Music from “The Elder” – Kiss Album #9

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. The Oath Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Tony Powers Stanley 4:33
2. “Fanfare” Stanley, Ezrin Instrumental 1:00
3. Just a Boy Stanley, Ezrin Stanley 2:34
4. Dark Light Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Anton Fig, Lou Reed Frehley 4:12
5. Only You Simmons Simmons, Stanley 4:22
6. Under the Rose Simmons, Eric Carr Simmons 4:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. A World Without Heroes Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin, Reed Simmons 2:39
8. Mr. Blackwell Simmons, Reed Simmons 4:49
9. “Escape from the Island” Frehley, Carr, Ezrin Instrumental 2:51
10. Odyssey Tony Powers Stanley 5:49
11. I Simmons, Ezrin Stanley, Simmons 3:54
12. “Finale” Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, Carr, Instrumental 1:04

Music from the Elder is the ninth studio album of the US hard-rock band Kiss, released in 1981. It is the only so-called concept album that the group recorded. On the album, Kiss beat an atypical direction for the group.

With the album Dynasty kiss 1979 for the first time departed from their original line. Because this and the 1980 published follow-up album Unmasked were characterized by the then strong, the music industry largely dominant disco wave end of the 1970s. This interim phase lasted about two years and was replaced in 1981 by a one-year phase, which is considered a musical disaster. That year, the group introduced the concept album Music from the Elder. , which was a kind of fantasy rock and played on the fanfare and Symphonieorchestermusik an essential role. Although the album received good reviews, but the music had so far away from the original Kiss sound that the album with the followership is considered a nadir and a commercial failure. The album is one of the two studio albums that achieved neither platinum nor gold status.

At the same time 1981 were numerous rock music albums, which are now classics of the genre, for example Moving Pictures by Rush, Fair Warning by Van Halen, Iron Maiden’s second album Killers, Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones, Foreigners 4 or For Those About to Rock published by AC / DC. With the AC / DC album Music from the Elder was in direct competition, the release dates of both albums were only a week apart.

For a concept album, this LP is because the eleven songs form a coherent story. The overall concept is based on a short story written by bassist Gene Simmons. Originally, Simmons was trying to film the story in Hollywood until producer Bob Ezrin suggested he make a concept album out of it. The story took place in prehistoric times, when good and evil fight each other and send the Sage (the Elder) a young fighter (the Boy), who takes on the dark power.

The LP is officially the first on which the drummer Peter Criss is no longer listed as a band member. Instead, Eric Carr was introduced as an official band member.

Singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley says, “The Elder was probably the biggest misstep in our entire musical career. With that we did everything wrong, which one could only do wrong. The album was too pompous, complicated, pompous and complacent. We lived in a dream world. I think the band lost the sense of what made us who we were and how amazing and extraordinary that was. ‘The Elder’ was wrong in many ways. It was a huge disaster. None of us bears sole responsibility for it, because we have all screwed up together. […] I think it’s a strange album where we try to do something new and wait and see what happens. ”

Singer and bassist Gene Simmons says about the genesis and the result: “It simply does not contain enough songs and at the beginning it is a bit too pompous. I think the band thought at the time, ‘Okay, that’s our epic!’ And yet the people who listen to it, if it’s one, and not the band. We slowly lost the ground under our feet. Honestly, we wrote it only for the critics, you should never beg for approval, because as soon as the critics and your mother like your music, it’s over. […] It’s an interesting album, but I do not think it caught the spirit of the band. In my opinion, this album was a misstep. It was based on a short story by me entitled ‘The Elder’. […] I wrote this short story and wanted to make a movie out of it. But Ezrin thought it would be a good idea for a concept album. When he blinded me with it, poor Gene fell on his heels and thought, ‘Yeah, I’m the tallest!’ […] Ace wanted to go back to the rock, and when he could not get his way, he just could not get in anymore Studio, but stayed at home and refused to come to us. ”

The LP reached the top ten in some countries. In Norway, the album reached 7th place, in Germany 10th place 11th place in Australia, 12th place in Austria. In Sweden, the disc still came in 19th place and in Japan in 21st place on the other hand, the album was in Great Britain with 51st place and in the US with 75th place.

Coupled singles were the two Simmons songs ‘A World Without Heroes’ and ‘I’. The first song was ranked 55 in the English-speaking world and 56 in the United States, but was not recorded elsewhere. ‘I’ ranked 24th in Australia, 48th in the Netherlands and 62nd in Germany.