Some bands aren't well represented in the world of bootlegs. KISS is one of them. And by well represented, I mean in the sense of (my usual plead for) quality not quantity. Many mediocre releases have seen the light of day over the years with some exceptions from a few Japanese labels who have issued some quality material on CD. But "The Great White Wonder" hadn't been released so far.......until now!
Sometimes you FEEL something is coming and you have high expectations and then, in reality, the product is BEYOND your expectations. Since January there were rumours circulating about a new KISS product that would shake the collectors world's foundations. Finally it has arrived. KISS "NOT FOR THE INNOCENT!" The Ultimate KISS Outtakes Collection. And Ultimate it is! All the tracks are not (like some of them circulating on the internet) MP3 sourced but taken from the original Vinyl Acetates and Studio Reels. They were obtained from major sources in the (KISS) kollectors world and other people, possibly connected to the band (or their vaults?). The result is stunning and blows the original boxset released in 2001 out of the water. All this material, which is mainly from the 1970's (their most fruitful period I think!), is NOT available elsewehere..not official or on (factory pressed) bootleg CD - and especially not in this quality.
The high quality of what is contained within is represented well by the pacakaging of "Not For The Innocent!". A stunning triple gatefold with photos of the reels and acetate labels used and outtakes from the famous HOTTER THAN HELL backcover sessions. The photos of a drunken Paul Stanley fallen flat out over the floor are hilarious and worth the purchase alone. The CD is accompanied by an excellent booklet with liner notes, which is i believe a first for The Godfather Records!
But back to the content. I won't mention each and every song in detail, and besides they're all highlights. I'll just mention some personal favorites. The CD opens with "Stanley The Parrot", a 1969 Gene Simmons pre-KISS solo recording. A hilarious piece and very un-KISS but very, very nice. 1976's "Rotten To The Core" is from sessions (part of) the band did recording material that wound up on Gene's 1978 solo album . Including "See You Tonite", "Burning Up With Fever" and "True Confessions", they're all here but in different arrangements! The DESTROYER outtakes "Flaming Youth", "Great Expectations" and "None Of Your Business" are finally out in GREAT quality! These renditions vary in both arrangement and lyrics from the originals while the Country & Western cover of NOYB was deleted from DESTROYER at the last minute and has never been released. "It's Gonna Be Alright", "Howling For Your Love" and "I Don't Need Your Romance" are all excellent compositions that should have been fully produced and mixed, and officially released .....maybe someday! My personal highlight is the album's title track, "Not For The Inncocent". Released on 1983's LICK IT UP when the band unmasked. This version is from earlier in their career and is a stunning duet between Paul and Gene. They literally saved the best for last on this release, as the "Outromental" (a rare 1995 outtake from a promocassette!) can't really be named a song!
That's it.."NOT FOR THE INNOCENT!" A true gem. Finally! KISS fans have been starving for some nice releases and now we have it!! This is the first and maybe there's more to come. The Godfather Records has an excellent source for its KISS material, their "Ultimate Live In Japan '77" DVD on the Apocalypse Sound Label is also amazing and is reviewed here at HotWacks On-line as well: http://www.hotwacks.com/database/publish/article_1084.php
And there are rumblings that another KISS project is on the horizon!!!