KISS – Double Platinum [Japan Hi-Res (MQA x UHQCD) Limited Release remaster 2020]
Universal Music Japan has released a couple months ago a High Resolution disc (MQA-CD + UHQCD) of KISS essential album “Double Platinum“, a 2020 DSD master based on US original analog tape converted to 352.8kHz / 24bit.
KISS’s first best compilation album summarizes the most representative songs from their first 6 original albums, but including a new recording “Strutter ’78” and other 9 songs in a newly re-mixed version.
KISS were cruising at high speed during their late-’70s heyday. The band’s label, Casablanca, decided to do things a little differently than it would to a standard greatest-hits package. Sean Delaney and Mike Stone remixed many of the tracks, peppering them with noticeable sonic tweaks.
The main point of contention was “Strutter ’78,” a re-recording of a popular song from the band’s debut album, which was used as an incentive for completists to purchase the new collection. Even though most fans consider the following year’s “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” as the group’s initial foray into the disco end of the pool, this is their first flirtation with the genre: The hi-hat is at the forefront of the mix, harmonies in the chorus are higher and the original chunky guitars are lower. There’s also an extra “Wooo!” and additional vocal inflections thrown in for good measure by Stanley.
“Strutter ’78” was the only totally new recording among the the package, but there were other songs that keen ears would quickly recognize sounding slightly — or, in some cases, drastically — different from the versions fans were familiar with.
Peter Criss doing his best Rod Stewart impression on “Hard Luck Woman” sounds much airier, mainly due to the holding off on drums until after the first verse. It feels looser too, with the improvised outro vocals by Criss more pronounced. And after a few plays, a repetitive drum reverb low in the mix starts to earworm its way into the listener’s head too.
“Calling Dr. Love” isn’t just cut by nearly 30 seconds, it has a radically different intro, with the track’s lead vocalist, Gene Simmons, repeating the song’s title in a decidedly demonic manner, making it a more menacing version than the one found on Rock and Roll Over.
“Firehouse” is sped up a bit and, instead of the sirens that close out the original track, the beginning of the song restarts during the fade here. “Detroit Rock City” has the most extreme cuts, losing more than a minute and a half in total. The intro radio broadcast and revving car from the original version are scrapped entirely. So is the car crash that ends the song.
Perhaps the most bizarre change on ”Double Platinum” involved taking the final 50 seconds of acoustic intro on “Rock Bottom” from Dressed to Kill and fading it in at a snail’s pace and then pairing it with “She,” which was on the other side of Dressed to Kill. If that wasn’t enough, the song is made even longer by starting over the first verse and then fading it out.
“Black Diamond,” which closes the compilation, was given a similar extension.
Because neither Kiss nor Casablanca ever did anything on a small scale, ”Double Platinum” was launched with a high-profile television campaign. “The Kiss Double Platinum album, a tribute unprecedented in music history,” intoned a voiceover before label head Bogart, dressed in a tux, is introduced to present the artwork for the album.
“For the success story of the decade, Casablanca honors Kiss with Double Platinum!” he declares.
Great sound quality for this essential KISS release.
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【MQA x UHQCD－ＣＤ】
01 – Strutter ’78
02 – Do You Love Me
03 – Hard Luck Woman (1978 Remix)
04 – Calling Dr. Love (1978 Remix)
05 – Let Me Go, Rock ‘N Roll
06 – Love Gun
07 – God Of Thunder
08 – Firehouse (1978 Remix)
09 – Hotter Than Hell
10 – I Want You
11 – Deuce (1978 Remix)
12 – 100,000 Years (1978 Remix)
13 – Detroit Rock City (1978 Remix)
14 – Rock Bottom
15 – She (1978 Remix)
16 – Rock And Roll All Nite
17 – Beth
18 – Makin’ Love
19 – C’mon And Love Me (1978 Remix)
20 – Cold Gin
21 – Black Diamond (1978 Remix)
Paul Stanley – lead vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar
Gene Simmons – bass guitar, acoustic bass (track 3), lead vocals
Ace Frehley – lead guitar, acoustic guitar (track 3), backing vocals
Peter Criss – drums, lead vocals