Friday, May 2, 2014

Five Songs Paul Stanley Insists Upon Us

By any measure Paul Stanley has been at the very least a prolific song writer.  By most measures he has been a great songwriter.  He often gets pigeonholed as a one trick pony who writes rock n roll sex anthems and while he has written plenty of them he’s also responsible for timeless rock songs like Black Diamond, God Of Thunder, and Detroit Rock City.  He may be the inventor of the power ballad with the dreadful tune Hold Me, Touch Me from his 1978 solo album and Rap Metal with the underappreciated All Hells Breaking Loose.  While he’s had a couple of flat out bad songs (My Way) he’s also responsible for what is quite possibly the greatest marriage of lyric and melody with the song C’Mon and Love Me.  Anyone who listens to the first verse and doesn’t become erect is deaf. 

But for about 5 years starting somewhere around 1979 KISS albums started to include a new style of Paul Stanley song.  They weren’t ballads by any definition but the sure as hell didn’t rock either.  At first appearance they seem like a regular hard rock song but it soon becomes clear that these songs require one to stop and listen to properly absorb.  They insist upon themselves.  And they are no fun to listen to.  They sound as if they were intentionally recorded without energy or passion.   

Filler songs have existed since the album era pushed out the single’s era.  I don’t think these songs are filler.  I’ve always gotten the vibe that Paul was quite proud of these songs as most of them have appeared in a setlist for at least one tour.  They all tell a story.  It’s almost as if Paul awoke one day and wanted to be the Hard Rock Springsteen.  I’ve dubbed these songs Snore Rock.  So in chronological order, here are the 5 songs the Paul Stanley insists upon us.

Sure Know Something - This was originally released on Dynasty.  But kind of to my point I had no idea.  When I got KISS Killers in 1985 I assumed it was one of the new songs recorded for that worthless release.  And I owned Dynasty.  Sure I was only 9 when I got it but I remembered every other song on that record.  Even Dirty Livin made an impact.  But not this song.  It tells the story of man who may appear na├»ve in the world of banging chicks.  But he’s not.  He has been up and down and all around and had his heart broken.  He then goes on to self medicate his broken heart with lots of sex.  You may think that description describes a song you’d like to hear.  It doesn’t. 

Keep Me Coming – This comes from Creatures of The Night which is otherwise a great record.  Here he tells the story of an young innocent girl trying to make it in a big city.  Paul decides to help break out of her shell by having crazy sex with her.  The melody and music, like all of these songs, scream background music.  They offer the same level of songwriting acumen as the guy supplying the serious tones in an episode of Law & Order. 


Get All You Can Take – This testament to Snore Rock comes courtesy the album Animalize.  After songs about sexing with chicks and partying this is probably Paul’s most recurring topic when writing lyrics.  The us against them and we don’t need them mantra.  People are always looking at him wherever he goes as if they wonder what the hell’s wrong with him.  But he doesn’t care about their rat race.  After all with all their rules it’s a race for fools that he can never win.  It starts with a similar riff as Keep Me Coming and equally boring.    

Thrills In The Night – Also off of Animalize.  They did the listener a favor by not putting them together in the song sequence.  Having to hear them back to back would probably bring on early onset Alzheimer’s.  This song tells the story of a woman who during the day, by all appearance seems like a regular girl working a 9-5 job.  But there’s a woman that nobody see’s living inside.  So at night, surprise, she’s a fucking whore.  This song was played for most of the Animalize tour in what I assume was to give people more time to buy a t shirt or take a piss.   

Who Wants To Be Lonely – They actually made a video for this piece of shit.  They should’ve called this Who Wants To Listen to this fucking song.  In his book Paul made mention that Gene was mailing it in at this point.  Just going through the motions when it came time to write songs.  Not giving it his all like Paul was.  And this whole album suffers from the Bruce Kulick effect but if this is Paul giving it his all, and Anyway You Slice It is Gene half assing it then Paul should be looking to Gene for songwriting tips.  Honestly I’m trying to remember the lyrics to this but I keep ending up with a mish mash of Keep Me Coming and Thrills In The Night.  All I can muster up without listening to it is the dreadful chorus with the whiny Woooah oooah oh oh.  Just thinking about this song has me making an appointment with a therapist.

So there you go.  5 songs that Rock and Roll Hall of famer Paul Stanley insists upon us.  And Paul, you’ve shown a willingness to admit to some misfires.  Anytime you talk about the Elder you seem to wince.  You may not initially agree but search your feelings.  You know I be right.  But I forgive you Starchild.  You have written some of my favorite and in my humble opinion some of the greatest rock songs of all time.  But these songs are torture and need to be placed in a vault labeled songs that should never be heard again.  Someday you will understand.  Someday you will thank me.         

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