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When The Bell Rings

With the sort of writing that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were doing around the time, it was obvious to most that this song was not written by them. With lyrics about social action, the song seemed to be very much dated in the Vietnam and social unrest era of the late-1960s/early-1970s. This song was written by Austin Roberts and Christopher Welch in 1970 and was obtained by Ron Johnsen for the band to record. Like other songs it was sourced from publishers Famous Music and had originally been recorded by the band Newport News and released as a single (RCA Victor 48-1023) in March 1972. Gene and Paul traded off on the verse vocals, as was the case with several of the Wicked Lester recordings, and the original Newport News version.

All versions of this song start with a chucka guitar section which continues into the first verse as the underlying guitar rhythm. On the earliest Steve Coronel version, the Hammond takes prominence following the organ/bass kick though subtle drums are combined with the percussion of congas and maracas. Paul's vocals have a healthy dose of reverb and echo in parts, and Gene's chorus vocals are heavily echoed. Also present in the chorus are the "when the bell rings" refrains. The first break remains the basic chucka guitar with the second verse starting similar to the first, with organ/bass kick. Following the second verse, Steve's solo is simple and fluid, and followed by third chorus which repeats out to the song's fade. By August 1972, the Hammond's prominence in the mix is reduced in parts of the verse/chorus, replaced by Ron's lead work throughout. The organ/bass kick remains the introductory device for the verses, though the vocals now remove the "when the bell rings" call outs. Also removed are the echoes on Paul and Gene's vocals. The overall reverb is also dialed back, but a very Beatles-esque clavinet line is prominent. Ron's solo replaces Steve's and while it follows the same general melody of the original it offers crisper attack and definition and figures. The 2000 remaster is closest to the first 1972 mix, with echoes, heavy reverb, "when the bell rings" call outs, and Ron's lead work throughout. Tempo is also increased, though some may find the reverb unappealing. The song also fades the earliest of any version on the Universal remaster.

© KissFAQ, From "Rock And Roll All Nite: The Music of Kiss" (Used with permission).


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