Creatures of the Night

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Creatures of the Night
Studio album by Kiss
ReleasedOctober 13, 1982
RecordedJuly – September 1982 at The Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, CA
GenreHeavy metal
Length38:47
LabelCasablanca
ProducerMichael James Jackson, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons
Kiss chronology
Music from "The Elder"
(1981)
Creatures of the Night
(1982)
Lick It Up
(1983)
Singles from Creatures of the Night
  1. "I Love It Loud"
    Released: October 13, 1982
  2. "Killer"
    Released: November 1982
  3. "Creatures of the Night"
    Released: April 1983
Alternative cover
The 1985 re-release cover pictures then-new lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (bottom right).
 
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Creatures of the Night
Studio album by Kiss
ReleasedOctober 13, 1982
RecordedJuly – September 1982 at The Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, CA
GenreHeavy metal
Length38:47
LabelCasablanca
ProducerMichael James Jackson, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons
Kiss chronology
Music from "The Elder"
(1981)
Creatures of the Night
(1982)
Lick It Up
(1983)
Singles from Creatures of the Night
  1. "I Love It Loud"
    Released: October 13, 1982
  2. "Killer"
    Released: November 1982
  3. "Creatures of the Night"
    Released: April 1983
Alternative cover
The 1985 re-release cover pictures then-new lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (bottom right).

Creatures of the Night is the tenth studio album by Kiss. It is the band's last for Casablanca Records, the only label for which Kiss had recorded up to this point. The album was dedicated to the memory of Casablanca founder and early Kiss supporter Neil Bogart,[1] who had died of cancer during the recording sessions. It is also the band's last album recorded with Ace Frehley credited as an official member (until 1998's Psycho Circus), and its first album with Vinnie Vincent as the initially uncredited lead guitarist (Vincent would later be credited, but not featured pictorially on the cover, of 1985's reissue of the album).

Album information[edit]

The album represented a conscious effort by Kiss to return to the hard rock style that had helped them achieve commercial success with Destroyer and Love Gun. Their pop-oriented albums, Dynasty and Unmasked, had started a decline in popularity that reached rock bottom with 1981's Music from "The Elder". By 1982 Kiss knew it needed to deliver on their earlier 1980-81 promise of a heavy record, which they had failed to deliver.

The first key ingredient was songwriter/guitarist Vinnie Vincent, who was soon to replace Ace Frehley as the band's new lead guitarist. Frehley did not play at all on Creatures of the Night even though his face (for contractual and commercial reasons) was still featured on the album cover. On the tour, Vincent was introduced with his Egyptian Ankh makeup, designed in a hurry by Paul Stanley. In 1985, Kiss re-released the album in their non-makeup state with a cover featuring Gene Simmons, Stanley, Eric Carr and then-current guitarist Bruce Kulick even though Kulick did not play on the album and Vinnie Vincent had long since departed the band by 1985.

As shown on the back of the "I Love It Loud" single, Ace Frehley (bottom left) was still portrayed as a member of Kiss, despite having nearly ceased his active involvement with the group.

By 1982, Kiss's popularity in the US had plummeted. This was due partly to the changing landscape of popular music, but also due to the fact that Kiss had strayed from the hard rock style that had made them initially so popular. 1979's Dynasty, while commercially successful, alienated many fans with the disco-flavored track "I Was Made For Lovin' You". 1980's Unmasked fell further into pop music and was Kiss's first album not to achieve platinum status since 1975's Dressed to Kill. The band did not even tour the US for Unmasked, and it was also soon faced with its first lineup change - founding member Peter Criss, who had not participated in any of the Unmasked recording sessions, officially left Kiss in 1980. He was replaced by Eric Carr.

Fan hopes were raised in late 1980 when Kiss announced that they were going to record their heaviest record yet. Instead, the band released Music from "The Elder" in late 1981, a concept album originally intended to complement a film called The Elder that was ultimately never filmed. The album was storyline-based and had ballads, a short orchestral piece, and different lyrical themes. The album failed to achieve gold status, and having cancelled their US Unmasked tour just a short time before, the band canceled their planned tour for Elder. Frehley soon left the band, expressing his displeasure over the path the band had chosen and having begun to drift into heavy alcoholism.

Kiss' label situation had changed as well. Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart had sold the label to its distributor PolyGram, and went on to briefly form The Boardwalk Recording Company before being diagnosed with and later succumbing to cancer. Using a clause in their Casablanca contract that gave the band an option to leave the label if Bogart did, Kiss became free agents and signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Mercury Records. Mercury, a label also owned by PolyGram, reverted the band back to their "old" label, though in name only.

Before working on the album, Eddie Van Halen, who by then was not getting along with his bandmate in Van Halen, David Lee Roth, wanted to join the band, replacing Frehley on guitar. Simmons and Alex Van Halen persuaded Eddie to remain in Van Halen. When recording sessions for Creatures of the Night began in July 1982, Kiss was essentially a trio. Frehley still made appearances with the band but had nearly ended his musical involvement with Kiss. Frehley looked completely out of sorts in promotional appearances for the album — in cases where the band was lip synching to recorded tracks, it is obvious that he did not know the material. It was only after the album was released and a short promotional tour of Europe was completed that Frehley officially left Kiss. The lead guitar replacement for Frehley for the Creatures tour in the US was Vinnie Vincent, who adopted the "Ankh Warrior" makeup.

Musically, the progressive rock stylings of Music From "The Elder" and the pop of Dynasty and Unmasked were completely absent from Creatures of the Night, making it the heaviest album the group had made at that point.[2] "I Still Love You", the only ballad on Creatures, was still heavier and darker than any ballad Kiss had released in earlier years. Also contributing to the heavy sound was Carr's drumming style, which was more similar to John Bonham's style of drumming than to Criss', a jazz influenced drummer.[3] Some of the earliest pressings of the album mistakenly contained one full side of John Cougar's American Fool. Both Kiss and Cougar were under the umbrella of Mercury Records at the time. Today, those albums are highly sought after by Kiss collectors.[citation needed]

Creatures of the Night is the first Kiss album to have all lead vocal duties handled by either Simmons or Stanley exclusively. All previous studio releases by the group contained at least one song with lead vocals by another band member. The band released a video for "I Love It Loud", which received moderate airplay on MTV. In it was a stage setup that featured Carr's drum kit as a giant, metallic tank (with an exploding turret). Flames and explosions were also in abundance, as Kiss attempted to produce a video that reflected the music on Creatures of the Night. Frehley did appear in the video as the rhythm guitarist, with Stanley shown playing the seven-note solo.

Three different covers of the album exist: the 1982 original issue, the 1985 reissue (featuring Bruce Kulick, who was not a member of the band for Creatures of the Night, and the rest of the band without makeup), and the 1997 remastered version (same photo as the original, but with minor variations in the logo and lettering). On the 1985 non-make up release, the song "Creatures of the Night" is remixed, and "Saint and Sinner" and "Killer" are interchanged from side to side with each other. The bootlegged Vinnie Vincent cover has not been released on CD, but an extra rare Vincent cover has been called "Hiding from Tomorrow". There is also a bootlegged LP which shows up on eBay from time to time which states to be a Brazilian promo version with Vincent in makeup airbrushed over Frehley. Initially this copy fetched upwards of several thousands of dollars but it is nothing more than a common bootleg.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media(1.5)[6]
Vista Records(4.25/5)[7]

Creatures of the Night was certified gold by the RIAA on May 9, 1994.[8] In Brazil it was certified gold in 1983 for sales of 100,000 copies.[9] Despite positive reviews, the album did not return the band to the commercial success they had held five years previous, and despite charting higher than The Elder (#45 compared to The Elder's #75), Creatures of the Night would not attain gold status until 1994.[8] The album would receive critical recognition years later with both Kerrang! and Guitar World magazines placing the album at #5 on their lists of best hard rock albums in 1982.[10][11] Carr noted in an interview that Creatures is his favorite Kiss record that he played on.[12]

The US tour that followed, the band's first since Dynasty, was essentially a flop, with cancelled shows and half-full arenas.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Creatures of the Night"  Paul Stanley, Adam MitchellStanley4:02
2."Saint and Sinner"  Gene Simmons, Mikel JappSimmons4:50
3."Keep Me Comin'"  Stanley, MitchellStanley3:55
4."Rock and Roll Hell"  Simmons, Bryan Adams, Jim VallanceSimmons4:11
5."Danger"  Stanley, MitchellStanley3:54
6."I Love It Loud"  Simmons, Vinnie VincentSimmons4:15
7."I Still Love You"  Stanley, VincentStanley6:06
8."Killer"  Simmons, VincentSimmons3:19
9."War Machine"  Simmons, Adams, VallanceSimmons4:14

Personnel[edit]

Uncredited musicians[edit]

Releases[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album
Chart (1982)Peak position
UK Albums Chart[13]22
Chart (1983)Peak
position
US Billboard Pop Albums[14]45

Singles - Billboard (United States)[15]

YearSingleChartPosition
1983"I Love It Loud"Mainstream Rock Tracks22

Singles - Austrian charts (Austria)

YearSingleChartPosition
1982"I Love It Loud"Pop Singles76

Singles - UK Albums Chart (United Kingdom)

YearSingleChartPosition
1982"Creatures of the Night"Pop Singles34

Certifications[edit]

RegionCertificationSales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[8]Gold500,000^
Brazil (ABPD)[16]Gold100,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kiss - Creatures of the Night back album cover. Casablanca Records. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  2. ^ MusicMight Kiss biography. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Rubin, Jon KISS Rocks' Exclusive 1989 Interview with Eric Carr. kissrocks.com. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  4. ^ Creatures of the Night at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Kiss: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Kiss: Creatures of the Night: Pitchfork Review". pitchforkmedia.com. Archived from the original on 2003-02-19. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "VISTA RECORDS - KISS - Creatures of the Night (1982)". vistarecords.proboards.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "American album certifications – Kiss – Creatures of the Night". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  9. ^ "Quem KISS Teve - Parte 3". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Kerrang!'s list of hard rock albums in 1982". Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ Guitar World Readers Poll of the Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1983. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  12. ^ Valentino, Thomas Eric Carr Interview. kissasylum.com. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "UK Albums Chart history". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  14. ^ "AllMusic Billboard". Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  15. ^ "AllMusic Billboard singles". Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  16. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Kiss – Creatures of the Night" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.