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Music From The Elder: 1981



In 1981 KISS decided to go a completely direction, they saw they wandered too far off from their rock and roll roots and needed a heavy album to return to those roots. They called in Bob Ezrin once again, who helped them produce on Destroyer. Concept albums at that time were the hot thing to do,  Ezrin happened to just be done with Pink Floyd's now legendary album "The Wall" so he was the perfect candidate for the album.

But the album did not turn out anything as people expected it to be. The reaction was a mixture of confusion and resentment. Business manager Howard Marks even refused to allow his company's name to appear in the liner notes. Fan reaction to the album was equally harsh, while critical reaction was comparably positive.

It was indeed a raw rock album, but the story line turned the album in a strange dark medieval-like album with bells and horns. The biggest shock the fans eventually got was the  wardrobe change the band made, gone was the long hair and high heels. The band turned their costumes in medieval-like fashion, Ace, became more and more unhappily in his position in KISS, seeing he was outvoted on decisions constantly by Gene and Paul seeing Eric Carr was not a partner in KISS.

He also became frustrated when working with Bob Ezrin, he wanted to make a real hard rock KISS album, not a concept album. Eventually even his guitar solo's were shortened. Its said that when he heard the album for the first time he threw the cassette against the wall. Bob Ezrin stated years later his judgment in making the concept album were clouded seeing he was into a heavy cocaine addiction.

The Music From The Elder album eventually bombed, not even reaching higher than position #75 in the US Billboards Album Charts. Their planned tour was eventually scrapped, two different budgets and ideas for the stage show were already written down on paper to be used. On February 10, 1982 KISS commissioned an artist's rendering of the stage to support the album.
 
And to even make thing worse, Bill Aucoin and the KISS company broke ways after many disagreements. And the worst thing happening was  when Neil Bogart, president of their record company Casablanca died from complications of cancer on May 8, 1982 at Cedars-Sinal Hospital. Creatures Of The Night, their next album was dedicated to Neil.
 
Until this day Gene and Paul still have a resentment towards their only commercially failed album. Even though they performed ''A World Without Heroes' unplugged during their 1995 Convention tour and for their performance of MTV Unplugged. In 2013 during KISS Kruise III the band performed a full version of "The Oath" for the first time since 1981!

 Not all fans love the album but it has become a real cult classic amongst KISS fans.


KISS during the recording of their A World Without Heroes music video

There was no tour, but some ideas were created for the Elder tour:

  • The show was to be very elaborate, with the band as Keepers Of The Light Of Truth..
  • And protecting a damsel in distress with a freeze gun in a three-act stage play.
 
 
Even though KISS did not tour, they did do promotional appearances and performances:
  
  
  
  Click on the Youtube logo to watch the video on Youtube.



KISS during the shoot of the scrapped music video of 'I'.

 

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