Revenge – Kiss Album #16

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. Unholy Gene Simmons, Vinnie Vincent Simmons 3:40
2. Take It Off Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kane Roberts Stanley 4:50
3. Tough Love Stanley, Bruce Kulick, Ezrin Stanley 3:44
4. Spit Simmons, Scott Van Zen, Stanley Simmons, Stanley 3:32
5. God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II Russ Ballard, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin Stanley, Simmons 5:18
6. Domino Simmons Simmons 4:01
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. Heart of Chrome Stanley, Vincent, Ezrin Stanley 4:02
8. Thou Shalt Not Simmons, Jesse Damon Simmons 3:59
9. Every Time I Look at You Stanley, Ezrin Stanley 4:38
10. Paralyzed Simmons, Ezrin Simmons 4:14
11. I Just Wanna Stanley, Vincent Stanley 4:07
12. “Carr Jam 1981” Eric Carr (instrumental) 2:46

Revenge is the 16th studio album of the American hard-rock band Kiss. It was released in May 1992 and was dedicated to longtime drummer Eric Carr, who died during the recording. Five songs of the album were released as singles; God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You II reached the top ten in the UK. Revenge was discussed favorably by German-speaking critics. The album reached top ten finishes in the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and achieved gold status in the United States and Canada. The Revenge tour, which also produced the videotape of the tour, took the band through North America and Europe with 77 shows.

In April 1991 Kiss and the music producer Bob Ezrin recorded God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II for the soundtrack to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Ezrin had already participated in the two albums Destroyer and Music from the Elder Kiss. The success of the song God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You II was the reason for the two founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, Ezrin also for the upcoming studio album of the group as producers to commit.

Stanley and Simmons wrote since the existence of the band in 1973 their own pieces, but also allowed coauthors. These co-songwriters were carefully selected for Revenge. Vinnie Vincent, former band member, participated in three pieces of the album. Jesse Damon, singer of the band Silent Rage, worked for Revenge with Simmons. Stanley cooperated with Kane Roberts. In addition, Simmons and Stanley worked together with Scott Van Zen. Other contributions to individual titles came from Bob Ezrin. To select from as many songs as possible, the band members wrote 40 to 50 new songs, of which they selected eleven for the album. During the recording of Revenge drummer Eric Carr fell ill with pericarditis and a malignant tumor in the right atrium. For playing the drums he lacked the necessary strength and endurance. The task of the drummer took over initially transitional Eric Singer. The studio recordings ended in March 1992.

Revenge should be clearly different from the previous albums and become a musical turning point in the Kiss career. With the changeful 1980s for Kiss, they also left behind colorful, trendy clothing and sneakers and started the new decade with a new image. It dominated black leather clothing, metal jewelry, wild hairstyles and three-day Henriquatrebärte.

The album cover was also adapted to the new image. It shows in a dark, cold tone the motif of riveted metal photographed by William Hames, which has bullet holes and shows the lettering Revenge in red, handwritten and slightly dripping in the middle of the picture. The Revenge cover is the third, after Music from the Elder and Animalize, that shows no pictures of the band members on the front. On the back is a picture of the group that was also photographed by Hames: The band members, all dressed in black leather, stand in front of a brick wall and lean against it.

On the inner cover of the LP, the lyrics of all songs are printed, also the production notes and a short history of the song Carr Jam 1981. On the back of a black and white photo of the group can be seen .. According to the experts Rock Power and Metal Hammer are the Kiss albums from the mid-1980s “solid”, “rocking” and “commercial”. The music style of the band had developed in 1987 with Crazy Nights and 1989 with Hot in the Shade according to Rock Hard but towards more “pop” and “profileless” albums. Revenge ended this phase. The album is a new musical course correction in the Kiss story. The album does not sound like his immediate previous albums, but much harder. So almost all pieces are classic Hard Rock with a “well-dosed measure of jagged heaviness” and a “rich sound”, in which hard guitar riffs dominated. Revenge is an expression of a new direction and is considered a kind of renaissance for the band. Kiss had again reigned the “spirit of the founding years”, with which they had returned to “old aggressiveness and lust for battle”. For the first time, Revenge made an album three years after the previous one, after the band had been more productive the years before.

Overall, the album tied to the moments of the classic phase of the album Destroyer on and presented itself more punchy. Significant is the simple, direct riffing. The album starts with the metal-like Unholy. The following track Take It Off, however, is clearly rock oriented and played in a normal e-tuning. It also features a quiet bridge section with sophisticated, polyphonic guitar arrangements. Also on other parts of the album, such as God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You II, Heart of Chrome and I Just Wanna find such arrangements. In Tough Love, the stringed instruments are a whole tone.

Spit, a break-dominated piece, incorporates the US national anthem alienated from the distorted lead guitar using the guitar’s whammy bar. Musically outstanding is the piece God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You II, which starts with a clean guitar and also contains only slightly distorted pickings in the verse.

The song Domino is much faster and starts with a guitar look. Heart of Chrome, on the other hand, is dominated by a mid-tempo groove. Embedded in the heavy rock pieces Thou Shalt Not and Paralyzed follows the ballad Every Time I Look At You, played with acoustic guitar and piano. At the end of the last-mentioned song, synth-string arrangement blends with blues-rock guitar leads. Following the release of the second single in the US, Bluesrock-influenced, I Just Wanna, the album concludes with the drum session recording Carr Jam 1981.

The album was sold alone in the US over 500,000 times, it was therefore after two months the gold status.

Revenge was in the top ten in some countries. In Norway, it came in fourth place, in Australia in fifth place, in the US, the album went into sixth place on the Billboard 200, which corresponded there at the same time the highest quotation. It also came in sixth place in Switzerland, in the UK and Sweden it was in tenth place. In Germany, it was enough with the highest placing in 16th place not in the top ten as well as in Austria with 14th place. With the LP Kiss were first found since the Dynasty of 1979 back among the top ten. The work is the fifth highest placed of the 20 studio albums. Only Love Gun (1977), Psycho Circus (1998), Sonic Boom (2009) and Monster (2012) achieved better ranks.

The Revenge tour was the first tour with the then new drummer Eric Singer. It began on April 23, 1992 in San Francisco, first as a club tour with 13 appearances. After three shows in California, the band toured across the Midwest and Canada to the East Coast to New York City, where on May 10, 1992, the last club show took place. From 16 May 1992, the band was for eight concerts in Europe, however, they occurred only in Scotland, Wales and England.

After the summer break, they continued from October 1, 1992, the tour in the US and Canada with 55 shows. The last show for the time being took place on December 20, 1992 in Phoenix (Arizona). An originally planned second part of the tour, which should begin at the beginning of January 1993, was not booked because the number of visitors on the first part of the tour was too small. On average, there were only 5029 visitors per concert, although the number of visitors to the club tour was not included. Three quarters of a year later, on September 11, 1993, there was once again a separate solo concert in Burbank (Los Angeles County). Kiss played Revenge in a total of 77 shows. The setlist included 26 songs from both Revenge and older albums.