I am popping off to DC for four days next week to pick up a commission to write a piece about the US music business. Anyway I won't be able to write my column or listen to enough music for a column. So consider this my column for the next two weeks. Don't worry I have provided sufficient reviews to keep you happy.
Kiss: Kissology Vol 2 1978-1991
Over three hours of Kiss both masked and unmasked live is more than any Kiss could hope for. You also get a bonus DVD of a rather ropey live set in Japan; which is most amusing if not essential. As you would expect from Kiss there are also extras including TV interviews, especially interesting is the "unmasking" one from 1983. There is also the complete version of uber-cheesedom in the form of Kiss in Attack of the Phantoms.
If you are a fan of Kiss then this could be considered most essential. If you ever liked Kiss and missed much of their 80s output, then this might be a good place to start. If you liked Kiss back then but drifted off the band in the 90s; this might be a good collection to remind you why you liked them in the first place.
While every album was not as essential as the 70s output; each of their 80s albums, including The Elder, had at least two rather cracking tracks. I have a soft spot for "I Love It Loud," "Creatures of the Night," and, of course, "Lick it Up." Its nice to see the much missed Eric Carr is all his glory as well.
Blaze Bayley: Alive in Poland
This is a live testament to Blaze in all his f-ing and blinding glory. He seems to think its impressive if you use the word motherf***er between every song at least once. His onstage banter is filled with quite a bit of whining about the music business as well. Fortunately there is enough music to cover.
Not surprisingly, a vast majority of the tunes on here are from the two Blaze-sung Iron Maiden albums. You remember the two worst albums the band has ever released; that had a few bright spots but were overall rubbish. He even includes the dire "Virus" in his set despite the fact its pretty much loathed. There are a few decent tracks here like "Man on the Edge," "Sign of the Cross," and "Futureal." There is only one Wolfsbane track included which is a shame in the form of "Alive."