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The Sources of the songs covered by KISS & Related Artists

There's a lot to be said of both the songs that KISS have covered and the sources of that material. Here you'll also be able to hear much of the material discussed and find out about the original sources of some of the cover material found on KISS and related albums. This is very much a starting point that I hope to expand. I hope that this will be of interest to the diehard KISS fan or music fan.


Cameo/Parkway Records C-1006 (USA, 1959)

   A1. We Got Love 
   A2. Ain't That A Shame? 
   A3. You're The Greatest 
   A4. Home In Your Arms 
   A5. Teach Me Tonight  
   A6. Like A Baby  
   B1. Kissin' Time 
   B2. Because Of You  
   B3. Lovin' Doll  
   B4. All I Want Is You  
   B5. You Were Made For Me  
   B6. That's My Desire  
   B7. What'd I Say

It has long been known that part of Neil Bogart's early music career was at Cameo/Parkway records, both as a recording artist, and later as vice-president. Bobby Rydell had originally recorded "Kissin' Time", a Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe composition, in 1959, on the same label Bogart would later be involved with. The song was released both as a single, backed with "You'll Never Tame Me", and peaked at #11 on the singles charts, becoming the single that introduced the 17 year old Rydell to the world. The song also saw release on his debut album, "We Got Love" (Cameo C-1006, 1959). KISS, along with Kenny Kerner, Richie Wise, and Neil Bogart had to rework the song from its' original form: "They're kissin' in Cleveland, Kansas City, too / They're wailin' in Wildwood, back at Waterloo / They're smoochin' all over, even in St. Lou / So uh-baby get ready, I'm a-kissin' you // Oh, baby 'cause summertime is kissin' time USA / So treat me right, a-don't-a make-a me fight / The Battle of New Orleans tonight // They're kissin' on beaches, sea to shining sea / Smoochin' on benches, near the Christmas tree / Lipstick on collars down in Tennessee / So a-baby, come on now, start by kissin' me // Oh, oh 'cause summertime is kissin' time USA / So press your tasty lips to mine / Sweeter than wine and feels so fine, wa-hoo!! // Mmm, 'cause summertime is kissin' time USA / So treat me right, a-don't-a make-a me fight / The Battle of New Orleans tonight // They're kissin' in drive-ins, you too, Baltimore / Rockin' at dances, land and sea and shore / Then it's off to Dee-troit, they all know the score / So, a-baby, oh baby, what are we waitin' for? / Oh, 'cause summertime is kissin' time USA (© 1959, Mann/Lowe)... Bubble-gum, gotta love it. KISS' rework of the song took 20 minutes in April 1974 and didn't reach anywhere near the original success of the song hitting only #87, though it was included on later pressings of the debut KISS album, much to the annoyance of the band. As for Bobby, he continued as a teen idol on Cameo-Parkway records until 1963, and moved into movies while continuing to record for other labels.


Phillies Records PHLP-4004 (USA, 1963)

   A1. Crystals - Then He Kissed Me
   A2. Crystals - Da Doo Ron Ron
   A3. Crystals - Oh Yeah Maybe Baby
   A4. Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans - Zip-A-De-Doo-Dah
   A5. Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans - Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Heart
   A6. Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans - Not Too Young To Get Married
   B1. Ronettes - Be My Baby
   B2. Darlene Love - Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home - Darlene Love
   B3. Darlene Love - (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry
   B4. Darlene Love - My Heart Beat A Little Bit Faster
   B5. Darlene Love - Playing For Keeps
   B6. Alley Cats - Puddin N' Tain

By the time this compilation album was issued, the Crystals single had just been released, and they already had an album out that didn't include this new song. The single shown above is a reissue version because finding a cover scan for this rare album is so difficult. Released as a single, in its' original form of "Then He Kissed Me" b/w "Brother Julius", in August 1963 on Phil Spector's Phillie label (Phillies 115). It would also be released on an album, V/A - Today's Hits (PHLP-4004, 1963), a compilation of Spector material including bands like Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, and the Alley Cats. The song was written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry, and helped establish Spector's "Wall Of Sound" becoming a hit reaching #6 on the Pop charts and #8 on the R&B charts on September 14, 1963. Unfortunately, the song came a the tale end of the short Crystals' career as Phil concentrated on the Ronnettes, and was the group's last top-10 single. KISS had to extensively rework the lyrics of the song for inclusion on their "Love Gun" album in 1977 to change the gender direction of the song. Interestingly, the Beach Boy's also covered the song in 1965 transforming it into "Then I Kissed Her" (Single - CL15502) for their Summer Days (And Summer Nights) album.


Motown MT/MS-643 (USA, 2/1966)

   A1. Stranger In Paradise				(3:02) - Wright/Forrest
   A2. Yesterday					(2:26) - McCartney/Lennon
   A3. I Hear A Symphony				(2:41) - Holland/Dozier/Holland
   A4. Unchained Melody					(3:47) - Zaret/North
   A5. With A Song In My Heart				(2:01) - Hart/Rodgers
   A6. Without A Song					(2:59) - Rose/Filscu/Youmans
   B1. My World Is Empty Without You			(2:33) - Holland/Dozier/Holland
   B2. A Lover's Concerto				(2:32) - Linzer/Randall
   B3. Any Girl In Love (Knows What I'm Going Through)	(2:58) - Holland/Dozier/Holland
   B4. Wonderful Wonderful				(2:54) - Raleigh/Edwards
   B5. Everything Is Good About You			(2:57) - Dean/Holland
   B6. He's All I Got 					(2:44) - Holland/Dozier/Holland

Produced by Holland & Dozier; MT=Mono/MS=Stereo; Album reaches #8 in March 1966; While some fans might feel that much of Blackjack's output sounded like 1960's R&B classics covered, only this one track, "World Is Empty Without You", was actually a cover. The rest of the material was written by the band. Written by the classic Motown writters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, the song has been recorded by The Supremes for their "I Hear A Symphony" album (Motown MS-643) in February 1966. The song was recorded soon after by Barbara McNair on her November 1966 album "Hear I Am" (Motown MS-644), and later covererd by Vanilla Fudge, Truely Richards, Margie Joseph, The Smith Connection, Norman Feels, and Mary McCaslin before Blackjack did their version. Click on cover for large scan.


United Artists UAS-5666 (USA, 1972)

   A1. Do Ya 					(4:04) - Lynne
   A2. Message From The Country			(4:44) - Lynne
   A3. Chinatown 				(3:07) - Wood 
   A4. Minister 				(4:28) - Lynne
   A5. Down On The Bay 				(4:14) - Lynne
   B1. California Man				(3:37) - Wood
   B2. No Time					(3:41) - Lynne
   B3. Ella James				(3:13) - Wood
   B4. Until Your Mama's Gone			(5:04) - Wood
   B5. Tonight					(3:19) - Wood

Esentially, "Split Ends" was a compilation that replaced the weakest tracks off the earlier LP "Message From The Country" (1971) with the interim released singles "Do Ya", "California Man" and "Ella James". The band involved Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan. Naturally when Roy Wood departed The Move, Jeff and Bev transformed the band into ELO...


Abkco Records 4121 (USA, 1967)

   A1. She's A Rainbow				(4:35) - Jagger/Richards
   A2. The Lantern				(4:24) - Jagger/Richards
   A3. Gomper					(5:12) - Jagger/Richards
   A4. 2,000 Light Years From Home		(4:45) - Jagger/Richards
   A5. On With The Show				(3:40) - Jagger/Richards
   B1. Sing This All Together			(3:46) - Jagger/Richards
   B2. Citadel					(2:50) - Jagger/Richards
   B3. In Another Land				(3:13) - Wyman
   B4. 2,000 Man				(3:05) - Jagger/Richards
   B5. Sing This All Together (See What Happens)(7:58) - Jagger/Richards

Not really the Rolling Stones answer to the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers, but their experiment with psychadelia...


Epic 67-2454 (USA, 1973)

   A1. God Gave Rock and Roll To You  
   A2. It's Only Money, Part I  
   A3. It's Only Money, Part II  
   A4. Losing Hold  
   B1. Be Glad  
   B2. Christmas of the Free  
   B3. Candles on the River  
   B4. Rosie

God Gave Rock And Roll To You II - this song was allegedly a rewrite of the original Argent version that had been released on their "In Deep" (Epic KE-32195[US]; Epic EPC-65475[UK]) album in 1973. The song was written solely by Russ Ballard and was released as a single (Epic 7-10972 [US/CAN]; Epic EPC-1243[UK]), backed with the equally gospel styled "Christmas For the Free", which went top-20 in both the UK and elsewhere. Billboard's review on 3/31/73 was positive, "highly energized move music led by Rod Argent's flowing organ work and Russ Ballard's guitar support, produce an LP of modern intensities and rich sonorities. This is four beat rock, with samplings of delightful vocal harmonies. The quartet maintains a tight discipline which has an organized effect." (Billboard). Additionally, the single itself was reviewed with Billboard's reviewer commenting, "group is back with material combining a beautiful balance of voices and instruments in a medium tempo. The story tells of what it takes to be a rock 'n' roll star as opposed to being a 9 to 5 guy" (Billboard). However, there seems to be little difference apart from the added harmonizing and very slight rearangement. This song had already been covered by the time KISS recorded it in 1991/2. Christian rock band Petra twice recorded the song, first for their 1977 album "Come and Join Us" and then with a heavier keyboard version for their 1984 album "Beat The System".


Jet/United Artists US-LA679-G (USA, 1976)

   A1. Tightrope				(5:00) - Lynne
   A2. Telephone Line				(3:48) - Lynne
   A3. Rockaria!				(3:12) - Lynne
   A4. Mission (A World Record)			(4:24) - Lynne
   B1. So Fine					(3:55) - Lynne
   B2. Livin' Thing				(3:31) - Lynne
   B3. Above The Clouds				(2:16) - Lynne
   B4. Do Ya*					(3:45) - Lynne
   B5. Shangri-La				(5:34) - Lynne

Produced by Jeff Lynne; Orchestra & Choral Arrangements by Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, and Louis Clark; "Do Ya" covered here by the band that had evolved out of "The Move" was later covered by Ace Frehley on his 1989 album "Trouble Walkin'"...


Bell BELLS-263 (UK, 1976)
Bell 1C062-97496 (Germany, 1976)

   A1. New York Groove
   A2. Teenage Revolution
   A3. Keeps Us Off the Streets
   A4. Another Schoolday
   A5. Star Studded Sham
   B1. Little Miss Mystery
   B2. Jenny Dream
   B3. Love Stealer
   B4. Out Of Our Heads

Ace Frehley covered this song on his 1978 solo album...


Motown/Prodigal P6-100141S1 (USA, 9/76)

   A1. What Did He Do				(3:03) - Klawon
   A2. Give It To Ya' Easy			(2:08) - Bryson
   A3. Send A Ship				(2:35) - Bryson
   A4. I Still Want You				(3:22) - Bryson
   A5. Absolutely Love				(3:04) - Thomas
   B1. It's Cold Outside			(2:56) - Klawon
   B2. Yer Stale				(4:38) - Bryson/Hutton
   B3. Lonely Saturday Night			(2:38) - Thomas
   B4. This Is Your City			(3:13) - Thomas
   B5. The Highway Calls My Name 		(5:20) - Thomas

Produced by Ray Ruffin; This band contained ex-Raspberries members, and track A2 should be the give-away hint as to why the album is included here! "Give It To Ya Easy" - was alleged to be a Wicked Lester or early KISS demo, at a time when few authentic versions of the available material circulated, and has turned up on numerous demo collections and bootleg CDs. It has nothing whatsoever to do with KISS or related members and was actually by the band Tattoo and was released on their 1976 self-titled album (Prodigal P6-100141S1). Tattoo was an offshoot of the Raspberries, who had opened up for KISS on New Year's Eve 1974/5. Featuring Wally Bryson the lineup for the album included Jeff Hutton (Keyboards, played live with Raspberries and on one of their albums), Dan Klawson (Bass, ex-Choir Band), David Allen Thomas (Guitars), and Thom Mooney (Drums, ex-Nazz). The history of the band was short, "what had started with promise ended in disaster: a poorly mixed record badly represented what was reputed to have been a powerful, ballsy stage band. The label withdrew support for the album and tour, yet strangely offered Tattoo a second album - an offer that was refused by the band. The group broke up shortly thereafter in 1977" (http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/9447/tattoo.html). "Give It To Ya Easy", the song was written around 1972 by Wally ('Tattoo Is Making Its Musical Mark' by Jane Scott). Note: Thanks to Ken Sharp for putting me on the right track about this song!!


Mercury SRM-1-3748 (USA, 1979)
Mercury 838 201-2 (USA, CD Reissue)

   A1. Jamaica 					(4:08) - Vallance
   A2. Heartaches 				(3:51) - C.F.Turner
   A3. Heaven Tonight 				(3:03) - Thornton/Clench
   A4. Rock And Roll Nights 			(5:30) - Clench
   B1. Wastin´Time 				(3:28) - Adams
   B2. Here She Comes Again 			(3:00) - Vallance/Clench/Thornton
   B3. End Of The Line 				(3:25) - Clench
   B4. Rock And Roll Hell			(4:06) - Vallance
   B5. Amelia Earhart				(6:19) - Vallance/Simmons

Heavily reworked verses for inclusion on 1982's "Creatures Of The Night" album. It took quite a few years for fans to piece together the evidence behind this song and figure out that it was not actually an original composition for the band. What has been mostly unknown in fan circles is that "Rock And Roll Hell" is actually a cover (albeit with rewriting much akin to how the band would later handle Argent's "God Gave Rock And Roll To You II") of a Bachman Turner Overdrive song that had originally appeared on their 1979 "Rock And Roll Nights" album for which Jim Vallance had been a co-writer and producer. During the Creatures sessions the song's verses would be totally reworked by Gene Simmons and Bryan Adams to reach the format it would take on the album with only the verse retaining any similarity with the original....


Boardwalk NBI-33253 (USA, 1982)

   01. Megaforce		(:) - Howarth/Cain/
   02. Get To You
   03. Out Of The Dark
   04. Hell Or High Water
   05. Write Again
   06. Heartbeat
   07. I Could Be Good For You
   08. Can't Hold Back
   09. We Will Last

Produced by Keith Olsen; Tod Howarth on guitars, keyboards and vocals. The track "Megaforce" was later rewritten and appeared on Ace's "Frehley's Comet" album as "Calling To You". This was the third album by the band, and the only one with Tod as a member. The 707 titletrack was also used on the movie "Megaforce"... The track "Megaforce" was released as a single (Boardwalk 146) with B-side "Hell Or High Water" and hit #11 on the singles charts. Two other singles were also released, Boardwalk (153) & (163), but whether these singles involved Tod is not clear.


EMI America/Capitol Records ST-17108 (USA, 1984)
Virgin Records (GER, 1999, CD - issue)

   A1. I Can't Hear You No More			(5:49) - Ballard
   A2. In The Night				(4:08) - Ballard
   A3. Two Silhouettes				(4:17) - Ballard
   A4. Voices					(5:33) - Ballard
   B1. A Woman Like You				(4:22) - Ballard
   B2. Day To Day				(3:53) - Ballard
   B3. Playing With Fire			(5:07) - Ballard
   B4. The Last Time				(5:26) - Ballard

Produced by Russ Ballard and John Stanley; Recorded at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, England Includes the original version of a song later covered by Ace Frehley's Comet in 1987. This song was also included on the 1996 CD reissue of "Russ Ballard/The Fire Still Burns" released on Renaissance Records (RMED00105)in 1996 and on the German "Premium Gold Collection" compilation (EMI 97569). Click on cover for large scan; Click on song title for audio sample in MP3 format...

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