KISS – Asylum [Remastered for iTunes + Japan SHM-CD Cardboard Sleeve mini-LP remastered] *HQ*

KISS - Asylum [Remastered for iTunes + Japan SHM-CD Cardboard Sleeve mini-LP remastered] *HQ* - full

Someone asked for the best sounding pressing of KISS album “Asylum“, and this Japan pressing on SHM-CD in a Cardboard Sleeve mini-LP replica, remastered, is the answer. This is a Nineties remastering, that meaning not too much louder, more balanced and works great in your Hi-Fi rack.
However, there’s a more recent remaster of “Asylum” especially done for iTunes = digital files. And it sounds fantastic, colorful, punchy.
So our advice is: SHM-CD is excellent for all purposes especially your hi-end player, but if you need “Asylum” for you car, phone, etc, get the ‘iTunes remaster‘ – it’s a killer version. Or get both, and compare.
Regarding the music of “Asylum”… this album just gets better and better with age: it’s the perfect blend of classic KISS catchiness with a healthy dose of mid-80s Glam Metal sheen. Guitarist Bruce Kulick proved here to be the missing link that KISS needed in 1985, allowing for a more focused, precision metal attack to go along with the addictive melodic hooks.

“Asylum” is pure ’80s since its cover art… a very, should we say, colorful cover. Each member is drawn and the lips are painted with the traditional KISS colors of the role. Paul is still purple and Gene is still red so the guitar player Bruce has to be blue (like Ace) and the drummer Eric has to be green (like Peter).
I liked the fact they tied in the make-up Kisstory to the modern day (well, modern day 1985). The back cover continues that theme and has the guys dressed in typical 80s fashion. It is fun, check out in youtube the outfits in the videos…WOW!! 80s Glam turned up to 11!

The album kicks off with a bang with “King of the Mountain”. It’s a classic KISS rocker with Paul on vocals and it is something that will get your blood flowing, your fist pumping and your head banging. Eric’s drums are thunderous and Bruce’s playing is technically brilliant as his shredding is reminiscent of times. The difference between his shredding and Vinnie’s and Mark’s is that I think Bruce was playing for the song and his solos were more melodic.
The song was written by Paul Stanley with Desmond Child (who seems to be involved in most of Paul’s songs at this point) and Bruce Kulick who gets his first writing credit on the very first song on the album.

Next up is “Any Way You Slice It” and is Gene’s first song on the album with sexually charge lyrics. The song does have a little spoken interlude with Gene sort of talking through the lyrics and Eric’s drums, it is a nice change of pace in the song, but it is still so over-the-top. And I like the way the song ends with long drawn out guitar riffs, drum beats, and Gene’s little ad libs.

The first ballad comes quick with “Who Want to Be Lonely” written by Paul and Desmond, no surprise as well as Jean Beauvoir from The Plasmatics. Jean also plays bass on this one as Gene was probably too busy doing other things. Paul’s vocals on this are sensational, some of his best on the album. And what is a power ballad with a great guitar solo and Bruce doesn’t disappoint. For me, the song holds up great today as a fantastic example of a great power ballad. I think it holds up better than “Tears Are Falling” from this album.

“Trial By Fire” is the next Gene song written with the help of Bruce (now two writing credits) a midtempo rocker with that 1985 feeling and production. But it’s followed by the rapid “I’m Alive” written by Paul, Desmond and Bruce. This song reminds me of “Under the Gun” off ‘Animalize’, but I don’t care. It is fast, heavy and a blast. I love all the showmanship Bruce lays down with all his fills and his fire-blazing fret work during that solo. It is a song that flies through the notes and leaves you breathing hard by the end.

“Love’s A Deadly Weapon” is a heavy, fast paced barn stormer of a song and has some heavy ass drums from Eric which might be the best part of the song.
The only single off the album was the next song called “Tears Are Falling” which was written by only Paul Stanley. And an interesting note, this is the last solo writing credit Paul has until his solo album in 2006… how’s that for trivia. It was so much just Paul that he plays the bass on it as well, no Gene. The song just missed the Top 40 by going to #51 on the Hot 100 Chart which for KISS, that is pretty good. Now, on MTV this song was played way more than the radio because it was a power ballad and fit the mold MTV 1985.

We find more Stanley / Child songwriting in “Radar For Love”, a commercial rocker with melody. The last track is perhaps the most vulgar song that Paul has done called “Uh! All Night”. Listen to the song to know what the “Uh!” means. But it’s so fun. It was written by Paul, Desmond and Jean who also plays bass on this one. I think this makes 3 non-Gene bass playing songs, but who’s counting. Paul took Gene’s playbook and tried to come up with the most absurd lyrics you can possibly imagine for a sexual driven song and he succeeded. Ha ha, pure Eighties!

The problem with this album is that is so cliched 80s era pop-metal – and the great thing about this album is that is so cliched 80s pop-metal. Crazy right! I still dig this album as much today as I did back then. This tour was great and everything about it is great.
We aren’t stupid to say this is anywhere near their best albums, but we like just the same. Bruce’s playing was stellar on ”Asylum”. I quickly became a fan and between him and Eric Carr, they made KISS cool again for me.
”Asylum” is a fun, absolutely mindless listen and sometimes that is all you need!
HIGHLY Recommended



01 – King Of The Mountain
02 – Any Way You Slice It
03 – Who Wants To Be Lonely
04 – Trial By Fire
05 – I’m Alive
06 – Love’s A Deadly Weapon
07 – Tears Are Falling
08 – Secretly Cruel
09 – Radar For Love
10 – Uh! All Night

Paul Stanley – vocals, rhythm guitar, bass on “Tears Are Falling”
Gene Simmons – bass, vocals
Eric Carr – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Bruce Kulick – lead guitar, backing vocals
Jean Beauvoir – bass and backing vocals on 3, 10
Allan Schwartzberg – additional drums overdubs


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1 Response

  1. Jay says:

    Awesome, Thnx

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