Kiss

Exposed

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This 1987 Kiss video compilation transfers very well to digital video disc. It begins with interviewer Mark Blankfield and Joe the Cameraman allegedly coming up to Paul Stanley's mansion, though the credits say it was filmed at Grey Hall in Beverly Hills, CA. The thin story line is still somewhat amusing -- the interviewer wakes up Stanley by ringing the doorbell which chimes "Rock & Roll All Night and Party Every Day," and the fans get to enter a world of semi-biographical material, lots of cool MTV and live videos, and girls, girls, girls. Sexist isn't the word for this escapade as 11 women are listed and cavort around bedside and poolside while Gene Simmons receives a call from the National Organization of Women. That this 90-minute project holds up so well 15 years after its initial release says something about Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons' crystal clear rock & roll vision. They market themselves very well, and the wardrobe, camera angles, and video storyboards are as much a part of the theater as the songs. The 1986 "Who Wants to Be Lonely" video kicks the musical festivities off, and it is Paul Stanley, rock star. Simmons and Stanley are the show; Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick are allowed cameo moments in the sun, but it is the core duo who have the most to say. They talk about meeting each other and go into an impromptu a cappella "I'll Be Back," the Beatles song they used to sing on street corners. Blankfield does his square TV-man routine with much zest, entering the world of Kiss, where record labels pay the stars to make videos and indulge their wildest fantasies. For Kiss fans, there are vital performances: Live in San Francisco, 1975, performing "Deuce"; a crazy "I Love It Loud" in Rio de Janeiro, 1983 (a melody Aerosmith pretty much borrowed in 1988 for their song "Rag Doll"), reprised with the studio video of that same song from 1982; Live Houston 1977 features "Beth," "Ladies Room," and "I Stole Your Love"; clips live in Australia 1980; live in Detroit 1976; and more of the band's official videos make for a nice package of glam rock. Away from the confines of their images, Stanley and Simmons are very down to earth, very cordial, and very smart. The DVD version of Exposed has no bonus material, but has a cool directory which allows you to zip to any song or any dialogue. If you don't like their story line, this disc gives you the opportunity to skip it. Well done, and it should find a whole new life in this very suitable format.

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