© (P) 2001 Mercury/PolyGram Records, KISS Catalog Ltd. "Amazon" is a registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. "iTunes" is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
THE BOX SET (2001)
Universal/Mercury 586 561-2 (USA, 11/20/2001 - Standard)
Universal/Mercury 586 560-2 (USA, 11/20/2001 - Deluxe)
Click on covers for individual disc details...
The box set was originally going to be a 4 CD set featuring 80 songs. During September the set grew to 5 CD's with some 100 songs (ring any bells about changing/growing KISS related box sets. The box included a 120 page book and was available in two formats: A regular box; and a reproduction guitar case which measured 19x9.5" with fur type lining, similar to guitar case.
Disc 2, track 18 is one of the most interesting on the Box Set: This track is noted as being a "sound check" recording from August 1977. However, both it and the original mixed version for the abandoned "Rock And Roll Party In Tokyo" album feature an identical guitar flub right after Paul shouts "is" during the intro to the song. That same "flub," which sounds like a miscue on a guitar or feedback effect, is present low in the mix of the "Alive II" song. The "Rock And Roll Party In Tokyo" and "sound check" versions also have the same Ace guitar solo "screw-up" during the second solo. This solo is cut from the "Alive II" version along with Paul's audience interaction rap. What does any of this indicate? It would seem highly plausible that "I Want You" on "Alive II" is from the Japanese show recorded earlier in 1977 and mixed with the same audience as the rest of "Alive II." Furthermore, it would seem quite logical, from that point of view, that the "sound check" version on the "Box Set" is simply the recording without the audience over-dubs.
Disc 4, track 14 is another of the Box Set's interesting inclusions: When one first looked at the new KISS box set, they probably would have been pleased to see that there was a previously unknown and unreleased demo from Eric Carr it the form of "Ain't That Peculiar." The music on this track would eventually become "Little Caesar." Unfortunately, the song, at least the lyrics were definitely not written by Eric and were really a metalized cover of Marvin Gaye's song of the same title. It would not be too surprising that this may have been the original intention with Eric's R&B musical background and the sort of songs his 1970s bands were covering, let alone the continuous rejection of his own material when presented to the band. While some lyrics are changed, slightly (as Ace did with his demo cover of Burt Bacharach's "Baby, It's You"), the rest of the song is a definite match for the song written by William "Smokey" Robinson, Marvin Tarplin, Robert Rogers, and Warren Moore. The song reached #8 on the US singles charts in 1965. Even more surprising is that KISS weren't sued for this song's inclusion (that we know of).
In the years prior to its release the KISS "Box Set" was hyped, particularly by Gene Simmons, as going to be the "Mother of all box sets." KISS fans debate whether this was actually the case with the product that was eventually released in November 2001. The most notable exclusion from the box were the 1977 demos Gene recorded with the then unknown Van Halen brothers, but there were surprises too in the form of the Bell Sound Studios 1973 demos and "Dontcha Hesitate." Some of the odd errors in the book that accompany the box are detailed.
USA Chart Peak: #128 (11/28/01) with 1 week on charts.
The "Box Set" was certified gold by the RIAA on 12/18/01. Only selling 19,456 copies its first week, by March 2012 the album had sold over 145,000 according to SoundScan.