MARTY FRIEDMAN Ranks All KISS Albums, From Worst To Best, And Explains His Choices

Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has paid tribute to KISS on the eve of the legendary rockers’ final-ever concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

On Saturday (December 2),Friedman took to his social media to “re-post” his ranking of all the KISS albums, from the band’s 1974 self-titled debut through to 2012’s “Monster”.

He wrote: “Tonight marks what is likely to be the last KISS concert in history. I plan to write a rant/thank you note/etc about it sometime soon here, but for now I took it upon myself to re-post my ranking of the KISS albums. Please note, this is in the spirit of fandom and gratitude, not criticism. Also it’s only this one dirtbag’s opinion anyway. So enjoy!

“Do you agree with this list? What would you do differently? Am I out of my mind? Love to hear your deepest opinions on this ever so important topic…Please keep it friendly

“26. CRAZY NIGHTS Farthest away from what I originally liked about KISS.

“25. PETER CRISS SOLO Didn’t like this. Shame he didn’t have someone seriously choose songs for him and put him through basic vocal training for pitch and timing, because he had the most commercial natural voice of all 4 of them

“24. MONSTER This would have been a godlike title if the album was a game changing modern version of Destroyer on steroids, but it wasn’t

“23. ALIVE 3 Would be OK if you discovered KISS mid-career, but I didn’t. The album just doesn’t sound live at all. Was glad they resurrected Watchin’ You for this. but it just sounded funny being quantized and tuned.

“22. CARNIVAL OF SOULS Doesn’t sound like a KISS album to me. Bruce [Kulick] did a great job on it, though. I get the feeling he really put a lot of effort into it.

“21. LICK IT UP Powerful and well produced record, but not personal my cup of tea. I couldn’t name one song off it besides the droning title track

“20. SONIC BOOM Tommy‘s [Thayer] guitar tone was really good and Yes I Know Nobody’s Perfect was very promising, but didn’t know what to make of the rest

“19. GENE SIMMONS SOLO Wish it had 9 more Radioactives on it, and the irony and surprise of the most demonic figure in rock (at the time) singing a Disney song was not lost on me

“18. THE ELDER I eventually came to really like some parts of this, like A World Without Heroes and Under The Rose, but at the time it came out I was pissed at my fave band for backstabbing us all with this. Between this record and discovering NWOBHM I had completely written KISS off for the time being

“17. ANIMALIZE Heaven’s On Fire was competitive with similar hits back then without totally losing the KISS vibe. I liked it.

“16. REVENGE Didn’t care much for the album, but LOVED Unholy. Killer track, evil riff and satanic vocal. Would love a Gene solo album full of these.

“15. PSYCHO CIRCUS I actually like about half of this album. WAY more than the previous albums on this list. Loved the song where they all sing, and even liked the Peter ballad.

“14. HOT IN THE SHADE Not much memorable stuff here, but this tape happened to be constantly on loop in my apartment during a particularly fun and promiscuous period of time in Hollywood, so…

“13. ASYLUM Ignore the (insert inoffensive term for same-sex attraction) cover, the entire band is on fire all over this record. Eric is killing it big time and there are some real cool songs like King of The Mountain and Secretly Cruel.

“12. DYNASTY If you ignore the first two songs and the blank back cover, the album is a pretty enjoyable and accurate time capsule of that time period. Wish there was harder rock on it though.

“11. CREATURES OF THE NIGHT Godlike drums, great vocal performances and guitar solos, and some really solid songs. I was a moron at the time, I actually thought, ‘Wow! Ace [Frehley] really broadened his vocabulary since the last album!’

“10. UNMASKED So sue me, I really liked a lot of this. Is That You and Shandi are classic

“9. PAUL STANLEY SOLO / ACE FREHLEY SOLO (tie) These and the rest of the albums on this list are A+ as far as I’m concerned. I love both of these solo albums in every way, the sound, songs, performances. It’s Alright, Tonight You Belong To Me, Ozone, Snowblind are just killer KISS material

“8. DRESSED TO KILL Legendary. Iconic cover, great songs and Ace is on fire

“7. KISS Who else has DECADES of concert staples without even one hit single? And they are all on this album! And The guitars on Kissin’ Time are wicked, as is Peter‘s voice and drums.

“6. DESTROYER Masterpiece in every way. Glad this work exists.

“5. LOVE GUN Not as brilliant as Destroyer, but this was the KISS formula that I liked best. If Destroyer was Grade A Filet Mignon, Love Gun was a greasy slice of NY Pizza

“4. ALIVE 2 The sound still kills me. This is exactly how I remember the arena sounding as a kid. I don’t care that Paul is harmonizing with himself half the time, and the audiences from 5 other concerts are piped in, I still dig this record. It’s just plain exciting.

“3. HOTTER THAN HELL What a great vibe, and the dark sonic quality only makes it more interesting and enjoyable to listen to. The solo in Strange Ways is an enigma how wicked it is.

“2. ROCK AND ROLL OVER There is not a second on this album that I don’t really dig. I even like the smell of the cardboard sleeve. And who else has songs and riffs like Mr. Speed and Ladies Room?!

“1. ALIVE! Big Surprise. The album inspired me more than any other album did at the time, and it still holds up. This album can always get me jacked up for the big game.

“Say what you will about KISS, but I will really miss them when they retire. Thank you for everything.”

Back in 2019, Friedman looked back on nearly auditioning for KISS several decades ago. He told Sam Ash Music: “When they were changing guitar players a long time ago, I got a call from somebody from KISS‘s people. They said, ‘Do you think you might be interested in auditioning for KISS?’ I’m, like, ‘Tell me when and where.’ They go, ‘We’ve got a couple of questions for you. First of all, you don’t have any facial hair, do you? You’ve got long hair, right? You’re skinny, right? You’re over six feet tall?’ I’m like, ‘What? I’m, like, five [foot], seven and a half [inches], but I’ll have an operation. I’ll do something.’ ‘I’m sorry, it’s not going to work out.’ I was so bummed… Gene and Paul, how many Jewish guys are six feet tall without boots? Why did it have to be that way? I totally get it, though.”

KISS‘s final-ever show, held tonight (Saturday, December 2) at Madison Square Garden, will stream live on pay-per-view.

According to a press release, the last stop of the band’s “End Of The Road” farewell tour will stream exclusively on PPV.com so fans worldwide can tune into the concert in real-time, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

To stream the show live, fans in the U.S. and Canada pay a one-time fee of $39.99, rather than signing up for a subscription. (Internationally, it costs $14.99 to watch the event.)

KISS‘s final show will also air live through cable and satellite providers such as Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Optimum, Fios, DirecTV, DISH, Rogers, Telus and more in North America.

Tonight marks what is likely to be the last Kiss concert in history. I plan to write a rant/thank you note/etc about it…

Posted by Marty Friedman on Friday, December 1, 2023


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