Damned Cursed Guilty & Abused (The Godfatherecords G.R. 766/767)
Municipal Stadium Nashville, Tn. USA January 11, 1984
Disc 1 (77:44) Intro, Creatures Of The Night, Detroit rock City, Cold Gin, Fits Like A Glove, Firehouse, Solo Paul Stanley, Gimme More, Solo Vinnie Vincent, War Machine, Solo Gene Simmons, I Love It Loud, I Still Love You, Solo Eric Carr, Young And Wasted, Love Gun, All Hell’s Breakin’ Lose
Disc 2 (79:49) Black diamond, Lick It Up, Rock And Roll All Nite. Bonus Tracks; Radio Clyde Scotland October 27 1983 ; Interview with Gene and Paul. Apollo Theatre Glasgow Scotland October 27, 1983; Strutter. Scandinavium Gothenburg Sweden November 18, 1983; Exciter. Long Beach Arena, Long Beach Ca. USA January 27, 1984; Black Diamond (Paul vocals). Market Square Arena Indianapolis, In USA February 16, 1984; Still Love You Intro / Exciter. Right Track Studios New York City, Ny USA June/July 1983; Lick It Up, So Many Girls, A Million To One
Godfather Records already has two great KISS releases this year, the great San Bernardino Feb 85 SB documented on the While The City Sleeps release and the killer Lost Tapes Box set so expectations at this point are very high. When I saw The Don was taking a stab at the Nashville 84 soundboard I was chomping at the bit as it is a great sounding show in need of a definitive version. I am here to say the this new release is just that and continues in the labels tradition of offering a complete document of a particular tour featuring a concert coupled with well thought out bonus material that give fans a retrospective overview and value for ones hard earned money.
The concert was recorded by the King Biscuit Flower Hour so there show has seen a myriad of releases on both vinyl and compact disc. Vinyl releases were under titles like Hall Of Fame (K 1/2), Heavy Metal Holocaust (LP43) Hellriders (Hell Prod 1986 K)1131), and compact disc titles such as Love Guns (Ironic Records 009), You Can’t Break Loose (FH-003/004), and Young And Wasted (Bondage Music BON347/348) with the latter being the most complete but the fragment found on the You Can’t Break Lose title sounded a bit better. One my review of the Bondage title I stated that the speed was off, after comparing this title with the Bondage and FH titles I must summarize that Kads was indeed right and the speed was correct and is correct on all three titles (yes I sat there with a stop watch and timed songs). The sound on this new Godfather release is superb and sounds bright and full sounding with nice bottom end and clean highs, one could even take a page from Spinal Tap and turn this up to 11 and easily takes the cake for best sound over the two versions I have in my collection.
KISS was a rejuvenated band for the Lick It Up tour, they had taken off the make up and generated interest in the band by doing so on MTV. This did not necessarily equate to packed houses and the tour was the least attended headlining tour the band would do. There was still turmoil in the lead guitar position, while Vinnie Vincent was a phenomenal guitarist and song writer his personality did not gel with Paul and Gene and was fired mid tour, eventually rehired when the band could not find a replacement quick enough but the tour would be his last with the band (although he would write music with the band for the Revenge album).
The opening salvo of Creatures into Detroit Rock City is aggressive as hell, one only has to listen to Vinnie rip into the formers solo to know that while the band did not gel personally, onstage they were a force to be recorded with, tight and professional.
There is a small glitch at 53 second mark of Fits Like A Glove, thankfully small and not too intrusive and is not found on the Bondage title. The set list is a nice mix of old and new with Vinnie putting his stamp on the older material and for me he is probably my favorite guitarist other than Ace. He didn’t stick to the mold but went outside and breathes new life into warhorses like Cold Gin and Firehouse. He really shows his chops during his solo, he plays not just a flurry of notes but manages to find a way to make it interesting using technics that were popular during the 80’s and makes it sound effortless and it all evolves into a heavy metal meets Hendrix style ending.
Eric Carr’s drum roll style introduction and fills during War Machine are spot on as Gene gets a little spotlight time during the song and his solo that follows that is a prelude for a great I Love It Loud, better than the studio version it is a live favorite. I also like the version of I Still Love You, the Paul ballad is high drama at its very best and this version in excellent sound quality is very heavy sounding with Vinnie playing some nice metal blues licks. I love a good Eric Carr solo, it is his playing that gave the band a new backbone so to speak and helped carry them through out the 80’s and the audience agrees, they are cheering him on for the solos six minute duration. The new songs off Lick It Up work well live, Young and Wasted is fast and aggressive and the All Hells Breakin’ Loose with its big and bold chorus is hard rock perfection, oh yes a killer Love Gun is sandwiched in between.
The main set is finished with black Diamond, again Vinnie unloads for the solo and leaves the audience in a rabid state, the shout and scream amid a barrage of fire crackers, Paul comes out and read some hilarious letter from three fans and gets the audience to scream the name of the new record before going into the title track. Lick It Up live is a little faster tempo and the sound on this release make it leap our of your stereo system and stomps the crowd to smithereens and the band finish the show with the obligatory Rock And Roll All Nite, Paul and Gene do a hilarious skit before the song that features Gene singing a bit of Beth.
The bonus tracks start with a radio interview from Radio Clyde in Scotland, they talk about playing Scotland for the first time, the new record, taking off the make up among other things, clocking in a just over 20 minutes I really enjoys it and they tie it all together by including Strutter from the same nights performance in Glasgow, the recording is a very good, clear audience source.
Exciter from Gothenburg Sweden is a very good audience source and is very clear and powerful sounding, the song was in and out of the set list for most of the tour, nice to have an excellent sounding version.
Black Diamond from Long Beach 1984 features Paul doing the vocals for the complete song, rarity for sure and the song is again very good sounding and clear if slightly distant. The next track has the Paul starting I Still Love You but quickly stop and Paul tells the crowd they were gonna do a ballad but decides they need to shake their asses and the band roar into a great Exciter, the audience recording is a very good audience source and as with all the above live bonus tracks is a great listen and addition to this set.
The last three songs are studio outakes / demos from the Lick It Up sessions, they are clear and enjoyable but certainly not album quality mixes, perhaps working demos.
So Many Girls So Little Time is an early version of Burn Bitch Burn that would be released on the Animalize record, the sound is good but sounds like it has been compressed or heavily mastered as there is a metallic sound through out, I easily over looked it as I have never heard the song before and is, for me, an important part of this collection. The A Million To One song is the band playing the song sans lyrics but the chorus is there, nice and heavy and gives you a chance to do KISS KARYOKE ! A very well thought out release.
The packaging is the typical tri gatefold sleeve with live and posed pictures and liner notes written by Carla Short Vice President, The Vincent Cusaano Battered & Abused Woman’s Foundation. Having a sense of humor I had a great laugh at the sir name used. With this very important line up of Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and Vincent so short lived in KISSTORY, this upgrade in sound coupled with great bonus tracks make this the definitive version of the Nashville 84 soundboard and the preferred Lick It Up Tour statement.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)