The Millennium Collection:
The Best Of Kiss Vol. 3

Kiss

If you “If Kiss had never existed, you could never have made them up.” So states Dave Thompson in his linear notes of the new The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss Volume 3. This new release features a dozen ‘greatest hits’ of Kiss material from 1991 on…and thank God for that! As I have done with most music of the 80s, I intentionally ignored Kiss’s output during that time; those MTV-flavored ‘gems’ like “Let’s Put The 'S' In Sex” and “Tears Are Falling,” annoyed me no end. So this collection, unlike its immediate Millennium Collection predecessor, thankfully features the harder-rocking Kiss from the 90s. Featuring songs taken from albums like Revenge, Carnival of Souls, Alive III, plus two live “unplugged” songs from the MTV show of the same name, this is a solid collection of what Kiss were up to in the past decade. There are also, unfortunately, some songs (three in fact!) from the dreadful Psycho Circus album, which on this second listen does not give me a warm and fuzzy.

The stand-outs here are the stand-outs for me since I heard them. A live version of “Domino”, while recorded a little too papery-thin for my tastes (ironically, as technology obviously progressed over the years, each new Alive album sounds more lacking in sonic quality then the last) still manages to pack a punch, with solid backing vocals from this version of Kiss. “Hate” from Carnival Souls is a great rock song, with “Into the Void” from the aforementioned, Ralphie-maligned, Psycho Circus an interesting inclusion seeing as it is the only song here sung by and written by Ace Frehley (co-written with Karl Cochran). The Unplugged stuff here is OK at best, as I thought the show was when I first saw it, save the very end, where Peter Criss and Ace “Space Ace” Frehley joined Kiss on stage, resulting in the reunion tour of 1996.

I would have liked a few more from Revenge, which was for me, a return of Kiss to the rock and roll form. After the sad passing of Eric Carr from cancer, the band, with new drummer Eric Singer, delivered this album all the Kiss fans of old were hoping for. I might be tad prejudice, but for me Revenge might actually be the last great Kiss album.

Oh, one last note and I’m sorry, it’s a complaint. Who can I talk to about the unforgivable, unpardonable, unconscionable sin of including the Diane Warren-penned, “Nothing Can Keep Me From You”? This is a sappy string-laden cacophony from the soundtrack of the movie Detroit Rock City. Remember that movie with the kid ‘who-was-gonna-grow-up-to-be-John-Connor’ from T2, trying to score tickets for a fictional Kiss show in the 70s? I’m all for including soundtracks songs, especially from movies that weren’t box office smashes, but shouldn’t it be a law, that on a 12-song Kiss compilation, no Diane Warren song should appear?! When we only get one song from Alive III and one from the studio recording of Revenge, who’s the genius who thought of including this ballad?! DUDE!! Ok, I got that out of my system! All in all, The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss Volume 3 is a pretty solid collection, especially if you don’t own Revenge or skipped much of Kiss’s 90’s oeuvre.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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