Calling Dr. Love" is catchy, but would someone please smack the guy who's doing the falsetto "Calling Dr, Love" line--dude, you singlehandedly wrecked the tune with your high-pitched wimpiness. Otherwise, it's a pretty good tune. 10.) "Strutter" is a classic rockin' Kiss song. The fans went crazy when Kiss played it at the concert in Minnesota a couple of years back, so I know this must be a fan favorite. It's just not a favorite of mine. Still, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. 11.) "Beth" sung by Eric Carr sounds great. Carr has a much more smooth voice than Peter Criss, so this classic power ballad sounds even more polished than with Criss on vocals. Both versions are great--it's a great song, so it really doesn't matter which guy is belting out the lyrics. 12.) "Tears are Falling" showcases Paul Stanley's powerful, distinctive voice. It's a pretty good rockin' tune, but it's not one of my favorites. 13.) "I Was Made for Lovin' You" is pure disco. Surprisingly, the tune still holds up pretty well, and the disco-ey drum beats aren't too distracting. 14.) "Rock and Roll All Night" is Kiss' most famous tune. It's a party anthem; probably because of the success of this song, Gene's allowed to sing a track or two on every Kiss album. Great track, classic rock and roll. 15.) "Shout it out Loud" is a pretty good rockin' tune. It's kind of a rock anthem that Kiss fans know and love but it seems like it's overlooked by the Kiss fans that I know. If you're a Kiss fan, crank this one up and do what the lyrics say.
What songs are missing that you might be interested in finding if you find you like Kiss and their music? Forever, Reason to Live, Domino, Hard Luck Woman, She, Turn on the Night, Hide Your Heart, I Want You, God Gave Rock and Roll to You II, and Every Time I Look At You.
Yikes, I hope that helps. If not, disregard it and form your own opinion. :-)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Greastest hits albums shouldn't have new/unreleased material on them. It should be considered a crime, since all the band is essentially doing is taking money from their fans to basically re-purchase many songs that they already own.
No one in rock 'n' roll is better at doing such things as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Here on 'Smashes' (at least their 3rd G.H. package at this point) they prove this, 'cause in this package are two new songs, as well as the inclusion of "Beth" featuring drummer Eric Carr on lead vocals.
Included as well are the typical hits "Rock and roll all night", "I was made for lovin' you", & "Shout it out loud", as well as some not so hits, but good songs anyways such as "I love it loud" and "Strutter".
I think that "Let's put the X in sex" (one of the new songs featured on the album) is one of Paul Stanley's best songs of the 80's, even though it sounds a bit dated now, and the lyrical topic isn't the most sophisticated, the song has a great opening hook, a great chorus, and some awsome licks being played by guitarist Bruce Kulick.
I personally love Eric Carr's version of "Beth". Even though it's disappointing that this was Carr's first lead vocal on a KISS album, and it was done in such a way that it positioned Eric as the 'replacement' drummer, his vocals are very heart felt, as well as pleasant to hear and unique, he didn't just try to re-do the original, he did it with his own style, which adds another dimension to the song.
All in all fans are basically forced to purchase this album, but as far as anyone curious about KISS, purchase 'Double Platinum' or 'Greatest KISS'. Even though neither album feature songs during the 80's or later, these would probably be the best ones to get.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This one is re-recorded hits from the band in 1988. So you get in reality a whole new disc and not the older versions of the hits. The new songs are good but not great but that is just a bonus for buyers. "lets put the x in sex' is a silly song but that's ok too. the video of it was funny too!
Do I like the new versions of the old hits better than the older ones? NO, but they are still good versions. In fact , only 1982's 'killers' had real versions of the older songs on it , plus 4 new ones too. There wouldn't be a greatest hits disc with the older songs until 1996 or so.
So if you like melodic rock and want some classic kiss redone by the 1980's version of kiss then you could do alot worse than this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I think this is a great collection of songs from the early eras of KISS. Some may complain that most, if not all, have been tampered with. The thing is, if you actually own all of these songs in the original formats, then this compilation is a great addition to any KISS fan's collection. It's neat to hear different takes on all of the classic songs, and the version of BETH with Eric Carr of vocals is, hands down, the better the version of the two. Eric Carr just has a better singing voice, no offense to Peter Criss. The new songs, (Let's Put The X In Sex, You Make Me Rock Hard) are great 80's rockers by themselves, and the only way to get these 2 songs is to buy this compilation.
All in all, this is a good little compilation for those who appreciate the phenomenon of KISS...I have all of their albums, so I may be a bit biased, but I think every die-hard KISS fan should give it a chance, (but then again, if you are a KISS die hard you probably already own this). If you are a new KISS fan, then I would probably stick with Double Platinum, so you can get more of the classic era, in their original form, for your money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
In between CRAZY NIGHTS and HOT IN THE SHADE, someone in the Kiss camp must've had the bright idea to put out another greatest hits package.The good part of this package is that they include hits made after 1979,like:I LOVE IT LOUD and TEARS ARE FALLING.The new tracks,LET'S PUT THE X IN SEX and ROCK HARD,point the way to a new harder edge, minus keyboards.However,getting Eric to redo Peter's vocals on BETH was insulting to both men. Also,why tamper with the classic tracks by remixing and cutting?Maybe Paul and Gene wanted to say "This Kiss is the real Kiss.Everything we ever did before could've been done a lot better with this lineup".If this was the case,both men were misinformed.All in all,this is a hit and miss affair.If you want a good greatest hits package,go and get DOUBLE PLATINUM or GREATEST KISS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Smashes,Thrashes and Hits,KISS's 1988 compilation is good.It has two newly recorded songs.A new version of Beth with Eric Carr on vocals.It also has some great rocking '70's songs and a song from each of their first three Mercury albums.
The new songs are Let's Put The X In Sex and (You Make Me) Rock Hard.As you can tell by the titles,They are in the traditional KISS groove (i.e.sexual).The new version of Beth with Eric Carr on vocals sounds similar to the original.It sounds so similar that if you close your eyes,you might think it's Peter Criss instead of Eric Carr.
The songs from their first three Mercury albums represented here are Lick It Up,Heaven's On Fire and Tears Are Falling.The remainder of this compilation are their '70's rocking songs,including their anthems Rock and Roll All Nite and Shout It Out Loud.The only disappointment is the reissue of Strutter '78(It does not explicitly say so.But it is).The only difference is that 17 seconds of the introductory drum riff is edited out.The original version would've been better to include here.
Once again,this is a good compilation that delivers exactly what it promises.It's also a nice addition to any fans CD library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Smashes Trashes & Hits is a great compilation album, filled with all the greatest KISS classics including 2 new songs "Let's Put The X in Sex" and "(You Make Me) Rock Hard". These new songs have that Sex/Love theme to them in that typical KISS style. Even thou there not 2 of the best songs they've ever made, it's certainly makes a nice touch to this album. The album also features Eric Carr singing "Beth", which he does a great job at. Eric has a really nice voice and he does it precisely with the respect that you expect from Eric. This album is also great if you like a little peak into the life of what the KISS world is all about.
Here's a small listing of some of the songs from various eras;
KISS "Deuce", "Strutter"/ Destroyer "Detroit Rock City", "Shout It Out Loud"/Dressed to Kill "Rock And Roll All Nite" /Rock And Roll Over "Calling Dr. Love"/ Love Gun "Love Gun"/ Dynasty "I Was Made For Lovin' You"/ Creatures/Night "I Love It Loud"/ Lick It Up "Lick It Up"/ Animalize "Heaven's On Fire"/ Asylum "Tears Are Falling".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Hey, this album wasn't as bad as people say, because it's got songs ranging from 1974 to 1988. "Well Paul, these first two tracks are going to be big hits... I'm shure, so let's release it on our greatest hits album" said Gene. That was one BAD idea because these songs are not their best... there okay but, there no greatest hit for the band and should have not been on this CD. You got some of the best songs from the era with Ace and Peter and songs with Vincent and Carr. They tried to go back and remix their best early songs... which is bad. I like the original "Rock and Roll All Nite" better than this new remixed version. Hey, if thier gonna do a new version, why not add the awsome guitar solo that graces "Alive" and mostley all of thier concerts. But, it's a good place to start with for beginners... because they don't know about the remixes or anything if they have never heard it.
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