You wanted the best, and you got the best - for a third time, and it's a charm, no doubt.
Following on the heels of the highly successful KISSology 1 and KISSology 2, Paul and Gene go back into the archives for a third time and dig through their "KISStory" for some goodies to keep the KISS faithful happy.
In KISSology 3, which covers the time period between 1992 through 2000, you get a mix of classic KISS, the reunion lineup (original members) and the better part of the non-makeup period of the early '90s, when they finally found an identity they looked more comfortable with.
The four-disc set (five, if you include the bonus disc) is a must-have for hardcore KISS fans. Though it has its faults, plenty of highlights make it worthwhile.
The first disc opens with a 1992 show from the Palace at Auburn Hills. It's Revenge era Kiss; Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer. Though the show isn't complete, the great set list and performances makes this a hot show. This then leads into the another gem: the unplugged show. Here you get some backstage stuff and the full unplugged set, which has the "Klassics," including many obscure KISS songs done acoustically.
The second disc is a bit of a downer, opening with the Detroit show from 1996. The footage is taken from the projected screens at the live show, giving the show a very bootleg feel with limited shots of KISS in all their glory. But sound-wise, it tickled my fancy - there is nothing better than loud rock n' roll played with Gibson guitars through Marshall amplifiers. The song "Beth" is left off from this show, but this - like many other of their hits - is done multiple times throughout the rest of the collection, so you don't miss out on too much.
The third disc has the second half of the '98 Dodger stadium show begun on the second disc. This show has excellent video quality, but the band isn't as tight and Ace's guitar doesn't sound as powerful. The audio quality is good, but the gear just doesn't have that "oomph" behind it. Ace's solo is marred by technical difficulties with the smoke pouring out of the pickups, but he makes light of the situation by saying, "That one was too young to smoke." It's a nice save. Everything else is here: a good set list, all the KISS pyrotechnics, blood splattering, fire breathing, and Paul swinging out on a vine a la Tarzan to be with the crowd to sing "Love Gun." The better part of this disc is the Meadowlands show from 2000 that was on pay-per-view. The quality of the video is much better than what was seen on PPV. The guitars sound crunchy, and it's a fantastic idea for Ace and Peter to do non-makeup-era songs like "Heaven's On Fire." I could never imagine Ozzy doing "Heaven and Hell" at Ozzfest with the original Sabbath line up. All in all, two good shows.
Disc four is the treat of all treats for longtime KISS fans who've wanted to see this show in its entirety: the KISS Coventry show from 1973. It's a one-camera shot but still a great glimpse into the past. Though it was in a small club, Gene still did the fire-breathing spot, and even Peter had some fireworks over the drum set. You can definitely tell that they were going to be something special even this early in the development of KISS.
When you put all of the pieces together, you get one giant slab of KISS material, surely enough to please most fans. If it's not enough, I have a feeling there will be another KISSology coming down the pike.
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