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Saturday, May 21, 2011

KISS: "Unmasked" 31 Years After; Full 1980 Concert Available

May 20th, 1980, KISS released "Unmasked", their eighth studio album. The artwork featured Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, although Criss actually had no involvement with the recording of the album. Anton Fig (uncredited) played all drums on the album. 

This album marked another departure for KISS: this was the first album since 1976's "Rock and Roll Over" not to feature all members on vocals, excluding the four solo releases in 1978.

The band filmed a promotional video for "Shandi", with Peter Criss. It was the last time Criss appeared with KISS in any capacity until he performed with them at a KISS Convention on June 17, 1995. In the band's authorized biography, Criss revealed that he was the last one left in the band's dressing room after filming, and broke down crying.

Throughout the years, the album's songs have been largely ignored on 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 10 hit in 1980). "Talk to Me" was played in 2001 during the Australian and Japanese concerts of the "Farewell Tour", and had not been performed again since the departure of Ace Frehley.

Still, "Unmasked" is regarded a great album by KISS fans all over the world. It´s melodic and catchy and has unique KISS-feel to it all the way.

Below you can watch the full 74 minute "Unmasked Tour" concert from Sydney November 1980:

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