The KISS Album Paul Stanley Called An Ill-Fated Attempt

No matter how successful a music act has been, there is a high possibility that they have some albums they perceive as disappointments. Throughout the years, many bands have changed their musical direction or shifted toward another genre to fit into the likings of their audience. It’s also not uncommon for their record label to demand them comply with their needs.

On the other hand, a member’s decision to leave can also make a drastic change in a band’s sound and creative direction. In KISS’ case, two original band members, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, left due to disputes over KISS’ career path. The band continued making music after their departure, but Paul Stanley admitted that one of their albums was an ill-fated attempt.

Which KISS Album Was A Disappointing Attempt?

On August 9, 1995, KISS was to perform on MTV Unplugged. Before the performance, the band decided to approach Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to invite them to participate. Criss and Frehley accepted this offer and joined them for several songs. After this appearance, rumors began circulating about a possible reunion of the original KISS lineup.

At the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, Tupac Shakur introduced the original KISS lineup. Later, the band announced a reunion tour dubbed the Kiss Alive/Worldwide Tour, for which the tickets were sold in 47 minutes. After this tour, KISS released their 1988 album ‘Psycho Circus.’ Although it was the first album by the original lineup since the 1979 album ‘Dynasty,’ Criss and Frehley’s contributions were minimal. Instead of the two, Tommy Thayer, Kevin Valentine, and Bruce Kulick played their parts.

After its release, ‘Psycho Circus’ achieved significant commercial success. However, the KISS members weren’t pleased with the album. According to Gene Simmons, it didn’t sound like KISS. On the other hand, Frehley believed ‘Psycho Circus’ was a disappointment because he only contributed to one song titled ‘Into The Void.’ Criss also called this album a fiasco as the only songs he was involved in were ‘Into The Void,’ ‘I Finally Found My Way,’ and ‘You Wanted The Best.’

After ‘Psycho Circus,’ Criss and Frehley left KISS. The band then continued their musical career and released their first album in eleven years with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, titled ‘Sonic Boom.’ In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul Stanley reflected on this album and argued that ‘Psycho Circus’ was an ill-fated attempt because they didn’t have a common purpose.

Here is what Paul Stanley said about ‘Psycho Circus’:

“We tried to do a KISS album, and it was an ill-fated attempt because there was no real band. For a band to make a great album, it has to share a common purpose, and we didn’t have it.

After ‘Sonic Boom,’ KISS continued touring and entertaining their fans with great stage shows. With Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer as Ace and Peter’s replacements, they then released the 2012 album ‘Monster.’ According to Stanley, they couldn’t make ‘Sonic Boom’ without Eric and Tommy, and the two showed them things eventually get better in time.

Stanley said the following about ‘Sonic Boom’:

Things happen when they’re ready. We couldn’t have made this album without Eric and Tommy. I’ve known Eric now for 20 years. He’s been in and out of the band, and the best times are when he’s in.”

You can listen to the ‘disappointing’ album below.