How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

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How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

Greetings,

Considering both Gene and Paul were well aware of Van Halen, before the debut came out and also saw the impact the debut had in 1978 along with other hard rock bands like AC/DC, how was this not a wake up call that KISS also needed to up their game as a hard rock band.

It was just a clueless decision that KISS made to record Dynasty and Unmasked. You would think that they would see this as a sign that we should get a bit heavier and more rocking. Nope. They went full on the other way. They were just unbelievably out of touch and that continued from Dynasty to The Elder.

It's really more about that fact that Paul and Gene actually had a heads up about VH before the rest of the world. If I saw them live, heard the demos and then the eventual album - I would be scrapping everything in the studio that I was working on if it was pop-rock and disco and I would be reminded that I am in a hard rock band. So time to bring my A game and make a heavier hard rock album ala something like Creatures which should have come before 1982 anyway.

Now I know some people here love Dynasty and Unmasked - like I do The Elder, but objectively speaking - don't you think with their connection to VH, they probably should have been more aware that this is what hard rock fans want from their bands and certainly what KISS fans wanted from them given the exodus of fans when Dynasty was released.

To double down with Unmasked and go a third time with Elder just shows to me that they were completely lost and had no idea what they were doing. It's like their head was in the sand and they couldn't see that they were surrounded by many successful hard rock bands that were actually heavy and not trying to write disco or pop songs.

So do you think given their SPECIFIC connection, VH probably should have been a sort of wake up call for KISS when it came to the direction they went into on the albums and they should have gotten heavier and more rocking long before 1982. That AC/DC and others too in the late 70's should have also been a clue for KISS or do you think KISS were right to do what they did.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Wiped Out 78 »

Yeah, if you look at all the great hard rock records that came out in 1980:

AC/DC - Back In Black
Ozzy - Blizzard Of Ozz
Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell
Van Halen - Women & Children First
Judas Priest - British Steel
Iron Maiden - s/t

And KISS gives us "Unmasked". That was pretty much where I got off the bus.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Anomaly »

I'd say I think they knew exactly what they were doing, just they weren't quite expecting it to spectacularly backfire. Chalk it up to delusions of invincibility.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by KissJJM »

Wiped Out 78 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:25 am Yeah, if you look at all the great hard rock records that came out in 1980:

AC/DC - Back In Black
Ozzy - Blizzard Of Ozz
Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell
Van Halen - Women & Children First
Judas Priest - British Steel
Iron Maiden - s/t

And KISS gives us "Unmasked". That was pretty much where I got off the bus.
My friend and I discuss this constantly. No Brainerd, but Kiss was obviously lost
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Alejandro »

Not going to read your post (I'm sure it's a fine post). Kiss had a big hit with IWMFLY and they thought going a little bit more pop would give them two next big records, they were "crossovering" anyway. A heavy serious record like Creatures the year after the Panthom movie and the kids loving them would have been a bigger mistake.

They will always have come back to the "roots" in later years, but I just can image Paul having the conversation with Bill Acouin in a booth in Studio 54
"We can have number ones, we have the audience to go pop(ular)"

People sometimes forget that (albeit different times), for example, Train was a 70s kind of album band, Maroon 5 "rocked" a little hard in their first album and, YOUR EXAMPLE, Van Halen was having less and less sales until Eddie plugged the syntethizer and gave the audience the poppiest song ever (and then, they never looked back until the 90s).
Bands and companies are business that want to make money, and the money is in the pop audience. Some bands like Train, Soul Asylum, Maroon 5 and VH had better luck with singles. Maybe you can say better singles too.

The first two Shakira records have almost hard rock songs with a trio of drum, bass and guitar. Now she's doing Reggaeton music.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by woodworm001 »

They always seem to be a couple of years behind the band wagon.

Were they that aware of what those other bands were actually doing at the time? I get the impression they didn't listen to their 'rivals'.

FWIW I love Dynasty - Unmasked - The Elder
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by TwistedTaste »

Easy answer. Paul and Gene are clueless, with no self awareness.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

Alejandro wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:49 am Not going to read your post (I'm sure it's a fine post). Kiss had a big hit with IWMFLY and they thought going a little bit more pop would give them two next big records, they were "crossovering" anyway. A heavy serious record like Creatures the year after the Panthom movie and the kids loving them would have been a bigger mistake.

They will always have come back to the "roots" in later years, but I just can image Paul having the conversation with Bill Acouin in a booth in Studio 54
"We can have number ones, we have the audience to go pop(ular)"

People sometimes forget that (albeit different times), for example, Train was a 70s kind of album band, Maroon 5 "rocked" a little hard in their first album and, YOUR EXAMPLE, Van Halen was having less and less sales until Eddie plugged the syntethizer and gave the audience the poppiest song ever (and then, they never looked back until the 90s).
Bands and companies are business that want to make money, and the money is in the pop audience. Some bands like Train, Soul Asylum, Maroon 5 and VH had better luck with singles. Maybe you can say better singles too.

The first two Shakira records have almost hard rock songs with a trio of drum, bass and guitar. Now she's doing Reggaeton music.
You seem to ignore the fact that KISS had a huge fan exodus with Dynasty. It was not a success story - album or tour. They should have corrected on Unmasked, but they were clueless.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by So Cruel »

Kiss were 4 individuals and not a true band by 1980. Peter was done, Gene was off in LA getting caught up in his ego, his output has severely dropped in quality, Ace was near his peak in terms of songwriting and they could get 3 good rock songs from him but the alcohol/drugs were beginning to take control, Paul had lost the plot and was teaming with writers who were taking Kiss more pop.

By 1980 the magic was gone. I really like Unmasked as pop rock album. Another band could have got away with it and it would have sold well. Kiss had been pigeon hold to their sound/image. Kiss fans were not going to give them the leeway that Rolling Stones fans would give the Stones. In this period you had Ace doing all the guitars and bass on his songs, Paul doing the same...it wasn’t a band anymore.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Bruce »

Van Halen should've been a wake up call to the KIϟϟ Kamp, especially considering how money mad they are. Maybe all of the infighting and behind-the-scenes drama distracted KIϟϟ too much. Van Halen had the benefit of being new and popular. KIϟϟ had the disadvantage of not being new and not being quite popular enough. All of these stresses and tensions do not lead to wonderful outcomes.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by spacedemon »

Why didn't Elvis take his cue from the Beatles once they exploded onto the scene? The Fab Four, The Rolling Stones and the whole British Invasion eventually ended up eclipsing him. Why didn't the Hair Metal bands heed what was coming out of Seattle before it was too late? When you reach a certain level of success and can do no wrong, You become so isolated and convinced that you're invincible that you tune out what's happening in the real world and by the time reality hits, Musical tastes have changed and bands you didn't feel threatened by before, Are now after your throne and have either become your rivals or turned you into yesterday's news. In Gene's defense, He did try to secure Van Halen for Casablanca Records. Or more specifically, Eddie and Alex. David Lee Roth and Van Halen's former manager felt as though Gene was planning on recruiting the Van Halen brothers as replacements for Ace and Peter. Either in the studio or as full-time band members. Even Bill Aucoin rejected Van Halen's demo tape when Gene played it for him. Go figure.
Last edited by spacedemon on Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by redinthesky »

Kiss was shockingly clueless from 1979-1982. Seeing so many fans leave them in '79, they turn around and record the wimpiest of albums. Then their solution was to record a mystical concept album. Fans don't mind a small curveball here and there (The Ramones had a top-10 hit in the UK with "Baby I Love You" that has no guitars at all and it didn't hurt them one bit), but Kiss completely changed images and styles three times for three consecutive albums.

I remember it in 1982, rock fans were BRUTAL towards Kiss....the two big sayings in school were "Kiss is dead" and "Kiss is for kids." That one was a direct reference to how all the kids who liked Kiss got a little older and graduated to all the new breed of hard rock bands. It didn't have to be that way.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

Success fueled ego can give you the false sense of security that you know best, and that anyone telling you otherwise is obviously wrong. This is the sort of thing that happens when you have a band, as huge as they were, see Some Girls, and go, "Yeah, that's the direction to grasp the golden ring." Instead, they should've looked behind them so they could avoid the VH / NWOBHM / AC/DC pileup about to take place. They just blew right through traffic, and while RS had a competent driver to control the vehicle, KISS ended up smashing through the rail and ended up in a ditch. When they finally did correct things, some might say they over corrected their course.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

redinthesky wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:44 pm Fans don't mind a small curveball here and there (The Ramones had a top-10 hit in the UK with "Baby I Love You" that has no guitars at all and it didn't hurt them one bit), but Kiss completely changed images and styles three times for three consecutive albums.
I'd say five.

Dynasty -- hard rock to a mix up of poppy / disco rock with hard rock frosting attempting to disguise it
Unmasked -- Fuck disguising it; even more pop, tour had a new drummer
The Elder -- ...yeah...
Creatures -- Now we're super heavy, chains and spikes and leather, heavy metal, YEAH!
Lick It Up -- No makeup, no typical KISS costumes, a contemporary LA scene type album
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:42 pm Why didn't Elvis take his cue from the Beatles once they exploded onto the scene? The Fab Four, The Rolling Stones and the whole British Invasion eventually ended up eclipsing him. Why didn't the Hair Metal bands heed what was coming out of Seattle before it was too late? When you reach a certain level of success and can do no wrong, You become so isolated and convinced that you're invincible you tube out what's happening in the real world and by the time reality hits, Musical tastes have changed and bands you didn't feel threatened by before, Are now after your throne and have become your rivals or turned you into yesterday's news. In Gene's defense, He did try to secure Van Halen for Casablanca Records. Or more specifically, Eddie and Alex. David Lee Roth and Van Halen's former manager felt as though Gene was planning to recruit the Van Halen brothers as replacements for Ace and Peter either in the studio or as full-time band members. Even Bill Aucoin rejected Van Halen's demo tape when Gene played it for him.
What was hair metal supposed to do? They didn't know the sea change was coming until it was on top of them and what did many do? Make darker, serious and more "grungy" albums along with KISS with Carnival Of Souls to try to compete.

The difference is that Gene and Paul actually had a long heads up about Van Halen before the world did and certainly they were aware of bands like AC/DC.

The demo tape was rejected by Aucoin as Paul also stated - because they saw VH as being a distraction for Gene and KISS. Not because they weren't impressed.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:50 pm What was hair metal supposed to do? They didn't know the sea change was coming until it was on top of them and what did many do? Make darker, serious and more "grungy" albums along with KISS with Carnival Of Souls to try to compete.

The difference is that Gene and Paul actually had a long heads up about Van Halen before the world did and certainly they were aware of bands like AC/DC.

The demo tape was rejected by Aucoin as Paul also stated - because they saw VH as being a distraction for Gene and KISS. Not because they weren't impressed.
From what I understand, some of the artists of the 80s have stated that they went after record companies for better compensation, as now they had the money and lawyers to do so, and the record companies basically stopped pushing their records. As a result, the whole thing was replaced in quick succession.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by strutter78 »

I recall seeing interviews with Ros Radley claiming the “Magic” years going to 1983. The Magic was about over by 1980. I still consider Dynasty part of the great era, but it was fading. They could only do 2 nights at MSG instead of 5. That’s still pretty good. I saw the Dynasty Tour and Creatures Tour. Loved them both, but Dynasty was massive compared to Creatures as far as the album and tour sales as we know.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by redinthesky »

LordThurisaz wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:50 pm
redinthesky wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:44 pm Fans don't mind a small curveball here and there (The Ramones had a top-10 hit in the UK with "Baby I Love You" that has no guitars at all and it didn't hurt them one bit), but Kiss completely changed images and styles three times for three consecutive albums.
I'd say five.

Dynasty -- hard rock to a mix up of poppy / disco rock with hard rock frosting attempting to disguise it
Unmasked -- Fuck disguising it; even more pop, tour had a new drummer
The Elder -- ...yeah...
Creatures -- Now we're super heavy, chains and spikes and leather, heavy metal, YEAH!
Lick It Up -- No makeup, no typical KISS costumes, a contemporary LA scene type album
Truth. Inconsistency of their artists makes fans uncomfortable and weary. There's a fine line the best acts know how to tread - they can deviate just a touch here and there, but still be true to what they are. Kiss didn't, or couldn't, do that.

I mean heck, AC/DC records a single (great) song with freaking bagpipes. Kiss on the other hand, they would have made a whole album with bagpipes and have called the album "Bagpipe Rock."
Last edited by redinthesky on Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by spacedemon »

KISS should've heeded what Punk Rock had done to the well established hard rock bands of their era. That should've been their "Oh shit!" moment. Punk Rock/New Wave made bands like KISS look and sound like dinosaurs. Other Metal bands took their cue from the Punk scene and that ended up giving birth to NWOBHM and bands like Motley Crew, Slayer, Metallica. By the time KISS tried to go with a Punk/New Wave look with The Elder and then a Heavy Metal thunder sound with COTN, The game was over.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

LordThurisaz wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:52 pm
Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:50 pm What was hair metal supposed to do? They didn't know the sea change was coming until it was on top of them and what did many do? Make darker, serious and more "grungy" albums along with KISS with Carnival Of Souls to try to compete.

The difference is that Gene and Paul actually had a long heads up about Van Halen before the world did and certainly they were aware of bands like AC/DC.

The demo tape was rejected by Aucoin as Paul also stated - because they saw VH as being a distraction for Gene and KISS. Not because they weren't impressed.
From what I understand, some of the artists of the 80s have stated that they went after record companies for better compensation, as now they had the money and lawyers to do so, and the record companies basically stopped pushing their records. As a result, the whole thing was replaced in quick succession.
Never heard that before.

I just remember the guys from Winger telling a story that I am sure was the same for many other hair bands - it was almost like overnight. One day they are playing to really good crowds and then almost the next day, the places were almost empty after Nirvana and others came out. There was no real warning.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by spacedemon »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:50 pm
spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:42 pm Why didn't Elvis take his cue from the Beatles once they exploded onto the scene? The Fab Four, The Rolling Stones and the whole British Invasion eventually ended up eclipsing him. Why didn't the Hair Metal bands heed what was coming out of Seattle before it was too late? When you reach a certain level of success and can do no wrong, You become so isolated and convinced that you're invincible you tube out what's happening in the real world and by the time reality hits, Musical tastes have changed and bands you didn't feel threatened by before, Are now after your throne and have become your rivals or turned you into yesterday's news. In Gene's defense, He did try to secure Van Halen for Casablanca Records. Or more specifically, Eddie and Alex. David Lee Roth and Van Halen's former manager felt as though Gene was planning to recruit the Van Halen brothers as replacements for Ace and Peter either in the studio or as full-time band members. Even Bill Aucoin rejected Van Halen's demo tape when Gene played it for him.
What was hair metal supposed to do? They didn't know the sea change was coming until it was on top of them and what did many do? Make darker, serious and more "grungy" albums along with KISS with Carnival Of Souls to try to compete.

The difference is that Gene and Paul actually had a long heads up about Van Halen before the world did and certainly they were aware of bands like AC/DC.

The demo tape was rejected by Aucoin as Paul also stated - because they saw VH as being a distraction for Gene and KISS. Not because they weren't impressed.
Depends on who's telling the story. Supposedly Bill Aucoin was not impressed at all by the Van Halen sound. Especially David Lee Roth's voice. That's a shame, Because signing Van Halen to Casablana would've been a major coup.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:58 pm KISS should've heeded what Punk Rock had done to the well established hard rock bands of their era. That should've been their "Oh shit!" moment. Punk Rock/New Wave made bands like KISS look and sound like dinosaurs. Other Metal bands took their cue from the Punk scene and that ended up giving birth to NWOBHM and bands like Motley Crew, Slayer, Metallica. By the time KISS tried to go with a Punk/New Wave look with The Elder and then a Heavy Metal thunder sound with COTN, The game was over.
I think NWOBHM took more cues from Stained Class by Judas Priest and early Motorhead than punk. A lot of them disliked punk.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:04 pm Never heard that before.

I just remember the guys from Winger telling a story that I am sure was the same for many other hair bands - it was almost like overnight. One day they are playing to really good crowds and then almost the next day, the places were almost empty after Nirvana and others came out. There was no real warning.
Apparently Blackie Lawless and Don Dokken have stated that the record companies essentially disowned them after negotiating better deals.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by spacedemon »

The success of Guns N Roses should've been the warning shot to the Hair Metal bands. In my opinion, It was Guns N Roses who first drew blood from the L.A Hair Metal scene with their gutter rock sound, grit and authenticity, long before Grunge hit the airwaves.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by B5Erik »

Honestly, Gene, Paul, and Bill Aucoin saw KISS as having elevated themselves ABOVE that limited market.

In their arrogance, they believed that KISS had crossed over into the broader market, and were playing to that market. "I Was Made For Lovin You," only cemented that belief. They didn't realize that fans of Top 40 radio bought singles, and SOME albums, WITHOUT any loyalty or attachment to those artists. When Shandi failed to hit the Top 40 in the U.S. the way they expected, the album tanked.

And, of course, at the same time, they alienated their old fanbase (which was already turned off by the Solo Albums and KMTPOTP.

If they were smart, and had any idea of who their fanbase really was, they would have looked at Van Halen (as well as the rising Judas Priest, among others) and seen that heavier and harder edged was what was on the way up, and that fit their existing fanbase better than the Pop oriented stuff they went with.

Dynasty was a VERY good album, but it wasn't what their existing fanbase wanted. And 1980 was the year that Metal came back.

It's been said that in 1980 KISS had the ball on the one yard line, and they fumbled the ball going in to the end zone. That is SO true...
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

LordThurisaz wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:07 pm
Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:04 pm Never heard that before.

I just remember the guys from Winger telling a story that I am sure was the same for many other hair bands - it was almost like overnight. One day they are playing to really good crowds and then almost the next day, the places were almost empty after Nirvana and others came out. There was no real warning.
Apparently Blackie Lawless and Don Dokken have stated that the record companies essentially disowned them after negotiating better deals.
Well to be fair, were those particular artists going to have platinum success moving forward for years to come? No. I would probably want them off my label too.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:08 pm The success of Guns N Roses should've been the warning shot to the Hair Metal bands. In my opinion, It was Guns N Roses that destroyed the L.A Hair Metal scene even before Grunge hit the airwaves.
Perhaps, but Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi and some others had huge albums in 1987/1988, so in that case - both types of bands could co-exist successfully.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by spacedemon »

Dokken just couldn't get out of their own way no matter how individually talented they were as musicians.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Glasgow Kiss »

B5Erik wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:08 pm Honestly, Gene, Paul, and Bill Aucoin saw KISS as having elevated themselves ABOVE that limited market.

In their arrogance, they believed that KISS had crossed over into the broader market, and were playing to that market. "I Was Made For Lovin You," only cemented that belief. They didn't realize that fans of Top 40 radio bought singles, and SOME albums, WITHOUT any loyalty or attachment to those artists. When Shandi failed to hit the Top 40 in the U.S. the way they expected, the album tanked.

And, of course, at the same time, they alienated their old fanbase (which was already turned off by the Solo Albums and KMTPOTP.

If they were smart, and had any idea of who their fanbase really was, they would have looked at Van Halen (as well as the rising Judas Priest, among others) and seen that heavier and harder edged was what was on the way up, and that fit their existing fanbase better than the Pop oriented stuff they went with.

Dynasty was a VERY good album, but it wasn't what their existing fanbase wanted. And 1980 was the year that Metal came back.

It's been said that in 1980 KISS had the ball on the one yard line, and they fumbled the ball going in to the end zone. That is SO true...
I think that's it - by '78-'79 they maybe had a conception of themselves as being more all-round showbiz entertainers rather than sweaty rockers. Gene was collecting the phone numbers of the rich and famous to ask to appear on his solo album, Paul was soaking up the vibes in Studio 54 and Ace and Peter were in a mess.

Given the demographic that was buying the merch and attending the shows it's perhaps understandable they thought they could broaden their appeal still further by softening the music. All that happened was the preteens moved onto something else once Kiss had reached saturation point, and the hard rock audience that had underpinned their success up until them collectively decided they were pussies and moved onto something heavier.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:09 pm Well to be fair, were those particular artists going to have platinum success moving forward for years to come? No. I would probably want them off my label too.
I got that from my friend, so I'm seeing if he has anything to provide for that.

What I'm assuming: They likely wanted better than the 75% of CD sales that they were getting. From what I understand, a lot of artists were told that the record companies wanted them to take only 75% versus other sales because they "weren't sure" the CD would take off. Once they started phasing out the tapes and vinyl, they were essentially ripping bands off.

To clarify, what I mean by 75% is that they'd have to accept 75% of their royalties versus their agreed rate. I can't remember where it was stated, but it might've been either Runnin With the Devil by Noel Monk, possibly Sammy Hagar's autobio, or Bruce Dickinson's autobio. I know it was mentioned somewhere in one of my autobiography books, but as for which one, I'm not sure.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by kisswah »

They should have listened to Ace ...

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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by TwistedTaste »

spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:42 pm Why didn't Elvis take his cue from the Beatles once they exploded onto the scene? The Fab Four, The Rolling Stones and the whole British Invasion eventually ended up eclipsing him. Why didn't the Hair Metal bands heed what was coming out of Seattle before it was too late? When you reach a certain level of success and can do no wrong, You become so isolated and convinced that you're invincible that you tune out what's happening in the real world and by the time reality hits, Musical tastes have changed and bands you didn't feel threatened by before, Are now after your throne and have either become your rivals or turned you into yesterday's news. In Gene's defense, He did try to secure Van Halen for Casablanca Records. Or more specifically, Eddie and Alex. David Lee Roth and Van Halen's former manager felt as though Gene was planning on recruiting the Van Halen brothers as replacements for Ace and Peter. Either in the studio or as full-time band members. Even Bill Aucoin rejected Van Halen's demo tape when Gene played it for him. Go figure.
Your post doesn’t make sense.
Not in light of Kiss not sticking to their classic British-Blues-Rock formula. Paul was actually seduced by disco & pop and ruined the band in the eyes of many. I for one think Paul tanked the band for good beginning with IWMFLY.

Kiss (paul) DID get swayed by trends. He clearly had no belief in what the original band did or himself imo.

Kiss didn’t have to go heavier when Van Halen was breaking, they just needed to stay true to their sound. & they didn’t. Paul and Gene caved to peer pressure & the press until nobody took them seriously anymore save the die hard fans who follow them no matter what.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Alejandro »

Again, if Sure Know Something was a n2 hit, and then Shandi a N1 hit, and then let's say I'm a legend tonight would have been in the top 10, we would have had 5 years of Kiss with big costumes (and headbands) sharing tv and tour time with The Cars Blondie etc

When you are in a position that KISS THOUGHT they were, you don't look to a new "lucky" 1st record band like Van Halen or something "underground" from far away like the NWOBHM. You want to compete with your peers, and your peers are The Stones and Some Girls, Rod Stewart and Da Ya think I'm Sexy and The Eagles The Long Run. Some people (like Gene and Paul) don't have a clue in here.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

Alejandro wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:40 pm Again, if Sure Know Something was a n2 hit, and then Shandi a N1 hit, and then let's say I'm a legend tonight would have been in the top 10, we would have had 5 years of Kiss with big costumes (and headbands) sharing tv and tour time with The Cars Blondie etc

When you are in a position that KISS THOUGHT they were, you don't look to a new "lucky" 1st record band like Van Halen or something "underground" from far away like the NWOBHM. You want to compete with your peers, and your peers are The Stones and Some Girls, Rod Stewart and Da Ya think I'm Sexy and The Eagles The Long Run. Some people (like Gene and Paul) don't have a clue in here.
If KISS thought their peers were The Stones, Rod Stewart and The Eagles, then they were absolutely fucking clueless more than maybe we thought.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Alejandro »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:47 pm
Alejandro wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:40 pm Again, if Sure Know Something was a n2 hit, and then Shandi a N1 hit, and then let's say I'm a legend tonight would have been in the top 10, we would have had 5 years of Kiss with big costumes (and headbands) sharing tv and tour time with The Cars Blondie etc

When you are in a position that KISS THOUGHT they were, you don't look to a new "lucky" 1st record band like Van Halen or something "underground" from far away like the NWOBHM. You want to compete with your peers, and your peers are The Stones and Some Girls, Rod Stewart and Da Ya think I'm Sexy and The Eagles The Long Run. Some people (like Gene and Paul) don't have a clue in here.
If KISS thought their peers were The Stones, Rod Stewart and The Eagles, then they were absolutely fucking clueless more than maybe we thought.
I completely agree. But they were. There are thousands of stories of bands like that (10 % succesful at it) in a particular part of their career.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

Alejandro wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:50 pm
Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:47 pm
Alejandro wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:40 pm Again, if Sure Know Something was a n2 hit, and then Shandi a N1 hit, and then let's say I'm a legend tonight would have been in the top 10, we would have had 5 years of Kiss with big costumes (and headbands) sharing tv and tour time with The Cars Blondie etc

When you are in a position that KISS THOUGHT they were, you don't look to a new "lucky" 1st record band like Van Halen or something "underground" from far away like the NWOBHM. You want to compete with your peers, and your peers are The Stones and Some Girls, Rod Stewart and Da Ya think I'm Sexy and The Eagles The Long Run. Some people (like Gene and Paul) don't have a clue in here.
If KISS thought their peers were The Stones, Rod Stewart and The Eagles, then they were absolutely fucking clueless more than maybe we thought.
I completely agree. But they were. There are thousands of stories of bands like that (10 % succesful at it) in a particular part of their career.
And some wonder why people say that Paul should be the last guy in charge of KISS. This is mostly his decision given he was writing disco/pop rock. I am sure Gene and Ace would have been just fine making a heavy rock KISS album.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Homer Simpson »

B5Erik wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:08 pm Honestly, Gene, Paul, and Bill Aucoin saw KISS as having elevated themselves ABOVE that limited market.

In their arrogance, they believed that KISS had crossed over into the broader market, and were playing to that market. "I Was Made For Lovin You," only cemented that belief. They didn't realize that fans of Top 40 radio bought singles, and SOME albums, WITHOUT any loyalty or attachment to those artists. When Shandi failed to hit the Top 40 in the U.S. the way they expected, the album tanked.

And, of course, at the same time, they alienated their old fanbase (which was already turned off by the Solo Albums and KMTPOTP.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Kiss (and Aucoin) thought Kiss could be Americana----just something embedded in the public consciousness like Disney and Coca Cola. To do that, they tried to appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, they quickly found that the general public has fickle tastes. KIss turned their backs on the fanbase that made them and the fanbase they yearned for turned their backs on Kiss.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by AceyAintInCharge »

Bruce wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:35 pm Van Halen should've been a wake up call to the KIϟϟ Kamp, especially considering how money mad they are. Maybe all of the infighting and behind-the-scenes drama distracted KIϟϟ too much. Van Halen had the benefit of being new and popular. KIϟϟ had the disadvantage of not being new and not being quite popular enough. All of these stresses and tensions do not lead to wonderful outcomes.
But KISS was out of touch even when it came to Van Halen. Gene was adamant that David Lee Roth was not the right front man. David said in his book that during the Love Gun tour Gene had supplied the band with backstage passes but conveniently would "forget" to leave a pass for David. He could not have been more wrong about what they needed. While he may have seen potential with VH had he been involved any more he probably would have under cut their eventual success.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

Homer Simpson wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:03 pm
B5Erik wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:08 pm Honestly, Gene, Paul, and Bill Aucoin saw KISS as having elevated themselves ABOVE that limited market.

In their arrogance, they believed that KISS had crossed over into the broader market, and were playing to that market. "I Was Made For Lovin You," only cemented that belief. They didn't realize that fans of Top 40 radio bought singles, and SOME albums, WITHOUT any loyalty or attachment to those artists. When Shandi failed to hit the Top 40 in the U.S. the way they expected, the album tanked.

And, of course, at the same time, they alienated their old fanbase (which was already turned off by the Solo Albums and KMTPOTP.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Kiss (and Aucoin) thought Kiss could be Americana----just something embedded in the public consciousness like Disney and Coca Cola. To do that, they tried to appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, they quickly found that the general public has fickle tastes. KIss turned their backs on the fanbase that made them and the fanbase they yearned for turned their backs on Kiss.
And they never learned from these mistakes. They want to appeal more to the general public and casual fans now over their actual fans.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Fastcc »

It's a great question and comment. As there are already quite a few good replies here, I'll add this. I give KISS a pass for Dynasty because many great bands toyed with Disco and managed to come out (somewhat) unscathed. As mentioned, the Stones and Rod Stewart did it, plus Queen in 1980. The Eagles only "Disco" song was supposed to be a joke so they really didn't fold to the trend.

Here's my real issue. Dynasty comes out in May 1979 - and the Disco Sucks event in Chicago happens a mere two months later. That should have been the biggest clue not to keep going down the path... and they didn't keep going Disco. BUT, instead of looking at Van Halen (as they should have done) and getting back to real rock after the Dynasty record, they looked at New Wave as their inspiration for Unmasked. To me this was the critical error. New Wave had some great bands but the trend didn't last even as long as Disco, PLUS Unmasked is more of a hybrid rock pop album than a true new wave album. So that's where I think they really screwed the pooch.

As far as The Elder? That's just throwing bad money at bad money. Why they thought they could be Pink Floyd is beyond me.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by That 70s Guy »

Simple answer....

as good as Van Halen was doing in 1978, The Bee Gees were doing better.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Bruce »

AceyAintInCharge wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:06 pm Gene was adamant that David Lee Roth was not the right front man. David said in his book that during the Love Gun tour Gene had supplied the band with backstage passes but conveniently would "forget" to leave a pass for David.
I think that 1984 was a brilliant album and that Diamond Dave's the ultimate showman. But I'm otherwise a fan of Van Hagar, thats what I rock out to. So, I'm not sure that I, personally, can completely discount Gene's assessment of DLR. On the other hand, being a dousche is never cool. Gene should've respected the rest of the band's feelings on David and invited him backstage, for sure.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

That 70s Guy wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:24 pm Simple answer....

as good as Van Halen was doing in 1978, The Bee Gees were doing better.
You think "from the streets" KISS should be looking to The Bee Gees for career direction?
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Anomaly »

Suddenly I'm imagining Paul and Gene hounding Ace to start doing all of EVH's tricks and we still end up with Ace getting alienated out of the band in 1982. :lol:
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by TwistedTaste »

Fastcc wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:21 pmI give KISS a pass for Dynasty because many great bands toyed with Disco and managed to come out (somewhat) unscathed. As mentioned, the Stones and Rod Stewart did it, plus Queen in 1980.
Kiss weren’t any of those bands. Those other bands could get away with releasing a disco song because their musical tapestry (if you will) - was much larger/broader than a band like Kiss.

Kiss couldn’t withstand the backlash for going disco. It killed them off.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by AxlisKing »

spacedemon wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:08 pm The success of Guns N Roses should've been the warning shot to the Hair Metal bands. In my opinion, It was Guns N Roses who first drew blood from the L.A Hair Metal scene with their gutter rock sound, grit and authenticity, long before Grunge hit the airwaves.
Gn'R, Jane's Addiction and the Chili Peppers started digging the graves for the glam scene while doing different things in the same clubs those bands started and some still played in. All the copycat bands dug the hole deeper and the Seattle scene finished the job.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Mr Slow »

I think it comes down to Bill Aucoin. He was the brains of the operation. I think he was the one who pushed for the movie, the merch, KISS World, he was trying to make KISS all things to all people. Part of that was to make the music more accessible. Less of the heavy stuff, more radio friendly. The costumes went from dark and scary to outrageous and over the top, something that made them more appealing to younger kids and more likely to be family entertainment.

Of course the guys egos were out of control by that point. They believe the hype and thought they could do anything and it would be successful. Add to that the solo albums that drove an even bigger wedge between them and you’ve got a small group of people (the band members, management and record label) all wanting different things out of it.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by LordThurisaz »

Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:29 pm
That 70s Guy wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:24 pm Simple answer....

as good as Van Halen was doing in 1978, The Bee Gees were doing better.
You think "from the streets" KISS should be looking to The Bee Gees for career direction?
There's a grand idea. Lol
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Anomaly »

TwistedTaste wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:31 pm
Fastcc wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:21 pmI give KISS a pass for Dynasty because many great bands toyed with Disco and managed to come out (somewhat) unscathed. As mentioned, the Stones and Rod Stewart did it, plus Queen in 1980.
Kiss weren’t any of those bands. Those other bands could get away with releasing a disco song because their musical tapestry (if you will) - was much larger/broader than a band like Kiss.

Kiss couldn’t withstand the backlash for going disco. It killed them off.
I think had they snapped immediately back in 1980 they would have been fine... had they not already rebranded as SuperKISS by that point. I'd say it was a combination of factors, really.
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Re: How Was Van Halen Not A Clue For KISS To Go Heavier?

Post by Grand Classic »

LordThurisaz wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:35 pm
Grand Classic wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:29 pm
That 70s Guy wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:24 pm Simple answer....

as good as Van Halen was doing in 1978, The Bee Gees were doing better.
You think "from the streets" KISS should be looking to The Bee Gees for career direction?
There's a grand idea. Lol
Just imagine a world where this is the new KISS album also on Casablanca Records.

Image