Review Summary: THESE ARE CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAAAAZY NIG...oh yeah, the rest sucks.Whoo! Here’s another song for everybody out there!
Huh? Oh, hey guys…is it review time already?...Oh, okay…
So, welcome everyone, today we are here to talk about KISS’s 1987 opus, Crazy Nights
. Now, as we all know, the 80’s hadn’t been kind to KISS, with formation changes and a severe lack of inspiration giving birth to horrendously putrid albums and faltering tour audiences. 1985’s Asylum
had at least shown a bit of spark, but had been as ignored as anything the band had done since the halcyon days of Love Gun
. So with Crazy Nights
, the group intensified their efforts to be like the bands they had inspired, taking their followerism to the next level.
They try to tell us that we don’t belong, but that’s all right, we’re millions stro-ong…
Um, where were we? Oh yes, the sound. Well, everything in this album is derivative of other bands of the period, from the pristine production by Ron Nevison – probably the best in KISS’s career – to the sound itself, which takes a page from Danger Danger, Bon Jovi and Survivor. In fact, if anything, the references are out
dated: Bon Jovi and Survivor themselves had been doing this – a lot better – for around five years at the time.
In fact, even the riffs
are blatant rip-offs: notice how the intro chords of Bang Bang You
sound suspiciously similar to the main guitar riff on AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long
. Not to mention Turn On The Night
’s keyboard riff is exactly the same as Bon Jovi’s She Don’t Know Me
, from their self-titled 1984 debut. Finally, probably through the influence of Nevison himself, the keyboard lines on Reason To Live
are similar tp those on a Heart song, a group which Nevison had helped revitalize.
THESE ARE CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY NIGHTS!!!! OH YEAH!!!
Uh…excuse me. Now, then, to talk about the songs. The album does start off very well, with the title track – absolutely KISS’s best song since I Love It Loud
and the irresistibly cheesy, Danger Danger-esque Bang Bang You
, another gigantic chorus that goes toe-to-toe with that of the title track and doesn’t come out any worse. Finally, we have No No No
(not a Deep Purple cover), a straight-out slab of fast-rockin’ heavy metal that shows KISS still have a little fire in them.
The problem is, whatever momentum these few songs, and other decent ones such as When The Walls Come Down
, manage to gain is immediately undercut by the vortex of suck that is the rest of the album. The remaining seven songs are, at their best, bland and nondescript (Good Girl Gone Bad, Thief in The Night, Hell Or High Water
) and, at their worst, turgid. The main offenders are I’ll Fight Hell To Hold You, My Way
and Reason To Live
, three songs which should not be allowed to exist on this or any other album. Slightly better, if only for the infuriatingly catchy chorus, is Turn On The Night
; however, it is still pretty bad.
You are my people, you are my crowd, this is our music, we like it lo-oud…!
Um…sorry again for that…Now, let’s discuss the musicianship. Everyone plays it quite straight, and Bruce Kulick shows considerable chops, mostly on No No No
, but also on the intro (and outro) to I’ll Fight Hell To Hold You
and on the solo to Reason To Live
. However, his work seems almost squandered on such a crappy album. As for Paul Stanley, he seems struck by a strange syndrome I’ve dubbed the “Survivor syndrome”. As a result of this condition, he sounds exactly
like Survivor’s first singer – the one who recorded The Eye Of The Tiger
– which only helps heighten the already blatant similarities.
So in conclusion, this is another KISS album to stay away from. It may have more real standouts than the previous three albums put together, but the rest is so woeful that it ends up dragging the standouts down, in a typical case of squandered potential. So I would recommend you go download the title track (or, if you want to write a focused review, don’t) and leave the rest alone. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just change the track here, and we can go on talking…
I’M GONNA BANG BANG YOUUUU!
Crazy Crazy Nights
Bang Bang You
No, No, No