1981 was a really strange year for the KISS camp. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if we’d pointed down that this was the most difficult chapter of the band’s long and illustrious career. The side effects and the casualties after the release of “The Elder” were many, huge and really important for KISS’ future. And just imagine that three years earlier KISS were the biggest band in USA while in 1980 had been transformed into…super heroes in Australia by breaking every single attendance record while setting on fire the merchandise booths during their visit down under.
“The Elder” is a different album. And as it often happens with such obscure albums, there is also a cult following that unfortunately appreciated the album with a considerable delay as “The Elder” (along with “Carnival of Souls”) has the distinctive characteristic of the entire KISS catalogue of not having achieved gold status. Personally, I always thought high of “The Elder” and I rank it among the Top-5 of the KISS 24-studio album assault.
“Odyssey” examines in detail (make that in extraordinary detail) the making of “The Elder. McPhate & Gill are well-known connoisseurs of the KISS saga and the quality of their books goes hand in hand with quality of their text. They have gathered here an unbelievable mass of information through dozens of interviews with people who contributed to the overall preparation and recording of “The Elder” (and not only). From the engineer, the guest musicians and the producer up to the orchestra conductor, the actors and the…carpenter who built the door on the cover sleeve, we get to learn everything about the most peculiar and cult album of the entire KISS catalogue. As you can easily gather, this is a book aimed towards to die hard KISS fan. As for others…well, who knows maybe, you can evaluate in a better light “The Elder” (ignore the clueless hairstyle of Simmons & Stanley).