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on March 18, 2017
Supper !
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In 1978 rock group KISS then at the top of their popularity did something that surprised many. The band members each released their own studio album on the exact same day which has never been done since or before. Each member did their own musical thing as they wished. The record company, Cassablanca, released the albums each with the KISS logo on the top left corner and the albums were named quite simply after each individual member: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, each member with a different color (Red, purple, blue and green respectively). Out of the four solo output this was the album that deceived KISS fans the most. Fans expected something that would rock a little more I believe but they were in for quite a surprise with Peter Criss' solo debut. Criss sang on some excellent KISS songs like 'Black Diamond' and 'Strange Ways' and I always thought he had a certain quality to his voice that made him different and stand out, his singing on KISS album was nothing short of great. The fact that Peter's album is so different shouldn't be so surprising because after all this shows his well known Jazz/R&B influences from artists he loved in the 50's and 60's which is kinda what the album sounds like. Criss is also a little older than the rest of KISS so his influences were a little different. A good portion of the material comes was written before from Criss' pre-KISS bands like Lips.

Peter show right from the first track 'I'm Gonna Love You' with its boogie/blues guitars and the colorful piano that his album is going to be very different from what he played with KISS. 'Tossin' and Turnin'' is a good song with some doo-woop back vocals and fun lyrics. 'Don't You Let Down' sees Peter doing his own musical thing, this one sounds very Soul and Jazz inspired, it's a highlight of the album. 'That's The Kind of Sugar Papa Likes' is a good, happy upbeat song that's silly but fun at the same time, I like this song very much its one of the most Rock oriented songs here. 'Kiss The Girl Goodbye' is the 'Beth' of this album. It's not 'Beth' exactly but it's a touching slow ballad that's in the vein of that song, it's a great ballad that I feel is underrated. There are times when Peter Criss' album works and shows his different side. I always like to put out this album and try to get people to guess the artist, which of course they never, ever get right (unless they're hardcore KISS fans).

This is very much for the completists only, the average KISS fan may find 2-3 songs they like but it's likely that they won't much out of the album unless they like 50's and 60's R&B music. I can appreciate an artist doing something different and displaying some of his influences but even for me Peter Criss proves to be a little too much. I respect Peter's decision of making an album unlike KISS and one where he can be himself and be more creative and express himself but this is simply not my cup of tea. This is the solo album that puzzled a lot of fans and I can see why. Out of each member's solo record this is the one I play the least, although every once in while I take it out for a spin, it's not as bad as everyone says its just different. If you're a fan of mostly 50's and 60's music and less KISS then maybe this could hold appeal to you, otherwise it'll only complete your collection. I respect Peter's musical direction here and I like a few songs myself but I guess I'm just not a big fan of The Catman in solo. For me this is 2/5 stars.
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on November 26, 2003
Yeah, yeah, yeah....listen with an open mind. This is still the worst of the 4 Kiss solo albums by far (Ace's is the only one worth a dang). Even if you can appreciate the varied musical stylings, Criss is still a very weak drummer; and by his own admission tone deaf! I would bet my life savings most people who bought this album gave it only one listen, if that. In the days of vinyl, most Kiss fans never even turn the disc over to side 2...back into the paper sleeve it went! A one star for the music with an extra star for Peter to have the b@lls to put his name on this.
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PETER CRISS is not a jazz album, it's not a country album, it's not an R&B album and it's not a rock album. If it's a failure in the eyes of Kiss fans, it's only because it's not a rock album. It falls under that dreaded catagory of "easy listening": just enough of each genre to make it classified as "lite rock".

In all honesty PETER CRISS is not a bad album, but it's not for everybody. When I was a kid I used to play it to my mom, saying, "See you'd like Kiss music too." That's what it is: music you can play for your mom so you don't scare her away.

Peter himself plays drums on most of the album, Allan Schwartzberg plays on the rest. The rest of the instruments are handled by studio musicians with Steve Lukather taking a solo. You can hear quite clearly that Peter loves playing this kind of music, and it suits his voice too. Peter has co-writing credits with his Lips bandmate Stan Pendridge on most songs.

The album kicks off with "I'm Gonna Love You", a R&B flavoured rock number with a nice horn section and lush backing vocals. This is about as uptempo as it gets. "You Matter To Me" is rendered hard to listen to due to a fat synthesizer riff before the verses. Very outdated and distracting. "Tossin' and Turnin'" is the old rock and roll standard and similar in tempo and arrangement to "I'm Gonna Love You". Peter does a great job vocally. "Don't You Let Me Down" is the first ballad of the album, very 70's, with more outdated keyboard sounds. I don't know if you can relate to this analogy or not, but most of these songs sound like things I used to hear on my parents' clock radio on those 70's easy listening stations. Side 1 ends with "That's The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes", a nondescript underwhelming uptempo song.

Side 2 begins with one of the best tunes on the album, the acoustic ballad "Easy Thing" which goes into a string laden chorus. It's quiet yet epic at the same time. "Rock Me, Baby" is another R&B song, uptempo with lots of female backing vocals but otherwise filler. "Kiss The Girl Goodbye" is another acoustic ballad, a little too quiet and laid back, very folk sounding, and there are no drums on this track at all. "Hooked On Rock N' Roll" brings the tempo back up before we go to the last and very best song on the album, Sean Delaney's "I Can't Stop The Rain". It's a piano and strings ballad, even more epic than "Easy Thing" and even as a rocker kid I loved the epic ballads on PETER CRISS.

It's a shame in a way that Peter Criss was so out of touch with Kiss' core audience, and had such an inflated ego, that he thought making this album was a good idea at the time. Albums such as this and the later disco albums turned off Kiss fans in droves, although many have rediscovered them in the warm light of nostalgia.

I think the bottom line is this is a nostalgia CD. I can't imagine new young Kiss fans getting into this at all, but they may want to play it for mom.
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on May 16, 2004
What is wrong with you people? TRASH? CRAP? Give me a break! You wouldn't know trash if you stuck your head inside garbage can! So I suggest you remove your heads from another odorous place and try to be a little more open-minded instead of so closed-minded. Let me explain why you are WRONG! I'll talk slow so you can keep up, ok?
Here we go:
Yes, I know...Peter should have done the standard rock drummer thing and just re-made a bunch of "Black Diamond/Strange Ways/Baby Driver"-style songs and stayed within the limits of what the KISS "fans" expected of him. Who the hell is he anyway thinking he can record something other than the basic KISS song everyone knows and loves? Yes, it IS his solo album...but he shouldn't try to do something (God forbid) different!
I never heard such narrow-minded blithering idiots sound so inanely simplistic in their "reviews." I don't care if you like what Peter did or not. I give him credit for having the guts to stretch out and follow his passion for R&B, dance, pop, jazz...whatever...and do something he wanted to do. I guess he should have consulted all the KISS fans out there and see if it was ok to do something original.
If you just plain don't like the songs, fine...but give the guy credit for doing what HE wanted. He stretched farther than Ace, Gene, or Paul did. That was their choice and this was his. Nobody said to the band prior to the project "each of you make an album...but ONLY make it sound like KISS or at least 'hard rock.' Or else you'll have morons from all over the world giving you crap about it for the next 30 years!"
And, I hate to break it to the incredibly creative-with-their-words "reviewers" who trash this album...but these songs are pretty well done from a guy who everyone loves claiming is so one-dimensional. No, he doesn't have the voice Paul Stanley does, but that even gives him MORE credability because he has to work harder to get results. It's not a natural strength so he has to work harder. Yeah, he doesn't deserve credit for THAT does he!
I've had problems with Peter and some of his troubles involving his tenure in KISS over the years. But, I can't fault him for being original enough to follow his heart and soul and do whatever the hell he wanted on HIS solo album!
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on June 6, 2004
I admit I did'nt really give this album a chance when I first got it, but when I listen to it now, it is really a cool album!!. I'm so sick of people acting like this is a KISS album, ITS NOT!, its a PETER CRISS solo album!!!!, and if you pulled your head out of your @ss you might like it.
some of the stand out songs are "Tossin n Turning", "Easy Thing", "Kinda suga pa pa likes", "hooked on Rock n Roll", and "You matter to me".
well done Peter, this album rocks.
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on May 5, 1998
I find, like most other KISS fans do, that Peter Criss is the most disappointing of the 4 solo albums. I have never cared much for any of his songs or his vocal style. In fact, I don't own any of his post-KISS recordings nor do I wish to. Has anyone ever noticed that there seem to be 2 theories on Peter Criss: 1) Peter is the crown jewel of KISS whose drumming and vocals were never appreciated by the money-hungry Paul and Gene, or 2) a hack jazz drummer with a god-awful voice who couldn't write a good song if he had a gun to his head and made a name for himself simply by being in an otherwise talented group (can you say Ringo Starr?). Sorry Catman fans...I subscribe to the latter. That aside, Peter Criss does have a few good songs on it, most notably I'm Gonna Love You and You Matter To Me. I Can't Stop The Rain and Hooked On Rock 'N' Roll are OK; the rest of the songs are awful. Even when I try to separate the album from being linked to KISS, I still can't give it any praise. I should note though that my impression of this album has increased significantly in recent years (maybe it's my advancing age?!). You should have heard what I thought about the album 5 years ago! It is interesting though how much different Peter's songs are from the KISS "sound". There really isn't any song on the album that would fit into the KISS canon. However that was one of the main points in Peter leaving the band; he felt that his songs weren't accepted by Paul and Gene. I do feel, though, that Paul and Gene were wise in limiting the number of songs that Peter contributed to KISS. His songs just don't have that KISS "feel" to them and the fact that Peter's album was the lowest-selling of the four proves this point.
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on October 27, 2003
On September 18, 1978, KISS did something no other rock band has ever done to this day - all four members released a solo album on the same day. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss would now not only be recognized for their music-making abilities as a group, but also as solo artists.
Of these solo albums, it was Peter Criss who employed the most progressive stylings of all the KISS members. While their solo albums tended to stay fairly close to the KISS stylings that fans knew and love, Criss released an album of blues-based rock and roll. The band rarely used any of Criss's material, so it was great that he finally got the opportunity to record a whole album's worth of it! Read on for my review of this - Peter Criss's first release as a solo artist.
I'm Gonna Love You - The album is kicked off with this track - a good, solid blues-based rocker. Criss uses piano and horns in this track, which give it a certain uniqueness. Excellent opener.
You Matter to Me - Basically this track sounds like what just about every pop star was going for in the seventies - though Criss pulls it off better than just about all of them. The keyboards in this track are great.
Tossin' and Turnin' - This one is just weird. It's a bluesy track which uses female backing vocals. Though this isn't a bad track by any means, it's certainly weird, and probably the weakest thing here.
Don't You Let Me Down - Here Criss slows things down a notch for one of the album's ballads. The keyboard riffs used here are very nice. This certainly isn't the kind of track you'd expect from a KISS member.
That's the Kind of Sugar Papa Likes - With this track, we get an excellent example of classic rhythm and blues rock. I admit, this track is a little weird, but it's still pretty good.
Easy Thing - Once again, Criss slows things down and gives us a love song. Every artist, regardless of genre, has to do a few love songs - and Criss gets the job done nicely.
Rock Me, Baby - Here we get another classic blues rocker, which, like the first track on the album, uses pianos and horns. Overall, another good track.
Kiss the Girl Goodbye - This is the softest of the ballads the album has to offer. Don't let that fool you, though - Criss ISN'T wimping out. This is an excellent track that you must listen to.
Hooked on Rock 'N' Roll - Here we get more straight-up blues rock. Criss's vocals here are excellent, as is the piano. Is anyone else this surprised that a guy from a hard rock group can do blues rock this well?
I Can't Stop the Rain - The album closes with another love song, this one employs the usage of pianos and acoustic guitars. An album should always end with a song that will leave a lasting impression - and this one does just that.
If this is such a good album, then why only 3.5 stars? The album, while good, is certainly redundant in a few places. That's not to say it's a bad album, though - it's excellent. If you haven't listened to this album yet, take my advice - DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM UNLESS YOU HAVE AN OPEN MIND. This is Criss solo, NOT KISS, SO DON'T BUY THIS EXPECTING AN ALBUM WITH THE CLASSIC KISS SOUND.
To put it simply, Criss's solo album is an excellent change of pace for the legendary hard rock drummer. It's not what you'd expect him to play by any means, but it's STILL excellent. Check this album out - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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on September 26, 2002
Ace and Paul made what sounded like two great Kiss albums. Gene - as Gene always does - tried really, really hard to impress the world. But Peter Criss made an incredibly melodic, sensitive and stylish album. Musically, this is the best of the four solo albums. The opener, "I'm Gonna Love You", is very much in the vein of the Rolling Stones. "Easy Thing" is a powerful ballad, almost cinematic in feel - think of Rod Stewart performing a movie theme. "Don't You Let Me Down" and "Kiss The Girl Goodbye" could have easily been performed by the Eagles. But it's the absolute majesty - the romantic, tragic majesty of "I Can't Stop the Rain" that makes this album worth every penny. "Rain" is not just the best song on this disc. It's one of the best songs on ANY Kiss CD. Forget Gene's constant carnival barking about Peter's studio habits or lack of talent. In the end, Peter Criss made a great album. It was typical 70's -- sometimes it rocked, sometimes it was sweet, sometimes it grooved -- but it still stands as the most honest of all four albums. Think of it this way. If Ace's album was a beer, Paul's album was a bottle of cheap wine and Gene's album was a caffiene-free diet Coke, then Peter's album is a hot cup of creamy cappiuccino. Get it. Right now.
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on August 17, 2002
This album has been run roughshod over since the day it was released. Its critics lambaste it for not sounding like a KISS record, which isn't entirely true - many of the songs on this album have a similar feel to the group's cuts that feature Criss prominently, (think "Nothin' To Lose," and "Mainline"). Probably due to the (much-deserved) success of Beth, Criss has never been recognized as the fine r&b/soul vocalist he truly is, and more than any other member of the band, he went into the studio to produce the album he couldn't make within the confines of KISS. With a rasp somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, Criss tempers the expected ballads with equal doses of rock and funk. Opener "I'm Gonna Love You" is a first-rate soul stomper, complete with punchy horns and Supremes-style back-ups. "Easy Thing" and "I Can't Stop the Rain" are big, epic love songs that Criss and his sandpaper lungs deliver beautifully, and his snappy version of "Tossin' & Turnin'" holds its own.
KISS were at the height of their popularity when the solo projects were released, and Criss could easily have stuck with the tried and true and been assured of strong sales. Daring to be different requires guts and should be commended, especially
when the end result is a fine album such as this.
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