|Kissology II - The Ultimate Kiss Collection DVD:
1978 – 1991 (VH1
The one thing over the years I have always hated about Kissí Video / DVD releases is those four words ìNever before seen footageî. To any of us who have been obsessed with Kiss at one point in our lives, weíve all seen the hundreds of available videos from around the world with more footage than the guys had ever planned on releasing. The greatest thing about Kissology II for me is that there is actually footage I had never seen before. Finally a release which didnít lead me up the garden path.
The killer bonus footage of the ever so wonderful Eric Carr was amazing and in everyway emotional. Shot in the hospital only days after his open-heart surgery the brief footage shows us that no matter what Eric was going through, the pain, the agony he still kept his sense of humour. For me that was the best thing I could have seen on this DVD hands down and honestly I wish there was much more footage that included Eric Carr not only is his last days but also from his very first year or two with Kiss. His audition video, the Kids are people too appearance, more footage from the Australian Press conference & Town Hall appearances, but I guess we have to be grateful for what Kiss did give us. Another one of the coolest clips on this DVD set was footage shot from Portugal Oct, 11 1983 (featured on Disc three) which was the very first show without make-up. This was brand new footage to my eyes and I love every second of it.
The packaging for Kissology II is great and is much the same as it was for the first Kissology box set release. Volume II is filled with some great colour photos as you unfold the case and the twenty two page booklet is filled with great liner notes and killer photos and just like volume one Kissology II also features bonus discs. The bonus disc I have been graced with was a copy of Kiss live in Tokyo from the Crazy Nights tour. The footage is taken from the master copy of the Japanese TV Special filmed and aired in late 1988. This is an awesome show which most die-hard fans have already seen, but itís great to finally own an officially released copy. There are three different bonus discs available which is once again no surprise (letís face it this is Kiss and thatís a great marketing idea). The information about the other two bonus discs can be found at the bottom of this review. For the most part 99% of this killer collection is footage I have seen over and over, but watching it now is like watching it for the first time. With all the enhancements, crystal clear sound and picture quality this is a must have box set for any Kiss fan and collector.
Disc 1: 1978 ‚ 79
For the very first time on DVD Kiss fans have the privilege of owning their very own copy of ëAttack of the Phantomsí (not to be mixed up with the video version ëKiss Meets the Phantom of the Parkí). ëAttack of the Phantomsí has always been slightly a better movie in my eyes. I have always loved the addition of solo album music and slight variations of some scenes which only Kiss fans would pick up on. The first disc in this series also features a great excerpt of the Land of Hype & Glory documentary. Im really unsure to why Kiss felt the need to only show a few minutes of what is a great documentary but nevertheless to see it in such fantastic quality was amazing. One of the biggest disappointments for me on this disc was that there was only an excerpt from the 1979 band interview on the Tom Snyder show. This is by far one of the greatest Kiss interviews you will ever see. Ace is so far off the plant itís fantastic, You can see that Gene is extremely pissed off with Ace and Peter who constantly joke around and Paul sits there looking extremely out of place. This is one of the funniest interviews on earth and yet only a few minutes of it has made it on the disc.
Disc 2: 1980 ‚ 82
This was insane for me to see, Shandi was the very first TV clip I can remember seeing, playing on Sounds back in 1980 it certainly changed my life and enhanced my love for kiss which only grew stronger through the years, the Australian news footage is awesome. I actually have close to three hours of news footage from the 1980 Australian tour and yet there was still a few snippets I had never seen. The 1980 Sydney show was brilliant. Over the years I have watched many versions of this show from the inner sanctum TV documentary to uncut versions in varied qualities. No doubt this is the best quality version anyone will ever see. To this day the Sydney 1980 show goes down as one of my all-time Kiss concerts to watch, Paul has never sounded that good anywhere in the world, not once have I heard Detroit rock city sound that good. Itís also amazing to hear the guys doing Is that You, Talk to me and I was made for loving you much faster and heavier then ever before. I to this day still can not get over the roar of the crowd though-out this show, 1980 was Kissteria all over Australia and this show is proof positive on how much us Aussies love KISS! Another of the coolest pieces of footage on this disc is the excerpt from Countdown, filmed in September 1980 at New Yorks World Trade Centre, this is one special kiss television appearance. This is another piece of footage that I wish the band would have considered using much more of.
No doubt the surprise footage for me on disc two is Kiss live on Fridays in 1981. For how many years now we have heard Kiss go on about how much they hate ëThe Music from the Elderí album, the amount of times fans have requested the band play songs such as ëIí and ëThe Oathí and our calls go unanswered due to the bands hate for this album, I must admit I was really stunned that any Elder era footage made it on the disc. The best thing about the Fridays performance is that itís 100% live, for the one and only time you hear an extended version of ëThe Oathí which features the kind of guitar solo that Ace Frehley wanted to use on the song but was left off the album version. No matter how many times I see this footage I always get something new out of it. Watching the footage again yesterday I sat there and put myself in Paul Stanleyís shoes. Looking into the audience there was no emotion, the crowd were sitting there arms crossed looking very uninterested and you can see the frustration in Paulís face and body movements. Only nine months earlier they were in Australia to thousands of adoring fans, with there faces on the front page of newspapers daily, then all of a sudden playing to people who obviously didnít care to see them. I often wonder if the whole promotional tour for the elder had those same responses as seen from the crowd in the Fridays performance???? If so no wonder they hate ëThe Elderí so much. Wish someone would let them know that a lot of us fans actually do want to hear more played off it though!
Disc 3: 1983 ‚ 91
The most annoying thing for me about this DVD is that it breezes over the non make-up years just as The Second Coming did (although that was more about the original band than a complete history) I really believe that the band could have re-thought the footage they shared here. There have been some amazing television appearances that could have been added but in saying that I am happy with the footage thatís made the final cut. Probably the most disappointing thing about this disc is the last make-up show in Rio footage, I would have used two maybe three songs and left it at that, either showing more footage from the creatures era such as church groups news footage trying to ban kiss and excerpts from the hour long band interview from the U.S. TV show yesterday and today. The MTV Unmasking is one piece of footage I was really stoked about seeing. This is the first time I had actually bothered to sit down and watch the unmasking press conference in full, only because every version I have ever watched of this has been terrible quality. To see this super crisp version was amazing. The footage featured from Philadelphia during December 1987 is very cool. Its great to see kiss rockin out hard. The tracks the band chose to use were great, ëNo No Noí, ëReason To Liveí, ëBang Bang Youí were highlights for me to view in such prestige quality, I never get sick of seeing live footage that features Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr sharing a stage, which is what makes this disc so phenomenal to watch. Owning a complete version of the Philadelphia show I really wish Kiss had included there harmonic version of white Christmas, it would have been great to see that in perfect quality and would have shown another side to Kiss which many every day fans havenít seen. Watching the Auburn Hills, Detroit hot in the shade show was mind blowing, and finally after 16 years I have seen the perfect version of what is another of my favourite kiss shows.
In all the collection of footage that is shown over the three discs (not including the bonus disc) is amazing in quality and sound and will leave many Kiss fans speechless. Through-out various parts of the discs you get special commentary from the guys as they speak about certain shows, there last moments with Eric Carr and much more. This is a must have DVD for not just kiss fans but all collectors of Hard rock music. I do have to admit that it isnít all good news for Kiss here. I have been a fan of not just one transformation of the group but of every single line-up and for varied reasons. To be honest I am disgusted with the fact that there is almost no footage what so ever included in the set which features Mark St. John. Mark who passed away not too long ago gets a mere few minutes in this DVD set and to be honest I think even though Mark wasnít in the band for a long period of time Kiss owed him a bigger tribute than the little Easter egg that was added. That aside I guess no matter what we say there is always going to be other footage we all would have loved to have seen added. This DVD box set is absoulutly amazing and will leave you waiting in anticipation for the third instalment.
8.5 / 10
Complete listing for Kissology II
DISC ONE Land of the Hype and Glory 1978 (Excerpt) Kiss in Attack of the Phantoms 1979 The Tomorrow Show interview with Tom Snyder 1979
DISC TWO Shandi Music Video 1980 CNN Interview with Peter Criss 1980 Countdown 1980 (Excerpt) Rockpop Dutch T.V Performances 1980 Kiss Invades Australia 1980 Live, Sydney Showgrounds 1980 Live, Fridays 1981 Top Pop Performance 1982
DISC THREE Live, Rio De Janeiro 1983 Mtv Special: Kiss Unmasking 1983 Live, Lisbon Portugal 1983 (Excerpt) Live, Spectrum Philadelphia 1987 Live, Auburn Hills Detroit 1990 Mtv Day In Rock 1991 God Gave Rock N Roll To You II clip 1991
BONUS DISC #1 Live, Tokyo Japan 1988
BONUS DISC #2 Live, The Ritz New York 1988
BONUS DISC #3 Live, Largo, 1979 Kissology II is out now, grab your copy where all killer DVDís are sold!
Reviewed By: Cameron Edney