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Event Review

KISSology Review
By Richard Jones

I have been a KISS fan for the past 27 years of my life. I first found KISS while at high school when my friend Chris Parry brought the Lick it Up album into school. As soon as I saw and heard it I was hooked. As you can guess I missed the bandís most famous era and the make-up.

So, what this DVD does is exactly what it says on the box. Kissology gives you the bands early history through video footage and if like me you missed out on the early years this DVD is a must.

OK, first of all I have to warn you before we get started. Firstly, this DVD (as far as Iím aware) is STILL unavailable in Europe . I was lucky, my brother went to New York for his birthday and as soon as I knew he was going, I gave my list of Kiss stuff I wanted. Kissology was one of the items on the list. (Hereís an interesting note Ė Kiss stuff is hard to find in New York . As hard as it is to believe, my brother struggles to find t-shirts, and general Kiss merchandise. Maybe the Kiss machine is slowing down in itís own backyard?). This DVD is a region 1 DVD and unless you have a multi-region DVD player or can hack your DVD player (as I have had to do to play it) then Iím afraid you will have problems getting the thing to work.

Secondly, some of the footage contain on the 2 discs is not great. I read a lot of reviews from people complaining that the quality of some of the concert footage was poor, but if you think about it, some of the stuff is over thirty years old and was recorded on video tape so no matter how good the technology is, if the master is slightly degraded then thatís what you get.  If you expect some of the quality to be below your usual standard then youíll have no problems with it.

Now, onto the actual content. The 2 DVDs span the years 1974 Ė 1977. Kiss have got shed loads of footage and have put the best bits together into this compilation which comprises concert footage, documentaries and TV interviews

Disc 1 starts with Acrobat, a song which never made it to press. The quality is rather poor and the sound had to be taken from an audio recording and matched up with the video. It works well and this song is rare.

Next we have Kissí first TV performance. ABCís In Concert has Kiss performing three songs, Nothin to Lose, Firehouse and Black Diamond. They actually recorded 4 songs with Deuce being the other but the song was never broadcast and the material was lost.

The Mike Douglas Show was a popular show in the early seventies and Kiss appeared on it in 1974. Gene Simmons makes an appearance and has a really different approach to interviews that he does now. He doesnít promote anything but comments on how appetising the audience is looking. He gets laughs from his antics but you can tell that the people sitting in the audience donít really know what heís about. They also perform Firehouse live.

The first concert is at San Francisco ís Winterland. This concert is shot in black and white but the performance is good and has all the usual songs and theatrics from a Kiss concert. (Paul has his tattoo done the same day and as such performs the whole concert bare-chested)

The Midnight Special TV appearance features She and Black Diamond. There were other songs recorded but never aired. One is colour and strangely the other was black and white.

Next are some Kiss promo clips. Címon and Love Me and Rock and Roll All nite are the songs featured and this was Kissís foray into music video. The clips were used to promote the Alive album.

The documentary Cadillac is the story of how Kiss visited Cadillac Michigan after they helped the local football team turn their season around. The documentary is voiced by the team coach and he describes how the band stayed in the town for a couple of days, got the key to the town and played a full concert in the local school hall. Cadillac held a Kiss day, renaming street and members of the local community dressed in full Kiss make-up including officials. Really interesting stuff.

Another concert closes the first disc. Cobo hall 1976. The Alive set. The big songs are all on here, Deuce, Strutter, She, Parasite, Cold Gin, Rock Ďn Roll All Nite and others. This is classic Kiss, the videoís a bit dark but itís really good quality. Watch out for Geneís hair catching fire during Firehouse and listen as he forgets the words to Let Me Go Rock Ďn Roll. Classic stuff.

Disc 2 begins with a british documentary So It Goes which features the late Antony Wilson and catalogued Kissí first visit to these shores in 1976. Next is the famous Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976. The band are interviewed and then perform and mime to King of the Nightime World. The interview feature the witch from The Wizard of Oz.

Budokan Hall is a concert video and itís most strange as you realise the audience are just sitting there while the band go through all the moves. They just sit there, no emotion although I catch glimpse of one guy moving his head. Itís really weird. The quality is good and the show is from the Rock and Roll Over tour.

Another TV appearance from Kiss in the Don Kirshnerís Rock Concert. Three songs including Hard Luck Woman, LoveíEm And Leave ĎEm and I want You. It was recorded at Camp Curtis during tour rehersals in 1976.

The final part of the DVD is a concert from The Summit, Houston 1977. This has the best quality video and features all the songs from the Rock and Roll Over tour. Classics include Detroit Rock City , Shout it Out Loud, Beth and Black Diamond. In all 17 Kiss classics.

So, there you have it. The Packaging is very good quality with colour photos in the foldout case. Thereís also a 16 page full colour booklet which has comments from the band regarding the various pieces on the DVD. As far as DVD extras, thereís commentaries from Paul and Gene but thatís it. No sign of Ace or Peter which is sad but not surprising.

As soon as I get to know someone who is going to the good Ďol USA , Iíll put my order for Kissology 2 in. Get it and rock and roll all nite.