Kiss Unplugged is an MTV Unplugged album by American rock band Kiss. On August 9, 1995, the band performed on MTV Unplugged. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate. Fan reaction to Criss and Frehley at the show was so positive that, in 1996, the original lineup of Kiss reunited, with all four original members together for the first time since 1979. It is the first live album by the band that is not part of the Alive series.
|Live album by|
|Released||March 12, 1996|
|Recorded||August 9, 1995, Sony Studios, New York City, New York|
|Genre||Hard rock, acoustic rock|
|Singles from Kiss Unplugged|
"The sound was deafening: the sound of rock 'n' roll history coming full circle in a TV studio", wrote Kerrang!'s Don Kaye in a review of the taping at New York's Sony Music Studios. "Complete pandemonium ensued as they struck the opening chords to '2,000 Man', and it continued when Ace's voice rang out in the clear, sardonic manner we all know and love."
It marked the only time the original lineup performed publicly without their trademark makeup, and was also the only time Frehley and Criss shared a stage with Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick. It was the first time Singer had part of a lead vocal on an album (shared with Criss on "Nothin' to Lose"). On March 12, 1996, the concert was released on CD and, on December 18, 2007, on the Kissology Volume Three: 1992–2000 DVD set. This included the original DVD release of the concert plus five previously unreleased songs: "Hard Luck Woman" (with Stanley on vocals), "Heaven's on Fire", "Spit", "C'mon and Love Me", and a country version of "God of Thunder". The LP version of the album includes a poster and some were pressed on yellow marbled vinyl.
A stand-alone VHS and DVD documentary was produced around the same time as the CD release, with archival footage of the band's rehearsal sessions at SIR Studios in New York. It also shows the first "KISS Konvention" appearance with Criss joining the touring members on stage to sing a few tunes earlier in the year. According to Criss, this invite gave Simmons the idea of reaching out to both him and Frehley to be a part of the Unplugged taping in an unannounced reunion. Because of the contentious split, the worldwide fan base never thought this would happen, and it was kept a closely held secret until the day of the event.
Allmusic gave the album three out of five stars and said, "They exceeded expectations and, given their newfound energy, charisma, and love for the music, their performance provided the catalyst for the beginning of a successful world reunion tour."
"Cheatingly, the ambience is muscularly electro-acoustic," observed Danny Eccleston in Q, "but the tunes happily hail from the classic slap period, throwing the simply great pop of 'Goin' Blind' and the Beatley 'Sure Know Something' into pin-sharp focus."
|1.||"Comin' Home"||Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley||Stanley||2:51|
|2.||"Plaster Caster"||Gene Simmons||Simmons||3:17|
|3.||"Goin' Blind"||Simmons, Stephen Coronel||Simmons||3:37|
|4.||"Do You Love Me?"||Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kim Fowley||Stanley||3:13|
|6.||"Sure Know Something"||Stanley, Vini Poncia||Stanley||4:14|
|7.||"A World Without Heroes"||Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin, Lou Reed||Simmons||2:57|
|8.||"Rock Bottom"||Frehley, Stanley||Stanley||3:20|
|9.||"See You Tonite"||Simmons||Simmons||2:26|
|10.||"I Still Love You"||Stanley, Vinnie Vincent||Stanley||6:09|
|11.||"Every Time I Look at You"||Stanley, Ezrin||Stanley||4:43|
|12.||"2,000 Man"||Mick Jagger, Keith Richards||Frehley||5:12|
|13.||"Beth"||Peter Criss, Ezrin, Stan Penridge||Criss||2:50|
|14.||"Nothin' to Lose"||Simmons||Eric Singer, Criss||3:42|
|15.||"Rock and Roll All Nite"||Stanley, Simmons||Simmons, Frehley, Criss||4:20|
|16.||"Got to Choose" (Japanese Release)||Stanley||Stanley||4:01|
- Paul Stanley - acoustic guitar, lead vocals
- Gene Simmons - acoustic bass guitar, lead vocals
- Bruce Kulick - acoustic guitar (all tracks except 12-13)
- Eric Singer - drums (all tracks except 12-13) vocals (14)
|Chart (1996)||Peak position|
|Australia ARIA Albums Chart||4|
|Japan Oricon Albums Chart||60|
|US Billboard 200 ||15|
|"Rock and Roll All Nite"||US Mainstream Rock Tracks||13|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Kerrang! #564, September 23, 1995
- Kiss Unplugged at AllMusic
- "Kiss - MTV Unplugged". Melodic.net. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "KISS: UNPLUGGED (1996)". Metal.nightfall.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- Q, April 1996
- Q, April 1996
- "ARIA chart history database-Kiss albums". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "Billboard chart history-Kiss albums". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Billboard chart history-Kiss singles". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Argentinian album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
- "American album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- "American video certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Video Longform, then click SEARCH.