This is "The Big 10 - The Essential Tracks", in which we take a closer look at particular artist's or band's back catalogue, and choose the 10 finest moments. These are our subjective choices, so if you want to ask how on earth we could leave off such and such song from the list, you can... and the answer is... because we could.

  "Haven't you heard, there's a new revolution. Gotta spread the words, too much confusion". Indeed. All hell's breakin' loose. Hey now people have you heard the news? 'the cross-eyed kid shouted at the top of his lungs while trying his best to look straight at you. 'Huh? Calm down! What are you talking about', the legend replied while jumping off the swings in big-boy manner and style (pace, lots of pace, ouch, that hurt).

'It's KISS. There's a pic in the mag, they've removed all their make-up'. The legend was shaking his head in disbelief. Surely this must be some kind of joke on his account. Paul 'The Starchild' Stanley, Gene 'The Demon' Simmons, Eric 'The Fox' Carr, and new guitarist, Vinnie 'The Wiz' Vincent, were super-heroes in the eyes of a toddler, much like the fantastic four or x-men. No matter what. They would not reveal, unveil, their true identity to anyone. However, rumour spread like bushfire across the school yard. Sure enough, the weird looking synth-boy fan and his silly excuse of a 'pony-tail' started preaching. 'Yeah, my older brother told me about it yesterday, they look like crap, then again, they always did'. Oh shut it! the legend rushed home as he lived just around the corner and found the news paper and picture. It was true. 'They were no longer Super-Heroes, merely strange looking men'.

"And on the 8th day God created rock n roll". KISS - Best of their Unmasked years: 1983 - 1997. This is probably the most hated Kiss era and list by many hardcore 70's fans. Keyboards, ballads, Desmond Child, the mad genius of Vinnie Vincent, crazy crazy nights, Diane Warren, and what not really. Then again, it's just another era and just another departure in their music style, changing from their WWIII metal and sound of Lick It Up, to the AOR of Crazy Nights and the complete meltdown of Carnival Of Souls. However, they could still swing a cat and hit several songs that stick(s) like glue to poor puss' tail. Not to mention coming up with dire lines such as: "Wave your panties in the air, lick your lips and shake your hair, uh-huh". Oh-no. Stanley at his worst (lyric-wise). "So I hop in my car, hit the local titty bar, uh-huh". Seriously? But the songs, the songs are plenty and good. Very difficult and hard to drop off certain anthems.

"They try to tell us we don't belong. That's alright. We're millions strong. This is my music, it makes me proud. You are my people. You are my crowd. This is our music. We Love it loud"..

Here's KISS: The Unmasked Years (1983-97) - the Big 10...

10. Crazy Crazy Nights
9. Unholy
8. Reason To Live
7. Lick It Up
6. Turn On The Night

5. Exciter
The opening track from Lick It Up. A song that basically continues the sound/style and songwriting team of Paul Stanley/Vinnie Vincent from previous record, Creatures of The Night. It's got biting guitar work and a certain swagger that Vincent decided to build upon and simply add more of everything (especially guitars), on his first solo outing, 'Invasion'. Powerful metal (?) and the proper wake-up call...

4. Hide Your Heart
"Johnny saw her (Rosa) riding on a street car named desired" and Tito, he was king of streets? Proposed for Crazy Nights but producer Nevison turned it down and it's one of those songs KISS at first gave away and has been recorded by artists such as Robin Beck, Bonnie Tyler, Molly Hatchet, and also Ace Frehley. Eventually ended up on Hot In the Shade (1989), it started off as a song called 'Bite Down Hard' that Stanley started with Holly Night. And when Des Child got involved it became... Hide Your Heart.

3. It's My Life
Their biggest mistake? Giving it to Wendy O Williams (RIP) back in 1984 instead of releasing it themselves? They also gave her 'Thief In the Night' which KISS recorded on Crazy Nights. Written by Simmons/Stanley, they recorded the demo back in the day, but the official version wasn't released until the boxset. Surely this could, should have been a smash hit single in 1984. According to Gene, 'the song goes back to an early 80's idea (The Elder seesions) Paul showed me but never finished. Paul had a chorus, I added verses and lyrics'. One of those go-to for me on moody days. Uplifting, powering, catchy and fun. "It's My Life and I do what I wanna, do what I wanna do what I like". Love Wendy's version by the way and yeah, it's better than KISS'.

2. Forever
"Until my life is thru, girl I'll be loving you Forever".. Massive Top-10 power hit ballad that started out at the Sunset Marquis Hotel where Stanley ran into Michael Bolton (yes, the crooner), and they went up to Paul's room to write this song in a matter of minutes. The only (?) Kiss song with the acoustic guitar solo marveously played by Bruce Kulick by the way. One of the most requsted videos on MTV that year (1989/1990). Simply just the perfect ballad of its time and era. "I gotta tell you what I'm feeling inside. I could lie to myself, but it's true"...

1. A Million To One
""Baby, now that you've made up your mind. I'm gonna let you go, if that's what it takes to show love is blind". The control in the track is almost of an drumming degree, where Eric Carr (RIP) set the rhythm, pace, and standard by switching from tribal to a more straight beat. One of those songs that 'mad genius', Vinnie Vincent, co-wrote and it's super catchy rock featuring smashing background vocals and hypnotic beat. Their most underrated track of the era. 'A million to one. That's what it will be'.

This list by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,

The list as a YouTube playlist

Individual lists:

Kimmo Toivonen:

10. Unholy
9. Lick It Up
8. A Million To One
7. Who Wants To Be Lonely
6. My Way
5. Tears Are Falling
4. Heaven's On Fire
3. Forever
2. Thrills In The Night
1. Reason To Live

Alan Holloway:

10. Reason To Live
9. Crazy Crazy Nights
8. Hide Your Heart
7. Betrayed
6. Who Wants To Be Lonely
5. Heaven's On Fire
4. God Gave Rock & Roll To You II
3. Uh All Night
2. Tears Are Falling
1. Lick It Up


(c) 2015 RockUnited.Com



10. Uh! All Night
9. Who Wants To Be Lonely
8. Thrills In the Night
7. Hide Your Heart
6. Heaven's On Fire
5. A Million To One
4. Reason To Live
3. Tears Are Falling
2. Lick It Up
1. Forever