Two days before Christmas in 1985, a pair of young Judas Priest fans from Reno, NV went to a Lutheran church playground and attempted suicide with a 12-gauge shotgun under the chin. One of them died instantly while the other survived with facial disfigurement but died from an overdose of painkillers three years later. Their parents brought a civil action suit against the members of Judas Priest, alleging that their sons had been compelled to kill themselves after hearing what they believed to be a subliminal message hidden in a cover of Spooky Tooth’s 1969 song “Better by You, Better than Me” that Priest recorded for their 1978 album Stained Class.
Since the origins of rock & roll, any music that wasn’t family-friendly sock-hop fodder sung by Bing Crosby or Peggy Lee was considered to be the work of agents of the dark lord Satan, and groups of self-righteous religious nuts and power-mad authority figures assembled protests and burned thousands upon thousands of copies of these records in effigy. Horror filmmakers in the latter half of that narcissism-fueled decade cashed in on the raging hysteria by producing several low or medium-budget features with hard rock and/or heavy metal tunes not just occupying space on the soundtrack albums, but actually figuring prominently in the plots.
Horror and metal have always enjoyed a cozy relationship that endures to this day. Since no celebration of Halloween is complete without a juicy fright flick marathon to enjoy with that bag of candy you pilfered from your nieces and nephews, here’s my list of the 5 best heavy metal horror classics to ever grace a theater screen or the shelves at your neighborhood mom & pop video store that closed down ages ago and was replaced with a Verizon Wireless retailer.
After negotiations that lasted for more than a year, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has announced that they will be hosting the first-ever Vegas residency by legendary showmen KISS. The Joint, is a 3200-seat venue on the grounds of the Hotel where the band will stage their over-the-top production.
“Usually, going into a smaller venue means eliminating things,” KISS front man Paul Stanley said in a statement released today. “The great thing about going into The Joint, it gives us the opportunity to add. Much in the same way as a Broadway show, when you have a permanent installation, you’re not breaking down every night to travel. So we can do things we wouldn’t normally do.”
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 album deals, the KISS compilation album The Very Best Of KISS is on sale in MP3 format for only $5. (The CD is currently $8.49 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)
This is 21 of the best KISS songs for only $5 (that’s less than a quarter each), so this is a steal! And and yes, they are great tunes – this isn’t one of those best-of compilations where you’re never heard of the songs. There’s “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Strutter,” “Deuce” (I could end up naming all 21 at this rate), and the Alive! version of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which of course is the best rendition of this mega-hit. There’s even “New York Groove,” the hit off of the Ace Frehley KISS solo album (the best, of course, of the four 1978 solo albums). Most of the tracks on The Very Best Of KISS are from the band’s makeup era in the 1970s, but there’s a handful of the post-makeup selections, too. KISS is one of my favorite bands in the world, so I can go on and on and on about how if you don’t already own most of their music catalog, you should grab this best-of collection, especially at this low price.
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.
KISS Kids #1 Written by Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz
Art by Jeremy Colwell and Jose Holder
Covers by Jeremy Colwell, Luis Antonio Delgado, Rom Fajardo, Jose Holder, Dan Schoening, Bruce Timm IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 21, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
You wanted the best, and you got the best”¦
“¦but this ain’t it.
If you’re an adult, KISS Kids is terrible. If you’re under the age of 7, KISS Kids is ok. The End.
But then I found out IDW and Gene Simmons were sincere about it. I couldn’t believe it. This is perhaps the worst KISS idea since those coffins, I thought. And I was right.
Young children will probably dig it, especially kids of fans who have been bitten by the KISS bug… but older readers will find this experience tedious. While the art is fun to look at, KISS Kids, as a concept, would work much better as a television cartoon series than a comic book.
Happy Birthday today to The Spaceman, the irrepressible Ace Frehley, whose lead guitar work in the original version of the rock and roll quartet KISS elevated that band to one of the all-time great groups of that genre.
While the co-frontmen — Gene Simmons, with his blood-spurting, bass-playing rock shock antics, and Paul Stanley, all-around good guy with the sly wink — were pretty much always (and continuing to this day) at the forefront, it was the guitar sounds of the Space Ace and his attitude as well, which seemed to come from the Johnny Thunders/Ron Asheton/Wayne Kramer down and dirty rock variety that gave KISS arguably its musical cock walk strut on record, on stage, and in print. Frehley was the dark horse of the group who usually had musical photo finishes; he was the iron glue and in a lot of ways the one who experienced the most identity crisis, almost like the George Harrison in the theatrical greasepaint, the makeup which concealed the band’s identity during their heyday in the 1970s, but never concealed the band’s workman-like musical ethic.