KISS - Psycho Circus

NME.COM feature on KISS - Psycho Circus album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 24 September 1998

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KISS - Psycho Circus: Wikipedia Album Entry

Psycho Circus is a 1998 album by the American hard rock band Kiss. The original four back and in full make up again. It is also the last full studio album of new material from Kiss to date. It was certified Gold on October 22, 1998, when it had sold 500,000 copies.

The album features a lenticular cover that alternates between a black Kiss logo and the album title with pictures of a clown and the band members.

The track "You Wanted the Best" is the only Kiss song in which lead vocals are shared by the entire lineup.

Following Kiss' highly successful 1996-1997 reunion tour, Psycho Circus was touted as the first album by the band's original lineup since 1979's Dynasty. As with Dynasty and 1980's Unmasked, however, many of the songs were recorded by uncredited players. It is now known that guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss were used sparingly, with Criss only playing drums on "Into the Void." (He had also played on only one Dynasty track). Frehley only played on three songs from the album (not including vocals). In a radio interview with Eddie Trunk following his departure Criss stated that only "Into The Void" featured instrumental contributions from all four members.

The replacement of Criss and Frehley on a Kiss album was nothing new. Frehley had been replaced on songs as early as 1976's Destroyer. Criss was entirely absent from Unmasked, despite being pictured on the album's cover. The same was true for Frehley on 1982's Creatures of the Night. However, at the time of the release of those albums, Kiss managed to keep a lid on the personnel changes: with Psycho Circus, rumours concerning who played what were circulating prior to the album's release. Many Kiss fans voiced disappointment at the ruse, although in that respect it did preserve the tradition of the latter albums released by this line-up first-time-around.

Despite the controversy, Psycho Circus was the band's first Top 10 album since 1993's Alive III, their highest placing in the albums chart - at #3 - and was certified gold. U.S. SoundScan sales of the album total 479,000 copies. "We Are One" went #4 on Showbizz Magazine (Brazil) radio chart.

Track listing
"Psycho Circus" (Paul Stanley, Curtis Cuomo) – 5:30
Lead Vocals - Paul Stanley
"Within" (Gene Simmons) – 5:10
Lead Vocals - Gene Simmons
"I Pledge Allegiance to the State of Rock & Roll" (Stanley, Cuomo, Holly Knight) – 3:32
Lead Vocals - Paul Stanley
"Into the Void" (Ace Frehley, Karl Cochran) – 4:24
Lead Vocals - Ace Frehley
"We Are One" (Simmons) – 4:41
Lead Vocals - Gene Simmons
"You Wanted the Best" (Simmons) – 4:15
Lead Vocals - Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley & Peter Criss
"Raise Your Glasses" (Stanley, Knight) – 4:14
Lead Vocals - Paul Stanley
"I Finally Found My Way" (Stanley, Bob Ezrin) – 3:40
Lead Vocals - Peter Criss
"Dreamin'" (Stanley, Bruce Kulick) – 4:12
Lead Vocals - Paul Stanley
"Journey of 1,000 Years" (Simmons) – 4:49
Lead Vocals - Gene Simmons
"In Your Face"* (Simmons) - 3:40
Lead Vocals - Ace Frehley
Track 11 is only available on import version of the album

Disc Two (Japan, Europe and Brazil Only)
"Psycho Circus (Live)" (Stanley, Cuomo) - 5:34
"Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll (Live)" (Stanley, Simmons) - 5:33
"Into the Void (Live)" (Frehley, Cochran) - 9:10
"Within (Live)" (Simmons) - 7:57
"100,000 Years (Live)" (Stanley, Simmons) - 5:17
"Black Diamond (Live)" (Stanley) - 6:12
A limited edition was released in Brazil on the wake of the Kiss concerts in the country, adding the second disc with live tracks, like the Japanese release, but without the bonus track "In Your Face" on the first disc. In Europe this expanded-release was tied-in with the tour, retaining the prismatic jewel-case of the original CD-release but adding a new sticker to the front and amended tray-insert.

Gene Simmons - Bass guitar; rhythm guitar on "We Are One"; lead vocals
Paul Stanley - Rhythm guitar; lead guitar on "Psycho Circus", "I Pledge Allegiance to the State of Rock & Roll", and "You Wanted the Best"; bass guitar on "We Are One", "Raise Your Glasses", and "I Finally Found My Way"; lead vocals
Ace Frehley - Lead guitar (credited, but only appears on "Psycho Circus", "Into the Void" and "You Wanted the Best"); vocals
Peter Criss - Drums (credited, but only appears on "Into the Void"); vocals

Additional Musicians
Bruce Kulick - Lead guitar on "Within" (intro)
Tommy Thayer - Lead guitar
Kevin Valentine - drums
Bob Ezrin - Fender Rhodes on "I Finally Found My Way"
Shelly Berg - Piano on "I Finally Found My Way" and "Journey of 1,000 Years"

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1998 The Billboard 200 3
1998 Top Canadian Albums 2

Album - ARIA (Australia)

Year Chart Position
1998 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1

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