How old were you in 1987?? I was nine. Impressionable. Still relying on my parents to guide me on good music choices. In a world where big hair and spandex were beginning to dominate, even my young, sponge-like brain could sense a shift in the Beach Boys and Bob Seger world I was trained to live in musically. It just seemed like there was more.
My stepmother turned me on to Black Sabbath. As frightened as I was, because music didnt SOUND like that, I was HOOKED. I was intrigued. GIVE ME MORE. More bands that that sound like THIS.
For whatever reason, she popped in an old fashioned bootleg VHS tape from the Coliseum (I’ll deny this in court) and sat me on a now severely outdated pleather couch. There they were. Kiss. The make-up. The pyro. The showmanship… What a bunch of DORKS! “This is not METAL! These guys are POSERS!”, I screamed. There was just something about that original NY quartet, all dolled up and flamboyantly extroverted, that I couldn’t stand.
I wound up feeding on a steady diet of MTV. THERE were my guys – Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and The Scorpions. They had this top ten video countdown at 5pm everyday. I would suffer through the lame stuff to get to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Nothing But A Good Time”. Then, Adam Curry told me that he was playing a new video debuting at number 8. It was called “Turn On The Night” off of the Crazy Nights album…. by Kiss. KISS????? The intro started, the lyrics kicked in… and I was ENAMORED! This??? This isn’t Kiss. Where is that gaudy make up? Where is the space geek??? Who is that shredding on that guitar??? Well that was Bruce Kulick, and what I was watching was an era of Kiss that has since been erased by the ’96 reunion and subsequent return to the make-up.
In the early to late 80’s, a revamped Kiss had not only a different look, but to me, a more carefully constructed sound. The Crazy Nights album was the pinnacle of that sound. “Turn On the Night”? It’s a sheer 80’s rocker. The kind of stuff you’ll hear Sean Lynch play weeknights at 7pm during the Hair Scare.
It’s a shame Kiss has turned their back on this part of their history… but we won’t.
Check this out. Do you remember watching this video?
(Image: AP Newsroom)