Thunderous riffs, masterful songwriting and a top-notch new guitarist weren’t enough to redeem Kiss’ 1982 album creatures of the night. With their goodwill crumbled after three consecutive misfires, the band’s strongest album in years was still doomed.
Kiss had spent the mid-’70s packing stadiums and releasing one hit album after another, but they were in dire straits by 1982. The painted-face rockers were hemorrhaging after the critical and commercial failure of their three previous albums: 1979’s disco-influenced Dynasty1980s poppy Unmasked and the poorly conceived 1981 concept album Music from “The Elder”.
The hottest band in the country had also lost original drummer Peter Criss in 1980, and original lead guitarist Ace Frehley was largely MIA by the time they entered the studio to begin work on creatures of the night. Lead guitar duties instead fell to a rotating line-up including Robben Ford, Steve Farris, Bob Kulick and Vinnie Vincent, the latter of whom co-wrote several creatures songs and officially replaced Frehley in December 1982.
creatures of the night was a lean and tough return to form for Kiss, but despite positive reviews and newfound clarity among the band members, the record failed to correct the band’s commercial losing streak. It peaked at a measly No. 45 on the Billboard 200 and led rockers to do a Hail Mary publicity stunt, remove makeup and post career rejuvenation. lick it in 1983.
Watch the video below to learn more about creatures of the night, and tune into our “Doomed to Fail?” video series each week as we dust off ill-fated classic rock albums and determine if they’re hidden gems or better forgotten.
Kiss Range Changes: A Complete Guide
A detailed guide to all the personnel changes undergone by the “hottest band in the country”, Kiss.