20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Kiss

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Kiss' 20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Kiss should not only be sold in record stores but also in delicatessens. Why? It's loaded with ham and cheese. But that's a good thing because it's totally indicative of Kiss in the 1980s. The five music videos covering 1982-1987 are fun but are very much of a specific era. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley and vocalist/bass guitarist Gene Simmons were completely running the show at this point. Drummer Eric Carr was a far better drummer than Peter Criss, but he wasn't Peter Criss. By 1982 lead guitarist Ace Frehley was literally in the band to keep up appearances. He didn't play on Creatures of the Night, but is pictured on the album cover and he's in the "I Love It Loud" video. The album was a return to hard-rocking form for Kiss after the infamous Music from "The Elder" album, and the thunderous "I Love It Loud" was catchy and the video itself attempted to restore the band's dangerous image. A suburban family sits down to dinner but the rebellious teenage son turns on the television and watches Kiss perform the song -- household appliances melt and explode. The kid is hypnotized by Kiss and sports the glowing white eyes the quartet displays on the album cover. Similarly affected teens march like zombies through the neighborhood; the Kiss Army has more recruits! With Vinnie Vincent formally replacing Frehley, 1983's Lick It Up album saw Kiss shed their trademark greasepaint. The "Lick It Up" video keeps up the mystery for a while by only showing the bandmembers from the waist down; many incredible babes appear, an orgy gets under way among apocalyptic ruins, and Kiss' faces are shown once the chorus kicks in. The other three clips are largely fluorescent performance videos. Vincent follow-up Mark St. John is on board for "Heaven's on Fire" and his long-term replacement, Bruce Kulick, lights up "Tears Are Falling" and "Crazy Crazy Nights." This DVD is likely just the first Kiss volume in the series.