The Elder: (November 10, 1981)

KISSIt was an attempt on the part of the group to establish KISS as credible artists, and also to reverse the trend of declining album sales and commercial popularity that had begun in 1979. Instead, the album further served to alienate the group's fan base and represents the commercial nadir of the group.

To date, Music from "The Elder" is one of only two KISS studio albums to fail to earn any US certification (the other is 1997's Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions). Album sales were so poor that the group did not embark on a supporting tour for the first time in the group's eight-year history, opting instead to make a handful of promotional appearances.

The only public appearances the band made in conjunction with the album were a January 15, 1982 appearance on the late-night comedy show Fridays, Solid Gold and a January 28 lip synched performance of "I" from Studio 54 that was broadcast via satellite to the San Remo Festival in Italy. Frehley was not present for the Studio 54 appearance, so the group performed as a trio.

When KISS premiered Music from "The Elder" for their management and record company in October 1981, the reaction was a mixture of confusion and resentment. Business manager Howard Marks refused to allow his company's name to appear in the liner notes.

The video "A World Without Heroes" was the first KISS video played by MTV.

The Story behind the Album

The basic plot of Music from "The Elder" involves the recruitment and training of a young hero (The Boy) by the Council of Elders who belong to the Order of the Rose, a mysterious group dedicated to combating evil. The Boy is guided by an elderly caretaker named Morpheus. The album's lyrics describe the boy's feelings during his journey and training, as he overcomes his early doubts to become confident and self-assured. The only spoken dialogue is at the end of the last track, "I." During the passage, Morpheus proclaims to the Elders that The Boy is ready to undertake his odyssey.

The Band

ERIC CARR - Drums / Vocals
PAUL STANLEY - Guitar / Vocals
GENE SIMONS - Bass / Vocals
ACE FREHLEY - Guitar

Album Notes

  • Produced By: Bob Ezrin

  • Additional personnel:
    Robert Christie, Anthony Parr, Christopher Makepeace, The American Symphony Orchestra, St. Robert's Choir.

  • Recording s essions were held in Toronto, New York City, and guitarist Ace Frehley's home studio in Wilton, Connecticut.

Charts & RIAA Certifications

  • "A World Without Heroes" only makes it to # 56 on the charts.

  • BillBoad Chart Peak at # 75

Track Listing

  1. The Oath (Stanley)

  2. Fanfare (Stanley/ Powers/ Ezrin)

  3. Just A Boy (Stanley/ Ezrin)

  4. Dark Light (Frehley/ Simmons/ Reed/ Fig)

  5. Only You (Simmons)

  6. Under The Rose (Simmons/ Carr)

  7. A World Without Heroes (Simmons/ Stanley/ Ezrin/ Reed)

  8. Mr. Blackwell (Simmons/ Reed)

  9. Escape From The Island (Carr/ Ezrin)

  10. Odyssey (Powers)

  11. I (Simmons/ Ezrin)


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