Double Platinum



by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
December 9th, 2009 | 13 replies

Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A compilation album which brings nothing new, and will only interest newbies and completists.

Oh yes, compilation albums. Funny things, aren’t they? Often irrelevant and serving as little more than a money-making device for the label/band, this type of article very seldom manages to get it entirely right. Serious music fans know that if your interest in the band is anything more than fleeting, a compilation album is never the right choice; what’s worse, most of this type of releases are seriously flawed. Usually, the main gripes are related to either serious shortcomings on the tracklist or the lack of fan-baiting original material. But what if a compilation managed to unite both those traits and still come off as a decent introduction to a band? Enter KISS: Double Platinum.

In 1977, KISS were beginning to embark on a downward spiral that would ultimately careen out of control, go up in flames, and cost the group three decades of credibility. So before Ace Frehley’s antics or Peter Criss’ constant moaning could destroy KISS once and forever, head honchos Simmons and Stanley joined heads with their label to record a cash-grab compliation and make a quick buck off the group’s popularity peak. The result – the first of many Greatest Hits to come – was entitled Double Platinum, and encompassed 20 tracks that made up a rather comprehensive overview of KISS’s career up to then.

The product itself, however, was a mixed bag. Mixing packaging and art that worked well in LP format, but looks bootleggish as a CD edition, with decent-to-good music, the album nevertheless fell prey to all the trappings described in previous paragraphs.

To be fair, the tracklist does give space to all the KISS albums, rather than just the super-mega-successful ones; even the oft-neglected debut gets a fair share of the pie. The short straw was drawn by poor Love Gun, which gets a sole cut in the form of the title track. With so many songs from the average Rock and Roll Over, why not include a couple more cuts from Love Gun? I mean, it’s not brain surgery – where’s Tomorrow and Tonight? Where’s I Stole Your Love? Where’s friggin’ Christine Sixteen, for crying out loud?! Did we really need C’mon and Love Me? Yes it’s a standout on that album, but in the ensemble of KISS’s career it’s a rather throwaway track. It could perfectly have been replaced with one of the aforementioned – and infinitely better - tracks. Other songs, however, are acknowledged as pleasant surprises, the irrepressible Let Me Go, Rock’n’Roll chief among them.

The puzzlement continues throughout the tracklist. The band continues to try to forcefeed us She, but why is it glued to the intro from Rock Bottom? Why not, you know, include Rock Bottom itself!?!? And what’s with all the “remixes” and “re-recordings?” And why do actually good songs like Mainline, Room Service, Got To Choose or Let Me Know continue to get the cold shoulder, when they’re so much better than the hopeless She – I ”really, really, reeeeaaaalllly don’t love” this song – or the forgettable 100.000 Years, Hotter Than Hell, I Want You or C’Mon and Love Me? Oh well, guess we can’t have it all our way, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

But the tracklist is not the only flaw of this record. The whole tracklist has no rhyme or reason, feeling rather haphazard. The songs are not ordered chronologically or by order of successfulness – they were obviously just thrown together in a heap, packaged and released. Also puzzling is the presence of a few modifications in several songs, to the extent where this almost feels like a re-recording album rather than a mere compilation. It could be just me, but most songs definitely seem to feature false endings and additional production doodads that weren’t there the first time around. And say, didn’t Hard Luck Woman use to have drums right from the beginning? Oddly, the actual remixes – She, C’mon and Love Me – and re-recordings – Strutter ‘78 – are among the least different-sounding of the bunch.

And this leads us to another problem – there’s no new material here. That is, unless you count Strutter ‘78, a shamelessly opportunistic re-tread that almost manages to ruin a good thing. Although the extended chorus sounded necessary in the original song, I can now safely say that that version actually works better. As for the remaining hoop-la, it was really quite unnecessary. As they say, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

So what saves Double Platinum from total failure? Well, the songs, of course. Despite the shortcomings, it’s a rather pleasant bunch of tracks that make for an agreeable listening experience. However, I will concede that I didn’t listen to this one as thoroughly as I did the other KISS records. Why? Because I was sick to death of these songs. If you are a diehard fan or have listened to KISS extensively lately, that will happen to you too. There’s only so many times a person can hear Hard Luck Woman or Love Gun without becoming tired of them. For a newbie trying to get into KISS, though, this is a pretty good starting point. Sure, it has its flaws, but they’re subjective, and it serves its purpose – to give a reasonable overview of the group’s 70’s career. It could have been much better, but it could also have been much worse.

As a final note, it’s amazing how a track devoid of any logical structure, such as Detroit Rock City, can so thoroughly dominate every album it’s in.

Recommended Tracks
Do You Love Me
Hard Luck Woman
Let Me Go, Rock’n’Roll
Detroit Rock City

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user ratings (63)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2009


This was the first thing I heard from Kiss, another good review man.
i'm waiting for the 80's to hit haha

December 9th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

yeah, i know, two reviews in two days. but rest assured, i DID listen to the album a proper number of times. it's just that i'm going on a trip and wanted to take the first of the solo albums with me. for some reason, i'm psyched about them...

not like there was much to say about this one, anyway. it was mostly down to whether or not the tracklist was good.

December 9th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

actually i'm kinda dreading the 2000''s greatest hits after greatest hits, plus the "official" discography gets confusing...

December 9th 2009


This was my first Kiss album and I can't say it's amazing, but it does have some brilliant tracks.

Strutter 78' is probably my favourite kiss song and definitley a blast to play on guitar.

December 9th 2009


Kiss is terrible

December 9th 2009


The first of many, many compilations. It was either this or destroyer that was the first album i ever heard from em. i will say that i love she though, it's got a sweet groove to it.

December 9th 2009


detriot rock city is balls.

December 10th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

hey, someone negged


December 10th 2009


Jeez, also doing the compilations? That's going too far, especially for a band such as KISS.

December 10th 2009


I'm really looking forward to the reviews of their '80s material.

December 15th 2009


i cant stand kiss

December 15th 2009


STRUTTER! dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun, dun dun, dun dun,

August 4th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

the only thing is not good about double platinum is the stupid rearrangement of songs but it was their very first best of kiss complication record of their best years at that point.

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