Vinyl Writer Music names its ’10 Most Underrated KISS Songs’
Vinyl Writer Music contributor Joe O’Brien has compiled his list of the 10 Most Underrated KISS Songs.
O’Brien states the following about his choice of the track “Mr. Blackwell” from KISS‘ commercial flop Music From The Elder: “In 1981, KISS was struggling commercially, and they were on the cusp of some big changes. It was at this point that they recorded the album Music From “The Elder.” Peter Criss had finally been officially replaced by Eric Carr. Ace Frehley had all but left the band, recording his parts separately in his private studio. KISS felt like they needed to get themselves back in the spotlight, so they had to do something bold musically. They decided to make a concept album that told a story of a young man being trained by a secret society (the order of the rose) for greatness. The album used choirs and orchestras, sounding nothing like anything KISS had put out in the past. The album was supposed to pair with a movie based on the concept of the album. The movie was never made. Furthermore, to make the album more accessible, the order of the tracks was changed to promote the singles, and much of the dialogue of the story was cut. What resulted was a confusing and incoherent story.
Fans were puzzled with this artsy Prog-Rock album and it ended up being one of two KISS studio albums (including Carnival of Souls) not to be promoted with a tour. With all that being said, a lot of discounted gems can be found on Music From “The Elder.” One such gem is “Mr. Blackwell.” With this song, Gene tells us of the apparent villain in the story, Mr. Blackwell. “Mr. Blackwell” is a classic Simmons song and probably the heaviest song on the entire album. What always struck me as interesting was that there is no lead/rhythm guitar during the verses, instead, the bass carries the tune. The evil-sounding bassline carrying the verses really helps to deliver the degree of Mr. Blackwell’s evilness. Do yourself a favor immerse yourself in the delightful sinfulness of “Mr. Blackwell.””
Vinyl Writer Music’s 10 Most Underrated KISS Songs (not in any particular order):
01. “Strange Ways” from Hotter Than Hell (1974)
02. “Mr. Speed” from Rock And Roll Over (1976)
03. “Save Your Love” from Dynasty (1979)
04. “Mr. Blackwell” from Music From The Elder (1981)
05. “Down On Your Knees” from Killers (1982)
06. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Hell” from Creatures of The Night (1982)
07. “Turn On The Night” from Crazy Nights (1987)
08. “Thou Shall Not” from Revenge (1992)
09. “Rain” from Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
10. “We Are One” from Psycho Circus (1998)
You can read the rest of the article about the 10 Most Underrated KISS Songs at Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.
KISS‘ “Mr. Blackwell” track: