|Studio album by Kiss|
|Released||May 20, 1980|
|Recorded||January – March 1980 at The Record Plant Studios, New York City|
|Genre||Hard rock, pop rock|
|Singles from Unmasked|
Unmasked is the eighth studio album by American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1980. It was the last studio album to feature the original lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss until the band reunited in 1996. Criss actually had no involvement with the recording of the album; Anton Fig (uncredited) played all the drums on the album.
The album features substantial songwriting contributions from Vini Poncia, who had previously been Ringo Starr's post-Beatles songwriting partner. The album marked the first time Kiss had used the contributions of outside songwriters to such a large extent, as all but two of Frehley's contributions, "Talk to Me" and "Two Sides of the Coin", were written or co-written by someone outside the band.
The band filmed a promotional video for "Shandi" with Criss. It was the last time he appeared with Kiss until he performed with them at a Kiss Convention on June 17, 1995. In the band's authorized biography, he revealed that he was the last one left in the band's dressing room after filming and broke down crying. The album cover and poster insert, designed by artist Victor Stabin, featured a winking Criss. "Unmasked was like the tail end of a comet," reflected Stanley, "and I don't mean Frehley's."
A lip-synched German television performance of "Talk to Me" and "She's So European" featured the debut of Eric Carr, who became the band's permanent drummer until his death in 1991. The band would play a concert at the Palladium Theatre in New York to officially introduce Carr as Criss' permanent replacement in the band.
The album's songs have been largely ignored in live performances, with the exception of "Shandi", which is sometimes played in the band's shows, particularly in Australia (where the song became a top ten hit in 1980). "Talk to Me" was played in 2001 during the Australian and Japanese concerts of the Farewell Tour but has not been performed again since the departure of Frehley.
Unmasked marked a major departure musically for the band. It reached #35 on the US Billboard chart and was certified gold by the RIAA on July 30, 1980. The album marked another departure for Kiss, as this was the first album since 1977's Love Gun not to feature all members on vocals, excluding the four solo releases in 1978.
One year after their last tour, which was somewhat a disaster, Criss was fired from the band due to his erratic behavior. Unmasked was the first album that failed to reach platinum status since 1976's Destroyer. Kiss only played one show in the US, at the Palladium with Carr. The band decided to take a break from the US because the album was more successful in other countries, and Kiss played in Australia, England, New Zealand, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, and Italy.
|1.||"Is That You?"||Gerard McMahon||Paul Stanley||3:59|
|2.||"Shandi"||Stanley, Vini Poncia||Stanley||3:36|
|3.||"Talk to Me"||Ace Frehley||Frehley||4:00|
|4.||"Naked City"||Gene Simmons, Poncia, Bob Kulick, Pepe Castro||Simmons||3:49|
|5.||"What Makes the World Go 'Round"||Stanley, Poncia||Stanley||4:14|
|7.||"Two Sides of the Coin"||Frehley||Frehley||3:16|
|8.||"She's So European"||Simmons, Poncia||Simmons||3:30|
|9.||"Easy As It Seems"||Stanley, Poncia||Stanley||3:24|
|10.||"Torpedo Girl"||Frehley, Poncia||Frehley||3:31|
|11.||"You're All That I Want"||Simmons, Poncia||Simmons||3:04|
- Paul Stanley - rhythm guitar, vocals, lead guitar on "Is That You?", "Shandi", "What Makes the World Go 'Round", "Tomorrow", "Easy As It Seems" and "You're All That I Want", bass guitar on "Tomorrow" and "Easy As It Seems"
- Ace Frehley - lead guitar, vocals on "Talk to Me", "Two Sides of the Coin" and "Torpedo Girl"
- Gene Simmons - bass guitar, vocals, rhythm guitar on "You're All That I Want"
- Peter Criss - drums (credit only)
- Anton Fig - drums
- Vini Poncia - keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
- Tom Harper - bass guitar on "Shandi"
- Holly Knight - keyboards
- Eric Carr - drums
|Australian Albums Chart||3|
|Austrian Albums Chart||3|
|Canadian Albums Chart||12|
|Dutch Albums Chart||5|
|German Albums Chart||4|
|Italian Albums Chart||11|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||1|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||1|
|Spanish Albums Chart||11|
|Swedish Albums Chart||17|
|Swiss Albums Chart||8|
|UK Albums Chart||48|
|US Billboard Pop Albums||35|
|1980||United States||"Shandi"||Billboard Pop Singles||47|
|Australia||Pop Singles||10|
|"Talk to Me"||Pop Singles||39|
|Canada||"Shandi"||RPM 100 Singles||69|
|Germany||Pop Singles||28|
|"Talk to Me"||Pop Singles||32|
|"Tomorrow"||Pop Singles||70|
|Holland||"Shandi"||Pop Singles||24|
|"Talk to Me"||Pop Singles||39|
|New Zealand||Pop Singles||6|
|Switzerland||"Talk to Me"||Pop Singles||10|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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