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Dick Wagner, Guitarist For Alice Cooper, Lou Reed Among Others, Dies At 71
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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dick-wagner-1976

Dick Wagner, a guitarist who was a key figure in the early pre-punk and American glam movements, utilizing his talents for such luminaries in the music world as Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and KISS, has died at the age of 71 of respiratory failure. Wagner had been battling ill health for many years prior to his death.

Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Wagner rubbed elbows later on after the first wave of hard rock music that came from that state’s seminal city Detroit, when Wagner was recruited to play on Alice Cooper’s seminal solo release, Welcome to My Nightmare, a record in which Wagner was heavily involved (with producer Ezrin) with Cooper, eventually sharing songwriting credits. (A highlight is the ambiguous and haunting “Only Women Bleed.”) The 1975 release became a benchmark in Cooper’s career and also showed the embryonic strains of a solo career that would stretch currently into its fourth decade. The muscle and confidence of Wagner’s playing (he had huge shoes to follow after Cooper had been in a band with Glen Buxton earlier, whose playing was signature up and down all over the band) put him as one of the mid-70s post Detroit-rock/pre-first wave of punk music’s heavyweights. In fact, for the next few decades following his successful debut foray with Cooper on record, Wagner became involved heavily with the shock rock singer thereafter, appearing on various subsequent albums and tours.

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Happy 64th Birthday To Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’ & KISS ‘Destroyer’ Producer Bob Ezrin
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Bob Ezrin

Bob Ezrin, who has produced some of the more seminal music records of our age, Pink Floyd‘s The Wall and KISS Destroyer to name a few of the more higher profile ones, celebrates his 64th birthday today.

The Canadian-born Ezrin, employs a style which is mired in a magisterial, booming, bombastic one, which gives a larger than life sonic quality to the records he produces. Kind of a cross between Sir George Martin and producers who have made opera house acoustically styled classical albums, Ezrin has taken many genres, mainly the rock and roll one and turned it on its collective ear, bringing a kind of aural respect to the genre, and the result of which has spawned some of the all-time great albums.

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$3 MP3 Album Deal: KISS ‘Destroyer’
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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KISS Destroyer

This week, the KISS album Destroyer is on sale for only $2.99 in MP3 format. The CD is on sale as well for only $4.76.

Released in 1976 and produced by Bob Ezrin, Destroyer contains some of the best known KISS songs – “Detroit Rock City,” “God of Thunder,” “Shout It Out Loud,” and the ballad “Beth.” Fact: When my husband and I got together, we realized that between us we owned 8 copies of Destroyer on vinyl (as well as several cassette copies and 2 CDs), therefore I don’t think I need to explain why I think you should grab this album now for only $3.

Browse all 1,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as several albums on sale this week for only $2.99 each.

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This Day In KISStory: 20th Anniversary Of The Passing Of Eric Carr
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cGt2099   |  
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KISS

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of Eric Carr, the drummer of KISS who helped keep the band moving forward during the Eighties. Carr, born Paul Caravello, passed away on November 24, 1991 at the age of 41 from complications stemming from his battle with cancer. The loss was colossal to both KISS and their fan base, but he is remembered.

Eric Carr first joined KISS in 1980, when the band decided that it was time for Peter Criss to leave the group. Or perhaps Peter decided it was time to leave… (choose your side of this anecdote). Either way, substance abuse had taken a major toll on original drummer Criss by this stage of the band that it was allegedly affecting his performances both on stage and in the studio.

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How An Odd KISS Album Influenced ‘The Matrix’
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cGt2099   |  
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KISS and The Matrix Saga

November 16 marks the 30th anniversary of a bizarre album release by the band KISS. It was called Music From The Elder, and was initially confusing to the followers of the band. The album was based on a concept, a story focusing on The One who would be guided by a chap called Morpheus.

Wait a minute? Isn’t that the story of The Matrix?

Yes, it is. In fact, it is my contention that the Wachowski Brothers were influenced by the story behind KISS’ Music From The Elder — and contributed significantly to the character growth and plot of their saga.

It’s clear that the Wachowski’s were influenced by a vast number of elements in the creation of the franchise, such as William Gibson‘s Neuromancer, the Terminator series, the works of Philip K. Dick, and also Doctor Who. In point of fact, the concept of a Matrix was initially introduced in the Classic Doctor Who adventure The Deadly Assassin featuring Tom Baker, where the Doctor (like Neo) literally “plugs in” to a Matrix and finds himself in a virtual reality battling his enemies.

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This Day In KISStory: 30th Anniversary Of ‘Music From The Elder’
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cGt2099   |  
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KISS

“When the Earth was young, they were already old…”

30 years ago on this day in KISStory, an album would be issued that would be a turning point, and at the time a low point, for the band and their fans. Music From The Elder, produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin (responsible for the epic Destroyer), was released by KISS on November 16, 1981. The release was a concept album, and a comprehensive departure for the band, which was negatively received by both fans and critics alike.

As time has progressed, however, the album has achieved somewhat of a cult status among both KISS fans and rock/metal fans. For some reason, Music From The Elder has matured well, and while it was perhaps the most obscure and odd of all KISS releases, some now point to the album as their favorite.

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Deluxe Edition of Classic KISS Album ‘Destroyer’ Coming With Original Cover
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cGt2099   |  
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KISS

It is a move mirroring the historical sequence of events in the 1970’s: Hot off the heels on his work with Alice Cooper‘s Welcome 2 My Nightmare, long time rock producer Bob Ezrin is reportedly back in the studio remixing the classic KISS album Destroyer, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year.

Gene Simmons announced that the album will be re-released as a Deluxe Edition during 2012 complete with unreleased tracks, and the original artwork designed by Ken Kelly. Destroyer, along with the band’s breakthrough live album KISS Alive!, is frequently pointed to as a significant album for the band — it was a solid stepping stone to the heights of success they would claim in the late Seventies, and serve as a major influence for many bands ranging from the lightest of popular rock through to the darkest of black metal.

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This Day In KISStory: The Unmasking Of KISS, 28 Years On
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cGt2099   |  
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KISS

28 years ago on this day in KISStory, a bewildering moment arrived for rock and metal fans that for many seemed to have come out of nowhere. KISS had announced they were unmasking, dropping the make-up, costumes, and personae they had previously “worn” for ten years, and moving forward as an “unmasked” band.

The band officially unmasked on MTV (see video below), and the announcement sent shockwaves through the metalhead communities at the time, which was the beginning that this decision was a good move by the band. Up until this stage, KISS enjoyed the height of their career in the 1970s, and as they journeyed into the earlier 1980s, things were beginning to look somewhat dire for the band.

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Music Review: Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
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Obi-Dan   |  
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Alice Cooper
Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Universal Music Enterprises
Released September 12, 2011 UK: CD | MP3
September 13, 2011 U.S.: CD | MP3

After the disbandment of the Alice Cooper band, its frontman went solo and in 1975 released his first album: Welcome To My Nightmare. 36 years later Alice Cooper has released its follow-up, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. And you thought Chinese Democracy took a long time to make.

Ok, ok, so it’s not the same thing. Alice has released 17 albums in between (not including the many live albums and countless best of’s) and been constantly busy. His albums have ranged from the brilliant (Hey Stoopid) to boring (Dragontown). Those who were disappointed with 2008’s Along Came A Spider will be delighted with this return to gruesome form.

As with most of Alice’s past albums, much of this is playful in a twisted way. The one-two of the beautiful “Something To Remember Me By” followed by a tale of grizzly revenge in “When Hell Comes Home” is sure to raise an evil smile.

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KISS: 35th Anniversary of ‘Destroyer’
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Obi-Dan   |  
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KISS
Destroyer
UK: CD | MP3
U.S.: CD | MP3
Recorded September 1975 and February 1976
Released March 15, 1976

Say it with me: “You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world: KISS!

Despite being the global phenomenon it is today, only a modest reception greeted KISS’ first three albums on initial release back in the 1970s. While all very good rock albums, it seemed KISS, Hotter Than Hell, and Dressed To Kill just couldn’t find a big audience. Between them they had what are now thought of as classic KISS songs such as “Strutter,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and “Parasite.” But it was the release of the stunning live album Alive! which turned KISS fever into a full-blown pandemic.

On March 15, 1976, a mere six months after Alive!, the band released its fourth studio album, which was produced by Bob Ezrin. It had rock anthems, ballads, wailing guitars, string sections, thumping drums, and the world’s most iconic musicians. This was to be the album which turned KISS from rock stars into superstars. And its title summed up the band’s intent: Destroyer.

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